News Briefs: ABC Is Destroying Childhoods and Developing a National Lampoon's Vacation Comedy Series

By Kaitlin Thomas

Jan 11, 2014


... ABC is developing a new series based on the hugely successful National Lampoon's Vacation movie franchise. The project, which is in the very early stages of development for the 2015/2016 season (as in it doesn't even have a writer yet), would see both Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo reprising their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold. Terra Nova's Aaron Kaplan is on board to executive produce, and I'm going to go stick my head in the oven. This is worse than that time the Griswolds went to Las Vegas and we were supposed to believe Rusty won a bunch of cars and Audrey became a cage dancer. [TV Line]


... Good news, Whovians! Just as Season 8 of Doctor Who will air uninterrupted in 2014 beginning in August, Season 9 will also air uninterrupted in 2015. Let's all pray to the TARDIS that we never have to suffer through seasons being split in two again. [Digital Spy]

... OH MY GOD, WHAT HAPPENED TO SHANE WEST? Oh, never mind, those are just the first images of his character in WGN America's new series Salem. (They're exclusive to EW, so if you want to see what West would look like as a hobo, click the link! If you prefer to remember him as he looked at the end of Nikita, don't click the link, and don't ever watch Salem!) [EW]

... Comedy Central has ordered 10 episodes of Ben Stiller's Big Time in Hollywood, FL, a half-hour scripted series following two brothers who've recently been kicked out of their parents' house and who dream of being filmmakers. No word yet on a premiere date. [Variety]

... Starz has announced a return date for Da Vinci's Demons. Season 2 will premiere on Saturday, March 22 at 9pm. Oh, look, they were also kind enough to release a trailer, too! Let's a take a look: 

[Starz via press release]

... Yikes, if you're planning on going to San Diego Comic-Con this year, you might want to pay attention to this next bit. There will no longer be an option to purchase four-day passes for Comic-Con, only individual day passes. To make matters worse, only those people who have purchased passes for all four days will have the option to purchase a pass for Preview Night. The going price for four individual passes is $200, up from $175 for the four-day pass last year. [THR]

... You might want to call your doctor and get a refill for your anxiety medication, because the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad are coming to Netflix on February 24. [Huffington Post]

... Melissa McCarthy, who once upon a time felt like a special secret that only Gilmore Girls fans knew about, will now be hosting Saturday Night Live on February 1, a.k.a. Super Bowl weekend. My, how far you've come from Stars Hollow, Sookie. [Variety]

... Speaking of the Super Bowl, you might want to head over to and vote on your favorite Super Bowl commercials. The top 10 will be broadcast during the network's annual Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials special on Wednesday, January 29 at 8pm. [CBS via press release]

... Awkward. will return with an hour-long premiere on April 15 at 10pm. There, I don't really know what else to say about that and I think I've kept this going long enough so it looks like a News Brief and not just a run-on sentence. [EW]

... NBC has ordered two new comedy pilotsThe first is Mason Twins, from Happy Endings' Casey Wilson and her frequent collaborator June Raphael. The project is the story of fraternal twins who are still living together in their 30s. The second pilot is from Parks and Recreation's Rashida Jones and is called A to Z. The single-camera comedy is set at an online dating company that details the “A to Zs” of relationships. [Variety]


... Chace Crawford (Gossip Girl) and his eyebrows will guest-star in Glee's 100th episode as Biff (I swear to God), Quinn's new boyfriend. It's still unclear whether his eyebrow will receive their own credit. [E! Online]

... Brittany Snow (Pitch Perfect) has been cast as the female lead in ABC's new comedy pilot An American Education. She joins Rosie Perez and Jack Whitehall in the American adaptation of the British series Bad Education (which was created by and starred Whitehall). The single-camera comedy follows a San Diego teacher (Whitehall) who practices unusual and unorthodox teaching methods. Snow will play Sarah McIntyre, a book-smart chemistry teacher. [Deadline]

... Michael Rapaport, who's currently starring in Season 5 of Justified, will soon be making his way over to Raising Hope where he'll play Michael, an animal lover who comes to live with Burt and Virginia when they consider adopting a puppy. [TV Guide

... FX has finalized casting for its new drama pilot Hoke, based on Charles Willeford's Hoke Moseley novels and starring Paul Giamatti in the lead role. Set in Miami in the 1980s, Oona Chaplin (Game of Thrones) will play Ellita Sanchez, a young homicide detective who has recently been promoted to be Hoke's partner, while John Carroll Lynch (Body of Proof) will play Bill Henderson, his former partner who's just as disgruntled with the job as Hoke. The Wire's Robert Wisdom has been cast as Major Brownley, the head of the Miami PD Homicide Squad, while Jordi Mollà (Riddick) will play Cuban sociopath Armando Zuniga, and Tammy Blanchard (Moneyball) will play Loretta Hickey, the mother of a murdered drug addict. [FX via press release] 

... David Morrissey, the man formerly known as The Walking Dead's Governor, will soon be seen in BBC One's new miniseries The Driver. I don't know what it's about, but I assume it's about someone who drives a lot. [Deadline]

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  • sweetsaintz Jan 13, 2014

    Had to take a moment there to reminisce the gem that was Sookie in Gilmore Girls. Really happy that Melissa McCarthy is getting the spotlight she deserves now.

  • ted2332 Jan 12, 2014

    Griswalds back, sounds interesting.

  • torque_smacky Jan 11, 2014

    They already made a Griswold show; it was called Malcolm in the Middle.

  • osdawaya16 Jan 11, 2014

    Salem, eh? I may have to watch that because of Shane West and Seth Gabel.

  • ktfahel Jan 11, 2014

    For the "Vacation" series, in order for it to be authentic, they would have to get different actors to play the kids every week.

  • shocker713 Jan 11, 2014

    Wouldn't be a Greg Garcia show if Michael Rapaport didn't show up.

  • kaianne750 Jan 11, 2014

    You mean I have to wait until AUGUST for Doctor Who?! *facepalm*

  • nitehork Jan 11, 2014

    What a surprise. Hollywood is doing something unoriginal yet again. And why not have the unoriginal series be the banality that the Vacation movies were. The first movie was mildly funny, a couple of funny moments, but nothing I wanted to see a second time. The next movie, I couldn't even make it half-way through before giving up on it. The Vacation movies, what I could put up with, was a non-fun series of bad jokes and bad acting. Why inflict it on the public again on a weekly basis? It seems, as each year goes by, more and more unoriginality is being utilised.

  • Dudekotka Jan 11, 2014

    .. Aren't they also making a new Vacation movie? With Ed Helms playing Rusty? They're already in pre-production..

  • thekaitling Jan 11, 2014

    No, it fell through.

  • DirgeNovak Jan 11, 2014

    Seriously? People still want to work with Chevy Chase after all the crap he pulled?

  • ted2332 Jan 12, 2014

    I think he has got the cranky grand dad bit done though. :)

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