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dinsdag 7 februari 2012

Steven Van Zandt: 'The Sopranos movie doesn't look likely'

Steven Van Zandt: 'The Sopranos movie doesn't look likely'

Steven Van Zandt has warned Sopranos fans that a reunion movie doesn't look likely.

Sopranos actress Edie Falco said last year that it was still possible for the show's creator David Chase to put together a reunion, but little has been heard of the project since.

Van Zandt - who played mob enforcer Silvio Dante on The Sopranos - was asked for an update on a film reunion during an interview on Good Day New York.

"I don't think so. Half the cast is dead," he joked.

The actor-musician went on to remind Good Day New York's hosts that Silvio could return for a possible Sopranos picture since the character was only wounded in the series finale, not killed.

"Just in case the movie does happen, Silvio will be there, but nah, it doesn't look likely, it really doesn't," he commented.

The Sopranos ran for six critically-acclaimed seasons on HBO between 1999 and 2006.

The mob series won 21 Emmy Awards and five Golden Globes.

Emma Watson named as fantasy 'Doctor Who' companion in online poll

Emma Watson named as fantasy 'Doctor Who' companion in online poll

Doctor Who fans have named Emma Watson as their 'perfect' Time Lord companion in an online poll.

Karen Gillan, whose character Amy Pond is leaving during the next series of the sci-fi drama, has played the Eleventh Doctor's assistant since Steven Moffat's 2010 relaunch.

An IGN survey, to which 5,000 users contributed, found that over a quarter of voters want Harry Potter actress Watson to replace Gillan as Matt Smith's sidekick.

New Girl's Zooey Deschanel was the second choice, while Anna Friel came third, Pixie Lott finished fourth and Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke made fifth place.

Attack the Block's John Boyega was the highest-ranked male in the poll.

Chris Tilly, entertainment editor at, said: "Emma is the overwhelming favourite with viewers - as Hermione Granger she empowered super-smart girls all over the world and she also showed impressive action credentials in the later Harry Potter movies.

"Fans really want to see her make the switch from magic to time travel. With Karen Gillan leaving, this will be one of the most hotly-contested roles in TV."

'Garrow's Law' cancelled by BBC One

'Garrow's Law' cancelled by BBC One

Garrow's Law has been cancelled by BBC One.

The period legal drama, which starred Andrew Buchan and aired on Sunday nights, had picked up consistently good ratings.

However, it will not be returning for a fourth series, the Radio Times reports.

"BBC One will screen more than 20 new dramas this year, but Garrow's Law will not be returning," a BBC spokesperson confirmed.

Garrow's Law was written by Tony Marchant, who recently penned BBC One's three-part drama Public Enemies and is now working on ITV1's new show Leaving.

BBC One's current Sunday night programme Call The Midwife was recently renewed for a second series after becoming a huge success in the ratings. Last night's episode picked up around 9m viewers.

Amanda Holden's 'Britain's Got Talent' Edinburgh return confirmed

Amanda Holden's 'Britain's Got Talent' Edinburgh return confirmed

Amanda Holden will make her return to the Britain's Got Talent judging panel this weekend, it has been confirmed.

Last week, the "thrilled" actress left hospital just days after being left in a critical condition following the birth of her second daughter Hollie Rose.

Holden will now rejoin Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams when auditions move north to Scotland on Saturday (February 11).

A Britain's Got Talent spokesperson said: "We're delighted to welcome Amanda back to the panel."

Reports have suggested that the 40-year-old will be accompanied by her new daughter when she does go to back to work.

Unveiling the first picture of Hollie Rose via her Twitter account earlier today, Holden told followers: "Thank you all for your wonderful messages. I am feeling fabulous! Hollie is amazing. Finally our family is complete!"

Baywatch star Carmen Electra was welcomed as a guest judge today, as auditions continued in London's Hammersmith Apollo.

'Parks and Recreation' producer discusses surprise romance

'Parks and Recreation' producer discusses surprise romance

Parks and Recreation executive producer Mike Schur has revealed more details about the new romance in small town Pawnee.

The sitcom's latest episode ended with Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Adam Scott) catching Tom (Aziz Ansari) and Ann (Rashida Jones) on a secret Valentine's date set up by April (Aubrey Plaza).

Schur told E!: "It's real. Tom and Ann are dating and will have a relationship for some amount of time."

He also said that the new romance will affect other people, especially April.

"We have a lot of soul-matey relationships, with Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Adam Scott) and Andy (Chris Pratt) and April (Aubrey Plaza), and we just wanted to do a comedy relationship," Schur added.

"It's real, but it's not soulfully gazing into each other eyes and running off to get married after three weeks. We're going for a different relationship, which is a pair of mismatched people who are very gingerly having a couple drinks here and there to see if they're compatible."

He went on to claim: "You have this small, loser town filled with loser people and Tom's at least kind of cool. The reality is, if you were a young attractive woman in Pawnee, and you worked with a guy who's kinda cool even if he's a dope, at some point you'd say, let's just try it."

