News Briefs: NBC Has Ordered a Maya Rudolph Variety Show (Really!)


VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE 

... Maya Rudolph and Lorne Michaels are teaming up again, but this time it's for a variety show. Apparently, after Up All Night was finally allowed to die, Rudolph was fielding offers from approximately a million people, and she was like "Y'all junk! I want my own variety show!" So naturally, NBC was like, "YES! US! WE'LL DO IT! WE WANT IT. WE HAVE NOTHING ELSE. OMG. PLEASE. WE'LL GIVE YOU THE FINEST MUFFINS AND BAGELS IN ALL THE LAND. P.S. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT MURDER, SHE WROTE? NEVERMIND. VARIETY SHOW IT IS!" And that's how Maya Rudolph landed a new variety show pilot that will air as a special sometime during the upcoming Winter Olympics. [Deadline]


BUSINESS TIME

... Netflix has decided to submit Orange Is the New Black as a drama series for the Golden Globes and the Emmys in 2014. The series has never been a straight comedy, but calling it a drama feels like the equivalent of pulling out of your local 5K to run the Boston Marathon with a broken leg. It's not that OITNB isn't good or even award-worthy, but why would you willingly enter the deeper and more difficult race if you didn't have to (this actually explains a lot about me)? Especially one that already includes House of CardsMad Men, and the final season of Breaking Bad? [EW]

... Speaking of Orange Is the New Black, Laura Prepon will now appear in four episodes of Season 2 to more thoroughly tie up her story, as opposed to the single episode she was slated for. [BuzzFeed]

... Nickelodeon has picked up 40 episodes of the series Go Viral from Ryan Seacrest's production company, which means Seacrest is now infecting the children of our species. It's a half-hour game show in which kids compete in challenges based on viral videos (I feel really bad for anyone who has to do this). As our lovely editor Jen put it: Just bring back Double Dare. [Nickelodeon via press release]

... Gideon Raff, who created the series formerly known as Homeland, and Tim Kring, who created Heroes, are teaming up for a new project. The pair have inked a deal with USA Network for a six-episode drama that's set in Jerusalem and titled Dig. It's an archaeological thriller (I bet you never thought those two words would be paired together, eh?) that was developed by an Israeli production company, and it's the first Israeli-made drama to be sold directly to series for American audiences. The show will film entirely in Jerusalem's Old City and is set to premiere in late 2014. [Variety]

... Listen up, chumps, I appreciate that y'all have made the effort to watch The Originals, which hit a series high last night with 2.38 million tuning in for the series' darkest outing yet, but we need to chat about Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The series only drew 6.6 million viewers this week, which is a shame because it was a hoot and a half over there on ABC. But that means those two shows together only account for 8.98 million viewers, which begs the question: What are the rest of you watching at 8pm on Tuesdays? And don't you dare say Dads. [TV Line]

... Tim Gunn has landed his own no-Heidi-Klum-allowed reality series on Lifetime. Under the Gunn is a new fashion competition show that features Project Runway alums Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung-Chee, and Nick Verreos as mentors, as well as designer Rachel Roy, celeb stylist Jen Rade, and Marie Claire’s senior fashion editor Zanna Roberts Rassi as judges. The first 13-episode run will premiere January 16. [Variety]

... Tales from the Darkside, the 1980s horror anthology created by George A. Romero, is being redeveloped... at The CW? No wait, actually that could work. Especially once you realize that Joe Hill—a.k.a. Joseph Hillstrom King, as in Stephen King's offspring—is writing the pilot and the project is being produced by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, two of the brilliant men behind Sleepy Hollow (and also Fringe). Yes, add in a few good-looking, but mostly indistinguishable young actors and this sounds like a winner. [EW]

... Bravo announced today that we'll be enduring at least another two years of Watch What Happens Live, as host Andy Cohen has signed a new deal with the network. Said deal also includes a first-look development agreement with Cohen's new production company. And in case you were worried, he'll still be around to host as many Housewives reunion specials as you can stomach (for me, that number is zero). [Bravo via press release]

... MTV is retooling The Real World now that it's officially reached "grandparent" age in TV years. The show will returning to San Francisco for Season 29, and producers have decided they really want an on-screen murder this year, so they'll be invited the exes of the seven roommates to live in the house, too! The new season is being called Real World: Ex-Plosion, because MTV is clever. And possibly also psychic, because you just know someone is going to blow some shit up. [THR]

... Discovery and the comedy website Funny or Die are working on a sports docu-series that will premiere in 2014. The project is still untitled, but it stars Mike Barwis, a strength and conditioning coach in Detroit, who will train a different pro athlete every week. The pilot features Tyrann Mathieu of the Arizona Cardinals, a.k.a. the Honey Badger. [Variety]

