17 items from 2014
ABC has been trying to hit on a lot of fronts lately, but nothing has been a more clear shot at fans of Lost than the upcoming Resurrection. The trailers don’t exactly give you that impression (see sizzle reel below), but they hint that it might be there, as does the general premise.
We watch as Jacob awakes in a rice field in China, clearly in unfamiliar territory. The case soon falls to Immigration agent J. Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps), who only knows that Jacob has made his way back to the United States, but hasn’t spoken a word since he was found. Though Martin is supposed to just drop Jacob off with Child Protective Services, he seems to be getting some information out of Jacob, and when Jacob confirms that he can find his way home, in Arcadia, Missouri, Martin takes him there.
The aging man who answers the door, »
- Marc Eastman
A little white boy wakes up in a field in China and, through the power of rapid plot advancement, winds up on the front porch of a home in Arcadia, Missouri. "I have your son," says the optimistic immigration officer (Omar Epps). "My son died 32 years ago," says the skeptical father (Kurtwood Smith). "Back from the dead!" says the audience (us). The rest of the pilot goes the same way. "You can't be Jacob, Jacob is dead," say the townsfolk. But here is Jacob, alive and with the full memories of the inside jokes and secret hiding places. His parents are old now. His friends are all grown-ups. Some locals are immediately taken with the miracle of it all. Others have secrets!Resurrection, which debuts Sunday night at 9 p.m. on ABC, shares an elevator pitch with the French series Les Revenants (The Returned): What happens to a town »
- Margaret Lyons
Look, I hate to be That Guy who sees an American version of a foreign film or show and just tells you to watch the original. It's such a cliché, and it ignores the fact that American remakes can be wonderful in their own right. (Case in point: "The Office.") Having said that, the only thing of value I can tell you about ABC's new drama series "Resurrection" is that you are much better off simply going to Netflix to stream the first season of Sundance's French import "The Returned." In this case, the American show is not a direct remake of the French one, even though "Resurrection" is based on a book called "The Returned" (which it also uses as the title of its first episode), and even though both deal with isolated communities where long-dead people — in both cases starting out with a child who drowned — come back from the dead, »
- Alan Sepinwall
A busy TV weekend lies ahead, especially where black actors (and non actors) are concerned, since that's the part of this blog's focus. So get ready for an attack of the senses (or set your DVRs). First, originally set to premiere last month, in celebration of Black History Month, Lifetime moved the debut date for its film adaptation of the recent all-black Broadway revival of The Trip to Bountiful, starring Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams, Blair Underwood and Keke Palmer, to March 8, 2014, which is tomorrow, Saturday, at 8/7c. The Trip to Bountiful is based on American playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote's Tony nominated play of the same name, which is set during the final years of the Jim Crow South, and follows one woman's quest to reconnect with her past in order to ensure her family's future. The trailer for the film is embedded below (click on below for the second offering): Second, »
“Resurrection” has such a provocative concept and a well-cast pilot that the temptation is to hang on hopefully for the ride, albeit with a measure of skepticism regarding how much life, renewed or otherwise, the producers can mine from the premise. Dealing with thorny issues of religion and faith while wrapped in a central existential mystery, the show’s real challenge will be how long it can explore the notion of a child returning from the dead, unchanged, 32 years later, and keep it dramatically contained, given what that would truly mean in today’s wired, digitally connected world.
