Casting calls and news items in the film and TV community come in each day here to FJ. Amy Lawrence catches the minutiae that falls through the cracks, and discusses them more in depth than most of them probably deserve.
On the Boob Tube…
111 Gramercy Park: Oh the wacky lives of eccentric people living in an upscale Manhattan apartment building. There’s the dignified doorman (Paul the Butler! Paging Paul!), the power couple, the nannies, the elderly rich woman and her handsome grandson for the nannies to flirt with… you get it, rightr It’s a pilot for ABC.
The Agency: “My Dinner With Andrei” has poor biochemical weapons maker Andrei the mark of a hit man. The only problem? Andre is a really super nice guy.
Century City: It’s “LA Law 2069.” The firm of Constable, Crane and Montero must deal with the Los Angeles of the future. One of the first cases involves 80 year old rock and rollers who sue the one member of their band who won’t get plastic surgery. Wacky!
Charmed: They are looking for leprechauns for episode 17, “Lucky Charmed.” There are too many jokes here.
D.A.: David Franks is the D.A. for Los Angeles. He’s a former Rhodes Scholar and is politically ruthless. The series will follow his political career at the D.A.’s office. Helping him are Mark Camacho and Lisa Baker, his deputies. I’m bored already.
East of Normal, West of Weird: UPN is filming this pilot about 13 year old Becca, a Chinese American girl trying to deal with being both… and Jewish, too.
Enterprise: In “The Breach,” a Denubulan called Hudak refuses to be treated by Dr. Phlox. Some cheesy morality play ensues.
ER: A Chicago Alderman gets syphilis from his male intern, a wife may be poisoning her out of work husband, and Kovac visits a prostitute-but only to talk, in “Side Effects.”
Fastline: Jennifer Sky stars as Cassidy, whom Deaq and Van must protect from a mobster who has hired Sophia (Jaime Brown) to kill.
The Flannerys: Barrett Flannery’s alcoholism has brought him down from a large law firm to an office in a mini mall. His family and children help him rebuild his life. Instant sleeping pill!
Friends: Both Joey and Ross become interested in Katie, a paleontologist who works with Ross. Weren’t they both just interested in Rachelr
Future Tense: NBC’s entry into the future crime TV show race (thank you “NYPD 2069”). This show has a more Minority Report edge, with teenage, genetically engineered cops, Internet gambling gone wild, and a “Techno Crime Division” to investigate and execute future criminals.
Girl Meets Band: MTV is looking for 12 talented guys, aged 18-24, who can play drums, guitar, bass, keyboards, or can sing, for a new Spring Break show.
Homeland Security: NBC’s F.B.I. counter terrorism show. Unique in that it has a lead named “Jungle Jane.”
Hotel Project: Spelling Productions is working on this pilot for UPN that apparently is about a hotel. Case and Grif run the show. Seriously, Case and Grif.
John Doe: In “Save As,” John must solve the mystery of a metal case left to the beautiful Paulette by and eccentric millionaire. Paulette was the millionaire’s “cyber lover” and they were working on “The Answer,” some project involving neural chips and cyber sex.
Judging Amy: It’s death by ecstasy in episode 418, “Looking for Quarters.”
Law and Order: In an episode called “Genius,” an imprisoned writer’s mentor tries to get his protege out of jail. Unfortunately, they both are sociopaths.
Law and Order – Criminal Intent: There are really three of these showsr Anyway, in Cold Comfort, creepy medical experiments are the theme, with the founder of a medical foundation running anti-aging and cryogenics experiments.
Law and Order – Special Victims Unit: In an episode called “Glamour,” it’s Kiddy Porn and (ripped from the headlines) the death of a child beauty pageant winner. Child plastic surgery and the digital “de-aging” of porn models to look underage all add to the ick.
Lyon’s Den: Rob Lowe’s new series on NBC is produced by Brad Grey. Daniel Crane (Lowe) is a wealthy lawyer who is determined to provide legal representation to the disenfranchised. Some would say he’s a Street Lawyer. When the managing partner of his firm commits suicide (or did her), Daniel must go for partner, or see his clinic close.
