The Killing

We have a particularly murderer-heavy edition of TV Bits today, with news about Dexter, Hannibal, and The Killing. After the jump:

  • Dallas, Veep, Rectify, and Orphan Black get renewed
  • Vampire Diaries spinoff gets green light
  • Julian Sands joins Dexter in mystery role
  • Downton Abbey gets its first black character
  • John Oliver will host The Daily Show this summer
  • Bryan Fuller has Pushing Daisies movie ideas
  • NBC affiliate axes Hannibal
  • The Killing‘s new mystery will be solved within the season
  • FX and Seth Rogen develop Bigfoot comedy
  • Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, and Peter Berg team for HBO
  • Alex Gibney will direct Frank Sinatra documentary
  • The Arrested Development doc hits tomorrow; see more Season 4 stills

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Friday Night Lights

Ever since Veronica Mars paved the way for crowd-funded TV to movie revivals, it seems like every actor, writer, or director ever associated with a beloved but cancelled series has been fielding questions about Kickstarter. Some have squashed the idea right off the bat, but others have been a bit more open to the concept. (And The Onion has poked fun at all of it.)

According to actress Adrianne Palicki, Friday Night Lights could very well turn to Kickstarter to pay for the long-rumored movie sequel. Meanwhile, Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller is definitely intrigued by crowdfunding — but acknowledges that his show would require quite a bit more than the $2 million goal originally set by Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Joss Whedon has already admitted that a Firefly Kickstarter campaign isn’t likely to take flight anytime soon, but some of his colleagues sound a little more eager to take advantage of the new studio / crowdfunding hybrid model introduced by Veronica Mars.

Bryan Fuller, of Pushing Daisies fame, has already reached out to Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas to find out “how this thing works,” while TerriersShawn Ryan and Men of a Certain Age‘s Mike Royce have voiced their interest in the topic on Twitter. And since Thomas says Warner Bros. views his film as a “test case” for the new model, there’s reason to believe Ryan, Royce, and Fuller may actually be able to revive their beloved series if Veronica Mars proves a success. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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This past Sunday marked the start of Breaking Bad‘s fifth season, so it probably won’t come as a surprise that two of today’s Bits have to do with trivia surrounding the AMC drug drama. But there’s plenty of other goodies in here for non-BB watchers as well. After the jump:

  • BSG‘s Ronald D. Moore will adapt the fantasy series Outlander for television
  • Roberto Orci offers a minor update on a possible Star Trek series… or two
  • Street Fighter heads to the small screen with Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist
  • Bryan Fuller‘s brilliant-but-cancelled Pushing Daisies eyes a Broadway run
  • Dexter hires a Heroes alum to swing by Miami and snoop around for a few eps
  • AMC’s Hell on Wheels and HBO’s Treme drop trailers for their upcoming seasons

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VOTD: TV Kisses

In honor of Valentine’s Day, TV Squad created a three minute supercut montage of both contemporary and classic television characters kissing. Hit the jump to watch the video.
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This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.

Please don’t take the commentary on the movies and TV shows too seriously, as they’re meant not to be reviews but rather previews that include the general thoughts and ramblings of a twice-committed DVD addict. The categories represent solely the author’s intentions towards the films at hand, and are in no way meant to be a reflection on what he thinks other people should rent or buy. So if he ends up putting a movie you like in the “Skip it” section without having seen it, please keep in mind that the time you could spend leaving a spiteful but ultimately futile comment could instead be used for more pleasant things in life. Like buying DVDs.

