The third season of everyone’s favorite IFC comedy-sketch show is fast upon us, with Portlandia slated to begin on January 4. In advance of the inevitable onslaught of new hipsterisms, hereto-unknown eccentricities and brand new organic fetishes, The Observer cornered co-creator Fred Armisen about what new “dreams of the Nineties” he would bring to life. Read More
The gang’s all back–Girls, which returns on January 13, has released the first footage of the new season in a breezy trailer that promises new developments for all four. Hannah (Lena Dunham) is single and enjoying life; Marnie (Allison Williams) is single, fired and being told off by her mom (Rita Wilson!!); Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) Read More
NBC, finally emerging from its Jeff Zucker hangover (don’t worry, Mr. Zucker’s doing fine) with a booming fall season, has signed a first-look deal with comedian/TV host/radio personality/actor/Observer profile subject Nick Cannon. Read More
“I just saw Annie, and I didn’t look at Daddy Warbucks the way I would have 20 years ago,” Warren Leight told The New York Observer over the phone last week. “The show has really warped the way we look at the world, at least those of us writing it.”
The showrunner for Dick Wolf’s last standing Law & Order program, Special Victims Unit, was struggling to understand how people watch “marathon” sessions of the show he manages. “The children episodes are disturbing, even to us,” said Mr. Leight.
He singled out one such episode, entitled “Friending Emily,” in which detectives go to an FBI office to view images of abused children. Mr. Leight sounded shocked, tired and a little bit horrified over a detail that he and his writers chose to put in the episode. He sounded a lot, in fact, like SVU’s former protagonist, Elliot Stabler.
“There is a kid in diapers whose photo we show,” said Mr. Leight. “We found it on an Internet pornography site. It had 37,000 hits in the last four days.” (Which, it turns out, is the exact line that a government official says during the episode.) Read More
Resurgent NBC–which, courtesy of football, The Voice, and sci-fi series Revolution, has reversed years of bad fortune in a single season–is looking to get into the Julian Fellowes business. The creator of PBS’s Downton Abbey is to write The Gilded Age, a soap opera of wealth and class in Edith Wharton-era New York (across the sea and slightly earlier than the Downton manor house, but presumably bringing similar themes into play). Read More
Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who has long played childlike red monster Elmo on the kids’ show Sesame Street, has decided to leave the program after having been seemingly exonerated on claims of sex with a minor. Read More
So technically, the new Channel 4 green-lit show Drifters is a spin-off of The Inbetweeners, a popular British sitcom about lackadaisical male 20-somethings that was eventually turned into a movie, and is about to get its own bastardized American version, à la The Office.
But Drifters–which stars three of the actresses who appeared in The Inbetweeners film–sounds a lot like a certain American pop culture zeitgeist retooled for British fans. Including the fact that one of the star’s of the show–Jessica Knappett–is also its writer. Read More
We’re not sure how many of you out there actually saw Catfish, the pseudo/documentary directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost of Paranormal Activity 3 and 4 fame. It was a very hyped film in 2010, especially after it received a Sundance buzz-bump that led to Brett Ratner’s company Rogue Pictures acquiring the distribution rights and creating a marketing campaign in the style of The Blair Witch Project, which played up the film’s ambiguous placement on the reality spectrum.
Ostensibly, the film began as a chronicle of “Rel’s little brother Yaniv (‘Nev’), and his relationship with Megan, a girl he met online.” It soon devolves into one of those “too unbelievable to be true” (except they say it is) narratives about the perils of trusting the identity of anyone you meet on the internet. Read More
The Carrie Diaries, the struggling-upward-teen-in-New-York Sex and the City prequel, is taking the Monday 8 p.m. time slot of the wealthy-teens-in-New-York soap Gossip Girl, once that show goes off-air at the end of the year.
Diaries and its time slot predecessor share executive producers in the form of Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, but hopefully the new show Read More