News Briefs: Alcatraz Hits More Problems

BIGGER NEWS

... Uh-oh, trouble in Alcatraz! The upcoming J.J. Abrams-produced Fox show has lost its showrunner and co-creator Elizabeth Sarnoff over creative differences. The sci-fi-ish drama, about missing guards and inmates at the world's most famous prison, will now be run by Jennifer Johnson (Chase) and screenwriter Daniel Pyne. Apparently this decision was also responsible for the production hiatus the show announced a few weeks back that consisted mostly of re-shoots. The show was considered to be Sarnoff's baby, so this is not a good sign. But then again, the pilot wasn't that good, so maybe it's actually a good thing. Find out next year on Alcatraz! [Deadline Hollywood]

... We're closer to a happy ending for fairy-tale procedural Grimm! NBC has ordered two more scripts of the freshman series, a medium-sized good sign that the network is considering picking up the show for more episodes. So far, Grimm has been a quiet surprise for NBC, ranking near the top of its highest rated series in the 18-49 demo. [Deadline Hollywood]

... NBC is thinking of adding more spooks to its schedule. The network is moving forward on a remake of The Munsters from Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies), ordering a pilot episode. The new take is said to have a darker tone than the original, which was really an oddball family comedy. Fuller is also developing the series Hannibal–about the infamous cannibal–at NBC. [EW]

... TLC is taking flight (hee hee) with Southwest Airlines for a new reality show. The docu-drama will show the behind-the-scenes goings-on at the Greyhound bus of the skies because everyone has run out of ideas for reality shows. This is the second unscripted program featuring Southwest; A&E; aired Airline in the middle of the last decade, which included such happenings as people too drunk to board a plane and an old man who pooped his pants. Can't wait for Pan Am to steal that storyline. [TLC via press release]

CASTING NEWS

... Meryl Streep's daughter Grace Gummer has landed a guest role on NBC's Smash, which is sadly not about the Hulk, but about the making of a Broadway musical. No details on her role, but I'm going to guess that at some point she'll break out into some song that your girlfriend loves. [Variety]

... Saturday Night Live alum Nora Dunn will stop by ABC's upcoming comedy Don't Trust the B----Apartment 23. She'll play a businesswoman who takes on June (Dreama Walker) as an intern. If you are wondering the "B----" in the title refers to, it's "Bacon."[EW]

... It's former Saturday Night Live female cast member casting day! Jane Curtin, the sketch show's ignorant slut of the '70s, has a new regular gig on CBS' Unforgettable. Curtin will play a member of the Queens police department with a vast knowledge of New York crime. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Estelle Harris, who played George's mom in Seinfeld, will recur on NBC's upcoming abomination Are You There, Chelsea?. She'll play the grandmother of fellow guest star Natasha Leggero. [TV Guide]

... Desperate Housewives' Roger Bart is joining Revenge for a major role. He'll play Mason Treadwell (really?), a journalist that's written a tell-all about Long Island high society. Look for him in episode 12. Bart was also in The Event where he played President Martinez's aid. Remember when the old man shot himself to make Sean the new alien-hunter? God that show was terrible. I miss it. [EW]

... Ugly Betty's Becki Newton (meow meow!) will guest star on How I Met Your Mother as a love interest for Neil Patrick Harris' Barney. Becki Newton is ON FIRE hot in case you were wondering where I stand on the situation. [TV Line]

... Happy Endings has cast Max's on-and-off-and-back-on boyfriend, and I'm a little too excited about this. James Wolk, who was GREAT in the short-lived (understatement) Fox drama Lone Star, will fill the role. Max is awesome and Wolk is awesome, so this, by the Accumulative Law of Awesomeness, is doubly awesome. [TV Line]


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (29)
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Hmm... well Chase sucked but I guess that was mostly due to poor acting (at least in the first two episodes, I never managed to watch more than that), so let's hope Alcatraz doesn't suffer too much from losing a co-creator.
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Nice dig at "The Event", LOL.
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How GRIMM! Keep the puns coming TV.com. They are SO PUNNY! (not) (Has "not" jumped the shark already?) A friend told me "jumped the shark" has "jumped the shark" and I told him that saying "'jumped the shark' has 'jumped the shark' has 'jumped the shark'"
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The Munsters is sounding amazing, can't wait!

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Nice news about Grimm, hope it lasts. Am not liking these work stoppage news about Alcatraz. And please NBC leave The Munsters alone, you'll just ruin it.
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good news for grimm b/c i love that show
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Good for Max (Happy Endings) -- and it would be nice if Fox released 'Lone Star' on DVD/streaming (why let those unaired episodes go to waste?)
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Yay for James Wolk appearing on Happy Endings. Perfect fit!
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good for Grimm, James Wolk, and Becki Newton. Really loved Pushing Daisies and Bryan Fuller is good but i have 0 interest in those shows.
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I love Grimm. I hope it will go on for a long time......
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Yey for Becki! Missed her on TV since Ugly, hope she has time to work now after her mommybreak.
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I'm still P'd off about her show Love Bites being cancelled after NBC decided to run the shows without much publicity this past summer.
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Let Darlton take over Alcatraz!
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It's looking more and more like Alcatraz may never make it to air. If it does I think we can expect it to be held until next fall, much like Terra Nova was last year. Although that didn't seem to work out well for Terra Nova.



