News Briefs: NBC Is Looking at a Super Villain Henchman Drama

CRAZY NBC DEVELOPMENT NEWS

... NBC is no stranger to giving odd projects a long, hard look, and the latest unusual show to catch the network's attention comes from Prime Suspect writer Alexandra Cunningham and Friday Night Lights producer Peter Berg. Hench is a drama about a man who provides for his family by becoming the right-hand man for various super villains in the world's weirdest temp job ever. It sounds like a cool idea, but will NBC botch it? Or maye the question is actually, "How badly will NBC botch it?" [Deadline Hollywood]

... Now this is more up NBC's alley: The network is also developing a period drama based on Cleopatra, the Egyptian hottie who slept with most of the Roman Empire's top dogs. Being NBC and all, this take will feature Cleopatra in a world that includes monsters, magic, and powerful gods because why aim for historical accuracy when talking about a historical figure? Where's the fun in that? If Abraham Lincoln can slay vampires, Cleopatra can take on a gorgon or three. [Deadline Hollywood]


RENEWALS AND CANCELLATIONS

... I always love it when there are enough renewals and cancellations to warrant a dedicated section in News Briefs! First, the "good" news. TruTV has renewed Black Gold for Season 5. Will one of you look up this show and tell everyone else what it is in the comments? Thanks! [TruTV via press release]

... VH1 has canceled its reality show Ev & Ocho after star Chad Johnson, the mouthy NFL wide receiver, was arrested on charges of domestic abuse against the titular Ev. Johnson was also cut from the Miami Dolphins for the incident, and his ousting will be part of Johnson's other reality show, HBO's football diary Hard Knocks. Chad Johnson would like a do-over on this week, please. [The New York Times]

... Nickelodeon has canceled Victorious after three seasons. If you'd like to start a Save the Show campaign, ask your babysitter for permission to use her Facebook account. [Deadline Hollywood]


CASTING NEWS

... Actress Kristin Chenoweth has pulled out of her multi-episode stint on The Good Wife after being injured on set when lighting equipment fell on her. She said she's feeling better, though, and you can catch her in the season premiere. [People]

... Jodi Lyn O'Keefe (Prison Break, my dreams) will guest-star on ABC's Castle, and you fans are NOT going to like her. She'll play an entertainment reporter who has the hots for Mr. Castle and potentially threatens any relationship between him and Beckett. Bitch, you better watch yourself. [THR]

... Sean Hayes will guest-star on NBC's Smash for a few episodes, reuniting him with his Will & Grace co-star Debra Messing. He'll play a screen star who makes the move to Broadway. [TV Line]

... Billy Dee Williams (Colt .45) has a cool role on NCIS coming up. He'll play the man who Mark Harmon's character Leroy Jethro Gibbs was named after, a World War II vet. [TV Guide]

... Following up on her terrible haircut, Miley Cyrus has landed a role on a terrible show. The singer will guest-star on Two and a Half Men as a possible love interest for Jake but will probably end up sleeping with Ashton Kutcher. I mean, who can resist his boyish, immature charm? [E! Online]

... Michael Phelps has his first post-Olympics gig: He'll be the new student for The Hank Haney Project, Golf Channel's reality show that features Tiger Woods' former swing coach teaching celebs how to grip it and rip it. Previous stars who've had their swings doctored on the show include Charles Barkeley and Ray Romano. [Business Week]

... Shiri Appleby (Life Unexpected) is joining the cast of Chicago Fire, the upcoming firefighter drama from NBC that's set in... you'll never guess... Chicago. She'll play the ex-girlfriend of Shay, and I don't know why I'm telling you this since you have no idea who Shay is because the show hasn't even aired. I may as well have said, "She plays Commander Moomoo, the alien princess from the Slime Nebula with the power to make waffles with her bare hands." Note to self: Pitch NBC on Commander Moomoo: Super Alien Waffle-Maker. [Deadline Hollywood]


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

Comments (19)
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Also saw Phelps on EPT Pokerstars, he is not a bad poker player maybe he has a decent swing as well.
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I'd totally watch the waffle maker!
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"The Hank Haney Project, Golf Channel's reality show that features Tiger Woods' former swing coach teaching celebs how to grip it and rip it"



Because the show with Tiger Woods would be the Hankey Pankey Project.

