USA Network’s Thank You For Smoking TV Series

Thank You For SmokingWhen I first saw Jason Reitman’s Thank You For Smoking at its Eccles Theater Sundance Film Festival premiere, I wondered out loud to a friend what a television series based on the film would be like. The film starred Aaron Eckhart as a chief spokesman of a big tobacco company with the seemingly impossible task: promoting cigarette smoking in a time when the health hazards of the activity have become too plain to ignore. The satirical comedy was nominated for 2 golden globes and was probably one of the best independent films of that year. But would the character of Nick Naylor be good enough to sustain a television series? I thought so, and apparently USA Network believes so as well (even after NBC passed up the concept last year).

The television show will likely go by a different title due to the potential problems associated with marketing a series with a pro-tobacco name (sure, we understand the joke, but many people likely would not). James Dodson (Damage Control) is writing the script for the project, which will pick up where the 2006 feature film left off.

Nick Naylor, having kicked some of his more evil lobbyist habits, will use his rhetorical skills to help people more deserving of aid.

“He’ll live somewhere between the morally ambiguous character of the movie and Robin Hood,” said USA programming chief Jeff Wachtel told Variety.

But the series won’t function unless they are able to tap an actor with the charisma and energy that Eckhart displayed in the 2006 film. So the question now becomes: does USA Network have the money to secure a quality star to this new series, and if not, will their casting director be able to pick out a gem from the field of unknown talent?

2007 Independent Spirit Awards Winners

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine won the top prize at the 2007 Independent Spirit Awards, a day before the underdog indie comedy competes for Best Picture at the 2007 Academy Awards. Could the little indie that could win an Oscar? Check out the full list of winners after the jump.

Best Feature: Little Miss Sunshine
Best Female Lead: Shareeka Epps for Half Nelson
Best Male Lead: Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson
Best Supporting Female: Frances McDormand for Friends with Money
Best Supporting Male: Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine
Best Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris for Little Miss Sunshine
Best Screenplay: Jason Reitman for Thank You for Smoking
Best First Screenplay: Michael Arndt for Little Miss Sunshine
Best Cinematography: Guillermo Navarro for Pan’s Labyrinth
Best First Feature: Sweet Land
Best Foreign Film: Leben der Anderen, Das
Best Documentary: The Road to Guantanamo
John Cassavetes Award: Quincea�era
Truer Than Fiction Award: P.O.V.: The Tailenders (#19.5)

I’m glad to see Quincea�era get an award, but I’m surprised that Pan’s Labyrinth didn’t win best feature.