This Week in TV:
Jimmy Fallon reveals who his first guest will be on The Tonight Show; NBC's Rosemary's Baby miniseries casts Jason Issacs (Harry Potter) and Patrick J. Adams (Suits); NBC decides to shelve its Murder, She Wrote reboot for now; Adult Swim sets a season 4 premiere date for The Boondocks; HBO cancels Family Tree and Hello Ladies; and NBC orders a series based on Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz books titled Emerald City.
With Jimmy Fallon set to take over The Tonight Show in less than a month, the current Late Night host decided to further promote his upcoming transition by revealing the guests on his first Feb. 17 show will be Will Smith and U2.
While making the official announcement at a winter press tour last Sunday, Fallon added that he had been actively pursuing U2 as a musical guest on Late Night for quite some time, making his first bookings all the more special.
During his tenure on Late Night, Fallon was consistently able to get even the biggest stars to participate in the silliest games and skits imaginable, but we'll have to see if the high-energy host tones things down for a more traditional show aimed at a broader audience after he moves to the earlier time slot.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon premieres on February 17, 2014 on NBC.
Three weeks after casting Zoe Saldana (Star Trek Into Darkness) to play the lead in its Rosemary's Baby miniseries, NBC added two more notable actors to the upcoming drama, casting Patrick J. Adams (Suits) and Jason Issacs (Awake).
Adams will star opposite Saldana's Rosemary as her husband Guy in the latest adaptation of Ira Levin's landmark 1967 novel of the same name, while Issacs is set to play Roman Castevet, the couple's mysterious neighbor. In the classic 1968 film version, Adams' and Issacs' roles were inhabited by John Cassavettes and Sidney Blackmer, respectively.
Considering Roman Polanski's 1968 film is widely regarded as one of the greatest horror movies ever made, it's understandable to hear some fans balking at the idea of a TV adaptation. But with a solid cast being assembled so far, this four-hour miniseries might be able to silence naysayers by providing a distinct and compelling retelling of Levin's demonic pregnancy story.
There is no premiere date set for Rosemary's Baby, but we expect to see it on NBC sometime later this year.
Despite announcing a Murder, She Wrote reboot starring Octavia Spencer (The Help) was in development three months ago, NBC came out this week and said it is shelving the project for now.
After receiving a put pilot commitment last October, the reboot was prepared to get rolling with Spencer playing a hospital administrator and amateur sleuth who self-publishes her first mystery novel - a contemporary reimagining of Angela Lansbury's J.B. Fletcher from the iconic original that ran for 12 seasons (1984-1996) on CBS. However, the network has reportedly opted to go in a different direction with the project, but has not given up on it entirely.
While the news will likely generate a mixed response, one person who was said to be "relieved" following NBC's recent decision was Lansbury, who has never been keen on the idea of a Murder, She Wrote reboot to begin with.
"I knew it was a terrible mistake. I didn't want to sully the memory."
Lansbury went on to say she thinks Spencer is a terrific actress, but felt the show didn't need a makeover, and there are undoubtedly many Murder, She Wrote fans who feel the same way.
We'll update you on the status of NBC's proposed Murder, She Wrote reboot as things develop.
Despite numerous delays, The Boondocks season 4 is finally set to air its 20-episode run on Adult Swim, starting April 21, 2014.
It's been more than three years since the animated Freeman family entertained and offended (some) viewers on Adult Swim, but the show's loyal following seemed to ensure it wouldn't go away for good as talk of a fourth season continued up until last year's announcement that the show would return for 20 episodes in January. While season 4 has been pushed back yet again, the network did confirm the official premiere date on its airwaves last week in a brief promo.
Check out all-new episodes of The Boondocks when season 4 hits Adult Swim on April 21, 2014.
Source: Adult Swim
With added creative freedom and little network meddling, many comedies have thrived on HBO over the years, but Christopher Guest's Family Tree and Stephen Merchant's Hello Ladies experienced no such luck and were both axed by the network after just one season earlier this week.
Despite starring talented comedic actors, such as Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids) and Guest regular Michael McKean, Guest's mockumentary style failed to translate to the small screen as Family Tree struggled to gain traction during its first and now final season.
Meanwhile, our own Kevin Yeoman found there were laughs to be had with Hello Ladies' series premiere, but based on the lack of viewership, it would seem the hilarity of Merchant's take on the awkwardness and uncomfortable nature of single life died down as the show's first season went on.
Several networks, including The CW and Syfy, have been hard at work developing series inspired by The Wizard of Oz in recent months, but NBC beat them all to the punch in ordering its own Oz-based show to series this week, titled Emerald City.
Unlike some of the Oz projects still in the works, Emerald City will draw from Frank L. Baum's entire 14-book series set in the wonderfully colorful and mysterious land. Here is a more detailed synopsis of the new series:
"'Emerald City' is a dramatic and modern reimagining of the tales that include lethal warriors, competing kingdoms, and the infamous wizard as we've never seen him before. A head-strong 20-year-old Dorothy Gale is unwittingly sent on an eye-opening journey that thrusts her into the center of an epic and bloody battle for the control of Oz."
By the sound of it, it seems Emerald City will offer something new and exciting for even the biggest Wizard of Oz fans. Now, we'll just have to hope the show can secure a strong cast to populate its vast world.
There is no premiere date yet for Emerald City, but we should have one soon, considering the show has been ordered straight to series for a 10-episode season 1.