The Hollywood Insider: Early scoop on exciting new TV pilots
Though we’re still in the thick of the 2010 — 11 season, the networks have turned their attention to September and the fresh series they need to deliver. The Big Four and The CW have another month or so to order comedy and drama pilots for fall consideration, but they’ve already made intriguing decisions about some of the future hits — or misses — that you might be seeing later this year.
Welcome back, Buffy!
CBS is developing Ringer, a drama from Brillstein-Grey that will feature the television return of Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar. She’ll play a troubled young woman on the run who hides out by living the life of her wealthy twin sister — until she discovers that her sibling has a bounty on her too. ”Sarah wants to do something that her fans who had grown up loving Buffy will also be excited about, and we think this show has that quality to it,” Brillstein’s Peter Traugott tells EW.
NBC has greenlit a musical pilot from Steven Spielberg and Hairspray producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan called Smash, which follows a cross section of characters who come together to stage a Broadway musical. Meanwhile, ABC is working with Dancing With the Stars‘ Carrie Ann Inaba on Grace, a drama about a dysfunctional family that’s set in the world of professional dance. Should Glee be worried about a sudden influx of song and dance in prime time? ”The more the merrier,” Glee exec producer Ian Brennan tells EW. ”I think as long as we make a show people want to watch and think is funny, we will be safe.”
NBC is developing the drama pilot Playboy from Chad Hodge (Runaway), a look at the lives of Playboy Bunnies in the 1960s. The network also picked up David E. Kelley‘s Wonder Woman pilot, which is set to offer a non-campy reboot of the superheroine. But there’s a good chance that even her golden lasso could be upstaged by ABC’s remake of Charlie’s Angels from Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar. Annie Ilonzeh (Melrose Place) has already been cast as an Angel, while Robert Wagner will play Charlie. Don’t count on him communicating by speakerphone, though. ”The technology is quite different. I would imagine it would be on cell phones,” says Wagner, adding: ”I could be tweeting them!”
Will Brothers & Sisters get renewed?
Now in season 5, Brothers & Sisters is back to doing what it does best: focusing on the family. But unlike other veteran ABC dramas such as Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and even Castle, the Sunday ensemble show has yet to be renewed. Even though the drama is averaging a respectable 9.24 million viewers, should fans be nervous? ”The rumor mill of ‘will we or won’t we’ is so rife, we’re kind of used to it,” says star Matthew Rhys, who just directed his third episode, which airs Feb. 20 and features ”an interesting blast from Nora’s past.” Rhys actually has mixed feelings about doing another year. ”We’ve run a lot of extreme stories and big stories, so I personally wouldn’t want to be a writer if I had to stretch it another season,” he says. ”But we could do it!”
Clint Eastwood is in talks to direct a remake of A Star Is Born, possibly starring Beyoncé, who’s in negotiations to headline as the ingenue.
Johnny Depp says that he wants to promote his upcoming movie The Rum Diary — based on Hunter S. Thompson‘s semiautobiographical book — with a bus tour of colleges.
Sex columnist and It Gets Better Project founder Dan Savage may be bringing his blunt advice to MTV. The network ordered a pilot that would follow his Q&A sessions with audiences.
Warner Bros. confirms that TV writer Will Beall (Castle) is working on a script for a reboot of the Lethal Weapon franchise.
Sources tell EW that The CW is developing a reality show called H8R, in which average people would be paired up with a celebrity they detested.