This Week in TV:
The Bad Teacher television adaptation has found its leading lady in Ari Graynor (For a Good Time, Call...); ABC has moved Happy Endings to Fridays starting March 29; Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) has landed a role on CBS' Under the Dome; Sony Pictures Television has announced it will shoot at least three of its pilots in 4K; and Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) and Matthew Goode (Watchmen) have been cast in Showtime's The Vatican.
The TV adaptation of Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg's hit 2011 comedy Bad Teacher has cast Ari Graynor in the lead role.
Stupnitsky and Eisenberg will produce the series - which is still in the pilot stage at CBS - along with Graynor. The original Bad Teacher writers have hired Don Scardino (30 Rock) to helm the pilot and Hilary Winston (Community, Happy Endings) to pen it. However, the pilot will maintain the same plot as the film. Graynor will play the role Cameron Diaz did - a sexy former trophy wife who scores a teaching gig with the sole purpose of finding another rich sucker to settle down with. Graynor will join a cast that already includes David Alan Grier.
After securing memorable supporting roles in comedies such as Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, The Sitter, and Fringe, Graynor's stock has steadily risen. She's coming off a starring role in the 2012 film For a Good Time, Call..., and it appears that CBS is confident in her ability to carry a television series, too.
Producers still have a lot of work to do before getting the show to air, but casting the lead role is a major check off their list. Now we'll just have to see if fans of the film will tune in each week and if the success of the film can carry over to the small screen.
After airing new episodes on both Sundays and Tuesdays for a while, Happy Endings is on the move again, this time to a Friday spot.
The show was first moved to Sundays about a month ago to help fill the void left by the cancellation of 666 Park Avenue, but it apparently won't stay there long, as ABC announced it plans to move the show to the Friday 8 p.m. slot starting March 29th. The network will air back-to-back episodes of the program in what appears to be an attempt to get the season over with to make more room for its popular reality shows.
Not only will fans of Happy Endings likely be peeved by this latest schedule shuffle, but they have to be a bit concerned at ABC's willingness to simply toss the show around. Typically, this is a sign that a show is on thin ice, so if you're a fan, make sure you tune in and keep it going.
Happy Endings will air back-to-back episodes every Friday @8pm starting March 29th.
Dean Norris, who is best known for playing DEA agent Hank Schrader on AMC's Breaking Bad, has officially landed his next big gig - a lead villain role on CBS' new series Under the Dome.
The show is adapted from Stephen King's novel of the same name and centers on the residents of a small (you guessed it) Maine town, who become blocked off from the rest of the world by a transparent force field. Norris will play James "Big Jim" Rennie, a politician and car salesman (sounds like a villain all right) who uses the town's state of disorder to seize control. He joins a cast that already includes Mike Vogel (Cloverfield), Britt Robertson (Scream 4) and Natalie Martinez (Death Race).
The series was originally being set up at Showtime, but after production failed to get rolling, producer Steven Spielberg and writer Brian K. Vaughan took it over to CBS, where it quickly bypassed the pilot stage and got a 13-episode order.
That's fantastic news for Norris, who has been looking for another long-term gig following the conclusion of Breaking Bad later this year. We learned Norris asked Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan to kill him off AMC's hit series before the second half of season 5 so that he could go out for a pilot. Gilligan denied the request, which irked Norris, who felt that he had missed out on an opportunity. However, it looks like things have worked out for Norris after all.
Under the Dome will premiere on June 24th, 2013 on CBS.
With consumer technology vastly improving at a continuous rate, Sony Pictures Television has decided to step it up on the content-creation end and shoot at least three pilots this season in the 4K resolution format.
Television manufacturers unveiled more than 50 Ultra-HD 4K TVs at last month's Consumer Electronics Show, which means that soon many customers will be demanding content that fits the format. Sony is anticipating this and is already planning to shoot three-to-five of its new pilots in 4K. SPT also said they may be shooting as many as a half-dozen shows in the format if those shows get picked up.
SPT has already used 4K cameras for several of its shows, including the FX drama Justified and the recently canceled CBS drama Made in Jersey and it's considering converting several more to the format in post. Sony has already started to remaster Breaking Bad in the higher-resolution format.
So, the good news is our shows will look even better with the new technology. Of course, we'll have to pony up the dough for the new TVs to keep up.
A new pilot from Showtime titled The Vatican has added two new actors to its cast - Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) and Matthew Goode (Watchmen).
The show will center on the inner-workings and politics of the Catholic church, but unlike Showtime's other series that deals with the church - The Borgias - The Vatican will take place in modern-day. Here's the official premise, courtesy of Showtime:
THE VATICAN will explore the relationships and rivalries as well as the mysteries and miracles behind one of the world’s most hidden institutions.
Chandler has appeared in a plethora of films since starring in Friday Night Lights. In The Vatican, he'll take on the role of Cardinal Thomas Duffy, a New York Archbishop who creates conflict within the Catholic church with some progressive ideas. Goode has been cast as Papal Secretary Bernd Koch, a close confidant to the Pope.
The potential series has already garnered quite a bit of attention for obvious reasons, including the timing of its announcement, which came while Pope Benedict's resignation was still a hot news topic. But it's also gaining some recognition for the person that will be directing the pilot episode - Ridley Scott.