Pilot Season: Grade the latest orders, including 'Parenthood'
I love the ’80s week continues as NBC greenlights a pilot for an adaptation of the 1989 Steve Martin movie Parenthood. Read about the latest orders, copy and paste our title cheat sheet at the end of the item into the comments section, and add your own TAGs (Totally Arbitrary Grades).
• Parenthood: Per Variety, this hour-long dramedy from Friday Night Lights‘ writer-exec producer Jason Katims will have new characters and updated storylines, but remain loyal to the tone of the film. The network (and movie director/show exec producer Ron Howard) attempted something similar in 1990, with Ed Begley Jr. as the overwhelmed dad, and it failed. I think the timing might finally be right: The kids who liked that movie are now parents, raising children of their own, and either embracing or fearing the rollercoaster. Keep the parents smart, and have a little boy who tries to save his big sister during a school play, and I’m in. TAG: B-
• The comedy formerly known as Threesome: ABC is moving ahead with this pilot that, according to Variety, “revolves around a guy in his 30s who is caught between his girlfriend — a single mother — and his slacker best friend.” It comes from Ricky Blatt, whose credits include Family Guy and Fox’s short-lived Rob Corddry comedy The Winner. Another slacker best friend? Snooze. TAG: D
• Untitled Ellen Barkin HBO project: Variety reports that HBO has ordered a half-hour pilot script for a series that would star Ocean Thirteen‘s Ellen Barkin as “a woman famous for her high-profile marriage who divorces and re-entersthe singles market and finds herself developing a close, platonic bondwith the 24-year-old son of her ex-husband.” Writer-exec producer Shauna Cross tells the trade, “You have this character in her early 50s…whose life explodes unexpectedly…. Her nerve and life experience allows her to tell the world to go screw itself, and they love her for it.” I’m kinda loving her — and that platonic bond — already. A classy twist on the “cougar complex.” TAG: B+
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• Boardwalk Empire: Revolutionary Road Oscar nominee Michael Shannon will costar in this HBO drama from someone named Martin Scorsese (who’ll direct the pilot). Per The Hollywood Reporter,the Atlantic City-set script “centers on Nucky Johnson (Steve Buscemi),who runs aliquor distribution ring at the onset of Prohibition, and JimmyDarmody (Michael Pitt), a ruthless World War I veteran and alow-level flunky for Nucky.” Shannon will play a Treasury Departmentsenior agent who, we’re guessing, is anti-bootlegging. This is ano-brainer, right? The imagery of the Prohibition era is intoxicating,even without Scorsese’s attention to detail. Plus, you get SteveBuscemi and Michael Shannon trying to out-creep each another. And, a character named Nucky! TAG: A
• CASTING UPDATE: Previously TAGged Wonder Years-esqueNBC pilot Lost in the ’80s has just cast Once and Again‘s Billy Campbell as the married father of four who owns a car dealership, THRreports. This does not affect my initial grade — the uptick of aweekly Campbell sighting is countered by the downtick of a weekly visitto a car lot. You, however, should feel free to adjust accordingly.Remember, this is the show described as “Fast Times atRidgemont High meets The Ice Storm.”
Copy, paste, and TAG time.
ABC’s comedy formerly known as Threesome:
HBO’s Ellen Barkin project:
HBO’s Boardwalk Empire:
NBC’s Lost in the ’80s: