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Lifetime (ended 2013)


HOUSE OF CONSPIRACY THRILLERS

... Gone Girl director David Fincher has finally discovered what the rest of us already know: that television is better than movies! The House of Cards director—who just finished work on a film adaptation of Gillian Flynn's novel Gone Girl—is reuniting with Flynn to adapt the British thriller Utopia for HBO and Shine America. HBO has already ordered Utopia to series, and it's about a group of people who super hardcore fans of a graphic novel. After discovering that a sequel exists, they go searching for the manuscript, and the hunt helps them slowly learn the meaning of the book. Fincher will both direct the pilot and serve as an executive producer on the show. [Variety]


BUSINESS TIME

... CBS chief Les Moonves has confirmed that Elementary and The Big Bang Theory will relocate to different nights this fall, now that CBS has acquired Thursday Night Football for eight weeks. Told ya so! [Deadline]

... When Lifetime announced in September that it was divorcing the long-running series Army Wives, the network also promised to send the show off with a retrospective special. Army Wives: A Final Salute will air Sunday, March 16 at 9pm and include interviews with Kim Delaney, Sally Pressman, Wendy Davis Brigid Brannagh, Sterling K. Brown, Terry Serpico, Brian McNamara, Drew Fuller, and Jeremy Davidson. I assume all of these people were on the show, but for all I know, they could just be random strangers pulled in off the street. [TV Line]

... Fox has ordered Will Forte's new comedy Last Man on Earth to series. Forte is both the creator and the star of the comedy, which follows one man's journey to save the human race. Uh, bro, I think you might need a little help with such a task! [Variety]

... U2 will perform "Ordinary Love," from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, at the Oscars. Fun fact: The last time U2 performed at the Oscars, the band lost the Academy Award for Best Original Song to Eminem, who won it for "Lose Yourself." Somewhere out there, Bono is talking trash about Frozen and just praying that the Academy doesn't love "Let It Go" as much as the rest of the world. [ABC via press release]

... truTV has greenlit The Safecrackers, a new unscripted series that follows the lives of two Alabama locksmiths, Phil Crawford and his buddy Blaze (no official confirmation on whether that's his birth name or a self-proclaimed nickname, but I feel confident that it could be either). The duo can apparently break into the world's toughest vaults, and starting on March 24, they'll spend six half-hour episodes traveling the country and unlocking some antique safes that no one cares about, just like this series. BOOM. [truTV via press release]

... The first guests for Late Night With Seth Meyers—which premieres Monday, February 24—are as follows: 

Monday, February 24: Amy Poehler, Vice President Joe Biden 

Tuesday, February 25: Kanye West and author Robyn Doolittle

Wednesday, February 26: Kelly Ripa and Brad Paisley

Thursday, February 27: Lena Dunham and Anthony Mackie

Friday, February 28: The reigning kings of friendship Sir Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, and Sophia Bush 

[NBC via press release]



CASTING NEWS

... Cristin Milioti, who's currently starring as How I Met Your Mother's titular Mother, just landed the female lead in A to Z, the new NBC comedy pilot from Rashida Jones. She'll play a character named Zelda in the show that tells the story of a relationship from the meet cute to the inevitable break-up. [TV Line]

... Donal Logue (VikingsSons of AnarchyTerriers) is the latest actor to join the rapidly expanding cast of Gotham. He'll play Detective Harvey Bullock in the Batman project, which has a series commitment at Fox. At this point, I'm feeling pretty good about Gotham, even if it is another comic book series. [Warner Brothers via press release]

... OMG, OMG, OMG. Sharknado 2The Second One is getting better and better with each passing day. Tara Reid and Ian Ziering recently agreed to return (because they need the money, duh), and now they're being joined by Not Sugar Ray Mark McGrath, Vivica A. Fox, Kelly Osbourne, Andy Dick, Judah Friedlander, and Judd Hirsch. I really hope Andy Dick is playing Andy Dick, if you know what I mean. [Deadline]

