News Briefs: NBC Will Spend Three Hours Airing a Billionaire's First Flight Into Space


PLANET LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME

... NBC has announced via the Today show that it will air a three-hour broadcast of a rich man and his two children being shot into space. Who are those people, you ask? Virgin America founder Sir Richard Branson (you may know his name from that time Kate Winslet saved his mother from a fire on his private island) and his offspring, Holly and Sam. The program will cover the maiden voyage/first commercial space flight of Branson and Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo. It's meant to boost publicity for an upcoming NBC reality series in which everyday people compete for a literal trip out of this world, a project that Branson is also involved with. We're T-minus I-don't-know-how-long until any of this happens, as no date has been set. [Deadline]


NOW'S YOUR CHANCE TO RECTIFY YOUR MISTAKE OF NOT WATCHING RECTIFY

... Sundance Channel, which is currently in the midst of airing the horrific (in a good way!) French drama The Returned, would like to remind you that this isn't the first time it's aired a really, really great TV show you might not be aware of. The network's original series Rectify is six episodes of some of the best new TV of 2013, and it will air the first season in its entirety on Saturday, November 23 beginning at 2pm. I do understand that this schedule might conflict with your plans to watch Doctor Who all day, but that's why you have a DVR. Use it. Watch Rectify. Be a good person. [Sundance via press release]


BUSINESS TIME

... I know you probably forgot it again this year, but Mickey Mouse's birthday is coming up really soon. It's on Monday, November 18, to be exact, and he's turning 85. I got him a new pair of shorts. Sigh, sure, I guess you can sign the card (lazy!). Anyway, Disney Channel is celebrating with the first-ever extended episode of the Emmy Award-winning Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts. The special seven-minute cartoon is titled "Potatoland," and follows Mickey, Donald and Goofy on a road trip to Idaho to fulfill Goofy's lifelong dream of visiting the Potatoland theme park. P.S. Did you know that Mickey is currently voiced by Chris Diamantopoulos? [Disney via press release]

... ABC has given a pilot order to An American Education, a single-camera comedy based on the British series Bad Education. Jack Whitehall will reprise his role from the original series, playing an unorthodox young teacher named Alfie Wickers in the U.S. version as well. [Deadline]

... The Voice is giving some power to the people. During the November 12 results show, viewers will have the opportunity to instantly save their favorite artists from elimination via Twitter. Viewers will need to tweet #VoiceSave along with the contestant’s name in order to vote. This is all fine and dandy for viewers in the Eastern and Central time zones, but those who call the Mountain or Pacific regions home will have to tweet their votes during the live East Coast airing in order to make 'em count. [NBC via press release]

... Two words: Psych Musical. USA Network has released a new trailer for the sure-to-be-fun two-hour special that airs December 15 at 9pm. Unfortunately, the video isn't embeddable, so you'll have to head over to TV Line to watch it (after you finish reading the rest of today's News Briefs, though). [TV Line]

... I can't believe it's already time to start talking about what we plan to marathon during that lazy, gluttonous four-day bender we call Thanksgiving. You know, when we pretend we're all thankful to see our families, but really we just wish they'd go back to Indiana so we can watch TV in our sweatpants for 72 hours straight. Anyway, Syfy is gearing up to help us achieve our boob-tubing goals with a two-day James Bond marathon beginning with Tomorrow Never Dies on Thursday, November 28 at 1am. That's followed by a dozen or so other films, including Die Another Day and Casino Royale. And then on Saturday, November 30, the network's got six Star Trek movies on the docket, including Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Finishing out the weekend is the worst movie ever made,  Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on Sunday, December 1 at 8pm (you can probably skip that one). [Syfy via press release]

... Uh-oh, the ratings for last night's amusing (and completely cracked out) episode of Glee tied the show's lowest ratings ever. "A  Katy or a Gaga" drew only 4 million viewers and a 1.5 rating in the adult demo. Ratings haven't been that low since last year's episode that ran the day before Thanksgiving. Yikes. [EW]

... Kristen Schaal (The Daily Show) has teamed up with her husband Rich Blomquist, as well as Chris Miller and Phil Lloyd (21 Jump Street), for American Monster, a new comedy they just sold to ABC. Schaal will star as a misfit from a small town who becomes a celebrity when she goes on trial for murder. [Deadline]

