Joss Whedon is a man uniquely blessed with the gift of gab. He's talkative. Loquacious even.
Today, the writer and director of the biggest movie in history not helmed by James Cameron is flapping his gums about Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot, which he describes as "a very hopeful show."
In case you haven’t heard, Jimmy Kimmel is moving … to 11:35 pm ET.
Beginning January 8th Jimmy Kimmel Live! will air a half hour earlier and compete with the big boys – Letterman and Leno. The popular late night talk show will celebrate its 10th anniversary on January 26th, and is essentially switching its timeslot with the news program Nightline, which has held the 11:35 pm spot since 1980.
The series is now the longest running late night talk show in ABC’s history, having out lasted The Dick Cavett Show and Politically Incorrect. Not only will the move place Kimmel in direct competition with his personal hero David Letterman’s The Late Show, and Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show, but he will also have to square of against cable content like Conan, and The Colbert Report.
Before the holidays I had the pleasure of participating in a conference call with Jimmy Kimmel, and had a chance to ask him a few brief questions about his upcoming move to 11:35 pm ET.
ABC's SHIELD pilot almost certainly won't feature any of the heavy-hitting Avengers jetting around in their bright costumes, but it will follow a group of Whedonesque agents of the premiere espionage and peacekeeping agency in Marvel's cinematic universe. And with the addition of two new actors to the ensemble cast, almost all the major roles have been filled.
Jane Espenson is an established television writer and producer. She had a five-year stint as a writer and producer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and shared a Hugo Award for her writing on that show. Between 2009-2010 she served on Caprica as co-executive and executive producer for the television series, and recently she’s written for Game of Thrones and Torchwood.
Espenson is currently working as a consulting producer and writer on ABC's new series, Once Upon A Time. Her writing can be seen in the next episode of Once Upon A Time entitled, ‘The Return,’ which airs Sunday, April 22nd at 8:00PM on ABC.
I recently had the chance to speak with Jane Espenson about Once Upon A Time. She discussed what could be expected in the next episode, empowered female characters; the importance of metaphor, what some characters’ names might allude to, and jumping in as a writer on a project already in the works.
ABC’s Castle keeps getting it right by constantly keeping it fresh and next week’s brand new film noir episode that takes us back in a time machine to the 1940’s is no exception. Entitled The Blue Butterfly, fans will get to follow novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and NYPD Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), as they investigate the killing of a treasure hunter. In true Castle-style, there is an ominous twist when they discover that the current case is linked to a mysterious homicide from 1947 that involved a hard-nosed private detective. Of course with Castle on the case, all involved are lured into his theory that the only way in which to solve this present-day murder is to solve the mystery from the past. Through stylized flashbacks with Castle as the private eye and Beckett as a femme fatale, the 1947 case is resurrected.
Cast member Tamala Jones (Medical Examiner, Lanie Parish) speaks about her character’s 1947 alter-ego as well as this most special of episodes that she is calling her all-time favorite. “We had the best time ever making this one! This is my personal favorite and everyone is just going to love it!” Excited that Mark Pellegrino (Lost, Supernatural, The Closer) is guest starring as Tom Dempsey, she says of his performance, “He plays a mean gangster that owns the nightclub that my character, Betsy, sings in.” Also guest starring in this episode are Patrick Cassidy as Clyde Belasco, Chad Everett as Jerry Maddox, Ellen Geer as Viola Maddox and Darin Toonder as Frankie.
Definitely not a show about forgiveness, ABC’s saucy new hit Revenge is successfully quenching the insatiable appetites of fans that cannot wait from week to week to see what could possibly be happening next in the Hamptons. Speaking with Gabriel Mann, who portrays the naughty-but-also-nice Nolan Ross, many questions were asked and answered. Well, answered to as much of a degree as he was allowed.
Mann says of his role as Nolan, “I’ve been given a goldmine with this character.” Laughing he adds, “If I crack up and can’t get through my lines during the table reads then I know we have a winner.” In regards to reading the scripts, he says that he constantly marvels at the brilliant dialogue. “I get to say that on network television?”
With a restrained glance to the side and a unique shake-shrug of the shoulder that only Mann can pull off, he conveys to his audience the many facets of his complex character in a way that is both charming and telling of just enough so that you are privy to the fact that there is so much more to Nolan Ross than first meets the eye. Not always aware that he is even doing this, he explains, “I’ve ingested him at this point.” Of creating a character, he adds, “You take the character and you flesh it out. My job is to find as much humanity within this eccentric guy. Who’s the guy behind this façade and what’s his driving force?”