... Jeffrey Dean Morgan (SupernaturalGrey's Anatomy) will guest-star in the season finale of Showtime's Shameless. He'll play Charlie, Fiona's boss at her new job at a diner. [EW]

... Grimm has booked C. Thomas Howell (Southland) to play the role of FBI agent Weston Steward in Episode 18. He'll become very important to Alexis Denisof's Prince Vikton when he needs some "issues" taken care of rather quickly. [TV Guide]

... Oscar Nuñez (The Office) has joined the cast of Benched, USA's new comedy series starring Eliza Coupe, a corporate attorney-turned-public defender. Nuñez will play another public defender and a co-worker of Coupe's. [Deadline]

... Juliette Lewis has joined the cast of Secrets & Lies, which has a 10-episode commitment at ABC. There's no word yet on what the part entails, but the show is an adaptation of the Australian mystery series of the same name, and follows the prime suspect in the murder of a young boy. Ryan Phillippe and Natalie Martinez are also set to star. [EW]


SAD NEWS

... It's another sad day in the entertainment world; comedian and actor Sid Caesar has passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 91. Finding fame through Your Show of Shows when it debuted on NBC in 1950, Caesar was an accomplished comedian and went on to appear in several films, including It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Airport 1975, and Grease. [CNN]


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 6/9/2013

Season 7 : Episode 13

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So i've just watched episode two where the site www.thedawnloads.com appears in the end and %#!(%! appears in the beginning ;) im really frustrated about this whole episode... how can things like this happen im going back to game of thrones!
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Isn't calling Fincher "the House of Cards director" pushing it a bit? He directed ONE episode.
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Don't do it HBO, you can't, there is just no way you can. Utopia is special, deep genius, you can't remake it. Force your audience to watch the UK version and use your money for making something else instead of wasting time. Again: DONT do it. Or I'll send Arby after you.
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Why does HBO keep teasing that they're going to the destroy the things I love. First "Monster" now "Utopia". These things are good enough that they don't need Americans redoing them! It doesn't bother me that Wilson Wilson or Jessica Hyde have British accents. If anything it makes it cooler. The main thing is that "Utopia" ENDS. THERE ARE ONLY SIX EPISODES, and those six episodes tell the story perfectly, I don't see it being imporved upon.
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From Utopia:

"I'm going to run chilis into your eyes. Then sand. Then bleach. Then I'm going to use the spoon. Do you know what I do with the spoon?"
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I largely enjoyed Utopia, its one of the better quirky and offbeat drama's coming from Channel 4. If it's done as well as the Being Human remake and they stick to the same story, it should be good.
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There's a person named "Not Sugar Ray Mark McGrath"?
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I didn't like Utopia. It was a somewhat interesting idea, but it was poorly carried out. The characters and the acting weren't that great, and the details of the story weren't that impressive either. I hardly remember any of them. (I think I would have if they had been good). So I think the best way to make this good is to change it a lot from the original.
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I rather liked the original quite well, but I didn't like it so much that I wouldn't love to see a budget thrown behind it, with a great director and some awesome acting talent. Just because you love a book doesn't mean you can't buy a nicer, sturdier copy of it!
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I agree. The trouble with a lot of British drama that I find off-putting, is the low budget, impoverished feeling. Or perhaps its just that the scenery/environment is miserable. Whatever it is, its one of the reasons I preferred the US remake of Being Human and the main reason I'm interested in seeing a US version of Utopia.
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I honestly think if the US version of Being Human could have gotten Aidan Turner from the UK that nobody would have had any reasonable complaints about the series. Especially having seen the god-awful abomination the UK series became after he left...
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You kinda summed up what Utopia was, but not really. You didn't use the words conspiracy theory, creepy, unsettling or purposely vague, parts were interesting but much was odd, I had friends who thought it was one of the best UK dramas in years, me not so much although it was worth watching. I have this idea of how it would be done for an American audience who are already over the top when it comes to conspiracy theories and I don't hold out a lot of hope, something about it was uniquely British.
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Such is often the case with most British shows. Sure, that seems obvious since they're set in Britain, but much of their sensibilities, planning and reactions are all very British and thus, often very foreign to those of us outside of Britain.
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I still have nightmares from this show.
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You know what I'm gonna do with the spoon Mr. Fincher?
serious though I think an American remake can actually work.
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No. It can't. Not unless youre the kind of drooling tubstain who thought "Under The Dome" constituted television.
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Wow, the original Utopia is already amazing in my opinion, curious if HBO can exceed the quality.
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They can't.
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Holy crap, our own Tim Surette won the viewer Hashtag Wars for tonight's @Midnight!!! Congratulations, Tim!!!

