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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It’s tough to think of a director more suited to adapt Claire Messud‘s acclaimed “disenchanted upper class New Yorkers” novel than Noah Baumbach, so it’s a bummer to hear that the filmmaker has now pulled out of the project. On the plus side, his replacement sounds like an interesting, if not quite as obvious, choice — Scott Cooper, who made his directorial debut with 2009′s Crazy Heart and hasn’t helmed another picture since. 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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Joel and Ethan Coen are not known for doing interviews. But over the weekend they took part in the opening celebration of the Film Society of Lincoln Center‘s new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, by participating in an hour-long talk with director Noah Baumbach. The subject was primarily the openings to several films from all the participants, but the conversation ranged a bit wider than that.

Check out the entire conversation via video after the break, and we’ll also highlight the news that emerged about one of their possible next films. Read More »

Zombieland and The Social Network minted Jesse Eisenberg as a new star, but Noah Baumbach was an early booster as he cast the young actor in The Squid and the Whale. That, along with Roger Doger, was what really put the young actor on the map, positioning him for his current success. And now there is evidently a possible reunion brewing for the director and actor. Noah Baumbach is preparing While We’re Young, and is reportedly talking to Jesse Eisenberg for one role and Naomi Watts for another. Read More »

There’s a lot of small casting news today. Let’s kick off with word that Spongebob Sqaurepants himself, Tom Kenny, will once again lend his voice to a robot in the third Transformers film, Dark of the Moon. He voiced Skids (one of the generally reviled ‘racist’ bots) and Wheelie in the last film, but we don’t know what character(s) he’ll be voicing this time. [Popeater]

After the break, Frances McDormand voices a rare villain role, and the Sam Raimi-produced Dibbuk Box gets a lead. Read More »

Fresh off the welcome Spirit Award nominations for his latest film, Greenberg, writer/director Noah Baumbach will once again team with Ben Stiller, along with Oscar host James Franco, for a film called While We’re Young. It’s about how a hip, young, Brooklyn couple inspires an uptight documentary filmmaker and his wife to loosen up. Franco would be the young man with Stiller playing the filmmaker and offers are apparently out to Greenberg co-star Greta Gerwig and Cate Blanchet for the female leads, though neither has officially signed. Read more after the break. Read More »

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