The ''Lord of the Rings'' star joins FX comedy ''Wilfred,'' and ''30 Rock'' releases an album

By Lynette Rice
November 05, 2010 at 12:00 PM EDT
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Elijah Wood heads to TV in a canine comedy

From a big-footed ringbearer to a guy who talks to a dog? It took a high-concept — and yes, borderline wacky — script to persuade The Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood to make his first foray into series TV. Next year, Wood will star in the FX comedy Wilfred as Ryan, an introvert who makes friends with a canine-suited man whom everyone else sees as an actual four-legged mutt. The cable net ordered 13 episodes of the show — written by David Zuckerman (American Dad) — which is based on an Australian series of the same name. Jason Gann, who co-created the Aussie version, will reprise his role as Wilfred in the FX series. The show is expected to debut in mid-2011. Talking exclusively to EW, Wood says it was critically beloved series like Mad Men and Breaking Bad that made him consider a new career in TV, and a role like Ryan in Wilfred that finally got him to commit.

”It reminded me of Harvey, for sure,” Wood says, referring to the 1944 play-turned-movie starring Jimmy Stewart as a man who communicates with an imaginary bunny. ”Clearly you could interpret Jimmy’s character as having a mental problem, or you can interpret his character as having checked out of reality. Ryan’s come to a point in his life where he has reached a crossroads and needs to push himself to live life to its fullest. Wilfred represents that side of his psyche that presses him to do things he wouldn’t normally do. But I wouldn’t call Wilfred a sage. There are precarious situations that Ryan will be put in as a result of Wilfred.” Though thrilled to embark on a new challenge, Wood hasn’t forgotten where he came from: He still plans to visit the set of The Hobbit. ”I’m relieved the dispute with the unions was figured out and the film is staying in New Zealand. If I could continue to make movies there for the rest of my life, I would be very happy. I know what it’s going to be like for a number of the actors who are going out there for The Hobbit. I’m excited for them, and envious to a certain degree. That experience marked an amazing time in my life.”

 

TV

The sweet sounds of 30 Rock on sale

What better cocktail music than ”Muffin Top”? Just in time for holiday soirees, 30 Rock is releasing its first official soundtrack on Nov. 16. Besides the Jenna Maroney favorite, the two-disc set (also available at iTunes) features songs like ”My Funny Valentine” from season 1 and the Christopher Cross track ”All My Nights I’ve Been Waiting (Liz Lemon’s Theme)” that completes an improvised tune Liz crooned last year about her and ex-lover Floyd. ”It’s a little from every season,” 30 Rock composer and Tina Fey‘s husband, Jeff Richmond, tells EW exclusively. ”It feels like the kind of album you can play at a party at your home with adults over, and they’ll say, ‘What’s that? Kinda nice!’ You don’t have to be a rabid fan, but if you are, you definitely should get this.”

Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan star in the Emmy-winning comedy. You want to go to there.
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