Having been given an Oscar-telecast push, this is one of those ABC projects that deserves ample praise for its conceptual daring, but often winds up disappointing in the execution. Fortunately, a second hour somewhat broadens the show’s riddle, while indicating that any answers will be disgorged slowly. Ah well, humanity has »
- Brian Lowry
Editor's Note: Once I learned that Jason Mott's debut novel had been optioned by Brad Pitt's Plan B production company, many months before the novel had even been published, I immediately reached out to Jason and asked for an interview, to learn more, not only about the novel (which we knew nothing about at the time), but also his background, as well as how a first-time author's novel gets the attention of someone like Brad Pitt, almost a year before it would eventually be published. Jason was kind enough to chat with me soon after I made my request, and that interview was published on this site just over a year ago, in January 2013. Since then, Omar Epps was cast as the series lead, »
- Tambay A. Obenson
A year ago, ABC picked up what was then called The Returned, now officially titled Resurrection, which Paul Lee, the president of ABC Entertainment, shared was one of his favorite pilots; so that's a good sign, right? In March, Omar Epps landed the top role in the serial adaptation of author Jason Mott's debut novel, The Returned.You might recall the December 2012 announcement that Mott's novel had been optioned by Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company, with the goal being to develop a TV drama series for ABC, based on the "high concept" novel. I interviewed Jason soon after that announcement which I was posted in early January 2013 Here, if you missed it. The novel, The Returned, was eventually published during the second half of 2013; I bought a copy hoping to read it before the series debuted, but I'm not going to get a chance to do so, »
- Tambay A. Obenson
A year ago, ABC picked up what was then called The Returned, now officially titled Resurrection, which Paul Lee, the president of ABC Entertainment, shared was one of his favorite pilots; so that's a good sign, right? In March, Omar Epps landed the top role in the serial adaptation of author Jason Mott's debut novel, The Returned.You might recall the December 2012 announcement that Mott's novel had been optioned by Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company, with the goal being to develop a TV drama series for ABC, based on the "high concept" novel. I interviewed Jason soon after that announcement which I was posted in early »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Exclusive: Marlon Wayans and FunnyOrDie.com co-founder Randy Adams have officially unveiled WhatTheFunny.com, an urban-skewing comedy site that now sports more than 1 million unique visitors since a November soft launch. Wayans and Adams’ Sunset Gower-based Wtf Studios is behind the venture, which already has more than a dozen original series and 160 episodes of original content in development. The site and multi-platform strategy that eventually will include Smart TV access is a departure from the usual YouTube channel route, though several YouTube hitmakers are involved in the content, joining Wayans and established Hollywood pals like Damon Wayans Jr and Omar Epps. (Even NFL bad boy Terrell Owens was a good sport and pitched in, starring in a fake Bud Light commercial.) “YouTube is a great way for emerging artists to garner an audience, but a very difficult place to build a sustainable business,” Adams said. “We are helping YouTube artists »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
Marlon Wayans isn't just in movies anymore. The comedian best known as a member of the famous Wayans family has officially launched WhatTheFunny.com, an online video platform focused on comedy. WhatTheFunny is co-founded by Randy Adams, who previously helped found Funny Or Die. Will Ferrell's popular comedy platform seems to serve as at least a partial inspiration for WhatTheFunny, which also features its own in-house video player, a focus on sketch comedy, and well-known talent (such as Omar Epps). Wayans has also made it a point to bring the YouTube community on board. “YouTube is a great way for emerging artists to garner an audience, but a very difficult place to build a sustainable business”, said Adams. “We are helping YouTube artists actually make money by sharing higher advertising revenue with them and giving them an off-YouTube destination for their content. We have reached out to the best »
- Sam Gutelle
Valentine's Day is upon us, and if you have young kids at home and/or forgot to secure a sitter, you're probably going to have to celebrate at home. Perhaps you've been together a while and don't get caught up in the dinner and gifts revelry any more (if ever!). We hear you, and we've got some great recommendations for a lovely romantic movie night after the kids have gone to bed.
For couples who love old-school rom-coms: "You've Got Mail"
Watch on Amazon Instant
Watch on iTunes
There was something magical about Meg Ryan in her Hollywood heyday, and she was once quite deservedly the queen of romantic comedies. Although we adore "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle," this remake of "The Shop Around the Corner" combines our love of New York-set romances, all things Tom Hanks, and the allure of bookstores.