Buy It

WATCHMEN
(Available as single-disc Theatrical Cut and 2-Disc Director’s Cut)
For the longest time the Watchmen graphic novel was said to be “unfilmable”. Obviously, that’s a nonsensical notion. If we’ve learned anything from the Super Mario Bros. movie, it’s that any property can be adapted into a film, regardless of story (or lack thereof). The real question is whether or not it can be done well. And in the case of Watchmen, director Zack Synder found himself in a lose-lose situation. The problem with adapting any comic or novel for the big screen is that, more often than not, what worked in its original medium just doesn’t translate that well to film. Thus, the only solution is to make concessions by changing various aspects of the source material. In many instances, this process has yielded positive results (V for Vendetta, the latest Harry Potter films), regardless of what the frothing hostility of certain fanboys might suggest. Watchmen though, would only suffer from these types of changes. To significantly alter the source material would be to defeat the purpose of adapting it at all. Zack Snyder was clearly aware of this, and decided (with one notable exception) to remain as faithful to Alan Moore‘s classic graphic novel as possible. While I strongly believe Snyder made the right choice, there’s no denying that the resulting film suffers from all the expected flaws that come with going down this route. The pacing is all over the place, certain twists and turns don’t carry the same weight as they do in the graphic novel, and uninitiated viewers may find themselves at a total loss as to what in the hell they’re watching. Simply put: As a movie meant to stand on its own, Watchmen is a failure. It succeeds, however, as a fascinating experiment and companion piece for those who have already read and loved the graphic novel. Likely not what the studio was hoping for, admittedly, but for people like me, it’s just about the best Watchmen film we could’ve asked for… even if, frankly, it probably shouldn’t have been made in the first place.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – Single-disc includes the theatrical cut of the film. 2-Disc includes the director’s cut with 25 minutes of additional footage, a “The Phenomenon: The Comic that Changed Comics” featurette, 30 minutes of Video Journals, a My Chemical Romance Desolation Row music video, and a digital copy of the theatrical version. Blu-ray – Includes all of the 2-Disc DVD extras, along with 2 additional featurettes (“Real Super Heroes, Real Vigilantes”, “Mechanics: Technologies of a Fantastic World”), 30 minutes of Watchmen Focus Points, and a Warner Bros. Maximum Movie Mode.
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Pushing Daisies to Do a Firefly and Become a Movie?

ABC have a number of unaired Pushing Daisies episodes in the can, with no indication when or if they’ll even air them.  Like several beloved shows before it, Daisies was snipped off in it’s prime.  Between the first season (abbreviated by the writer’s strike) and the second (axed early) the show’s makers managed to bag only 22 epsisodes, I believe – a typical run for one, uninterrupted season but, on the other hand, the makings of a nice little bargain-price box set.  Premature evacuation has struck to the show’s creator Bryan Fuller before, with Dead Like Me being snuffed out long before the fans were sick of it.  That show, however, has been spun off into a movie, Life After Death, due on DVD shelves in February, and now, according to star Kristen Chenoweth, Daisies might be about to follow suit.

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Bryan Fuller Tells All About His Return to Heroes

It looks like television mastermind Bryan Fuller is following through with his previously-rumored return to Heroes now that Pushing Daisies has been canceled. And judging from this awesome interview with Michael Ausiello, something tells me we can expect Heroes to get a lot better come the second half of season three. While he has to build off a plotline begun by certain former producers, it’s clear that Fuller has a good sense of Heroes’ current narrative failures and what it takes to remedy them.

On the problems that arose in seasons two and three:

It became too dense and fell into certain sci-fi trappings. For instance, in the “Villains” arc, when you talk about formulas and catalysts, it takes the face off the drama. And I think the goal for everybody is to put a face back on the drama. You have to save something with a face; otherwise you don’t understand what you’re caring about. I thought the “Villains” arc started out very interestingly, and then became sort of muddy and dense and I couldn’t get my hooks into the characters to understand their motivations.

I also started to feel confused about what people’s abilities were. One of the great things about the first season is that the metaphor for their abilities was very clear. Those metaphors seem to have gotten complicated in the past two seasons. I share that concern with everybody on the writing staff. It’s not like I’m coming in and saying, “This is what you need to do to fix it!” Everybody knows what needs to be fixed and everybody is sort of rowing in that direction.

As someone who loved Heroes up until the sucktastic season one finale, I’m glad to hear that somebody on its staff is finally admitting to the show’s problems, and that he has the full support of the other writers to change course. Something also tells me he couldn’t speak as freely about these issues if former producers Jeph Loeb and Jesse Alexander were still involved. I’m fairly certain that their departure, coupled with Fuller’s return, could bring Heroes back to greatness—or at least make it watchable again.

Fuller’s first episode is 3×19, which is the sixth episode of the Fugitives arc set to begin airing early next year. He goes on to mention in the interview that the main characters will finally return to normal, non-super-powered, lives (Peter Patrelli is a paramedic! Claire is college-bound!). Given that I don’t even recognize the characters anymore from their season one counterparts, this is change for the better. We can also expect the show’s narrative to become more focused, with fewer plotlines per-episode.

Fuller plans to stick around for season four, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he jumps ship to work on another series of his own that will ultimately die because it’s “too good for TV”. Until then, Heroes fans should strap in for a treat. I just hope they remember what good Heroes is like.

Discuss: Are you a Heroes apologist or hater? Do you think Fuller could help bring the show back from the brink of suck? What sort of God cancels Pushing Daisies anyway? Sigh.

Source: EW via Aint It Cool News

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