Maid of the Mist: Crazy narcissist Jaye has hit rock bottom. She is working in a souvenir shop, when all the tchkotches start speaking to her and tell her to go and help others. This could either be really different and special, or incomprehensible.
Malcolm in the Middle: The ‘rents go out of town, and Reese wants to throw a party, unfortunately, the house is taken over by Donnie and Dave, older guys from the neighborhood who won’t leave.
Newton: In a pilot based on a Simpsons episode (OK, I’m just guessing that) the Pryor family moves to a corporate created town that offers free housing, free health care and private schools. In exchange, they have to test consumer products. Could this be one huge commercial? Is this the product placement shows we commercial skippers have been threatened with? Stay tuned.
Nip/Tuck: Still filming episodes. Why? Why?
NYPD Blue: In episode 17 Jones and Medavoy are involved in a gunfight that kills a child. Their suspect claims he is being framed for the shooting.
Partners: Detective Christine Ryder has just come off an undercover assignment gone bad. She fell in love with the drug dealer she was supposed to bust. She is now partnered with overly perky Holly Flynn. Will these gals be pals, or just kill each otherr Will I carer
Red Water: Shark Attack!!! Sony is making a shark attack movie of the week.
Sabrina: Sabrina asks for wedding advice from Cinderella in a episode called “You Slay Me.” I was hoping for vampires.
Splitsville: Toby and Wes are engaged and write a relationship column together. Not learning anything from her job, Toby ditches Wes right before the wedding (scum) and now they and friends must deal with their breakup.
Street Boss: Joe Giacomo is an FBI handler for undercover operatives. He oversees a group of young agents all with different assignments. I’m thinking sort of “American Alias Lite.”
The Street Lawyer: Based on the John Grisham novel, this pilot for ABC follows lawyer Michael Brock, who exposes his cheating and evil firm, and teams up with street lawyer Mordecai Greene to bring power to the people.
Street Stars: It’s like the first week of Americal Idol! Folks are picked at random from the streets (by Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, no less!) and asked to sing. We log on to the net and vote for the best. And snark at the worst!
Threat Matrix: Another ABC offering, it’s their anti-terrorist offering. Look for one of these F.B.I. shows on every network this year.
Touched by an Angel: It’s the beginning of the end and it’s called “The Show Must Not Go On.” Ripped from the plot of the Muppet Christmas special, a community theater is going under, and the Angels must show the town how much the theater means to them.
Tremors: Worms are not enough, now there are giant prehistoric shrimp! The upcoming episode is called “Water Hazard.” Cute.
Untitled Jon Feldman Project: Tru Davies is a forensics attendant who can talk to the dead. She then develops another power, she can make people relive a day and change it. She uses her combined abilities to prevent the deaths of folks at the morgue. Oh yes, another “sees dead people” show at FOX. 10 bucks it’s on Friday night.
Untitled Luis Guzman Project: Our favorite unsung actor plays the owner of a donut show in Spanish Harlem, and is the neighborhood crank. Sort of a Becker with donuts.
On the silver screen…
Newcomer Pepe Bojorquez will make his writing, producing and directing debut on The Bride of the Sea, which will shoot in Veracruz this May. Story concerns the young and beautiful Grecia, who miraculously survived death in an open boat while still a child. For years, she is hailed as a good luck charm to the local fisherman, and seemingly brings prosperity to her village. But the death of a young boy convinces the villagers that the sea will kill any man who dares to fall in love with Grecia. When handsome newcomer Marcelo arrives in town, he and Grecia form a deep bond. Disregarding the warnings of the villagers, Marcelo decides to marry Grecia. He will discover, however, the powerful longing of the sea is much more than just a legend.
The upcoming Elisha Cuthbert “porn star wants to go straight” film The Girl Next Door is looking for up to thrity hot and wholesome females to play hostesses at a porn convention. Because every porn star is hot and wholesome.
