David Yates Takes Over FX Pilot ‘Tyrant’

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Losing a multiple Oscar-winner for your project is never a good thing. But, replacing him with a guy responsible for billions in box office isn’t bad. That’s what happening on the FX pilot Tyrant. Ang Lee was set to direct the first episode of the show, which is about “an unassuming American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation” but he dropped out. He’ll now be replaced by David Yates. He directed the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth Harry Potter films, which grossed over $4 billion worldwide. Read More »

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The film and TV businesses have melded and merged in a way that would have been unfathomable a decade or two ago. Directors and actors regularly bounce between films and television in a way that implicitly argues that the divisions between the two are technical at best.

Once, the notion that someone would do a TV pilot after winning the Best Director Oscar would have seemed crazy. But Ang Lee has just been announced as the director and executive producer of the pilot for the FX show Tyrant. The project was developed by Homeland exec producer Howard Gordon, and Gideon Raff, who created Homeland‘s inspiration, the Israeli show Hatufim (Prisoners of War).

The show will follow the life of “an unassuming American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation.” More info is below, via the press release. Read More »

There’s a ton of TV tidbits to plow through today, some of it Con-related and some of it not. After the jump:

  • Breaking Bad‘s Vince Gilligan suggests a Saul Goodman spinoff
  • Nickelodeon orders a second season of The Legend of Korra
  • TNT picks up Falling Skies for a third season
  • Science Channel will shoot a Firefly reunion special at Comic-Con
  • Homeland‘s second season will head to the Middle East
  • Watch the first two minutes of Dexter‘s seventh season
  • Ron Howard tweets from the writers room of Arrested Development

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Plenty of offices around the country have already begun winding down for the holidays, but apparently Showtime and HBO had a few things to get out of the way first. Meanwhile, Fox is still holding out on a decision on Terra Nova til the new year — though the producers are apparently feeling optimistic. After the jump:

  • HBO renews Enlightened, axes Bored to Death, Hung, and How to Make It in America
  • Showtime drops a trailer for Shameless Season 2
  • Dexter showrunner Scott Buck talks about the finale’s climactic moments
  • Homeland exec producers discuss the tense first season finale
  • Terra Nova producers are “guardedly optimistic” about the show’s chances for a second season

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There’s plenty of good stuff in today’s TV Bits, including new trailers for HBO’s Luck and Showtime’s House of Lies, which I’m hoping will help the one bit of really bad news go down a bit easier: NBC’s benching its highly praised but under-watched Community. After the jump:

  • NBC puts Community on hiatus and picks up new show Legends
  • HBO’s Luck, starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, gets a trailer
  • Showrunner Matthew Weiner reveals how he wants AMC’s Mad Men to end
  • Showtime renews Weeds and drops a teaser for House of Lies

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There’s a lot of minor news floating around today about possible sequels, so let’s run it all down. After the break, you’ll find:

  • Comments from Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt about a possible sequel to the Planet of the Apes prequel,
  • The latest skinny on the 24 spin-off movie,
  • Comments from J.J. Abrams about Star Trek 2,
  • The latest Star Trek animated series talk,
  • Confirmation that Ray Park will indeed return for G.I. Joe 2,
  • and word on the shoot for Resident Evil: Retribution.

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Briefly: What’s hot right now? Science fiction? Yeah, it’s doing pretty well. How about young adult novels, especially ones with a fantasy or sci-fi bent? Yep, those are killing, too. So the obvious path, if you want to bootstrap a financially successful new film franchise, is to create movies and books right at the same time.

Or so it would seem. Success isn’t that easy (ahem, I Am Number Four) and if it was, everyone would do it. But 24 showrunner Howard Gordon and James Wong (Final Destination, Final Destination 3) are trying anyway, with a project meant to spawn books and films. The title is 2084, and the basic pitch is ‘1984 meets The Terminator.’ Read More »

We have a three-and-a-half-minute first look at Showtime’s new series Homeland, which the network picked up last week for 12 episodes. The thriller stars Claire Danes as CIA agent Carrie Anderson, who begins to suspect that the recent rescue of longtime POW Scott Brody (Damian Lewis) is actually one piece in a larger terrorist plot by al Qaeda. The always welcome Mandy Patinkin also stars, as Anderson’s boss/mentor Saul Berenson. Watch the clip after the jump.

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