Jones, who can been seen in The Muppets, previously said that while she believes in romance, she isn't sure if marriage "works altogether across the board".

Paz de la Huerta 'not returning for Boardwalk Empire season three'

Paz de la Huerta 'not returning for Boardwalk Empire season three'

Paz de la Huerta will not return for the next season of Boardwalk Empire, it has been claimed.

HBO has decided not to renew her season three contract option, reports TV Line.

De la Huerta played Lucy Danziger, who was introduced to the series as the mistress of Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi).

After Nucky left Lucy for Margaret Schroeder (Kelly Macdonald), Lucy became pregnant with Agent Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon).

Last year, de la Huerta was arrested after attacking The City star Samantha Swetra in New York.

She was then charged with five misdemeanours and two counts of assault.

Michael Angarano lands lead in CBS comedy pilot

Michael Angarano lands lead in CBS comedy pilot

Michael Angarano has signed up for a role in a CBS pilot.

The comedy, which is currently untitled, focuses on a man who ends up working a cubicle away from his ex-girlfriend.

The project is partly based on the real-life experiences of writer Nick Stoller.

Stoller recently penned The Muppets and has also worked on movies such as Get Him To The Greek, Yes Man and Fun With Dick And Jane.

Angarano's previous television credits include 24 and Will & Grace, while his movie work includes parts in Almost Famous, Red State and, more recently, Haywire.

Other pilots currently in the works at CBS include a comedy starring JoAnna Garcia, a project from the writer of Goodfellas and cop drama Golden Boy.

ABC Family Picks Up ‘Bunheads’ To Series, Passes On ‘Intercept’ And ‘Village People’

ABC Family Picks Up ‘Bunheads’ To Series, Passes On ‘Intercept’ And ‘Village People’

I’ve learned that ABC Family is moving ahead with a series order to Bunheads, its dance drama pilot from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. It will join another new ABC Family series that was picked up last week, comedy Baby Daddy. I hear that the cable network’s 2 other pilots from the current batch, drama Intercept and comedy Village People, are not going forward.

Bunheads stars Sutton Foster as Michelle, a Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man and moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law’s dance school. “I spent 20 years of my life with my hair in a bun,” Sherman-Palladino, who got her break as a writer on Roseanne, said when the project was picked up to pilot in September. “I was supposed to be a dancer. My mother was a dancer. Her greatest heartbreak was when I got on Roseanne. So, while writing this will never equal playing ‘Rumpelteazer’ in a bus and truck tour of Cats, it does let me to tip my hat to a really special time in my life.” Bunheads was originally picked up as a cast-contingent pilot in fall 2010 with a different writer.

NBC's Smash: What the Critics Are Saying About the Premiere

NBC's Smash: What the Critics Are Saying About the Premiere

The Broadway-based show stars Katharine McPhee, Debra Messing, Anjelica Huston and Megan Hilty.

After much fanfare (and a The Voice lead in), NBC's midseason musical drama, Smash, finally premiered Monday night.

The show, based on a Broadway musical, stars industry heavyweights Anjelica Huston and Debra Messing as well as former American Idol contestant Katharine McPhee and virtual newcomer Megan Hilty.

After it's opening night premiere, the reviews are in ... and they're almost unanimously positive. 

THR's TV critic Tim Goodman calls the show "Glee for grown-ups," saying, "Smash is a surprisingly high-quality drama and entertainment well worth your investment of time and support, and that’s the only thing a viewer needs to be concerned about," but he does also note that the drama may be too niche for network.

Salon headlines their recap by calling the show "an irresistible take on Marilyn, musicals," before reviewer Kera Bolonik admits he doesn't like musicals: "For a curmudgeon like me, that has skin-crawl written all over it. Except that I was absolutely, instantly bewitched. By the writing. By the acting. By the story and the stories within the story. Even by — especially by — the music."

The Wall Street Journal highlight's the network's large promotional push, saying, After weeks and weeks of advertising, “Smash” premieres," but then goes on to praise the premier, writing," the show seems to have a lot of promise, and the musical numbers dazzled."

"Based on the premiere, which did the internet version of playing out-of-town try-outs on NBC’s website, I think you’d have to say this was one damn lively show with a lot of promise," writes Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker. "I’m a sucker for behind-the-scenes stories, for how-they-do-it productions, for catty exposes of how dirty one’s hands must get to create a gleaming-bright spectacle."

"Save It or Sink It?" asks E! Online ... though it's immediately clear what their reviewer wants to do. "Confession: we're crying. Don't worry! It's happy crying!" gushes the recap, calling the cast "amazing" before praising "the musical numbers! The drama! The hotness that is [Jack] Davenport!"

'Got to Dance': Two acts reach final, Kimberly Wyatt performs

'Got to Dance': Two acts reach final, Kimberly Wyatt performs

Boadicea and Fear of the Unknown made it into the live final of Got to Dance after winning the public vote last night.