When newly crowned action star Bo Laramie is unable to fend off the relentless paparazzi who caused his son and wife to be hurt in an auto accident, he decides to turn the tables on his predators, in Paparazzi, a new film from Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions.. Cole Houser plays Laramie, who uses his considerable knowledge from playing a hero detective he enacts his revenge while eluding the real detective who has been assigned to the case. Former hair stylist Paul Abascal, who did Mel’s hair on the first three “Lethal Weapon” films before becoming a director for shows like “Viper,” “Witchblade” and “Special Unit 2,” makes his directorial debut. Shooting begins in Los Angeles on March 23rd.
Not having her first feature, “Scarecrow,” released in theatres or on video isn’t stopping director Emmanuel Itier from preparing Scarecrow 2: The Resurrection for a February 14th start date. After Itier is done with this, she’ll segue into producing Christina Ricci’s directorial debut, “The Speed Queen.”
Last week, I mocked the horribly titled film Superstar Designer Danie B Gets An Inheritance. But now I must applaud their ingenuity for the way they seem to be financing their film. Actors have to pay $32.00 to receive a script in order to obtain an audition for this project. Best of luck with this, kids.
Joel Silver has hired Len Wein to write an updated Swamp Thing screenplay. Wein co-created the character, in which a research scientist is turned into a swamp plant monster after a violent incident with a special chemical, with Bernie Wrightson.
Former spy Mike Muggins and his long-time assistant Edith, along with his spymate, a chimpanzee named Minkey, are back in action when Mike’s daughter Amelia is kidnapped by a self-serving scientist with an evil agenda, in the upcoming feature Spymate. And yes, it is from the makers of “Air Bud” and “MVP: Most Valuable Primate.”
In Twenty Degrees, a band of thieves finds their plans for a rendezvous are thrown into chaos after their casino heist goes awry. Forced to elude a cult of fanatics, mob-ruled security men, and a tenacious sheriff, they also must endure internal power struggles, a cannibal, and the merciless Nevada desert. Isaac H. Eaton directs, and shooting begins in California, Utah and New Mexico this spring.
In what aims to be his most challenging acting role to date, Master P will play famous rapper P. Miller, in Uncle P. P. finds his attentions being pulled in several different ways; by his rapping career, his million dollar business and the fiancee he adores. When his sister becomes ill, P’s priorities shift, as he must care for her three children, including Corey, who will be played by Lil Romeo. Shooting begins in Los Angeles on February 10th.
William Shatner is preparing for a production later this year of the new play “No Escape,” based on Shatner’s novel “Believe,” co-written with Michael Tobias. “No Escape” tells the story of the traumatic friendship of Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the 1920s. Shatner is currently only scheduled to direct the show.
As if one can successfully parody something that’s already a caricature, an enterprising young group of filmmakers in Los Angeles are preparing their short mockumentary African-American Idol, in which a nationwide search is held to find “America’s new black political leader.”
Look for your favorite soap hunks to tour major performing arts centers and concert halls throughout the US and Canada this summer in unimaginatively titled Soap Stars on Tour. Finally, the stars have aligned to give Rick Springfield his proper due as an artiste.
With the amazing successes of “The Producers” and “Hairspray” on Broadway, look for the Great White Way to look even more like your neighborhood Blockbuster Video soon. “Urban Cowboy” has just opened for previews in New York City, John C. Reilly is in Boston getting the musical version of “Marty” ready for the Big Apple, while Tony Curtis heads the cast of the potentially Broadway bound “Some Like It Hot.” Titles currently workshopping their way towards the boards include “Disney’s The Little Mermaid,” “Eddie and the Cruisers,” “Mermaids”.
Madonna is still looking for ten soldiers, four beautiful models, two babes, two Iraqi kids, an Eastern Euopean kid, an African-American male and child, an Asain boy and girl, two Columbian kids, an Arabic man, fifteen paparazzi, twenty fashionistas and a hundred extras for her upcoming music video. But please, no calls or partridges in pear trees. This role has already been cast.