... NBC is bringing back Last Comic Standing, which is a thing that NBC does when NBC has nothing else to air. [Deadline]


CASTING NEWS

... Matthew Perry will reconnect with Courteney Cox in an upcoming episode of Cougar Town. Most sites would have used this news to bait you with a "Friends reunion" headline, but here at TV.com, we're like Friends? That show was garbage! Haha J/K could we BE any more kidding? (Yes, we could be. Who knows.) [TBS via press release]

... Aisha Tyler has joined Ryan Murphy's new HBO pilot Open. She'll guest-star as Monica, a happily married nurse with a modern take marriage. [TV Line]

... All right, which one of you was it? I'm not angry, I just want to know who thought we all needed see Jeff Probst in the buff on Two and a Half Men. [Today]


Comments (56)
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I don't watch (or DVR) Agents of SHIELD because it runs to 9:01pm (listed as such on the guide). At 9:00, I watch/record Supernatural and NCIS:LA and since my DVR box can't do 3 channels at once, that 1 minute overlap is a problem. So I end up watching Agents of SHIELD a day or two late, using the On Demand. That's the show that gets deferred since that's the show that causes the problem. Stay in your damn time slot!!
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I miss Go On.
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I am obsessed with SHIELD. But apparently I'm the only one :(
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nope you are not the only one :)
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I watch Dads. There. I said it!
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What really sounds odd about a Tales from the Darkside revival on the CW is the actors on the original tended to be old, at least in the episodes that I tended to like, such as Bernard Hughes in the pilot, Eddie Bracken in "Too Stubborn to Die," Keenan Wynn and George Petrie in the episode with the two rich men betting each other their souls, and my favorite episode,"Lifebomb," with Bill Macy. I'm leery of a show on the CW doing adaptations of Goosebumps novels rather than of Robert Bloch or Michael Cube McDowell.

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You know if NBC does Maya's variety show right it could work. she is doing it with Lorne, so you can bet you bottom dollar it will be packed with SNL stars. I do not think it will be a rating hit, but I do think it has a chance for doing well.
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omg I'm sorry judge all you want but I will still watch anything with at least two of the FRIENDS cast together. I love Matty he's my favorite, the Pierce Morgan sub is super funny with Phoebe.
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I would agree about the bring back Double Dare... but I don't want them to ruin it like they did with All That....
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I just want to say that if NBC is going to cancel Dracula in lieu of any of the horrid show possibilities mentioned above, I am so going to be pissed! That is all.
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people are watching NCIS on Tuesdays. I would much rather watch a show about our military than a show about a fictional "army". Besides that, Mark Harmon & Michael Weatherly are just plain hot! :) I watch SHIELD but not live. I watch it on ondemand over the weekend. I haven't watched a show live(except for NCIS & Good Wife) in about 7yrs.
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We REALLY don't need a variety show from Maya Rudolf. She isn't that funny. If television absolutely has to have one, ask Tracy Ulman, or the Wayans brothers to bring back 'In Living Color'.

Reviving Tales from the Darkside isn't that bad of an idea. It isn't all that great either.
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We don't need a variety show period; they're a relic from the 70's when nobody had cable and such an "everybody gets something" program could work. I've seen several revivals attempted by now and all have flopped. Somebody must really be blinded by nostalgia at NBC.
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I agree with you on the whole, about variety shows. But if it HAS to be done, let Ulman or the Wayans Bros. do it. At least they are (were) funny.
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What you're thinking of aren't variety shows, though. They're sketch shows.
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Toe-May-Toe, Toe-Mah-Toe. Same thing, different names. Both are really not needed.
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You would think the creator of Homeland and the creator of Heroes would combine the two for a show about superheroes who work for the government to protect the country. Unless they did and realized it's been done in some form or another in comics already.
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So you would rather have Netflix submit Orange Is The New Black for the best comedy series category then, Kaitlin? Is much more a drama, and I don't care what it's up against, if this is a submission for its first series it's most definitely better then House of Cards, Mad Men and even the final season of Breaking Bad.

And I'm glad season two will feature more episodes with Laura Prepon, I was thinking one episode was no where near enough time to wrap up her characters/ storylines properly.
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I was with you until the Breaking Bad part. Can anything top that final season? Naaaaaaa
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Shield's ratings keep falling because it is generic, bland, safe, cliché etc etc
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Shhh... don't say that out loud before the army of fanpeople jump your gun.
I said it before jokingly but sadly I see that I was right.

Shield is indeed the new Twilight
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judging from the ratings twilight might have more fans that it too
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Holy shit, where did you find a picture of Matthew Perry's grandpa?!?