The two acts triumphed in yesterday's second semi-final and will now compete in the grand finale next month.

Judge Adam Garcia described Fear of the Unknown, a dance troupe from Glasgow, as "amazing dancers" and "masters of the grand gestures", Kimberly Wyatt described their performance as "absolutely phenomenal", and Ashley Banjo praised their "energy and fire".

Meanwhile, Garcia told hip-hop group Boadicea that they have a "sensual female power", while Banjo said he is "so passionate" about them.

The semi-final also featured a performance from Wyatt, who danced to the Florence + the Machine track 'No Light No Light'.

Six more acts will perform next week in an attempt to make it through to the grand finale, which will be held at London's Olympia on March 4.

Got to Dance continues on Sunday at 6pm on Sky1.

TV Tonight 7th of February 2012

TV Tonight 7th of February 2012

The daily list in alphabetical order, of all the new episodes airing.

    112 - på liv och död S05E11: "Del 11 av 36"
    90210 S04E16: "No Good Deed"
    Ano Natsu de Matteru S01E05: "Episode 5"
    Another S01E05: "Build limbs"
    Arctic Air S01E05: "Northern Lights"
    Bleach (JP) S16E17: "The Sorrowful Battle! Ichigo vs. Sado & Orihime!"
    Bondi Vet S04E02: "Season 4, Episode 2"
    Campus PD S04E06: "Reports of a loud party bring the police"
    Coach Trip S09E07: "Series 9, Day 7"
    Come Dine With Me S18E20: "Series 18, Episode 17"
    Conan S02E46: "Dr. Phil McGraw, Keegan-Michael Key, Alabama Shakes"
    Cowboy Builders S06E06: "Update Show"
    Dance Moms S02E05: "Brooke's Back (FKA Burn, Pom Poms, Burn!)"
    Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou S01E05: "Episode 5"
    Days of our Lives S47E64: "Ep. #11774"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E153: "Episode 1833"
    Dickinson's Real Deal S08E46: "Series 8, Episode 46"
    Dirty Jobs S08E09: "Tower Top Hand"
    Doctors S13E193: "Appearances"
    EastEnders S28E23: "February 7, 2012"
    Emmerdale S41E32: "February 7, 2012"
    Escape To The Country S12E26: "Somerset"
    General Hospital (US) S49E216: "#12490"
    Glee S03E12: "The Spanish Teacher"
    Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden S22E112: "Season 22, Episode 112"
    Got to Dance S03E39: "Series 3, Episode 39"
    Halv åtta hos mig S08E10: "Linköping - Andreas"
    Hidden City S01E10: "TBA"
    Holby City S14E17: "The Best Man"
    Hollyoaks S18E27: "February 7, 2012"
    Home and Away (AU) S25E12: "Episode 5447"
    Hotel cæsar S28E147: "Season 28, Episode 147"
    Ink Master S01E04: "TBA"
    Jane By Design S01E06: "The Image Issue"
    Jeopardy! S28E102: "Show #6307"
    Jersey Couture S02E01: "TBA"
    Jimmy Kimmel Live S09E201: "Michelle Williams, Damon Wayans Jr., 50 Cent"
    Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? S02E03: "TBA"
    Junior Doctors – Your Life In Their Hands S02E03: "Series 2, Episode 3"
    Justified S03E04: "The Devil You Know"
    Key & Peele S01E02: "Season 1, Episode 2"
    Last Call with Carson Daly S10E09
    Last Man Standing S01E15: "House of Spirits"
    Last Man Standing S01E16: "Tree of Strife"
    Late Night with Jimmy Fallon S02E215
    Late Show with David Letterman S19E21: "Denzel Washington, the Fray"
    Live with Regis and Kelly S29E116
    My First Place S21E08: "Inspection Rattles Dream House"
    Natsume Yūjin-Chō S04E06: "Other Side Of The Glass"
    NCIS S09E14: "Life Before His Eyes"
    NCIS: Los Angeles S03E14: "Partners"
    Nederland van boven S01E10: "De lucht in"
    Neighbours S28E22: "Episode 6332"
    New Girl S01E12: "The Landlord"
    Parenthood (2010) S03E15: "Politics"
    Pointless S05E111: "Series 5, Episode 111"
    Prisoners' Wives S01E02: "Episode 2"
    Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is S05E27: "Series 5, Episode 27"
    Ragin' Cajuns S01E04: "Under Pressure"
    Raising Hope S02E13: "Tarot Cards"
    Ringer S01E12: "What Are You Doing Here, Ho-Bag?"
    Shameless S09E06: "Series 9, Episode 6"
    Shipping Wars S01E10: "TBA"
    Shipping Wars S01E09: "TBA"
    Southland S04E04: "Identity"
    Switched at Birth S01E16: "Las Dos Fridas"
    Tabatha Takes Over S04E05: "Chill, Ventura: Ca"
    Teen Mom 2 S02E11: "Falling"
    The Biggest Loser S13E06: "Season 13, Episode 6"
    The Biggest Loser (2009) S03E06: "Series 3, Episode 6"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S25E226: "Ep. #6255"
    The Chase (2009) S05E26: "Series 5, Episode 26"
    The Ellen DeGeneres Show S09E95: "Martin Scorsese, Rachel McAdams"
    The Exit List S01E05: "Episode 5"
    The Fixer (UK) S01E02: "The Chough Bakery"
    The Game S05E05: "Drink, Pray, Love"
    The Jeremy Kyle Show S07E102: "February 7, 2012"
    The L.A. Complex S01E05: "Home"
    The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson S08E22: "Kenneth Branagh"
    The Real Housewives Of Orange County S07E01: "Season 7, Episode 1"
    The Revolution (2012) S01E17: "Season 1, Episode 17"
    The River S01E02: "Marbeley"
    The River S01E01: "Pilot"
    The Rosie Show S01E66: "Kendra Wilkinson, Hank Baskett"
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S19E236: "Chelsea Handler, Jon Huntsman, 2Cellos"
    The View S15E100
    The Young and the Restless S39E223: "Ep. #9838"
    Thuis S17E117: "Season 17, Episode 117"
    Tosh.0 S04E02: "How To Draw Guy"
    Unforgettable S01E14: "Carrie’s Caller"
    Veckans brott S04E04: "Mordfall i Rotebro utanför Stockholm"
    Wanted Down Under S06E27: "Series 6, Episode 27"
    Watch What Happens: Live S06E22: "Taylor Armstrong and Gretchen Rossi"
    White Collar S03E14: "Pulling Strings"

