News Briefs: Community Is Doing a Puppet Episode

By Tim Surette

Mar 07, 2013

AND FOR ITS NEXT GIMMICK...

... It's often said that networks have their hands up the asses of some of their stars, and in NBC and Community's case, that will literally be true! Except only sorta. The ratings-challenged show will do an all-puppet episode next month featuring guest-star Jason Alexander. Here's the description of the episode: "The study group takes a wild balloon ride that crash-lands in the woods and they end up spending a little time with a friendly mountain man (Alexander). As the study group recounts their adventure, which has left them all feeling a little awkward toward one another, Dean Pelton encourages them to speak about their experience with the use of puppets." Someone please defend this setup as an excuse to do a puppet episode, because I can't. [NBC via press release]


BUSINESS TIME

... Aspiring wizards of America, Syfy has put a series-finale date on the British import Merlin. Season 5 will come to a close for U.S. audiences on May 31. If you can't wait that long, you can get a time AND space machine and travel back to Christmas Eve in England when it ended there. Or you can be a dick and download it ILLEGALLY. *TV.com does not endorse the illegal download of shows, unless you really, really want it.* [Syfy via press release]

... Quick, tell your four-year-old niece that Disney has renewed Sofia the First for a second season and then tell her you bought her a pony but it died. Then say, "That's a lesson in good news/bad news." [Disney via press release]

... TLC is calling it quits on its long-running series What Not to Wear, which will air its tenth season starting this July. But if you're still unsure of what to wear, or what not to be in general, just watch Honey Boo Boo. [TLC via press release]


ONLY THE FINEST CASTING NEWS OF THE DAY

... Melissa McCarthy is hosting Saturday Night Live again, taking the April 6 slot. She was one of the more popular hosts last season, when she hosted in October of '11. [US Weekly]

... Angels in America Emmy-winner Jeffrey Wright is joining the Season 4 cast of HBO's Boardwalk Empire. He'll play Valentin Narcisse, a philanthropist who runs Harlem. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Fox's upcoming animated comedy Murder Police has cuffed two of its top cops. Or at least their voices. Jane Lynch (Glee) and Wilmer Valderrama (That '70s Show) will play two of the cops in the workplace comedy starring Jason Ruiz's voice in the role of a neurotic detective. Lynch will voice a working mom who's also a detective, and Valderrama will play a reckless undercover cop. Murder Police will debut sometime next season, as Fox has already ordered 13 episodes. [Fox via press release]

... Kelly Preston, John Travolta's wife and two-time Golden Raspberry Award nominee for Battlefield Earth and Old Dogs, has grabbed the lead role in ABC's comedy pilot Keep Calm and Karey On. She'll play Karey (ohhhhh now I get it), a woman who raises her brother's kid after he's sent to prison. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Matthew Lillard will star in the NBC drama pilot I Am Victor. The show follows a divorce attorney (John Stamos) who has a unique take on relationships. Lillard will play Victor's best friend. Lillard and Stamos, the dream team we've all been waiting for! [Deadline Hollywood]

... Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Anthony Head (he played Giles) has been cast in the second go-round of the CW pilot The Selection. The drama, based on the book of the same name, is set 300 years in the future and follows a young woman who is selected to be one of 25 suitors for the prince of La La Land or whatever it's called. Head will play the nation's king. [THR]

... The great Kurt Fuller has joined Fox's Friends and Family, a comedy pilot based on the British series Gavin & Stacey. Fuller (Supernatural) will play the father to the Gavin character, played by Jason Ritter (The Event). Also joining the cast is Reno 911's Kerri Kenney, who will play the mother of the Stacey character, played by Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls). You know that Ritter romanced Lauren Graham on Parenthood and is now romancing Bledel, and Graham and Bledel played mother and daughter in Gilmore Girls, right? Gross. [THR]


SUPER SAD NEWS

... Mary Tyler Moore Show star Valerie Harper has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Doctors have given her only months to live. The 73-year old, who also starred in Rhoda, previously battled lung cancer. [People]

  • Comments (69)
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  • SophiaYoYo Jun 26, 2013

    BOOOOOOOO!

  • Watashii Mar 10, 2013

    What Not To Wear is cancelled?! What? Well Stacy is looking a bit old, and Clinton has a new show, so I guess it is time. TLC should rename its network to 'freak show channel'.

  • WavSlave Mar 09, 2013

    Good grief, arguably the worst thing about Wilmer is his almost unintelligibly thick accent. So it seems disastrous to cast him in a show in which the only part of him you'll get is his voice.

    If you put him and Sofia Vergara in a show together, subtitles would be an absolute requirement.

  • keramarie Mar 12, 2013

    I have a six-year-old and she used to watch a disney jr show called Handy Manny. He has an accent, but it is not unintelligible.

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  • HansCastorp1 Mar 08, 2013

    so Angel did this almost ten years ago, so if anybody's a genius for this idea, it's Joss Whedon...It was an amazing episode

  • MegLady Mar 08, 2013

    I don't care if Community is trying to be gimmicky in Dan Harmon's absence with an all puppet episode. Personally, I think it sounds pretty cool because I love the Muppets and Avenue Q, so I would love to see how they treat it.

  • KevinKane Mar 08, 2013

    The word "Genius" gets thrown around a little too easily sometimes I think
    I mean, Einstein was a genius
    Hendrix with his Strat was a genius...
    but yeah, Dan Harmon is a genius haha
    The argument that Harmon only wrote a couple of episodes doesn't hold water with me
    Joss Whedon only wrote a small percentage of episodes, but does anyone actually think that Buffy would have been the same without his vision, even with the same writers? I didn't think so
    I have never understood the logic of blindly following a show, band, whatever and ignoring their faults or being in denial of a slip in quality...If your friends can't speak the truth to you, who can?
    I don't think Community fans are whining as much as we're mourning the loss of a show we loved...it just isn't gone yet
    I don't recognize this show or these people
    It reminds of that one summer where all your friends had changed and when you went back to school you somehow knew things would never be quite the same
    But I am hopeful, I will not prejudge this episode as I have not prejudged the previous four
    but having seen about a quarter of the 4th season, while not entirely pessimistic
    I am....leery
    yeah, that's what I am...leery
    call me leery...with my fingers crossed
    Cheers

  • Hungry_Homer111 Mar 08, 2013

    I agree with you 100%. I won't lie and say that knowing that Dan Harmon and the other writers are gone doesn't affect my viewing, because it does. But it's not really in the way some people seem to think. It's more that it provides a reason for the things that I've been feeling this season. Believe me, I *want* to enjoy the show. I wish it more than anything (at least, anything TV related), because it's painful to watch a show and be so un-entertained by it (and by that, I don't mean just by Community standards, but by general comedy standards). And while, as I said, the idea of this episode makes me nervous based on what we've seen so far this season, I will be fully willing to go into the episode with an open mind, and hope that the writers win me over with the episode.

  • KevinG87 Mar 07, 2013

    another example of Community trying to be different just to be different.. didn't like the claymation, I don't see myself being too thrilled with this either. however I did like the video game episode.

    I may check out The Selection, atleast the pilot.

  • IndianaMom Mar 07, 2013

    It's rather disturbing to think that the Dean has these puppet likenesses of the Community gang ready and waiting. When I first crushed on James Brolin back in his Marcus Welby days I definitely didn't think of him as a father figure. Now He's Jeff's father as well as Castle's.

    Very sad news about Valerie Harper. I'm glad she had the courage to talk about it. It might just help someone else.

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