NBC said "hey, we moved Maya Rudolph up to main character on Up All Night and the show tanked hard, let's just stop dicking around and throw money at her until nobody's watching our network!" Variety show, who the fuck is going to watch Maya Rudolph do the same impression for every character, you know, "kinda Oprah"? She's a fine supporting actress, but holy shit can she not carry a show. Guess which network also aired the Pink Lady and Jeff variety show? C'mon, guess. Did you guess "NBC, the fucking stupidest network to ever get a national license, who clearly cannot learn from their own mistakes"? Then you'd be correct. I can't even tell you why this bothers me so much, but it immediately got under my skin, maybe because it's squandering a talent on a doomed piece of shit show by mistaking connections for talent.

Jen is absolutely right, bring back Double Dare and Marc Summers to host it, and put some internet videos on it to make it fresh.

The last archaeological thriller I enjoyed involved Brendan Fraser and a lot of sand.

Tim Gunn is interesting and funny, I don't think another fashion competition is the answer but at least it means he'll be back on Late Late Show to pimp it.

Oh fuck no, Orci and Kurtzman are hacks and even they know it, they might buy into their hype that their shitflicks sell but they know where they came from, Hercules and Xena, they said as much in an interview (ok, it was at Botcon in a panel, shut up, so I went to Botcon!). I predict shallow junk that's loud and shiny and never lives up to the original, so it sounds perfect for The CW. Just don't ask any kid or adult who has ever enjoyed The Twilight Zone or Tales from the Crypt to expect anything.

Last Comic Standing always devolves into too much reality competition and too little comedy, making it fizzle out. This will be no different.
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SHIELD is tainted with being a procedural that's not Marvel enough for comic book people, and not interesting enough for people who watch NCIS to be drawn away. So where could those ratings have gone, I wonder? To watch paint dry, that's what people would rather do than watch SHIELD at this point, they'd rather go back to using the internet and texting and playing video games and watching NCIS while texting and using the internet than watch SHIELD.

And btw, the real problem with SHIELD at this point is even the negative buzz that's gone silent, people just don't give a crap about it after so many weak outings. Yeah, the sixth one was good, but it wasn't great, so it can't make up for middling quality. To go from The Avengers to Agents of SHIELD is like going from a Corvette to a Corolla, nobody talks about the Corolla, they talk about the Corvette good or bad but they don't get worked up over the Corolla ever, and that's what's happening with SHIELD. Don't believe me? Look at the key demo numbers, they're falling faster than the overall viewership, 12% key demo drop-off vs 8% overall dropoff, what does that tell you? It tells me the demographic most likely to talk about shows on social media has moved on.

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archaeological thriller?? Indiana Jones would technically be this

Marvel SHIELD question, what were they watching, probably not Dads, but NCIS lol, i believe i said something about this very thing in the SHIELD episode review... NCIS is a juggernaut, whether you like it or not... personally, i know the stories are lacking a bit recently, but i am a die hard Abby fan and i need my fix each week :)

nothing else that interesting to me to comment on today... oh well
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The archaeological thriller line is sarcasm...
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SHIELD is likely always going to suffer from mediocre ratings. For a combination of things. 1, the core audience of Marvel fans I would bet tend to watch it online via a streaming site, on demand, DVR or something in order to drop an hour of viewing down to 42 minutes. Second, it is on at 2000 likely for the kiddies to be able to watch it before they go to bed. Normal people have things to do. Me, I am getting back from a work out or a shooting range and hitting the shower or am on a date or something other than TV. On tuesday the only thing I am watching live is Person of Interest. So likely SHIELD is getting the views, just not the live watch views that the tired and antiquated rating system presents. It already got picked up, they are putting out quality material give them a while to figure out how to get the numbers.
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Marvel fans largely aren't watching it. I just had a conversation with my local comic shop about this, the comic readers don't talk about it, the kids don't talk about it, only the industry types and outsiders ask about it. It's off most fans' radars. Keep in mind, On Demand and DVR and the ABC website are tracked by Nielsen ratings, they are taken into account, and yet it's not helping here. I really doubt it's all p2p viewing taking up that slack. People watch NCIS at 3 times the volume as SHIELD, someone is watching something.
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Interesting. So as a comic fan as you seem to be, what do you think is lacking in the show that would potentially bring in Marvel fans and or put it on their radar.
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Marvel has an EXTENSIVE lineup of both heroes and villains that have little to no chance of ever being in a big movie.

Just make a big ass list of them and put one of them on the show once in a while. If I saw the Absorbing Man on my TV I'd have a new favorite show.
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You analysis is wrong Mate ;)

Shield isn't loved by comic (or your average sci-fi ) fans because it's bad. It really is that simple.

Terrible acting, terrible writing, terrible direction.

The plot is the most cliched thing imaginable, the characters are completely one dimensional, the special effects are virtually non existent (seriously, nothing happens) and the humor, when available, is more pathetic than funny.

Believe it or not, we do actually have standards.

