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. Today’s call includes notices on more than three dozen upcoming television shows and motion pictures, including “Andromeda,” “CSI,” “Enterprise” and “Six Feet Under,” plus news on new roles for Julia Stiles and Jason Lee.
On the Boob Tube…
Andromeda: The show is getting a new character in Lu, an ethnic guy and a Sundance to Kevin Sorbo’s Butch. He’s a little headstrong, but his allegiance to the Commonwealth is undaunted.
Arrested Development: Brian Grazer and Ron Howard produce this pilot for 20th Century Fox about Michael Bluth, a man from a wealthy but screwed up family who gives up everything and moves to Arizona. Unfortunately, it_s not that easy to ditch the clan (described as “kooky” which cannot be good)
Battle Creek: Special Agent Milton Bradley is uncreatively named. He’s called in to assist the Battle Creek, Michigan police, stirring up the small but tightly knit force. This is piloting for CBS.
Carnivale: HBO is plugging along on this series about a traveling dust bowl carnival. Episode 104b is about a magic dust storm that leads to a flurry of sexual activity.
Charmed: In “Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun,” the girls try to find a demon that killed a satyr, and, Phoebe has an affair with her boss! Busy girls.
Crazylove: This pilot for CBS is about an irresponsible baby boomer who has reality come crashing down upon him when he and his wife adopt a Chinese baby. Oh, and there’s flashbacks!
CSI: In “A Night at the Movies,” a body is found in a movie theater. Could two women have made a “Strangers on a Train” like deal? And what happens when one of them reneges. Also, a kid dies in a bizarre Jackass inspired game.
CSI Miami: Calleigh’s (Emily Proctor) father shows up and hits her up for bail on episode 119, “Double Cap.”
Days Of Our Lives: They’re getting a guru, or at least a new professor at the college, as Sanjeev Balah joins Salem University.
Enterprise: In “Regeneration,” the guest aliens are actually human! They are a research team in the Artic Circle aided in some form by the Enterprise crew. If this becomes yet another Thing rip off I will go on a rampage.
Happy Family: John Larroquette is giving sitcoms a go again on NBC. He and his wife learn over the course of one day that their three perfect kids are all screwed up and all are moving back home.
Homeland Security: The NBC pilot may be changing its name to “Bungalow 5.” I hope not. It’s about Homeland Security. And, to make it even more P.C., they are adding a Middle Eastern agent to the cast.
JAG: Vietnamese sweatshops are the injustice of choice in an upcoming episode.
Jimmy Kimmel Live: Jimmy is looking for a Frank Sinatra look alike. Seriously.
Judging Amy: Episode 420, “Requiem,” centers around Candace Hurley, a probation officer who goes to bat for a kid who may be a murderer.
The Monkees: Now they need another guy, code named “Billy.” Could there be FIVE Monkees nowr Backstreet Baboons anyoner ‘N Simianr
My Life With Men: ABC is working on this show about a woman and the men in her life… husband, father and four sons. She’s also a reporter for NPR, my dream job.
NYPD 2069: Check out the script review for this pilot here, but the gist is that cop Alex Franco is secretly frozen after dying in a shootout. He’s thawed out and now has to work for his cop grandson, who thinks his granddad is dead and whose father is on life support.
Platonically Incorrect: ABC’s answer to NBC’s Coupling, five friends, two couples (at least at first) all hang out at a bar and make funny.
Real Deal: NBC is filming this pilot about Liz Galloway, the speechwriter for a (bachelor) Governor.
The Ripples: The Ripples are a family that has everlasting life and never age. They move every few years to keep their secret, but now have to return to their ancestral home of Ripplemore. I wish I was making this up, but I’m not. I wish even more that a few episodes actually get aired on NBC.
Sabrina The Teenage Witch: In “What a Witch Wants,” the girls take a cruise with a bunch of hot soccer players. The ship passes through the Bermuda Triangle, where witches lose their powers but can have wishes granted. But, why bother if you can get anything you want magically everywhere else in the world?
Six Feet Under: In episode 312, Jessica Williman is the daughter of a serial killer put to death. She ends up sleeping with Nate after arranging her father’s funeral. Claire also needs medical attention and maybe surgery.
Spartacus: USA is making this into a four hour mini-series. Really and truly.
Stuck in the Middle With You: Everybody loves Dori and Matt, with their kids, the skateboarder and the petty thief. We’ve seen this all before, but NBC may submit us again.
The Help: She’s just Jenny from the Block. In this pilot for the WB, Maria is a maid, dealing with a snooty family and their snooty nanny and trying her best while being just the help.
Third Watch: In “Everybody Lies,” an armored car wrecks, killing a driver. The other driver commits suicide, but whyr (C’mon, you got it figured out already don’t your)
Titletown: Brad Grey is making this for 20th Century Fox. It’s about Packer fans in Green Bay (Titletown!), and focuses on three families with end zone seats. Seriously, is this a thin premise or whatr Anyway the families all interact and compete with each other and, I suppose, go to a lot of Packer games.
The Untitled Cowboy Reality Show: Regular folks competing in cowboy contests on CMT. Please get Kid Rock to do the theme music. It’s the only way to save this concept.
The Untitled Reality Based Show for CBS: No details, but they want a semi-celeb with family baggage and an interest in other celebrity families to host. Paging Melissa Rivers.
The Untitled Sherick and Ronn NBC Pilot: Lesbian Alert! Trevor and Jess are happily married with children and unhappily attached to his crazy brother and gay sister who is dating a woman who the brothers had a crush on in high school.
The Untitled Tom Hertz Project: Also foisted upon us by Brad Grey for ABC, Tom Hertz is playing a neurotic New York writer who has to move to his wife_s hometown in Kansas and deal with her huge family. My Big Fat Midwestern Life.
The Untitled Tony Kornheiser Pilot: Tony is a sportswriter married with children. Apparently everybody loves Tony and will on ABC.
The Untitled Tracy Morgan Project: Tracy Morgan and John Witherspoon are Tracy and Spoon. They work at an Automotive Garage and have to deal with their growing business and families.
On the silver screen…
In David Jemerson Young’s new feature Belzer’s Science, John Heard plays the titular character, a brilliant scientist, returns home to Indiana after his mother’s death. While home he has an epiphany and decides to change his life and stay in Bloomington and set up his environmental company there. While there Belzer faces a moral decision that will change his life. The stakes are revenge, power and money vs. his passion for pure science and solving a global problem.
Julia Stiles plays Paige, a serious pre-med student, in Martha Coolidge’s untitled romantic comedy formerly known as “The Prince and the Freshman.” Paige is determined to expand her horizons and has dreams of traveling the world; she is also highly serious about her education and has no patience for undergraduate superficialities. But her goals are threatened when she falls for Prince Frederik, who offers to sweep her off her feet to a life of luxury and ease (and containment) in his native Denmark.
Ruben Gonzalez’s upcoming untitled romantic comedy is set on a beautiful Caribbean island, where a charming and eccentric despot who calls himself El Commandante has ruled for many years, who now finds that he must earn his title in a democratic election. His beautiful but naive daughter, Marguerita, becomes an active participant in the struggle between the rich and poor inhabitants of the island for control over what had appeared to be a passive island. Shooting begins in Miami next month.
Jason Lee and Richard Dreyfuss will star in Danny Green’s drama The Tenants, based on the novel by Bernard Malamud. Lee plays Lesser, a writer living in Levenspiel’s (Dreyfuss) abandoned New York apartment building, who befriends a fellow writer and illegal squatter in the building. The four week shoot begins March 10th.