*I skim the trades, so you don’t have to.
◊ FX has rounded out the cast of its Justified follow-up series, Justified: City Primeval. The cabler has enlisted Aunjanue Ellis, Boyd Holbrook, Adelaide Clemens, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Marin Ireland, Norbert Leo Butz, Victor Williams, and Vivian Olyphant to join the franchise star Timothy Olyphant in the limited series inspired by Elmore Leonard’s City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit.
My two-cent takeaway: The original Justified, created by Graham Yost, is a riveting action crime drama that will be sure to continue the Primeval sequel. Dave Andron and Michael Dinner will act as showrunners. Dinner has been producing all the way back to the original Wonder Years whereas Andron got his start on a different short-lived but well-received Yost series called Raines starring Jeff Goldblum back in 2007.
◊ Yet another David E. Kelley project. Emmy winner Jeff Daniels will star in the Netflix limited series based on Tom Wolfe’s best-seller. David E. Kelley is adapting the novel and will executive produce along with Regina King.
My two-cent takeaway: Kelley has numerous projects in the works with The Lincoln Lawyer being the other most recent series to air along with Big Sky, Anatomy of a Scandal, and Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.
◊ ‘That ’70s Show’ Spinoff ‘That ’90s Show’ at Netflix to Reunite Most of Original Series’ Main Cast
My two-cent takeaway: The show’s original creators Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner are back and now are writing with their daughter Lindsey Turner. Gregg Mettler who was a writer/producer on That 70s Show is also a co-creator of the sequel.
◊ “The Equalizer” creators Andrew W. Marlowe and Terri Edda Miller will step down as showrunners after the current second season; Joseph C. Wilson, who has worked on the show since its inception, and “The Chi” vet Adam Glass will take over should the series get an expected Season 3 pickup.
My two-cent takeaway: It’s always odd when original showrunners leave a series. No word on why, but the new showrunners, Wilson and Glass will take the show in a new direction potentially covering more social justice topics.
◊ Issa Rae to Serve as 2022 American Black Film Festival Ambassador, New Series ‘Rap Sh!t’ Set to Screen
My two-cent takeaway: Since Awkward Black Girl she has been unstoppable. I can only wish this trajectory on all of us, but it’s pretty clear she works pretty damn hard for it.
- George Yanok, an Emmy-winning writer on Lily Tomlin specials, dies at 83
My two-cent takeaway: Wrote on one of my favorite shows growing up, The Bob Newhart Show.
◊ ‘Yellowjackets’ Showrunners Say Season 2 Will Shoot in Late Summer But Will Be Heavy on Winter Mystery (Spoilers)
My two-cent takeaway: Just a little insight into the production process and a reminder that most things are possible.
◊ Peacock has canceled the reimagined Saved by the Bell after two seasons. The reboot of the 1990s teen series debuted its second season in November with all 10 episodes dropping the week of Thanksgiving. The show, which won a GLAAD Media Award for best comedy series in April, tackled gender, race, and class issues and earned mostly positive reviews upon its premiere in 2020.
My two-cent takeaway: The showrunner, Tracey Wigfield, who has oodles of experience over the past decade starting with 30 Rock, took the award-winning show in a new direction openly making fun of itself. Even with a top writer and positive reviews, there’s no guarantee.
◊ ‘Prince of Tides’ TV Series in the Works at Apple
My two-cent takeaway: Tate Taylor, who previously wrote Pretty Ugly People, The Help, and an episode of the series Filthy Rich (starring Kim Cattrall) will write the script.
◊ Netflix has greenlit Absolute Dominion, a sci-fi martial-arts action film from writer/director Lexi Alexander (Punisher: War Zone). Blumhouse Television will produce.
My two-cent takeaway: Alexander, along with directing a slew of TV episodes and some movies, co-wrote and directed Green Street Hooligans.
◊ HBO Max is looking to chisel out a second spin-off series from James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.
My two-cent takeaway: Christal Henry, who started writing on The Chicago Code in 2011 and has been busy on TV series since then, culminating with The Watchmen will write the series with James Gunn.
◊ Meg Ryan is set to dust off her ’90s rom-com roots and will direct and star in What Happens Later alongside David Duchovny. The film — based on the play Shooting Star by Steven Dietz, who co-wrote the screenplay alongside fellow playwright and novelist Kirk Lynn and Ryan — is described by the filmmakers as an “evolved and nostalgic take on the romantic comedy.”
My two-cent takeaway: Dietz and Lynn appear to be writing their first feature.
◊ Part 2 of Vanity Fair’s article about Grey’s Anatomy writer Elisabeth Finch lying about a cancer diagnosis and writing it into the series.
My two-cent takeaway: Unfortunately, someone as talented as Finch chose to take this tact instead of letting her writing speak for itself. As mentioned in the article, she was cut from the Grey’s Anatomy writer’s room after a blind reading by a new showrunner when her writing didn’t meet the tone of the show until it was pointed out that she wrote a compelling piece about her cancer experience in Elle Magazine. Presumably, she was given a second chance because of her fake cancer story so she doubled down on her fabrication. I always thought it was more impressive when someone can write well about something they’re not fully acquainted with or have researched rather than when someone just writes from what they know or live. Write what you know or research what you don’t, but no need to pretend you lived what you have not.
◊ HBO Max has handed out a second-season renewal for its 1970s-set comedy, Minx. The series, created by Ellen Rapoport and from Lionsgate Television, stars Ophelia Lovibond and Jake Johnson as a feminist who joins forces with a low-rent porn publisher to create the first erotic magazine for women.
My two-cent takeaway: Rapoport mentions the importance of social media in getting the renewal which is a reminder that succeeding in the business is so much more than just writing great material.
◊ THR’s J. Clara Chan has the scoop on Amazon Prime Video acquiring two films — My Fake Boyfriend and 1Up — from BuzzFeed Studios and Lionsgate for distribution beginning this summer. The two films were created as part of a multiyear partnership between BuzzFeed and Lionsgate to create films targeting Millennial and Gen Z viewers.
My two-cent takeaway: My Fake Boyfriend is from relative newcomers Luke Albright, Greg Boaldin, and Joe Wanjai Ross. 1up was written by TV writer Julia Yorks who has been active in the industry since 2018 with several series including The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Trolls: The Beat Goes On, and most recently, Strawberry Shortcake.
◊ Jeremy Strong To Star In & EP 737 Max Limited Series From Chris Terrio In Works At Amazon Studios & Plan B
My two-cent takeaway: Chris Terrio, who won an Academy Award for Argo, will write the script. Instead of basing the story on real-life characters, a composite will be created which is an effective way of protecting yourself from lawsuits.
◊ Quantum Leap is returning to NBC. Nearly 30 years since the Scott Bakula-led original series signed off after a five-season run on NBC, the broadcast network has handed out a formal series order to the sequel series starring Raymond Lee.
My two-cent takeaway: Don Bellisario, the original creator of Quantum Leap is still attached, but the pilot was written by partners Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt who penned shows like Alcatraz, CSI: NY, Hawaii Five-O, and Gotham.
What’re your two cents?
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