For couples who like some »
- Sandie Angulo Chen
When you think of people returning from the dead, chances are you picture moaning, groaning zombies. This isn't the case in Resurrection, one of the shows lined up on ABC's midseason TV schedule. Omar Epps stars as a government agent trying to understand what's going on when dead people start appearing out of the blue, looking exactly the same as the day they died. Is the creepy premise well executed? I got a peek at the pilot, so keep reading to find out. What it's about: Jacob, 8, wakes up in a rice paddy in China. He doesn't know how he got there, just that he's from a town called Arcadia. When an immigration agent (Epps) takes him home, Jacob recognizes his parents (Frances Fisher and That '70s Show's Kurtwood Smith), but they claim their son died 30 years ago. As everyone struggles to understand what's going on, things take an »
- Maggie Pehanick
Stars: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Tika Sumpter, Bruce McGill, Bryan Callen, Laurence Fishburne, Dragos Bucur, Gary Owen, Jacob Latimore, Jay Pharoah, Benjamin Flores Jr. | Written by Greg Coolidge, Jason Mantzoukas, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi | Directed by Tim Story
As someone who absolutely adored the Ice Cube buddy cop comedy All About the Benjamins I was really looking forward to Cube’s latest buddy comedy Ride Along, especially given that it also stars man of the moment Kevin Hart, whose career is currently in take off. But then (at least here in the UK) All About the Benjamins was something of an underrated gem just waiting to be discovered by those who enjoy the genre; but with this film hitting the top of the Us box office it brings with it a ton of hype for its UK debut, which I had to wonder if it could ever live up to… »
- Phil Wheat
Philip Seymour Hoffman has been found dead in New York City at the age of 46.
His death has sparked an outpouring of tributes from those in the entertainment industry and beyond.
Philip Seymour Hoffman was such a great gift to the world. I am silenced to tears.
— Dane DeHaan (@danedehaan) February 2, 2014
Phillip Seymour Hoffman was not only a genius actor but a kind, generous man Rip
— Andie MacDowell (@AndieMacDowell3) February 2, 2014
So sad to hear about the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman. A brilliant actor. Very kind on the few occasions I met him.
— Richard Roeper (@richardroeper) February 2, 2014
So horrible. Rip Philip Seymour Hoffman.
— Kat Dennings (@OfficialKat) February 2, 2014
Rest in peace Philip Seymour Hoffman. You were one of the best. You're gone way too soon. »
Returning from the dead has been all the rage – sorry – in TV land over the past few years. Of course we have The Walking Dead and several zombie-themed episodes on shows from Grimm to Castle, but lately there’s been a new kind of post-dead series making an appearance, that’s neither zombie-based nor ghostly. It’s people who just simply, inexplicably (at least at first) return from the dead.
There are a few such shows currently in development, but one has been on our screens recently, and another is coming our way in March. The first, the absolutely excellent The Returned, aired on The Sundance Channel in December. It’s a French series with subtitles, but gained quite the cult-ish following – including me – and a lot of critical acclaim. It has been picked up for a second season. We told you back in September that A&E is developing »
- Erin Willard
Marvel's Agent Carter TV series has reportedly hired two showrunners.
Agent Carter - inspired by one of Marvel's 'One-Shot' short films - will follow Captain America's girlfriend Peggy Carter as she embarks on a new career as a Shield agent.
Hayley Atwell - who plays the character in Marvel's movies - is reported to have signed up to reprise her role for the small screen.
Atwell previously told Digital Spy that she would be eager to star in the TV show and "show different sides of Peggy."
"Although she's kick-ass, and she can be aggressive and she can be just as competent as the men, it'd be nice to show that she's a feminist in a way," said the English actress.
"It's not just about her being aggressive... but being »
During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, ABC aired a new teaser for its upcoming "Resurrection," and in case you missed it, we have a look at it right here. The show rises on Sunday, March 9th.
The people of Arcadia, Missouri, are forever changed when their deceased loved ones suddenly start to return. An 8-year-old American boy (Landon Gimenez) wakes up alone in a rice paddy in a rural Chinese province with no idea how he got there.
Details start to emerge when the boy, who calls himself Jacob, recalls that his hometown is Arcadia; and an Immigration agent, Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps), takes him there. The home he claims as his own is occupied by an elderly couple, Harold (Kurtwood Smith) and Lucille Garland (Frances Fisher), who lost their son, Jacob, more than 30 years ago. While they look different, young Jacob recognizes them as his parents. »
- Debi Moore
17 items from 2014
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