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I would be excited, but I have to ask....what the heck is Hashtag Wars?
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On @Midnight, which I encourage you all to watch and enjoy, one segment is to create a hashtag and have the contestants and the audience on Twitter and wherever else come up with jokes that fit the hashtag. So in Tim's case, the hashtag was #SexyVideoGames and he came up with the most popular one on Twitter for that day.
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So it's some tv show with real people that focuses on Twitter interactions?
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The show is @Midnight on Comedy Central, Monday through Thursday at Midnight, and it deals with all the day's social media, not just Twitter. It's awesome.
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Staff
Mistress Pac-Man.

What did I win?
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Staff
Thanks!
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PS - ew, that's naaaasty.
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PPS - I know this is a Kaitlin-authored article, but it's also the most recent site news article.
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Very newsworthy!
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As the original Utopia was very very British with very typical British characters, they only way of remaking it so the (standard) US viewers can understand and like it, is to do a complete overhaul and only leave the basic storyline intact. This might make it into a completely different story that even might be interesting if they do it right. Just like the side stories of The Bridge were in the end the most interesting stories and they differed from the original series.
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It'll be very interesting to see if they keep the colour scheme and ultraviolence. I don't think that the original is that British (in an exclusionary sense), but it will need to be broadened, for sure.
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Feel like I should watch the original Utopia so I'll know how outraged to get over the remake.
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Or you could read the recaps... :)
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Or how outraged you'll be over the original.

Onscreen torture, elementary school shootings...
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Not to sound callous but those elements aren't that unusual on U.S. TV. If that's as bad as it gets then it's probably less controversial than say American Horror Story.
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That will never be in the US version, can't imagine it. As horrible as some scenes were, they were integral part of the story. I can't even imagine that the US version would turn the camera away and keep the suggestion of the school shooting alive.
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Oh, it's HBO. I'm not so sure they might go for it...
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Echoing Rolamb: you definitely should.
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Oh yeah, you should. It was really strange but also good.
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Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock? AWESOME! Gotham keeps sounding better.
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Utopia was clearly a very English production inside and out; so I'm not overly worried about a US version, as it's got to be such a different entity. I'll give it a go to see if it has the balls for the 'out there' themes and 'mature' content. Or should I say, if HBO does.
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While I might be in the minority of enjoying the larger majority of British shows adapted for American audiences (Shameless, The Office, Being Human, The Inbetweeners, etc) I'm still super excited about the Utopia news. Fantastic slow-burn series that was way smarter than it lead us to believe early on. And with HBO green-lighting it, its practically already a hit!
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Realllllly really REALLY looking forward to the Andy Dick getting munched by shark gifs.
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despite my being the only shameless fan here WWWHHHAAATTT TTTHHHEEE EEEFFF??? you just non-chalantly spoiled shameless. fix it for others FFS.
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Yeah, that really throws a whole lot of the current story for Fiona around. Still, JDM is on SHAMELESS!! WOOO!!!!
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Aaaaaahhhhh! You're tearing me apart America!!! Utopia was basically perfection, why remake it? But it's HBO and David Fincher and that also sounds amazing!
Rather than remake it why not make a Utopia series that continues the story of the original while also working as a standalone series? There's plenty of smart people out there who could make that work I'm sure.
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I think after Season 4 of Torchwood went stateside most everyone is terrified of crossing borders with storylines. While I truly loved Utopia and can't wait for season 2, just the news of Fincher and HBO has me WAY more interested than I was when Utopia UK first premiered.
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You should've mentioned Last Man On Earth is by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, aka The Greatest Writers in Hollywood.

