We Hope Not Dept: Another Cherished TV Series Stepping into Film Oblivion?

Hey, we love Denzel, but Edward Woodward he ain’t. Damn.

1980s CBS Crime Drama Heads to Big Screen With Denzel Washington in Lead Role Deadline (ripped – not ripped off – from TVBizwire

Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington will receive $20 million to play a character based on the CBS crime drama “The Equalizer,” reports Deadline.com.

The series ran on CBS from 1985-89 with Edward Woodward as Robert McCall, a former British operative who became a Robin Hood type trouble-shooter in New York City. The show was created by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim.

The Denzel Washington film will be tailored to his persona. His “Equalizer” will be a solitary man who lives a monastic lifestyle but helps those who have been victimized. The project is seen as the first in what is designed to be a series of “Equalizer” films starring Washington.

The film is set to start production in April 2013, produced by Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch, Alex Siskin, Mace Neufeld, Michael Sloan and Tony Eldridge.

Actually, the more we think about it, the more we like this idea. We think Denzel will be great in the role. It’s just that, shouldn’t a guy this good – this special – do better for himself and the audience by being somebody new?

Syfy’s DEFIANCE Started Shooting Yesterday

 

Too video gamey looking for TV?

The good news, as described by Syfy and its production partner, Trion Worlds:

 Defiance is the first-ever convergence of television and Massive Multiplayer Online gaming, featuring an interconnected world and storylines that will co-exist throughout a scripted drama series and a multiplatform MMO shooter. Both the series and the game will debut simultaneously in April 2013.

Set in the near future, Defiance introduces an exotically transformed planet Earth, its landscapes permanently altered following the sudden – and tumultuous – arrival of seven unique alien races. In this somewhat unknown and unpredictable landscape, the richly diverse, newly-formed civilization of humans and aliens must learn to co-exist peacefully. Each week, viewers will follow an immersive character drama set in the boom-town of Defiance, which sits atop the ruins of St. Louis, MO, while in the game, players will adventure in the new frontier of the San Francisco Bay area. The dramatic tapestry of the series and the intense action of the game will exist in a single universe where their respective narratives will inform one another and evolve together into one overall story.

The series is executive produced by Kevin Murphy (Desperate Housewives, Caprica; Hellcats) & Michael Taylor (Battlestar Galactica). Kevin Murphy serves as showrunner.

The not-so-good news, also as described by Syfy and Trion Worlds:

 Defiance will commence series production in Toronto, ON starting July 24

An unprecedented partnership between Syfy and Trion Worlds, Defiance is the first-ever convergence of television and Massive Multiplayer Online gaming, featuring an interconnected world and storylines that will co-exist throughout a scripted drama series and a multiplatform MMO shooter. Both the series and the game will debut simultaneously in April 2013.

Don’t get us wrong. We’re as pro-Canada as U.S. citizens can get. (Hell, LB lives an hour from the border and takes his wife on wild, carefree outings on Victoria Island every chance he gets.) But let’s be honest here. Canadian productions way too often have this way too, well, cheesy “Look! We’re saving money! Yay!” kind of look.

And then there’s this MMPG aspect. Do you know how extraordinarily complicated that is? Blizzard’s been doing it for centuries, and Diablo 3 is still all screwed up. Our prediction: No way will DEFIANCE be able to truly integrate TV and online elements. No matter how much they want to. It’ll turn out as bogus as a Chinese Apple Store. You’ll see.

Which will be a shame because, conceptually, this particular combo-pak is killer!

Too video gamey looking for TV!

LB: WGAW Announces Final Candidates for 2012 Board of Directors Election

by Larry Brody

Direct from my eMail to your eyes:

WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, WEST ANNOUNCES
FINAL CANDIDATES FOR 2012 BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) has announced the final slate of candidates for the 2012 Board of Directors election.

There are 15 candidates nominated to run for eight open seats on the WGAW’s Board of Directors, as follows: Meg LeFauve, Marjorie David, David Shore (inc.), Terrence Coli, John Aboud, Eric Small, Jordan Mechner, Barbara Turner, Michael Oates Palmer, Scott Alexander, Alexander Cary, David A. Goodman (inc.), Katherine Fugate (inc.), Kathy Kiernan (inc.), Chip Johannessen. (Previously announced Board candidates Patrick Sean Smith and Zoanne Clack withdrew their candidacies.)

