Briefly: Add one more big name to the prison roster of Alcatraz, the new show being produced by J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and Elizabeth Sarnoff, who wrote the pilot and will be showrunner. Sam Neill has just joined the cast in one of the lead roles. He’ll play Emerson Hauser, “the head of a government agency who radiates authority and piercing intelligence.”
We still don’t know a lot about the show, other than it is about a cop (Sarah Jones) and some FBI agents trying to track down prisoners and guards who disappeared from the prison while it was active and reappear in the present day. Jorge Garcia (Lost) plays an Alcatraz historian/expert and Jonny Coyne (Undercovers) and Jason Butler Harner (Fringe) play prison warden Edwin James and associate warden E.B. Tiller, respectively. [Deadline]
There’s a great deal of small TV news to round up, so let’s get to it. First off comes the news that Dexter has been given a sixth season renewal. The last time the show was up for renewal was in 2008, when Showtime committed to a fourth and fifth season. E! suggested that a one-season order now is due to cast contract renegotiations that will take place before a seventh season. I never would have expected the show to run quite this long, but the numbers are improving, with this Sunday’s episode grabbing the show’s best ratings ever. So: onward to season six!
After the break, news on the surprise fate of the writing staff of The Walking Dead, the prequel movie for Burn Notice, and more casting for J.J. Abrams’ Alcatraz. Read More »
The Academy Awards for 2008 have been handed out, and the “popular kids” have Oscars on their mantles, but the dirty little secret about winning awards is that you’ve gotta campaign for them. Thousands of dollars were spent by the distributors and filmmakers behind Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight), Milk (Focus Features), The Reader (Weinstein) and other assorted winners and nominees, but not all performances received that sort of big money backing.
I am an unabashed lover of the acting craft. I see virtually every movie, large and small, that passes through the US marketplace, and, taking nothing away from Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Penelope Cruz and Heath Ledger, not all of 2008’s best performances have been recognized. I’m not going to be obvious here. Clint Eastwood was snubbed for Gran Torino, but he received lots of acclaim for the role including being named Best Actor by the National Board of Review. My goal is to highlight 10 performances from last year that have received virtually no acclaim in the US. Many of these roles can be found in hardly-seen, under-appreciated movies that came and went without much notice. Each and every one of these movies deserve a spot in your Netflix (or Blockbuster) cue.
My list is by no means definitive. If you have a favorite performance from 2008 that sticks with you, this is a great place to tell the world. There were 20 actors nominated on Oscar night, but there is a lot of great work that hasn’t been recognized with a walk down the red carpet.
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