... A few weeks back we told you about Syfy's new reality series Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge, which pits 10 "aspiring creature creators" against one another as they attempt to craft the best and most imaginative muppets in a series of weekly challenges. Well, now we know who'll host the puppet-filled proceedings: Gigi Edgley of Farscape. Additionally, Beth Hathaway, an industry veteran who's worked on films such as Edward Scissorhands and Jurassic Park, and Kirk Thatcher, who designed most of the characters for and co-produced the series Dinosaurs, will serve as judges alongside lead judge Brian Henson. [Syfy via press release]



CASTING NEWS

... Alan Alda will appear on The Blacklist as Crowley, the king of hell a man from Red's mysterious past. [Zap2It]

... Maria Menounos will once again be playing a fictional version of herself on The Mindy Project. During this year's holiday episode, she'll find herself the object of Peter's (Adam Pally) desire. [TV Line]


Comments (51)
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Nov 12, 2013
Oh balls! Jack Whitehall invading America? The horror.
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Nov 10, 2013
-Richard Branson is so creepy to me. To the EXTREME...
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Nov 10, 2013
The Virgin space flight is big news because it's not about some NASA elites going into space, it's about the average Joe going into space--or at least the average Joe with a not-so-average amount of money.

Indy 4 wasn't the worst film, it was Indy 2. Anyone who played Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine (the best Indy game) could see where Indy 4 was coming from.
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Nov 10, 2013
A remake of Bad Education??? Lol didn't only about 5 people watch that. He's good in Fresh Meat but that's it thankfully he doesn't turn up that much on the good panel shows (Mock the Week went south years ago) and chat shows are crap anyway so I've managed to avoid him!
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Nov 10, 2013
You guys are welcome to Jack Whitehall. Hopefully he'll stay over there and stop popping up on every panel and chat show in the UK.
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Nov 09, 2013
Rectify is my everything and it helped fill a little of that gaping hole that Breaking Bad left behind on my soul.
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Nov 09, 2013
I love how Bad Education gets the title An American Education, because obvious jokes.
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Nov 09, 2013
First David Tennant decides to reprise his Broadchurch role in the US version of the show, and now Jack Whitehall is doing the same in the US version of Bad Education? Where is the world going?!
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Nov 09, 2013
Branson probably checking out a new planet to reside before ours go kaput soon enough.
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Nov 09, 2013
Branson in space would only enjoyable if he stays there, I am not in awe about this enormous egotrip, waste of good airtime.
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Nov 09, 2013
Oh, that Kristen Schaal show sounds great! She's very good at playing deranged.
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Nov 09, 2013
Still 'The Daily Show'? What about Kristen Schaal's loads of fabulous voice work? :o
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Nov 09, 2013
Looking forward to the 'Bad Education' remake ... if done right, it could be really good.
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Nov 09, 2013
yes yes yes yes... excited for alan alda on the blacklist! yessssssss!
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Nov 09, 2013
I'm still glad I got pointed to Rectify (and therefor watched it) by that "Breaking-Bad-farewell-Review" here; it's a great show which I had never heard of before – hell, it's not ground-shaking, but what can you do in six episodes?! –, and I'm curious about how it'll go on. I only hope it won't be canceled anywhere in the middle of a just developing storyline...
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Nov 09, 2013
Only NBC could dedicate 3 hours to a guy going up in a plane slightly higher than usual. It's not space if it's suborbital, I says! But it doesn't matter, I'm sure there will be a delay and they'll have pissed away 3 hours on a plane not getting to fly, much less to space. And a reality show where people compete to fly in a tiny tin can slightly higher than most planes? Where do I sign up to avoid watching it???

I recently got Mickey Mouse his tail back as an early present. They didn't mention my name in the press release, did they? Bastards! Jeez.

Kaitlin, didn't you watch the Psych musical at Comic-Con while I was having drinks with Tim and Jen? What did you think? You loved it and should totally rub it in? Sounds good.

Tomorrow Never Dies is not so great, there are likable things like the BMW driven by a smartphone and the Teri Hatcher body double slipping off her glittering dress, and the pre-credits sequence is very fun even if it is ridiculous. Die Another Day is unwatchably mediocre. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is pretty awful but I think we would need some sort of bracketed breakdown to back up that claim that it's the worst ever. Die Another Day suffers from Halle Berry while Crystal Skull suffers from George Lucas (you thought I was gonna say "Shia LaBeauofeux", weren't you).

