There is sad news to lead off today’s Biz Break, as we have to report that Alex Karras has passed away. A former Detroit Lions defensive end, Karras made the transition to both wrestling and acting, where he was perhaps best known as Mongo — one of pop cultures greatest Hodors — in Blazing Saddles, as well as the father of Webster in the sitcom of the same name. Karras was 77, and like a lot of NFL players, he was diagnosed with dementia before eventually succumbing to kidney failure. RIP, Mr. Karras.
In cheerier news, according to THR, Australian actress Rebel Wilson — who makes everything better — will be writing, producing, and starring in her own movie, although there are no details on the project as of yet. I think Rebel Wilson’s presence should be a big enough sell. She was among the many outstanding things in the a capella comedy, Pitch Perfect, and the only reason to watch What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
I’m not sure this is even worth announcing, but Chris Diamantopoulos — who played Moe in the Farrelly Brothers terrible Three Stooges movie, will join the already announced John Slattery, Terry Crews, and Isla Fisher as a guests on Netflix’s fourth season of Arrested Development, according to The Wrap.
Meanwhile, according to The Evening Standard (via Slashfilm), Nicholas Winding Refn is denying rumors that a sequel to the fantastic but underperforming Drive is in the works, but for those who loved Ryan Gosling’s character, Refn has not ruled out the possibility that he may show up in one or more of his future works.
If you’ve ever wondered what network notes look like Judd Apatow tweeted notes he received from Fox while working on “The Ben Stiller Show” (via The AV Club) and they are, as you’d expect, absurd. “‘The Far Right Children’s Theater’” sketches are unacceptable as written. The material deals with highly controversial issues which, although clearly satirical, is unbalanced and therefore gives the impression of political bias which many of our viewers might find objectionable.”
Ryan Reynolds, who still hasn’t found a huge hit to follow up The Proposal after the failure of The Green Lantern (and the modest success of Safe House), is eyeing The Voices, which sounds like your standard thriller until it starts to get weird, via Deadline.
Reynolds is in talks to play Jerry Hickfang, a lovable but strange bathtub factory worker who yearns for the attention of a woman in accounting. When their relationship takes a sudden murderous turn, Jerry’s evil talking cat and benevolent talking dog lead him down a fantastical path that ultimately brings him to salvation.
Talking dogs and cats. Fantastic.
Elsewhere, as I reported over on Warming Glow yesterday, “Louie” will be taking an extended hiatus until the Spring of 2014, as Louis C.K. develops new material. The best part of that news, however, is that Louis envisions nine seasons of the sitcom, broken up into three trilogies, including the just finished first three season.
Fox continues to travel down the reality rabbit hole of hell, as they’ve just ordered “Divorce Hotel,” a reality show that puts an estranged married couple in a luxury hotel room where they will work out the details of their divorce with mediators, counselors, and lawyers. Man, that is trashy television, folks. Even stranger: It’s based on a Dutch business, according to Deadline.
J.J. Abrams is developing ANOTHER show, this time a sitcom based on the upcoming book Adulting: How To Become A Grown-Up In 387 Easy(ish) Steps, by Oregon-based journalist Kelly Williams Brown. It will be a “quirky” and “humorous” look on how to become an adult. Here’s a quick and dirty way to become an adult: GET A FUCKING JOB.
Finally, I hope you folks like Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations because two shows based on the novel are in the works. One at the CW, Expectations, is produced by Reese Witherspoon and will follow a small-town girl to San Francisco where she receives a large sum of money that makes her life awesome. Meanwhile, ABC is developing Legacy, a sexy, modern-day soap based upon the novel.