Super Bowl Most-Watched U.S. Show Ever; 'Voice' Scores Big

Super Bowl Most-Watched U.S. Show Ever; 'Voice' Scores Big

The Super Bowl narrowly edged out last year's to become the most-watched television show in U.S. history. It scored 111.3 million viewers, just over last year's 111 millon, which broke the 2010 record.

The 40.5 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic was the highest for a Super Bowl in 16 years, thanks in part to a contest between the New England Patriots and victorious New York Giants that was close down to the final seconds. (The 1996 Super Bowl scored a 41.2 demo rating.)

Viewership climbed throughout the game, averaging 117.7 million in the final half hour. Madonna's halftime show was also the most-watched ever, and was seen by an average 114 million viewers.

The second-season premiere of NBC's "The Voice" after the Super Bowl, meanwhile, scored the highest ratings of any entertainment telecast since 2006.

"The Voice" scored a 16.3 rating in the key demo and 37.6 million total viewers overall. It was the best rating since a 16.5 for "Grey's Anatomy" after the Super Bowl on ABC in 2006, and provided a welcome boost for fourh-place network NBC.

The show was up 47 percent in the demo and 40 percent in total viewers over the episode of "Glee" that aired after the Super Bowl on Fox last year. ("Glee" scored an 11.1 and 26.8 million total viewers.)

The show airing after the Super Bowl is typically the highest-rated entertainment program of the season, and that will almost certainly be the case again this year. Prior to the post-game "Voice" premiere, the season's highest-rated entertainment program was the season premiere of "Two and a Half Men," which drew 27.7 million viewers curious to see how Ashton Kutcher would fill Charlie Sheen's shoes. It earned a 10.3 rating in the demo.

The strong ratings for "The Voice" bode well for the show as it moves to its new Monday time slot tonight, where it will challenge "Men" and other CBS comedies from 8 to 10 p.m. CBS's sitcom lineup has dominated Monday nights all season, but NBC hopes "The Voice" will thrive and provide a strong lead-in for the new musical drama "Smash" at 10.

Lifetime Planning Columbine Miniseries

Lifetime Planning Columbine Miniseries

Lifetime is developing a miniseries about the 1999 Columbine High School shootings, based on author Dave Cullen's bestselling 2009 book on the tragedy, "Columbine."

"An American Crime" and "United States of Tara" writer Tommy O'Haver will write the script for the movie, which will be produced by Michael DeLuca ("Moneyball" and "The Social Network"), and "Mildred Pierce" producers Christine Vachon and Pam Koffler.

Cullen confirms the project on his website, where he also says a stage play based on the book is in development.

Cullen spent a decade writing the book, a compelling, thorough account of the April 1999 shootings. High school students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 of their fellow students and a teacher, then committed suicide.

"Columbine" includes interviews with the survivors and friends and families of the victims and the shooters, as well as details on the police investigation, background on Harris and Klebold, and updates on life in Littleton, Colo., site of the shootings.