Chiana is the host of the Creature Shop Challenge? Oh my goodness yes I will now double-watch that!

Alan Alda on The Blacklist? Damn, that's awesome awesome awesome.
More+
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Nov 09, 2013
WOW! NBC, WOW! Talk about a show that your average Joe can really get behind. I know I can not get enough of what these super rich bastards can spend, oh! I mean waste, their hard earned, oh! I mean stole, cash on instead of helping out some of the poor saps they stole the money from in the first place. I'm so pleased that NBC has seen fit to help this greedy bastard with some free cash that I'm sure Mr.Branson will put to good use, maybe he'll buy himself a new island, where the NBC executives who thought this up can vacation. All this while giving NBC's viewers a view of something they will certainly enjoy,. Just when you thought NBC could not possibly get any more pathetic than Celebrity Apprentice and Donald "ORANGE" Trump.
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Nov 09, 2013
NBC, Stands for Nothing-But-Crap, by the way.
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Nov 09, 2013
Or No-Body Cares.
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Nov 09, 2013
The only thing I'll be watching on Thanksgiving is the Turkey.

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Nov 09, 2013
I'm not a fan of reality shows but Syfy's shows (Face off, Heroes of Cosplay, Fangasm) are actually fun. I'll watch this show. Especially if Gigi Edgley hosts, Chiana was my favorite character on Farscape.....after Pilot that is.
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Nov 09, 2013
C'mon, over John Crichton and Aeryn Sun and D'argo and Crais and Scorpius? Damn, there were a lot of good characters on Farscape!
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Nov 09, 2013
I should've put "one of my favorite characters"
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Nov 09, 2013
I watched Rectify when it came out, and you guys really need to get off its balls. Not even close to how good you always proclaim it to be.
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Nov 09, 2013
No it's actually better. However, it doesn't have any superheroes so I can see why it may not be for the every American.
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Nov 09, 2013
Can't see how that SyFy marathon news is news, as the films are old, will likely be edited for TV, have commercials, and have the idiotic pop-ups they do to promote other shows. Why would you want to watch them with all that interference?

Go to Blockbuster and rent the bunch. Oh wait...
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Nov 09, 2013
Bad education is the funniest show in the world. Why why do they have to keep remaking british shows?
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Nov 09, 2013
Just think of the horrific adaptation of Teachers to interpret the writing on this wall.
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Nov 09, 2013
The last thing I want to watch is anything Richard Branson does - let alone spend 3 hours of my time watching him and his kids flaunt their billions by way of space travel. First, I think the world would be better served if he took the crazy money he's sinking into this and gave it to people actually working on space exploration, like as a real thing not just like "oh, yeah, you know what sounds fun? Going to space! Ya, I think I'm gonna do that." Second, NBC is involved so it's either going to be amazing and get cancelled or be horrible and go on for the better part of a lifetime - either way not worth investing my time in.
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Nov 09, 2013
See, I look at it as tempting fate. It's not rational, but all I can think of is the over-hyped coverage of Christa McAuliffe that ended catastrophically.
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Nov 09, 2013
And by "cancelled" I mean that I wouldn't put it past NBC to literally air 15 minutes, and at the commercial break have someone decide to pull it and air repeats of Sean Saves the World.
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Nov 09, 2013
dear NBC, this is why nobody watches you anymore.

and ugh ABC, and everybody else, enough of the US remakes!
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Nov 09, 2013
"Finishing out the weekend is the worst movie ever made, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" -- really? you guys have seen very few movies if that is what you consider the worse movie ever made.... try watching battlefield earth and after earth, than watch crystal skull, it will seem Oscar worthy after those two crap movies...

NBC - wow, didn't think they could make worst tv, but 3 hours to watch a flight into space.... boring....
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Nov 09, 2013
Battefield Earth is a good movie, in the "so bad its good" way, but still very entertaining. After Earth was forgettable and boring. The 4th Indiana Jones is awful because it's a franchise people care about, being ruined for no real reason, not because it's a bad film. (It is also a bad film, but not THAT bad.)

Still not the worst film though. I've seen Disaster Movie.
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Nov 09, 2013
I know exactly what to get Mickey Mouse for his birthday! Entering the public domain! Oh. Wait. I can't. Sigh.
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Nov 09, 2013
Don't understand all the love for Rectify, it was just plain boring
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