News Briefs: Michael Cera Is Joining Charlie Kaufman's FX Pilot

By Tim Surette

Jan 15, 2014

A CAST THAT FITS THE PREMISE NEWS

... Michael Cera (Arrested Development's George Michael) and John Hawkes (who earned an Oscar nominatation for Winter's Bone) have come aboard the FX comedy pilot How & Why. The series is the latest project from screenwriting genius Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation, Being John Malkovich), so obviously it's weird. Hawkes will play the host of a show called How & Why who is replaced by a younger guy and moves to a smaller town to host a very similar show but with much less prestige. Cera will play his new boss. Like I said, weird! But also, probably one of the most exciting projects currently in the works? [THR]


BUSINESS TIME

... The Emmys are finally pulling their craniums out of their posteriors and pondering a split in categories between the made-for-TV movie and the miniseries, which is only like three decades overdue. With the renewed interest in the miniseries format, this is especially relevant. [TV Line]

... Netflix has jumped straight into the pool on Marco Polo, ordering nine episodes of the drama for late 2014. The series should be a comedy about a bunch of kids playing the popular aquatic game, but instead it's about the famed explorer who traded with China. And it was originally set up at Starz, so there's a good chance there will be gratuitous nudity, but no cast has been announced yet. I'm as excited about this as I am about Netflix's pickup of Turbo FAST. Which is to say, I am not excited about it all . I mean c'mon, it was rejected by Starz. [THR]

... After a special post-NCIS preview last week, CBS's Intelligence debuted in its regular time slot last night and it stunk up the joint. The network was able to tout the drama as the most-watched new show of the season after its premiere pulled in more than 16 million viewers and a 2.4 rating in the adult demo, but now it might want to pipe down. Last night's episode dropped all the way down to 6.1 million viewers and a paltry 1.1 rating among adults 18-49. But hey, at least lead character Gabriel knows how to get a cab real quick. [TV By the Numbers]

... Racial tension is SO IN right now, you guys. Two days after 12 Years a Slave won the Golden Globe for best drama movie, ABC has ordered a pilot called American Crime, which follows a racially charged trial. American Crime was written by John Ridley, who also wrote 12 Years a Slave. Meanwhile, my script about a bunch of diverse people who get along great and have no problems is still getting rejected. [EW]

... Showtime has ordered a fourth season of Lisa Kudrow's Web Therapy. I have seen exactly zero seconds of Web Therapy, but this is a major victory for the often-overlooked webcam dramedy genre. [THR]

... Oh snap! DirecTV stopped carrying the Weather Channel because people can now get weather information from anywhere. Way to destroy the Weather Channel, smartphones. [Deadline Hollywood]


CASTING NEWS

... Malcolm in the Middle mom Jane Kaczmarek will be momming it up again in USA's Playing House. The comedy stars comedienne duo Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair (Best Friends Forever) in a plot that's just like Best Friends Forever because their characters are really good friends! Kaczmarek will play the hippy-ish mom of St. Clair's character. [THR]

... TEENS! Great news! Your new idol Austin Mahone will make his acting debut on CBS's The Millers. He'll play the young version of Adam, whose adult-sized counterpart is played by Nelson Franklin. The big question... will young Adam have the same silly haircut that Mahone and all the rest of the cool kids now sport? [E! Online]

... If Revenge makes it to a fourth season, actress Karine Vanasse will get a promotion. Vanasse, who plays French heiress Margauz LeMarchal, will be upped to series regular for the next go-round. [Deadline Hollywood]


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  • JT_Kirk Jan 15, 2014

    The game "Marco Polo" came from an event in the explorer's actual life, as a young man he fell into a river at night and his father and uncle couldn't find him to save him, so they called to him until he swam to where they were. That story was more interesting than the Netflix series will be.

    Holy fudge! Intelligence really did stink up the joint, that's a ratings diarrhea right there!

  • dodge_hickey Jan 15, 2014

    I will watch anything Kaufman writes. Being John Malkovich, Adaption and Human Nature were great movies.

  • osdawaya16 Jan 15, 2014

    I actually really like Intelligence. Sure, it's a bit (a lot?) predictable. But it's entertaining and fun. And Josh Holloway. Honestly.

  • AndreaMcCooey Jan 15, 2014

    They can't possibly give Revenge another season, can they?
    But on the bright side of that particular piece of news, at least it's not the Sara character being promoted.

  • sleepy-sonic Jan 15, 2014

    I was hoping that they are going to end Revenge this season but apparently the writers can stretch the story for another boring season.

  • antdude Jan 15, 2014

    I forgot to record and watch Intelligence last night. Sorry! :/

  • ben45tpy Jan 15, 2014

    How and Why sounds incredible. There are so many fantastic sounding shows in development at the moment.

  • Akyriel Jan 15, 2014

    The fate of Intelligence probably depends on its cost and if the 18-49 demo drops even more. There are shows like Parenthood and Dracula doing a third to half of what Intelligence got that are still on the air. My gut feeling is that CBS will give it a chance, particularly if it stays about where it is.

    The big surprise for Monday was that Mike & Molly was the number one show of the night beating Castle and Blacklist. I stopped watching that after about the first three episodes.

    Unfortunately, SyFy's line-up that included Bitten apparently bit the dust. This might be Being Human's last season unless that is what is planned.

  • DavidSinger Jan 15, 2014

    I wonder if Michael Cera will act like Michael Cera.

  • JoshuaLabron Jan 15, 2014

    At the Emmys, T.V. Movie, and Miniseries were actually split, until about 4 or 5 years ago, when they were so few of them being made in a year, that they but the two categories together!

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