Clone High, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, The Lego Movie. And the Brooklyn Nine-Nine pilot. They have never let me down.
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Hear, hear. Forte's presence could be fun, but their involvement is what immediately raises it to the top of our "Must Watch" list.
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That US version of Utopia is going to be pretty much like the reboot of Robocop: it's probably going to be very good (yep, the reboot is actually good), but, when you're going to ask yourself "Was there really a need for this?", the only answer you're going to come up with is NO... which going to make the whole thing pointless.

You know, exactly like Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Pointless.
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Just read a comparison between the old Robocop and the new one in my Dutch newspaper (Paul Verhoeven is Dutch, that's why they did it). They also think the new one is good enough, but different because it is more adapted to what the people (and especially kids) of these days can handle. Where Verhoeven's film was one of the eighties and he also wanted to shock (like nude female in opening scene to show police in the future have mixed dressing rooms, explicit violence) and the film was R-rated. The new film shows no nudity, the camera always turns away before any violence and the tone is far more serious. Research by the US marketing bureau Ipsos last year showed that Hollywood has become very prude. The film is PG-13 rated which opens it for the bigger audience. It has lost a few things that made the original one great in the process.
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Saw the reboot at an advanced screening on Monday.

No nudity; no actual swearing (Sam Jackson gets bleeped towards the end); it's violent, but you barely see any blood, so it's more implied than anything; the take on Murphy's family is very different than it was in the original - they're actually there and ain't going anywhere... One thing that doesn't make a lick of sense, though, is the super-nice suburbs where Murphy and his family lives - NO WAY such a place exists around Detroit right now, let alone in 24 years! Let's put it this way: Robocop is more believable than this neighborhood. For real.

All and all, a pretty good movie... but, as that crazy/angry guy at Screen Junkies predicted, it would have been way more enjoyable if it wasn't called Robocop. At such, though, it's not coming close to be as good as the original.
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In reality, there are a number of 'super nice' suburbs around Detroit. Rochester Hills, Bloomfield Hills & Rochester are a few examples.

Alot of people make false assumptions that since Detroit is an armpit, that everything around it must also be an armpit. That's just simply not true.

Anyway, unlike the original Robocop that was filmed in Dallas & Pittsburg, the new one apparently had a few scenes that were actually filmed in Detriot, but most of it was filmed in Toronto & Hamilton...odds are, the suburbs shown on screen were up there in Canada.

Still, the point remains that Detroit does have some really upscale suburbs around it
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... Gone Girl director David Fincher has finally discovered what the rest of us already know: that television is better than movies! The House of Cards director—who just finished work on a film adaptation of Gillian Flynn's novel Gone Girl—is reuniting with Flynn to adapt the British thriller Utopia for HBO and Shine America.

This is just silly.
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Silly - Adj.
Definition: FUCKING AWESOME!
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I meant the phrasing is silly. :)
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Oh... well, there is that, yeah.
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I think it's amazing that Amy Poehler and Joe Biden are on the same night. Hopefully some Parks and Rec magic will reappear ;)
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I expect Americs Utopia to be as horrible as American Skins and American The Inbetweeners and pretty much American version of almost every British show.. I think Being Human might be the only exception, off the top of my head. it's going to HBO so that probably just means it won't suck AS hard.

oh look CBS, you just made me IGNORE YOUR ENTIRE CHANNEL EVERY THURSDAY FOR EIGHT WEEKS. way to be!
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You should go watch the US version of Shameless and have your opinion, and your entire life rocked off its foundation!
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right, there's that too.. which I didn't even know was an American rrmake of a British show until sometime during season 2. I think that, Being Human, and The Office were the only decent remakes.
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Well, it's David Fincher who IMO, has an excellent track record with adaptations and remakes. ie. Fight Club, Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, House of Cards.

