After a decade of false starts on the big screen, an adaptation Jonathan Franzen‘s The Corrections looked to finally be making some headway on the small screen. HBO began developing it as a series with producer Scott Rudin last fall, and quickly signed director Noah Baumbach as well as a high-profile cast including Ewan McGregor, Rhys Ifans, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and Dianne Wiest. The novel, which won the National Book Award in 2001, centers around an elderly couple and three adult children as they gather for “one last Christmas” near the turn of the millennium.

But alas, it seems this incarnation of the project isn’t going anywhere, either. After viewing the pilot, the premium cable has chosen to pass on the series. While HBO apparently liked the episode and the performances, it was concerned about the long-term sustainability of the premise. The book’s plot jumps back and forth through time, filling in the characters’ backstories, and HBO worried that it would be difficult for viewers to follow. The decision was not related to this week’s straight-to-series order of True Detective; with Luck off its plate, HBO would have had the resources to do both. [Deadline]

After the jump, the West Wing gang prove they’ve still got their walk-and-talk skills.

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I know already I’ve gone on and on about how excited I am by HBO’s adaptation of Jonathan Franzen‘s The Corrections, but considering the talent signed on — Noah Baumbach, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Dianne Wiest — can you blame me? Today the good news continues with the report that Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rhys Ifans could be up for parts in the series as well. More details after the jump.

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Hollywood’s had a long history with botched adaptations of beloved novels, but from here it looks like fans of Jonathan Franzen‘s acclaimed book The Corrections have nothing to worry about. After years of attempting to bring the story to the big screen, producer Scott Rudin eventually turned to HBO — and things have been shaping up nicely from there.

The Squid and the Whale writer-director Noah Baumbach signed on to helm and (with Franzen) pen the drama pilot earlier this fall, while Chris Cooper and Dianne Wiest joined the project several weeks later. Now Ewan McGregor has boarded the series as well, in the role of Cooper and Wiest’s screwup middle child. More details after the jump.

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Though the small screen retains an unfair reputation as a lesser medium — think of all the snobby types who’ll brag about not owning a television, but would never be so dismissive about books or movies — the truth is that the medium varies as much as any other. Today’s TV Bits runs the gamut from highbrow (a literary adaptation on HBO) to lowbrow (a modeling industry reality show on The CW), with plenty of stuff in between. After the jump:

  • Noah Baumbach’s Jonathan Franzen adaptation The Corrections is a go at HBO
  • HBO will offer an early look at its highly anticipated Luck next month
  • Fox puts new eps of Alcatraz on hold while it goes back for reshoots
  • Burt Reynolds signs on to guest star on FX’s Archer
  • Summer Glau joins Tricia Helfer on TNT’s Scent of the Missing
  • The CW announces start dates for its midseason shows

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Last month, I got very excited about reports that Noah Baumbach would be adapting The Corrections for HBO. The Squid and the Whale director struck me as a perfect pick to bring Jonathan Franzen‘s unhappy family tome to life. Today’s news makes me even more certain that HBO will do right by Franzen. The project, which is being directed by Baumbach and penned by Baumbach and Franzen, has now moved into casting — and the first two choices seem like truly fantastic ones.

Dianne Wiest has signed on to play the part of put-upon wife Enid, while Chris Cooper has entered talks to play her husband Alfred, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease. More details after the jump.

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Whenever an existing property gets optioned for a new show or series, fans are left to hold their breaths and hope that the adaptation does the source material justice. If rumors of Noah Baumbach signing on for a TV adaptation of Jonathan Franzen‘s award-winning The Corrections is true, I’m guessing Franzen’s fans have nothing to worry about. After all, who could be better suited to bring Franzen’s disenchanted suburban family to life than the guy who directed The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding, and Greenberg?

To add icing on the cake, rumors also suggest that Donald Sutherland and Anthony Hopkins are among the actors eyeing a role in the project. Scott Rudin, who optioned the film rights to the novel a decade ago, is reportedly attached to executive produce. Read more after the jump.

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