PILOTS SEASON TALENT: Which Actors Are Hot This Year And Other Casting Trends

PILOTS SEASON TALENT: Which Actors Are Hot This Year And Other Casting Trends

With pilot pickups almost completed, the focus shifts to casting them. Every year, there are a dozen or so name actors that attract 90% of the early pilot offers until the thesps pick a project or pass on all. After fielding multiple offers, some of the most sought after actors this year already made their choices. That includes Kevin Bacon, who is making his first foray into series with a starring role in the Fox’s Kevin Williamson project; Andre Braugher, who signed on to lead the cast of ABC’s drama pilot Last Resort; and JoAnna Garcia Swisher, who is set as the female lead in the Greg Berlanti/Greg Malins CBS comedy pilot. Other heavily pursued actors are still in play. In comedy that includes James Mardsen and Justin Long, who are hotly pursued coming off high-profile arcs on 30 Rock and New Girl, respectively, Damages‘ Rose Byrne and Ugly Betty alumna Becki Newton. Kyle Chandler is getting a ton of drama scripts but appears more inclined to do a cable project like his Friday Night Lights co-star Connie Britton who starred on the FX drama American Horror Story. James Purefoy also is popular in drama, and Without A Trace Anthony LaPaglia is fielding interest for both drama and comedy pilots.

As usual, there is a large contingent of feature actors that are being approached for pilots this season. The list includes Bacon, Long, Mardsen, Jane Fonda, Uma Thurman, Ed Harris, Hugh Grant, Tim Robbins, Michelle Monaghan, Anna Kendrick, Tea Leoni, Greg Kinnear, Ellen Barkin and Seann William Scott. TV stars that are being lured to return to series duty include Carol Burnett, Keri Russell, America Ferrera, Josh Holloway, Ian McShane, Tony Shalhoub, Allison Janney, Jean Smart and Weeds‘ Justin Kirk.

This season also marked a big resurgence of talent development/holding deals. It caps a trend of those pacts slowly coming back over the past several years after drying up almost completely in the mid-2000s, with both the networks and the studios  stepping up to lock in talent early. The actors signed in network deals this season include Martin Lawrence (CBS), Desperate Housewives co-star Vanessa Williams (ABC), former Law & Order star Jesse Martin (ABC/ABC Studios), The Talk and King Of Queens alumna Leah Remini (ABC/ABC Studios), former Greek star Scott Michael Foster (ABC), comedian Dane Cook (NBC), The Event star Jason Ritter (NBC), The Closer veteran Corey Reynolds (NBC) and Army Wives star Sally Pressman (NBC). Latino actors are particularly hot this season. Fox hired a Mexico-based casting director to search for untapped Latin American performers and ended up signing talent holding deals with Mexican actors Martha Higareda and Adan Canto. Meanwhile, ABC signed Gina Rodriguez, hot off her Sundance movie Filly Brown, and veteran John Leguizamo. On the studio side, 20th Century Fox TV inked development deals with Lie To Me star Tim Roth and Scrubs alumna Sarah Chalke, while Warner Bros. TV enrolled former Heroes co-star Greg Grunburg. Under her deal, Chalke has already been cast in 20th TV’s ABC comedy pilot How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life.

New element this season was signing talent deals with actors targeting specific projects that had not been officially greenlighted as a way of securing talent for hot projects before formal casting could be done. The Book Of Mormon star Andrew Rannells was signed in a joint 20th Century Fox TV-NBC talent holding deal with the intention for him to play one of the 3 leads in the NBC/20th TV comedy from the Glee duo of Ryan Murphy and Allison Adler, while actor-comedian David Koechner signed a talent holding deal with NBC with an eye toward him joining Greg Daniels’ adaptation of British comedy Friday Night Dinner. Both scripts were eventually picked up to pilot.

Also notable this season was the large number of projects sold with talent attached, especially on the comedy side. NBC bough half-hour projects starring Roseanne Barr, Sean Hayes, Sarah Silverman, Portia de Rossi, Mindy Kaling, Kal Penn, Snoop Dogg, Nick Thune and Omid Djalili. ABC went for comedies toplined by Kirstie Alley, JoAnna Garcia, Reba McEntire, Mandy Moore, Jim Belushi, Judy Greer, Ashley Tisdale, Jeff Garlin, Jim Breuer, Romeo Santos, Kyle Bornheimer, Marlon Wayans, Craig Kilborn and Sharon Horgan. The last 3 also created their starring vehicles, as did Kaling and Aasif Mandvi who headlined a comedy for CBS. (Silverman and Barr serve as co-creators of their shows.) Fox bought pitches with Tyler Labine and Hannibal Buress. The only drama projects with stars attached were NBC’s Jason Katims medical drama starring Jason Ritter and the network’s Blue Tilt toplined by Ethan Hawke and Vince D’Onofrio. (The latter has been rolled.) Of the talent-driven projects, the Kirstie Alley-starring The Manzanis went straight to pilot, with those toplined by Silverman, Barr, de Rossi, Kaling, McEntire and Greer also greenlighted to pilot, though the de Rossi and Kaling projects got the thumbs-up at ABC and Fox, respectively, after getting passed over by NBC. And White House comedy 1600 Penn clinched a pilot order from NBC after co-creator Josh Gad agreed to also star in the project. The Moore-starring comedy is still in contention at ABC, while talent released after their projects didn’t go are already pursued for other pilots. After multiple offers, Garcia was already snatched by the Berlanti/Malins CBS comedy, with Bornheimer also approached for other pilots.