Just to explain how bad that show is, I can barely watch it. I hit the "play" button while doing a split screen while doing something else. It really is that boring.

What can they do to peak my interest?

1) Characters have to be interesting. Nobody cares about a generic random science geek or some random bland agent. Give me reasons why they are different than anything else in the genre.

Sky is just some hacker with daddy issues. BORING.
Compare her to the equivalent in other shows, examples:
Willow from Buffy, Topher from Dollhouse, heck even Penelope from Criminal Minds. They have their tiny quirks that make them unique and interesting.

Same goes for everyone on the show.
The only decent one is Colson and even that is getting tiresome.

2) Give us a plot that makes sense. Let a dumb 6 year old read the scripts and if he spot the problems in the script stop and fix them up please. Worst offense ever is the episode where their plane is jacked. Seriously a super terrorist group grabs a known super agent group and still ties them next to each other? Doesn't kill any of them? Or at least keeps them in a coma or put them in a cell, or for crying out loud put a guard near them...

3) ENOUGH WITH THE DUMB AVENGERS REFERENCES
Once or twice it's fun. But they do it every 5 minutes. It's just pathetic.

4) Watch a couple of other secret agents shows and if you see something they all do - maybe you shouldn't do it?
Really, they recycle the dumbest stuff ever. Scene where someone jumps after someone from a plane? Yelling at the lookout for not telling you the bad guys are coming while hitting them?

5) If you want marvel fans to like it... Umm... how about putting what you actually told us it would be about?
You know the stuff in the trailer?

The best episode so far was the one with the fire dude.
It actually made sense why shield would be involved (as opposed to most of their stuff that any law enforcement agency can do) it had some decent fighting sequences and special effects. We also saw the bad guys and their plan actually is decent enough for the role of antagonists.

But the rest of them? Seriously some guys hover in the air because of a virus and I'm supposed to care? Even in Fringe when they had those type of episodes they had a far more interesting atmosphere to them.

What is the virus, who made it, what makes it special etc

Randomly yelling "chitorri" here and there isn't interesting.

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Fantastic points. I think you and Jerk-666 have great ideas and would lead to a fantastic show. I admit compared to other spy type shows it is kind of lacking. And doesn't really as of yet have that Whedonesque stamp on it yet like his previous shows. Perhaps because he isn't directly involved in the day to day.
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Speaking for me, and off the top of my head, but more Nick Fury for one. I tend to prefer the original Fury and not that big a fan of Jackson in roles like this, but still, that would/could be a draw.

An occasional hero/villain crossover, if done right, to show that SHIELD exists in this heroic Marvel world and they have to deal with these guys on occasion with one helping the other, or cleaning up after them from some battle, or holding them accountable for some misdeed, or going after the bad guy, something to bridge the connection.

I don't read SHIELD comics, but have any of these characters of the show ever appeared in the books or the SHIELD team in general? Are they familiar, likeable, relateable?

I think the show is too youth oriented and needs at least one character beside Coulson of experienced age to give it more authority, credibility, and/or depth. How about a Dum Dum Dugan?

Unfortunately, none of this will likely happen, but I would be surprised if it did. The budget would limit heroic special effects or battles. Heroes like Iron Man or Spider-Man would likely never appear on the show , as they are too big box office to be watered down by TV and the actors portraying them would probably not want to do the show or ask too much money. On top of that, I think you would need them to be recurring enough to maintain that interest and relation to Marvel's world. Finally, you could recast these top heroes for a recurring role, but what effect would that have on the movie roles and those actors portraying them or their fans?

Honestly, I think Marvel, Disney, and therefore ABC shot themselves in the foot with this series because of the movies. it's like they decided to do an Avengers TV show based on the movie without the Avengers because the Avengers are only exclusive to the movies, so they had the brilliant idea to use the supporting human characters and background extras instead and they figured Whedon could make them heroic.
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That's the worst idea I've heard all day (and I went to work, so that's saying something).
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Tuesdays are a tough night for networks going against juggernauts NCIS and The Voice. The Originals and Supernatural are impressing holding on to 1.1 demos amidst the stiff competition. SHIELD though is struggling.
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Biggest Loser is the Tuesday 8pm competition for SHIELD, not The Voice.
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Matthew Perry needs his own show that lasts for more than a season.
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True but I can't feel too bad for him after his success with Friends and squillions of dollars.
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So long as he makes time to show up on The Good Wife at some point.
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I don't think he'll appear on TGW anymore... the Mike Kristeva storyline seems to be over :(
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Yeah, Go On should've been renewed.
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More thumbs!!!
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Maya Rudolph is the best, you guys. She should always be on TV. And not playing a straight-woman role like in Bridesmaids.
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I read Tales from the Crypt there for a second and I was CRAZILY excited. I feel like being allowed to watch that at 2 years old is completely why I'm screwed up.
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