Matthew Perry is plotting his return to TV with a new ABC comedy involving Celine Dion impersonators and mass Korean weddings. Now that’s our kind of show.
Courteney Cox currently headlines the ABC sitcom Cougar Town. Matt LeBlanc is making a Showtime comedy about Hollywood. And now Matthew Perry wants to be there for us too. Our dear Friend has inked a deal with ABC to star in, co-write, and executive-produce a potential still-untitled half-hour series about a self-centered 40-year-old man who manages a second-rate sports arena. ”If you look at a list of all the things that come through [the arena] — Celine Dion impersonators, a thousand Koreans getting married at one time, low-level sports — it’s a really funny area to have this guy work in,” says Perry. ”At its center is a character who’s only thought about himself. In the pilot, a series of events happen that will challenge that, and he’ll reluctantly come out of his selfishness and learn to actually try to give a s— about other people. So, you see, it’s funny and it has heart! And if you put that sentence in, please note that I did it with some kind of irony.” Perry, who most recently starred on the 2006 – 07 NBC showbiz dramedy Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, got the urge to work both in front of and behind the camera after developing a pilot at Showtime earlier this year that didn’t get picked up. ”What I learned was that I loved the process of producing a show, so I figured I would try it again,” he says. ”Also, I figured I can’t spend another six months playing Fallout 3.”
— Dan Snierson
The Gotham Awards honor Hurt Locker but snub Precious
The Gotham Independent Film Awards, the New York group that’s always the first to announce its nominees, raised more eyebrows this year for the film it ignored than for the movies it recognized. While acclaimed indies like The Hurt Locker (starring Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie) and A Serious Man, with Michael Stuhlbarg, received multiple nominations, the year’s most vivid New York story, Precious, was nowhere to be found. But don’t expect any more snubs for the drama. At the very least, Precious won’t have to worry about The Hurt Locker (on DVD Jan. 12) when the Spirit Award noms are announced Dec. 1. Since the war drama — which premiered at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival — received Spirit nods last year for Renner and Mackie, the movie isn’t eligible this time around.
— Dave Karger
Selena Gomez and Mel Gibson have something in common
And what, pray tell, is that? Last week, New Line bought a pitch — with Selena Gomez attached to star — for a comedy called What Boys Want, about a teen girl who can read male minds. Of course, the premise is well-tread territory: Mel Gibson read ladies’ minds in the 2000 comedy What Women Want. As far as we know, Gomez’s movie will not employ Gibson, John Edward, or any late-night consultations with Miss Cleo.
— Kerrie Mitchell