Utopia was freaking bonkers. I'm actually really excited for this.
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Yet another overseas remake? ::facepalm:: Speaking as an American,according to our network execs, we are a culture of giant, hairy, self-centered pussies. There's no need to Americanize what's already a good story, except to pacify what's rightly perceived as our collective weak-ass egos that simply can't be bothered to understand English when spoken with a different dialect

Why fix a show that ain't broken when it's the audience itself that needs fixing?

Air more Overseas shows in their original form & people will adapt & bring their ratings with 'em
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About the only time that happens is when Syfy imports Canadian shows that look completely American, or when PBS Masterpiece airs Sherlock or Downton Abbey. Neither exactly draws in the kind of ratings you get from fully Americanized shows. You can fix the world, or you can adapt to it. The network execs have opted for the latter.
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SYFY never counts because it's SYFY & PBS gets a pass because PBS is expected to import shows (& I happen live in the ground zero mecca of PBS'osity known as KERA) what I'm talking about is that American Networks need to grow their own balls & force some change.

NBC tried it one summer with Merlin, but as it stands now, the best bet we've got is Doctor Who.

What I'm sayin' is, Stop Americanizing shows altogether, & begin to honestly acclimatise Americans to foreign programs. Overseas, they consume our shows just fine...we should be doing the same in a reciprocal sense , except for the fact of the stereotype that we as Americans still hold a bullshit superiority complex about our own media & wrongly assume that only we can retell a good story to our own.

fuck that outdated stupidity
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While I fully admire your intentions and would love to see such a reality, I fear such an attempt is essentially the same as firing a cannonball at a brick wall and expecting the bricks will make room for the cannonball amongst them.
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French 'kids' have recently been reported to go for English shows and films in, drum roll, English to 'get' the real intended form of pieces. Seems ironic - oh, wait, what is irony?!
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Utopia is perfect as it is!
Sid Caesar and Shirley Temple both die relatively close in time and it's just a footnote? That's so sad!
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Well, he didn't die with a needle in his arm, so Hollywood isn't competing to see who can be the most heartstricken over the tragedy. No press, no scandal = footnote. You're right. It's sad.
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Perhaps someone should check with the local police CSI team to see if there were an unusual amount of lollipop wrappers. I did hear Sid had diabetes...
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Gotham is going to be awesome!!! I love this cast of characters. If they add Montoya and Sawyer I'm gonna cry. But like, really manly tears. While I scream in a Batman voice.
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Your faith in this is almost inspiring. I on the other hand think it's a train wreck waiting to happen, despite the casting. I wish it had just been about the Gotham Police department with no "baby" Bruce.

I hope you're right and I'm wrong.
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Well, we don't know the extent of his involvement yet. It might not even be that big. Did you ever read Gotham Central? It's awesome. I really hope they take a note from that.

Also, no one is really mentioning that the guy doing it created Rome. He's also the son of the screenwriter who wrote Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? And the brother of the woman who wrote Notes
On A Scandal
. Good writing is just in their DNA.

Then again, maybe my love for all things Batman (except you know, Batman & Robin, I'm not completely crazy) has blinded me to the reality of the show's prospects.

orrrrr GOTHAM IS GONNA BE TOTALLY AWESOME!
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Funny you mention Gotham Central, because this looks like it will be absolutely nothing like GC and is sounding more and more like Smallville: Gotham City. But possibly with more focus on Gordan than on Wayne.
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Nooooo. HBO and Fincher are some of the best options possible if this has to be done, and everybody says this about "originals," but Utopia is great as is and is still new. That said, I guess maybe the US version miiiiiiight wanna change the school shooting thing because that's quite a touchy thing around these parts. But whatever, the news is still better than hearing it would be remade by any other network.
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I think my anticipation is built more on the fact Utopia is a great story, so the idea that they're taking a great story, and adding a great network, a great director, and likely a great budget and a great cast to it only makes me more excited at this news.
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