(Note: WGAW internal rules require candidates to be announced in an order determined by lot; [inc.] denotes an incumbent candidate.)

The WGAW will host its annual “Candidates Night” town hall forum, where Guild members may meet BOD candidates and get answers to their questions, on Wednesday, September 5, at WGAW headquarters in Los Angeles.

Guild members will receive candidate, non-candidate, and rebuttal statements, if any, with their ballots prior to the election. Candidates may also mail additional campaign materials at their own expense. Members may vote by mail or in person at the WGAW’s annual membership meeting on Thursday, September 20. Ballots will be counted on Friday, September 21

Yeah, it’s not as well-written as it could be (“There are 15 candidates nominated to run”?), but it’s important. Without the WGA, who would keep the streets of Showbiz safe for the likes of you and me? SAG? The DGA?

If you’re a member, don’t forget to VOTE. If you aren’t a member, stop reading this and get back to your script. Write something wonderful, so you’ll be able to take part in this election process too.

This has been a WSA…Writers Service Announcement.

Lifetime Orders Some Stuff No One But Lifetime Can Possibly Like

You don’t believe us? Read, baby, read:

LIFETIME ORDERS DRAMA PILOTS THE SECRET LIVES OF WIVES and WITCHES OF EAST END
by TeamTVWriter Press Service

Lifetime has ordered the drama pilots The Secret Lives of Wives (working title) and Witches of East End for 2013, it was announced today by Rob Sharenow, Executive Vice President, Programming, of Lifetime Networks.

Inspired by the book by Iris Krasnow, The Secret Lives of Wives will explore the unvarnished truth behind the marriages of four different women, breaking down the creative ways each close friend nurtures, maintains and endures what many see as an impossible convention of modern life.  With a “relatable and provocative approach,” the pilot will provide “an honest portrayal of the ultimate challenge every relationship faces – emotional and sexual longevity.”  Jill Gordon (Five), who wrote the pilot, will also executive produce with Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes) and Jennifer Gwartz (Veronica Mars); Krasnow will serve as a producer.  The Secret Lives of Wives (working title) will be produced by Lin Pictures in association with Warner Horizon Television.

Based on Melissa de la Cruz’s best-selling novel, Witches of East End centers on the adventures of a mother and her two adult daughters — both of whom unknowingly are their family’s next generation of witches — who lead seemingly quiet, uneventful modern day lives in Long Island’s secluded seaside town of North Hampton.  When one of the daughters becomes engaged to a young, wealthy newcomer, a series of events forces her mother to admit to her daughters they are, in fact, powerful and immortal witches.  Maggie Friedman (Dawson’s CreekJack and Bobby and Eastwick) wrote and will executive produce Witches of East End, which will be produced by Fox 21.  Erwin Stoff (The Matrix) of 3 Arts Entertainment will also executive produce.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY BY MUNCHMAN:

The key words here are “relatable” (which may not even be a word) and “provocative,” which is probably the most important word in Lifetime’s vocabulary. Unless you count “sexual,” that is. Considering that none of those interviewed used any of those words in connection with Witches of East End, TVWriter™ is betting that no one will have to worry about how much they hate that show because it will never get on the air. The Secret Lives of Wives, however, is another matter. Everyone who sees it is bound to be gagging by the end of the first scene.

How do we know this? Because we really are “powerful and immortal witches.” And we got that way by swallowing the souls of every Lifetime executive since the channel came into existence. Swallowing them whole.

Viacom and DirectTV Kiss and Make Up

“Nobody’s right when everybody’s wrong.” (Some silly song lyric from back in the day.)

DIRECTV and Viacom Reach Agreement to Renew Carriage of Viacom’s Networks
by TeamTVWriter Press Service

New York, NY – July 20, 2012 —Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB) today announced that the company has reached a long-term agreement to renew carriage with DIRECTV.

All 26 Viacom networks, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, BET, CMT, Logo, Spike, TV Land, MTV2, VH1, VH1 Classic, Palladia, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, TeenNick, Tr3s and Centric, will return to DIRECTV’s channel lineup immediately. As part of the overall carriage agreement, DIRECTV has an option to add the EPIX service to its entertainment offerings.

Viacom is extremely pleased to bring its programming back to DIRECTV subscribers, and thanks everyone affected by the disruption for their patience and understanding during this challenging period.

Kinda terse, huh? Like the thing a kid says when his mommy makes him apologize. Hmm…