Ever since Walt Disney Studios acquired Marvel Comics in 2009 fans have been wondering just what the studio has planned for “The House of Ideas” vast catalog of characters and material. We know that they plan to continue what Marvel Studios began doing on the big screen in 2008 with Iron Man, which will culminate with next summer’s highly anticipated superhero team-up movie The Avengers, but what about on the small screen? Disney does own ABC after all and there has not been a live-action TV series based on a Marvel property on network television since The Incredible Hulk starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno in the late ‘70s. But that could all change soon as it was announced last year that Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg would write and executive produce a pilot for ABC based on the extremely popular Marvel comic book series "Alias" by Brian Michael Bendis.
"Alias," which will be re-titled AKA Jessica Jones for TV, tells the story of Jessica Jones (“Jewel”), a former superhero who gave up costumed crime fighting to become a private detective. While Rosenberg’s biggest success has come from penning the entire Twilight film series, she’s no stranger to writing for television as she’s a former writer and executive producer of Dexter. She is even familiar with writing comic book adapted material having penned several episodes of the Batgirl inspired series Birds of Prey. I recently had a chance to speak with screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg about the status of AKA Jessica Jones while she was out promoting The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, which will be in theaters on November 18th.
Thanks to her impressive body of television and film work, as well as her undeniable charm and beauty, actress Emily VanCamp is quickly becoming a household name. She first gained attention for a small role in the film The Ring Two, but it is on TV where the actress has truly left her mark, first portraying the role of Amy Abbott on The WB’s long running series Everwood, and later as Tom Skerritt and Patricia Wettig’s long lost daughter Rebecca Harper on ABC’s Brothers & Sisters. This fall VanCamp returned to television, this time in the starring role on ABC’s new hit drama Revenge, which was just picked up for a full season. On the new series she plays Amanda Clarke, a mysterious young woman who moves to The Hamptons under another name in order to strike vengeance on the people that caused her father’s death and destroyed her family. In addition to her hit series, the actress can also be seen in the new comedy/drama Norman, which opens in select theaters on October 21st.
In the film, VanCamp plays Emily Parrish, an attractive new girl in school who begins to fall for unlikely loser Norman Long (Dan Byrd). Norman is a troubled young man that considers suicide because of the frustrations of high school, the recent loss of his mother, and his father’s (Richard Jenkins) terminal cancer. Through a series of misunderstandings, a rumor begins at school that Norman has cancer (not his father) and that is why he has such a dark personality. Emily instantly takes a liking to Norman and they begin a relationship but that is threatened when she learns of the rumor. Now Norman must decide what is more important to him: the misguided attention he is getting at school, or the honest affection of the girl he loves. Meanwhile, Norman is dealing with his father’s illness and his unwavering desire to not get treatment but instead “go out” on his own terms.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with the absolutely lovely Emily VanCamp about Norman, as well as her series Revenge. The actress spoke candidly with me about the new film, her intriguing character, the movie’s difficult subject matter, comparisons to 50/50, not having enough screen time with Academy Award nominee Richard Jenkins, the pressure of starring on her own TV series, and what fans can expect from Revenge the remainder of this season.
ABC was struggling as a network up until the 2004-2005 season when it struck TV gold with several extremely successful one-hour television programs including Lost, Desperate Housewives, and Grey’s Anatomy. But with Lost ending it’s mysterious run in 2010, Desperate Housewives currently shooting their final season now, and the future of Grey’s Anatomy in question after this season, ABC has wisely begun to shift its attention to comedy. The network currently has the most successful new show in years with its Emmy Award-winning series Modern Family, and has recently added to that success with several other popular comedies including Cougar Town, last year’s mid-season replacement Happy Endings, and Tim Allen’s recent return to television with Last Man Standing. Now the network will try to add to it’s comedy roster once again with the new series Man Up!, which premiers tonight, Tuesday October 18th at 8:30PM EST on ABC.
The series, which will run after Allen’s Last Man Standing, was written and created by Christopher Moynihan (Coupling) and stars himself, Dan Fogler (Take Me Home Tonight), Mather Zickel (I Love You, Man), Henry Simmons (NYPD Blue), Teri Polo (Meet the Fockers), and Amanda Detmer (Saving Silverman). The show revolves around three adult friends, Will (Zickel), Kenny (Fogler), and Craig (Moynihan) who spend their free time playing Call of Duty together and dreaming of being “real men,” when they’re not dealing with the various women in their lives. Polo plays Theresa, Will’s wife and the true “man of the house,” while Detmer is Brenda, Theresa’s sister and Kenny’s ex-wife who wants to make him jealous with her perfect new boyfriend Grant (Simmons). The pilot skillfully sets up all of these situations, while Moynihan’s Craig deals with his ex, a woman he is still madly in love with and who is set to marry someone else that day.
Last week, I had a chance to speak with the show’s creator and star Christopher Moynihan about his new series Man Up! I caught up with the actor/writer while he was on the set of the show filming it’s ninth episode and he spoke openly with me about creating the series, his character’s Graduate moment, playing video games, ABC, following Tim Allen, casting Dan Fogler, and working with the legendary Billy Dee Williams.