The casts of veteran series that are ending their run are always targets for pilot casting directors. This year that includes ABC’s Desperate Housewives and NBC’s Chuck. I hear that Desperate Housewives‘ production schedule may not allow its stars to do hourlong pilots, but doing ABC half-hour pilots is a possibility because of the shorter production span and the ability to coordinate dates internally. Felicity Huffman already has been approached for an ABC comedy pilot. Meanwhile, Williams who has a talent deal with ABC and on avergae has less work load than the other Desperate Housewives leading ladies, may be able to do an hourlong pilot. As for Chuck, star Zachary Levi has already been talked about for a couple of half-hour pilots, including an NBC comedy.

Brett Ratner To Direct Fox’s Karyn Usher Spy Drama Pilot

Brett Ratner To Direct Fox’s Karyn Usher Spy Drama Pilot

Brett Ratner is set to direct and executive produce Fox ‘s spy drama pilot written by Karyn Usher (The Playboy Club). The procedural thriller centers on the orphaned 17-year-old daughter of a CIA operative who is recruited to become an operative herself. She encounters a mysterious rogue agent/assassin who serves as both her surrogate father and professional mentor in the spy world. The project hails from 20th Century Fox TV and Marty Adelstein and Shawn Levy’s studio-based 21 Laps/Adelstein Prods. Usher, Adelstein, Becky Clements and Levy will executive produce with Ratner. The pilot gig stems from the new overall deal Ratner signed with 20th TV in August. Of the previous pilots CAA-repped Ratner has directed for 20th TV, where he has been based for the past 8 years, two, Prison Break and Chaos, went to series.

Lifetime’s ‘Blue Lagoon’ Reboot Casts Leads

Lifetime’s ‘Blue Lagoon’ Reboot Casts Leads

Young Australian actors Brenton Thwaites and Indiana Evans are following in the footsteps of Christopher Atkins & Brooke Shields and Brian Krause & Milla Jovovich as the leads of The Blue Lagoon, Lifetime’s contemporary remake of the 1980 romance/adventure movie starring Shields and Atkins. (Jovovich and Krause toplined the 1991 sequel.) In the story, which echoes the biblical tale of Adam and Eve and is based on the novel by Henry De Vere Stacpoole, Thwaites and Evans will play Dane and Emma, a boy and a girl marooned on a tropical island where they grow up together, fall in love and discover sexuality.

The Sony TV-distributed project has been in the works at Lifetime since 2004 with Heather Rutman and Matt Heller as writers. Filming is slated to begin this month in Puerto Rico. Neil Meron, Craig Zadan and Judith Verno are executive producing. Sony and Verno were also behind the recent hit Lifetime movie Untouchable: The Drew Peterson Story. The Blue Lagoon franchise is known for giving young actors their big break. The 1980 film made Shields a household name, while the 1991 sequel Return To The Blue Lagoon launched the career of Milla Jovovich. Thwaites, managed by Industry Entertainment, and Evans have both co-starred on the popular Australian soap opera Home And Away.

Indecency Intrigue: M.I.A.'s Middle Finger and an Unaired Commercial at This Year's Super Bowl

Indecency Intrigue: M.I.A.'s Middle Finger and an Unaired Commercial at This Year's Super Bowl

The FCC isn't likely to fine NBC for the Super Bowl flap. Instead, the agency made a big ruling on a Super Bowl advertisement you might not have heard about.

Between M.I.A.'s flipping the bird and a TV commercial we didn't see thanks to a last-minute FCC decision, Super Bowl XLVI gave those who practice First Amendment law a lot to chew on this year. NBC is probably safe from another FCC indecency crackdown, but that doesn't mean this year's Super Bowl won't be remembered as an important one in the ongoing struggle to square free speech with tasteful broadcast television.

Up first is the middle finger by M.I.A., the British musician who delivered a verse and a whole lot more during Madonna's performance on Sunday.

The surprise gesture caught NBC sleeping, as an attempt to censor it came too late. The episode also evoked memories from the Super Bowl halftime performance eight years ago of Janet Jackson, whose "wardrobe malfunction" set off a lot of hemming and hawing about indecency standards on television.

This time, however, NBC is unlikely to face any fines over M.I.A.'s act, according to various broadcast lawyers we've consulted.

These close observers of the FCC note that the agency has never made any ruling on whether an extended middle finger rises to the level of being "indecent," and at a time when the agency's enforcement is being challenged for being "arbitrary and capricious," many have strong doubts whether the FCC would wish to set new law.

