Plus: Jennifer Aniston and DreamWorks team for period musical, William Hurt joins ''Hulk,'' Donald Trump developing party-girl reality show with Fox, and more...
John Larroquette joins Boston Legal
John Larroquette will join ABC’s David E. Kelley drama Boston Legal next season as a senior partner from the New York offices of Crane Poole & Schmidt who transfers to the Boston office. No other details were released about his storyline. The show also announced that Christian Clemenson (who plays Jerry ”Hands” Espenson, a lawyer and friend of James Spader’s character, Alan Shore) has been made a series regular for next season, and that Tara Summers (Dirt) has been added to the cast as a younger associate at the Boston offices. Meanwhile, a rep for Twentieth Century Fox Television, which produces Boston Legal with Kelley, says that cast members Julie Bowen, Mark Valley, Rene Auberjonois, and Constance Zimmer will not be series regulars next season. This will be Larroquette’s second stint as a lawyer. He is perhaps still best known for his previous role as the libido-ravaged Dan Fielding on Night Court, a role which earned him four Emmys in the 1980s. Clemenson previously starred in The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. He won an Oustanding Guest Actor Emmy in 2006 for his role on Boston Legal, which is scheduled to start production on its fourth season on June 27.
Aniston producing Goree Girls as possible starring vehicle
Jennifer Aniston and DreamWorks are teaming to develop Goree Girls, a period musical based on a true story about a group of eight women serving time in Texas’ Goree Prison during the 1940s who formed one of the first all-female country and western acts in the country. Aniston, who may also star in the movie, and her producing partner Kristin Hahn optioned a May 2003 article in Texas Monthly written by Skip Hollandsworth, which told women’s story. Writer Margaret Nagle (HBO’s Warm Springs) is adapting. The studio is seeking a director. (Hollywood Reporter)
William Hurt joins Hulk
William Hurt has joined the cast of Marvel Studios’ The Incredible Hulk. He will play Gen. Thaddeus ”Thunderbolt” Ross, a man who has dedicated his life to capturing the Hulk and the father of Bruce Banner’s love interest, Betty Ross. Already on board is Edward Norton, who is playing Banner, Liv Tyler as Betty, and Tim Roth as villain Emil Blonsky/the Abomination. Louis Leterrier is directing. Shooting is scheduled to begin some time this summer. Hurt won a Best Actor Oscar for his work in 1985’s Kiss of the Spider Woman and was last nominated for his part in A History of Violence. He recently co-starred in The Good Shepherd and Mr. Brooks and next appears in the comedy Noise and the drama Vantage Point. (Hollywood Reporter)
Trump developing party-girl reality show with Fox
Donald Trump and Fox are developing Lady or a Tramp, a new unscripted competition series that sends party girls to charm school for a stern lesson in proper manners. Trump will executive produce and possibly make appearances to evaluate contestants’ progress. If greenlit, the show could air as soon as next midseason. Tramp is an adaptation of the British series Ladette to Lady, which sends party girls to charm school Eggleston Hall, where they have to wear tweed skirts and pearl necklaces and are taught flower arranging and needlework. One girl is expelled at the end of each episode. Tramp will follow a similar format and also include footage of the contestants partying. The casting notice describes potential contestants as ”rude and crude party girls” and ”younger women who are 18-30, love to party, and full of attitude.” (Variety)
Screen Gems doing African-American Big Chill remake
Screen Gems is remaking Lawrence Kasdan’s 1983 movie The Big Chill with an African American cast. It will likely be retitled, but will use the original script, by Kasdan and Barbara Benedek, as a template. Screen Gems owns rights to the movie, and Kasdan is not involved with the remake. The original story was about seven college friends who reunite at a funeral of a pal. As they get reacquainted, they become introspective about how their lives turned out. The remake will update the story to have the characters’ past be set in the 1990s, instead of the 1960s. Like in the original, music will play a large role in the remake. Regina King will be part of the ensemble, and will produce with her sister, Reina King, and Will Packer (Stomp the Yard). Screen Gems hopes to have the movie start production by the end of the year. (Variety)
Kinnear, Tierney join Baby Mama
Greg Kinnear and Maura Tierney will join Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Sigourney Weaver, and Dax Shepard in the Universal Pictures comedy Baby Mama. The story is about a single woman (Fey) whose desire to have a child and keep her career leads her to hire a surrogate (Poehler). Kinnear will play the male lead, who becomes close with Fey’s character as she begins her pursuit of a surrogate, and Tierney will play Fey’s confident, conventional sister who is the mother of two but supports her sister’s choice. Lorne Michaels and John Goldwyn are producing. Kinnear will next shoot the DreamWorks romantic comedy Ghost Town with Ricky Gervais. Tierney will appear in the upcoming The Go-Getter, which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, and Finding Amanda, with Matthew Broderick. (Hollywood Reporter)
Thompson says he wants to be president
Although he’s still yet to officially declare his candidacy, Fred Thompson told Jay Leno on Tuesday (June 12) that he wants the nation’s top job and made a point to mention the website for his political committee. The former Tennessee Senator recently announced that he would not return to his role on NBC’s Law & Order and has formed a presidential exploratory committee. He is expected to join the Republican race this summer. (AP via Yahoo!)
Casino Royale director tapped for 36
Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, The Legend of Zorro, The Mask of Zorro) will direct Paramount Picture’s 36, a remake of the 2004 French thriller 36 quai des orfevres. The story is about two detectives who try to solve a series of armored car robberies in the hopes of landing a promotion promised to whoever catches the perpetrators. Robert De Niro, who is producing, was initially attached to star, but sources said that author-screenwriter Richard Price (Mad Dog and Glory), who is attached to do a rewrite, will overhaul Dean Georgaris’ screenplay and reimagine the two detectives in their 30s. (Hollywood Reporter)
Don ”Mr. Wizard” Herbert dies at 89
Don Herbert, known to generations of children as TV’s ”Mr. Wizard,” died Tuesday (June 12) at 89. He had bone cancer. In Watch Mr. Wizard, which was produced from 1951-64 and received a Peabody Award in 1954, Herbert demonstrated science experiments using household items and encouraged kids to try the experiments at home. He is survived by six children and stepchildren and by his second wife, Norma. (Hollywood Reporter)
Rather/CBS feud heats up
The feud between Dan Rather and CBS heated up on Tuesday (June 12) when Rather said that CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves ”doesn’t know about news.” Rather’s comments followed Moonves saying that Rather’s earlier remarks that CBS was ”dumbing down” and ”tarting” up its newscast with Katie Couric, Rather’s successor, were ”sexist.” Couric is in a distant third in the evening news ratings. Last month her CBS Evening News set a record for its least-watched broadcast in two decades, then broke it the next week. (AP via Yahoo!)
IN THE GOSSIPS
Page Six: Brandon ”Fire Crotch/Greasy Bear” Davis was seen showing off a leaner version of himself at an L.A. party the other night, where he drank only water.
Cindy Adams: The Sopranos‘ Edie Falco says actors won’t get residuals from the show because they had no idea when they signed on that it would blow up the way it did.
Ben Widdicombe: Eminem goes into detail on his former relationship with Mariah Carey on his upcoming album, though Carey denies the two ever had a fling.