News Briefs: J.J. Abrams Is Developing Westworld for HBO

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... J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan (the executive producer of Person of Interest, and also the brother of some guy named Christopher Nolan) are developing Michael Crichton’s cult film Westworld for HBO and probably a lot of money. Westworld was a 1973 film about an android in a futuristic Western-themed amusement park, for those of you (me) who have no idea what what the hell I'm talking about. Someone in the know, please tell me if I'm missing out by never having seen this film, and whether or not you are excited by the prospect of it coming to your TV. [Variety]


... Former Chuck executive producer Matt Miller is re-teaming with Zev Borow, a former writer for the NBC series, for a new cop drama. Bad Guys is about an NYPD detective named Lea Morris who is also a single mother, and her father, a recently paroled ex-con who wants back in to her life. The project just landed at Fox. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Showtime has acquired Jay-Z's Made in America documentary about the two-day Budweiser “Made in America” festival he organized in Philadelphia last year. It will premiere Friday, October 11 at 9pm, for those so inclined. [Showtime via press release]

... The series finale of Futurama on September 4 will be validated by an online pre-show and a post-show, both hosted by Chris Hardwick because duh. The pre-show will feature series creator Matt Groening and executive producer David X. Cohen, as well as several cast members. It will begin at 9:30pm. The second half-hour will feature co-executive producer Patric M. Verrone and supervising director Peter Avanzino, and will be available immediately after the series finale ends. [THR]

... Robin Wright has directed an episode of Season 2 of House of Cards, but Kevin Spacey has not. Suck it, Spacey! [Indiewire]


... Ben Feldman (Mad Men) is, much like every other good-looking male these days, heading to The Mindy Project. He'll appear in multiple episodes as an arts and culture writer who thinks Mindy's tastes are kind of terrible. But because this is The Mindy Project, he's also a love interest for Mindy. I'm not keeping track of how many that is this season, but me thinks it's time to create a chart. [TV Line]

... Josh Groban will guest-star in an upcoming episode of The Crazy Ones, CBS' new comedy starring Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and James Wolk. Groban will not be playing himself like Kelly Clarkson does in the pilot. He'll be playing a character from Sydney's (Gellar) past named Richie. [EW]

... Russell Tovey (UK's Being Human) has been cast in Looking, HBO's new half-hour comedy about a group of gay men living in San Francisco. He'll play the recurring role of Kevin, a kind of video-games wunderkind who achieved financial success at a young age. So he's basically J.P. from Grandma's Boy? [THR]


A few weeks ago a bunch of people in Connecticut called 911 when their cable went out during Breaking Bad. We understood their frustration, but still thought they were total whack jobs. But now that pesky state is back in the news for heckling Dave Chappelle so bad at Funny or Die’s Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival that he straight up quit performing. Shame on you, Connecticut. Get your act together. You're ruining it for the rest of us. [EW]

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