Right now, the U.S. Supreme Court is in the midst of considering the FCC's constitutional allowances to police indecency, and until that happens, the rulebook is in flux as the 2nd Circuit has already struck down some of the agency's policies on naughty words on broadcast television.

If the agency did make an action, says Hary Cole, a broadcast lawyer at Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, it would probably be for possible use of the word, "shit," by M.I.A.

During her performance, she seemed to halt herself, however, when delivering the song line, "I don't give a shit."

Still, despite NBC's apologies, critics are lambasting the network for not seeing something like this coming. Here is a statement given to us by Parents Television Council President Tim Winter:

"The mechanism NBC had in place to catch this type of material completely failed, and the network cannot say it was caught off guard. It has been eight years since the Janet Jackson striptease, and both NBC and the NFL knew full well what might happen. They chose a lineup full of performers who have based their careers on shock, profanity and titillation. Instead of preventing indecent material, they enabled it. M.I.A. used a middle finger shamelessly to bring controversial attention to herself, while effectively telling an audience filled with children, ‘F– you.’"

The uproar over the M.I.A. gesture might be commanding the headlines, but one should not ignore a very important decision the FCC made on Friday.

The agency decided that during the Super Bowl, a Chicago affiliate didn't have to air an anti-abortion advertisement showing an aborted fetus. The challenge came from a man named Randall Terry, who says he's a candidate for U.S. president and that the station was obligated to sell him advertising time under rules that prohibit networks from censoring content from political candidates, even if the content is deemed to be indecent or obscene.

"This is a big deal for two reasons," says Cole. "The FCC has made moderately new law on what to look for to see if a candidate is really running for office as well as standards for making equal opportunities of ad time for political opponents."

In this case, the FCC decided that Terry wasn't a legally qualified candidate for office, implying that he was using the excuse of candidacy to get his message past the censors. Among Terry's activity examined by the agency to determine this was whether he had made campaign appearances, distributed literature, and conducted fundraising. The agency also noted that the Democratic National Committee disavowed his candidacy in a letter.

But even if Terry was a candidate, the FCC also said that he'd have no right to demand his commercial run during the Super Bowl. That's because under current law, stations must give opponents equal opportunities to get their own message out, and since the Super Bowl is a one-time unique annual event, the TV station couldn't fulfill its equal-time mandate in time for the election.

In sum, NBC is getting hit today from those who think the network should have done more to prevent viewers from seeing the middle finger. But the big action on what's fair and free on public airwaves is likely to happen in the next few months, starting with the U.S. Supreme Court's coming decision but also possibly any appeal of the Terry case.

'90210': Nick Zano heats up the famed ZIP code

'90210': Nick Zano heats up the famed ZIP code

As fans of "90210" know, the ladies are always looking for the newest, hottest thing. And they're about to find one when Nick Zano joins the show for a multi-episode arc.

In some exclusive first look photos, we see P.J. (Zano), who is described as an adventurous playboy introduced to the crew through Annie (Shenae Grimes). It seems that he's got a lot of money to throw around town and it's just a matter of where, and with whom, he's going to spend it.

We've also been told that some catfights may emerge over the show's new hunk. If you're placing bets, it's all but certain that Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord) will likely be one of the women involved. But could Silver (Jessica Stroup) be the other? And maybe Annie will escape her doldrums and try love again?

"90210" airs Tuesday (Feb. 7) at 8 p.m. ET.

'Thomas & Friends' Taps CG Team Behind 'Gnomeo and Juliet' to Animate New Season

'Thomas & Friends' Taps CG Team Behind 'Gnomeo and Juliet' to Animate New Season

"Thomas & Friends" has tapped Arc Productions, the team behind the feature film "Gnomeo and Juliet," to animate its upcoming seventeenth season.

The announcement comes after toymaker Mattel closed its $680 million acquisition of HIT Entertainment, the producer of such TV shows as Thomas the Tank Engine, on Wednesday.

The deal marks the first global television series that Arc will produce.

Toronto-based Arc will provide animation for all 11-minute episodes of the upcoming seventeenth season, as well as a one-hour "Thomas & Friends" feature-length special. The new episodes animated by Arc are set to broadcast starting in the fall of 2013.

With Bold 'The Voice' and 'Smash' Scheduling, NBC Saves Big Play for After the Super Bowl

With Bold 'The Voice' and 'Smash' Scheduling, NBC Saves Big Play for After the Super Bowl

The boldest play you'll see on NBC this year may not have happened during the Super Bowl.

Tonight, the fourth-place network throws its biggest hopes for the season up against most-watched network CBS, which is at its strongest on Monday nights. The success or failure of "The Voice" and the new "Smash" will likely decide whether Bob Greenblatt's first full season as NBC's entertainment chairman is eventually deemed a success or failure.

"The Voice" was a surprise hit for NBC last midseason. In hopes of building huge momentum for its second season, NBC gave its premiere the plum spot after the Super Bowl.