Bah dum dum.
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Here's hoping that Hench turns into a musical. Dr Horrible/Evil League of Evil style.
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Tim, honestly, looove your news briefs segment, it's freaking amaze the heck out of me every time! Thanks for awesome work! And btw loved your pitch idea, Commander Moomoo sounds suuuper exiting, totally perfect for NBC, lol! And I simply was laughing under the table after reading about Cleopatra the Gorgon Slayer! And only one thing and one thing only could ever top that, if NBC would make a show where Cleopatra the Gorgon Slayer travels in time and meets Lincoln the Vampire Slayer and they form their own justice league or something similar (of course with other historic figures who enjoy slaying supernatural creatures in spare time), I'd totally watch that, lol... note to self, pitch THAT to NBC, who knows, right, lol
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You're the man, Tim, "how badly will NBC botch it" is quite what I was thinking! :-D Love the choice of picture too, Robert Wagner deserved so much credit for his portrayal of Number Two in those movies. If they played a show like that, tongue in cheek while remaining light drama, I'd definitely tune in. If it's serious, I could see a Henchman show working but it'd be a difficult to have faith that NBC will deliver it well or stand by it if it's good on its own.



Uh, what? They dropped lighting on Kristin Chenoweth on The Good Wife? That's INSANE! They're the best show on network and stuff like that generally doesn't happen to big stars. Bet someone's getting fired over that one.



Castle needs to have outside interests, otherwise it'll be Moonlighting all over again.



Damn, how old does NCIS think Billy Dee is?!?



Oh good, another chance for Miley to yell her lines at a TV camera and mug.
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"Who does Number 2 work for?!" I agree with EsmeBuffay, this sounds more like a comedy gold mine than a serious drama. That's NBC for ya. Will this be their next "The Cape"? I just imagined the sound of a toilet flushing.



Clash of the Egyptian Titans? Might be cool, but don't see it working on NBC. How long before this gets cancelled or pushed over to SyFy, ala Merlin?



Feel so bad for Kristen Chenoweth. It must have been pretty darn awful. Get well soon!
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2 and a Half Men is definitely not a "good" show anymore,,,but it's far from terrible. No worse than most of the crappy sitcoms on the networks, with a few exceptions.
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Hench sounds like it could be kinda cool. NBC then makes it sound like it'll be really uncool.
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Hmm.....honestly, I might watch Cleopatra if/when it's on TV. It sounds like it might have potential.



Also something with great potential: Commander Moomoo!
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sad about kristin... but i trylu hate beckett, so i'm good with that. in a perfect world.... well, in a perfect world i'd be dating nathan fillion, but, in a perfect "castle", he'd start following someone else around. but this type of change only happens in brit shows.



just watched serenity last night. i miss firefly.
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only thing of interest to me is Kristin Chenoweth, but I'm not interested in that show so I don't really care lol



Cleopatra sounds like it might have potential. which means NBC will most likely cancel it right away and not give us the 8+ unaired episodes



at first I thought you said Hankey Pankey project and then I looked again and thought it was Hankey Hankey.. oh well.
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You know Hence sounds like it could be a hilarious comedy. Instead of being about the superhero or the villain it would be about one of the villain's henchmen. I would watch the hell out of a show like that. But a drama about a henchman? That sounds kind of stupid too be brutally honest.
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Ever since Roswell I've pretty much been in love with Shiri. So I'd watch her in anything Including Commander Moomoo. Beauty and free Waffles, what more could a man ask for.
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That's sad to hear about Kristin, I hope she's alright. She's a great actress, a talented singer, and from what I hear just a great person.

As for her role on the good wife, that's also a shame. I would've like to have seen her for a multi-ep arc.
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Hench sounds cool, the basic idea reminds me of one of the better aspects of The Venture Bros., where being a super villain is just another career move, with rules and indifference.
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The only reason Miley Cyrus cut her hair, was for more attention. Just go away already and bring Justin Bieber with you.
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I'm pretty sick of all the bad press Miley is getting for a haircut. I know men (Tim) freak out when women cut off their hair and opt for a traditionally male style, but sack up and get over it. It's her hair, she can and should do whatever she pleases. Now guest starring on Two and a Half Men, that's a move I cannot defend.
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Hench looks fun, but yeah, it being on NBC and all doesn't bode well.



What an interesting career move for Miley...
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