The last Munsters remake wasn't all that good. But Brian Fuller does know how to do good horror comedy. It would be tricky though since many of the writing elements of the original series would work on television today.

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Doesn't look good for Alcatraz... but the positive news about Grimm are nice! And anything about Happy Endings is awesome =)
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I don't care much for the fact that they're adaptations/remakes, but I do have some trust in Bryan Fuller. Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies were both cool enough shows that I'll give Fuller the benefit of the doubt. Of course, it also probably means both The Munsters and Hannibal will get cancelled early.
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I was really looking forward to Alcatraz. I wouldn't be suprised if it keeps getting delayed after this and we don't see it for another year (a bit like Terra Nova).



Great news about Becki Newton, she's adorable and really funny so she'll be great on HIMYM.



Not sure what to make of he Munsters. I saw a few episodes as a kid and thought it was OK, but it was never good enough to make me tune in regularly. I'll just wait & see with this one.



As for Grimm getting only TWO more episodes, yesterday you (Tim) said "It doesn't mean the show has been renewed and it doesn't mean the show has been canceled." regarding the news that A Gifted Man is getting THREE more episodes. Is the message different depending on your opinion of the show? Or is it an NBC vs CBS thing?

Personally, I haven't watched a single episode of A Gifted Man and I've only watched the first two episodes of Grimm - I'll be suprised if either make it to season two.



And finally, what's with the title changes for Apartment 23? The whole title is too long and it's going to end up being cut to Apartment 23 by critics and veiwers anyway. Anyway, I'm actually looking forward to it, which probably means either it will be terrible but get a full season order (like Whiny... sorry, Whitney) or it will be good but get cancelled (like Free Agents).
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Really bad news for "Alcatraz".. =(
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I believe that J.J. Abrams knows what should be better for this show. But Chase? Really? Why didn't he ask someone from CSI or Law&Order? I believe they should ask someone with more sci-fi experience. On the other hand she was one of the writers for Lost. Let's hope for the best!

Very glad for Grimm! Why didn't NBC order full series? And move it for another day. It's Friday rankings are higher than most of its shows.
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definitely bad news for Alcatraz. Damn. I was really excited for it too. I'm pretty sure Chase was terrible and got canceled, right? She's definitely the right person for the job then. Honestly...

Happy to hear Grimm is doing well. Except it needs to move into a different time slot and stop stealing potential viewers from Fringe and Supernatural.
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yay for grimm! please NBC, please do not ruin the one and only show I watch in your channel.. I am doing my best and avoid your shows to prevent myself from anger and heartbreaking regarding cancellations of good shows (obviously you are well known for doing that), but this one, I really like it, please dont ruin it..
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Happy Endings is great. Glad it is getting noticed. As for The Munsters, I am all for it. Love the family, love Bryan Fuller, and can only imagine what this new route will take us. But it will only be cancelled because NBC SUCKS GIANT BALLS.
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Chase was pretty blah so I'm not happy to hear Jennifer Johnson is taking over as show runner. Oh, and Hannibal on network TV? That should go over about as well as the Playboy Club did.
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"Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" has got to be the worst title of a TV show, ever.



Yes, even worse than "Cougar Town."
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wasn't the name of the show simply "apartment 23"? which was much simpler, and actually better? so what, do the younger audience feel more into the show when the word b.. is in the title??
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I am always skeptical about remakes of shows. Munsters though has Bryan Fuller he will do amazing things with this show I just know it.
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Even though "The Munsters" remake is neat to consider, I really hope it doesn't get picked up. That series is EPIC, and a disappointing remake would be a mockery to the Mockingbird Lane gang. Plus, a "darker" Munster family? They were never really dark; they just lived the way they did, which seemed normal to them. If anything, "The Addams Family" '60's sitcom was "darker" in that the characters engaged in gruesome activities for fun, like laying on a bed of nails. Regardless, please don't update "The Munsters." After news of a potential remake of "Bewitched" and now this, Hollywood is really trying to ruin classic TV for me.
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It's a little offensive that they have the arrogance to do something like that. I am not sure it has ever worked in movies or TV. Hawaii Five-O bugs me that they had to use the same characters rather than maintaining the unit itself with a new generation of characters to carry on its purpose with their own personalities and quirks, if any, plus new tag lines like "Book 'em Dano". Bringing in new actors to replay McGarrett and Wo Fat was needless and beyond lazy, to say the least.



I can't see how a new Munsters would work. A remake some time back failed after a season. I think I saw only a few episodes. The way they originally took classic Universal monsters and twisted it into a comedy the way they did is borderline genius and I can't see anyone but Fred Gwynne as Herman.



Pushing Daisies was not that great. I think people liked the idea more than its actual execution. I kept wishing they had made a private detective series with Chi McBride as the lead instead - For me, he was the best character on it. I can't see Fuller doing any better on Munsters. Will Eddie be an adult now? That might be a good idea. He might actually do better with a new take on the Addams Family though. They actually had a pretty extensive one he could play with, as far as ideas are concerned, particularly if he does go "darker".
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Yeah, "The Munsters Today" remake in the '80's was disastrous, to say the least.
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