News Briefs: John Malkovich and Christian Slater Are TV-bound

By Tim Surette

Mar 12, 2013


... Actor John Malkovich will be getting a paycheck this summer, taking on the role of the dreaded pirate Blackbeard in NBC's short series Crossbones. The 10-episode action-adventure series, which NBC has yet to put a date on, follows an assassin who's sent to the Caribbean to kill Blackbeard in order to stop parrot-wearing pegleg-having rum-swilling sea bandits from ruining trade lines in the eighteenth century. Malkovich is a bona fide movie star, and this marks his first network TV role as a series regular. And it's on NBC. For a summer series. And he'll have to wear a fake beard. John, are you sure this was the show you wanted to come back to TV on? [TV Line

... The Daily Show's Jason Jones is trying the comedy pilot thing again, this time joining ABC's multi-camera comedy Divorced: A Love Story. He'll play one half of a recently divorced couple that finds out their lives are even worse when they're apart. Andrea Anders, of the late and great Better Off Ted, will play the ex-wife. If ABC picks up the series, Jones would likely leave The Daily Show, so I kind of want to root against this one because I'm selfish. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Christian Slater is bringing his curse I mean talents to ABC's pilot Influence, from Awake creator Kyle Killen. Slater will star opposite the previously cast Steve Zahn in the drama about two brothers—one a genius (Zahn) and one a charismatic ex-con (Slater)—who start a consulting agency that specializes in fixing problems through the real science of human motivation and manipulation. Slater has a dismal television track record, with Breaking InThe Forgotten, and My Own Worst Enemy to his credits. Killen's isn't much better. Here's hoping that their curses cancel each other out in a giant explosion of happy syndication. [TV Line

... Actress Minka Kelly, prepare to be pawed at by a horde of nerds! More than usual, I mean. The Friday Night Lights actress is adding the sci-fi genre to her resumé by joining the upcoming pilot from J.J. Abrams and Fringe's J.H. Wyman about robot cops in the future. Kelly will play a presumably human cop in the show, but who knows because if robot markers in the future were cool, they'd make them all look like Minka Kelly. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Martin Mull (comedy stuff from back in the day) has been cast in Seth MacFarlane's live-action Fox comedy Dads. He'll play one of the titular dads who move back in with their sons, making their sons' lives sucky. Fox has already ordered six episodes of the series. [TV Line]


... IFC has put a date on the upcoming comedy starring Marc Maron (the WTF with Marc Maron podcast): Friday, May 3. The comic's comic stars as a heightened version of himself, and the show will include guest stars Adam Scott, Ken Jeong, Denis Leary, Jeff Garlin, Eric Stoltz, Aubrey Plaza, and more. [IFC via press release]

... The online versions of All My Children and One Life to Live have premiere dates! The soaps, saved from cancellation by The Online Network, will debut on Hulu and iTunes on April 29 for free. Soaps have notoriously small budgets. Web series have notoriously small budgets. But a soap that's a web series!?!? It might look like one of those bootleg movies filmed on a Handi-cam from the back of a movie theater. [The Online Network via press release]

... The Ellen DeGeneres Show, or as the cool people call it, Ellen, has been renewed through 2017! [Deadline Hollywood]

... ABC Family has announced its summer premiere plans, and because I like you I've put the schedule in a relatively easy-to-understand list:

May 29
8:00pm  Melissa & Joey  (Season 3 premiere)
8:30pm  Baby Daddy (Season 2 premiere)
9:00pm  Dancing Fools (Series premiere) 

June 3
9:00pm  The Fosters (Series premiere)

June 10
8:00pm  Switched at Birth (Summer premiere)

June 11
8:00pm  Pretty Little Liars (Season 4 premiere) 
9:00pm  Twisted (Series premiere) 

July 24
9:00 The Vineyard (Series premiere)

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter if you want to: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • Suncatcher1 Mar 13, 2013

    Can't wait to see the superb John Malkovich on a weekly basis starring in the new Blackbeard on NBC! He is unreal and plays evil like no one else (see Line of Fire). I also heard a rumor that Hugh Laurie of House fame is in talks with Blackbeard people for a role in this new show. Laurie joining Malkovich would be huge! I guess we have to stay tuned...

  • mrjimmyjames Mar 13, 2013

    Killen's record may not be commercially successful but it is critically successful. And it's usually the best stuff that tends to do bad in the ratings and/or get cancelled.

  • Bottron Mar 12, 2013

    Why would anyone ever leave The Daily Show its only worked out for Stephen Colbert, Steve Carrell, Ed Helms, Rob Courdry... Oh, that's why.

  • mrjimmyjames Mar 13, 2013

    But is Jason Jones anywhere near as talented as the men you mentioned above?

  • ziero Mar 12, 2013

    when is The Lying Game coming back?

  • Silver_Sword_14 Mar 12, 2013

    For some reason, ABC Family only ordered 10 episodes for the second season instead of the usual 20. They'll most likely do the same thing this year and order another 10 to air next winter. We should know for sure sometime in April.

  • qbe_64 Mar 12, 2013

    I'm pretty sure Lasercats is going to be a series by 2015.

  • kanniballl Mar 12, 2013

    Well, the robot makers might be cool. In the 1992 TV show "Mann & Machine" the robot/android was played by a young (20-something) Yancy Butler. Which was part of the allure of the show.

  • bicelis Mar 12, 2013

    Damn.. And the Abrams & Wyman show looked so good... I think this is the first bad sign (apart from the show being about robocops) for the series.

    I did enjoy Minka Kelly in FNL and she was a good fit there, but she isn't the best actress and I really don't see her in a robocop show. But, let's wait and see, maybe she will surprise us.

  • shine5288 Mar 12, 2013

    The fact that ABC Family didn't include Bunheads isn't promising. I hope there will be a season 2. I love that show

  • Silver_Sword_14 Mar 12, 2013

    And... Shawn Hatosy has joined the CBS pilot Reckless. So long, Southland. Thanks to TNT for breathing new life into this great series.


  • Vicky8675309 Mar 12, 2013

    I thought his signing was contingent on whether or not Southland was renewed. I haven't heard it was canceled so maybe he won't actually be in the new show---thinking positive or delusional or I'm just in denial;-(

  • Silver_Sword_14 Mar 12, 2013

    That's because there's still 6 episodes left. All the other seasons had at least one episode with over 2 million viewers, but this season hasn't been so lucky in its new time-slot. Ben and Shawn probably already know this is the end, which is why we might see some of the other actors joining fall pilots as well.

  • Vicky8675309 Mar 12, 2013


  • AndreaMcCooey Mar 12, 2013

    Aww, if its gone I hope it gets a good ending, like on their own terms. Its a great show.

  • Taccado Mar 12, 2013

    Minka Kelly as a human cop will be more robotic than a robot cop. But at last she's pretty. Apparently that counts for a lot when being chosen for a role.

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