It hopes the show, airing from 8 to 10 on Monday nights, will provide a huge lead-in for the new musical drama "Smash," which enters a 10 p.m. timeslot that has brought dreary ratings for the canceled "The Playboy Club" and "Rock Center," which held it earlier this season.

It's a major risk. CBS's 8-10 Monday comedy lineup, including "Two and a Half Men" and the new hit "Two Broke Girls," has been largely bulletproof this season. At times it has even beat new episodes of other networks' shows with reruns.

Adding to NBC's challenges, Mondays are also home to the long-running ABC hit "The Bachelor" and Fox's "House," as well as the new "Alcatraz," which has earned respectable ratings since its January debut.

CBS's "Hawaii 5-0" at 10 has earned strong ratings, but shed some of the audience for the sitcoms that lead into it. NBC hopes "The Voice" can lure away its audience – or at least capture those uninterested in the island procedural.

"Smash," whose all-star cast includes Debra Messing, Anjelica Huston and Katharine McPhee – seems to be the new NBC show closest to Greenblatt's heart. He brought the Steven Speilberg production with him from Showtime when he joined NBC last January. And the network has aggressively promoted it, hoping it will be the second breakout hit on Greenblatt's watch. ("The Voice," the first, was in development before he took over.)

The network also offered the show online and on-demand before the premiere.

Adding to the high stakes for "Smash" is the uncertain history of musical shows – and especially musical dramas. The embarrassing failure of ABC's "Cop Rock" scared networks off from musicals for years, until the a string of movie successes made them seem once again worth the risk. Fox scored a big hit with the 2009 debut of "Glee," though its ratings have slipped in this its third season.

No film has done more for the current comeback of TV musicals than "Chicago," the 2003 Oscar winner for best picture. Not coincidentally, "Smash" boasts the production team behind "Chicago," Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. The production team is just one element of "Smash" that NBC hasn't left to chance.

While ratings will not be in until Monday morning, "The Voice" premiere after the Super Bowl has a strong shot at being the top-rated premiere of the season. It would have to beat the premiere of the reconstructed "Two and a Half Men," which drew 28 million viewers eager to see how Ashton Kutcher would fill Charlie Sheen's shoes.

The down-to-the wire finish for Sunday's Super Bowl between the New York Giants and New England Patriots has a strong shot at beating last year's record of 111 million viewers. (That game beat the previous year's record for most-watched U.S. television broadcast.) That's good news for "The Voice."

But the show also joins a newly crowded landscape for musical competitions. Fox's "X Factor," which arrived in fall, may have cut into "American Idol" ratings that have been down slightly in the show's current, eleventh season since the show returned last month.

In a conference call with reporters last month, "Idol" judge Randy Jackson noted how full the market is becoming.

"I think the space of singing shows is definitely a little crowded right now. They’re on year-round now with us, 'The Voice' and 'X Factor' and there’s even singing on 'Got Talent.' So you got a lot of singing. So that’s what happens when your marketplace gets full. You know what I mean?"

As risky as it is for NBC to air two big hopes on Mondays, the network probably had no better options: Airing on Tuesday at 8 would have put "The Voice" up against "Glee," Though Fox announced last week that "Glee" will take seven weeks off, beginning March 6. Airing "The Voice" on Wednesday or Thursday at 8 would have put it against "Idol."

Jackson, the longest continuously serving music show judge given his eleven straight season on "Idol," sounded magnanimous last week as he said there was room for all the musical shows. He predicted "huge numbers" for "The Voice" after the Super Bowl.

"Listen, they’ve got a great show and I think there’s room for everyone out there," he said. "You will see."

But NBC needs more than just "The Voice" to thrive – it wants a smash from "Smash" as well.

NBC has at least one more wild card to play this season – it announced a March 1 premiere last week for "Awake," an ambitious new drama about a man whose reality is split in two after a car accident. In one reality, his wife survives and son dies. In the other, his son lives and wife dies.

The format could thrill or baffle audiences – but NBC tried gamely to explain it in post-Super Bowl ads Sunday.

Ryan Gosling Is His Own Genre on Time Warner Cable

Ryan Gosling Is His Own Genre on Time Warner Cable

It's all Ryan Gosling, all the time on Time Warner Cable's Movies On Demand channel in February. Eight of the Oscar-nominated actor's movies -- including the Oscar-nominated "Drive" -- will air throughout the month.

In fact, TWC has deemed the actor his own "genre." To watch his movies, viewers go to the Movies On Demand channel, select "By Genre" and click on "Ryan Gosling."

Among the other Gosling movies TWC is offering throughout the month: "Crazy, Stupid, Love," "The Ides of March," "Lars and the Real Girl," "Fracture," "The Notebook," "Murder by Numbers" and "Remember the Titans."

Gosling, who was a double Golden Globes Best Actor nominee this year for "The Ides of March" and "Crazy, Stupid, Love," is nominated for a Best Male Lead Independent Spirit Award for his role in "Drive."