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Diablo Cody and Oprah Have a Comedy in Development at HBO

Diablo Cody and Oprah Have a Comedy in Development at HBO
In an interesting pairing, "Juno" writer Diablo Cody has teamed up with Oprah Winfrey on a comedy project in development at HBO, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Based on Dr. Julie Holland's upcoming book "Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You're Taking, the Sex You're Not Having, The Sleep You're Missing and What's Really Making You Crazy," the untitled potential series will look at the up and down sides to the prescriptions so many people are on.  Series creator Cody will write the script and executive produce alongside Winfrey and her Harpo Films production banner, which has a development deal with HBO. Its other projects at the premium network include "These Things Happen," a family comedy based on the novel of the same name by Richard Kramer, and a drama from Thomas Bradshaw about the first African American president of a small liberal arts college. Read More: Diablo Cody
See full article at Indiewire Television »

HBO is turning another book into a TV series, this time a family comedy

HBO is turning yet another book into a TV show. The network is developing a comedy series based on These Things Happen, a novel by TV writer-producer Richard Kramer (Thirtysomething, My So-Called Life). Released last fall, These Things tells the story of two couples—one gay, one straight—who live in Manhattan and share a 15-year-old son, Wesley. While Wesley mostly lives with his mother and doctor stepfather, he moves in with his father and his longtime partner for a semester to try to get to know him and his best friend, Theo, who just came out. And that’s ...
See full article at The AV Club »

HBO Developing Modern Family Comedy Produced By Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo

  • Deadline TV
Exclusive: HBO has put in development These Things Happen, a half-hour comedy based on the first novel by TV writer-producer Richard Kramer (Thirtysomething, My So-Called Life). The pay cable network has optioned the book, published last fall, for the comedy project, which will be produced by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Prods. under the company’s deal at HBO. Kramer will write the script and executive produce. These Things Happen is set in present day Manhattan and focuses on two couples – one gay, one straight. They share a 15-year-old son, who lives on the upper East Side with his mother and doctor stepfather. Trying to get to know his impressive, distant father better, he moves in for a semester with him and his long-time partner who forms an instant friendship with the boy.
See full article at Deadline TV »

Link Bowl

AP the inventor of Etch-a-Sketch has died. If I still had one still, i would draw you the saddest frown right now. Unhappy about this!

YouTube "Upside Downton Abbey" via Sesame Street

Playbill interviews Sebastian Stan who has now made a name for himself on all three actors mediums: film, tv, and stage (with Picnic, previously discussed)

BuzzFeed why The Amazing Spider-Man sequel will prove to be a bizarro version of Spider-Man 3 

Comics Alliance this made me lol'an extensive discussion of Batman punching animals'

Salon Richard Kramer remembers his mentor Pauline Kael

/Film Matthew Modine has had his diaries from Full Metal Jacket made into an iPad App. Great idea.

Carpetbagger Wreck-It Ralph scores at the Annie Awards

Empire Johnny Depp might finally play a non cartoon again. He could attend Black Mass, a true story crime drama, with Barry Levinson directing. He's done this genre before to varying
See full article at FilmExperience »

Alastair Reid obituary

Director of television drama, including the ground-breaking Tales of the City and Traffik

Alastair Reid, who has died aged 72, was one of Britain's finest directors of television drama. In 1989 he directed all six episodes of Simon Moore's epic drug drama Traffik for Channel 4, which won him both a Bafta and an International Emmy. The Oscar-winning film Traffic (2000) was based on the mini-series; the consensus among critics today is that Alastair's Traffik is the more successful of the two productions.

In 1991 he directed the five-part Selling Hitler, adapted by Howard Schuman from Robert Harris's book, with Barry Humphries as Rupert Murdoch and Alan Bennett as Hugh Trevor-Roper. Then came Tales of the City (1993), an adaptation by Richard Kramer of Armistead Maupin's novel set in the San Francisco of the 1970s, and the only instance to date of an American drama series being entirely funded by a British broadcaster – Channel 4.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Chiller: The Complete Series DVD review

Even if you watched it, it's unlikely you'll ever remember the 90s supernatural horror/fantasy series Chiller originally shown in 1995 on ITV; There's a good reason for that. Recognisable writers and well-respected British actors make everything look good on paper, but watching the five episodes suggests they were nothing more than early pre-fame career-building work for the majority of the cast.

Set in London and flashing back to a Ouija board séance, Prophecy is the opening story. As Francesca's friends drop around her, she comes to realise her new boyfriend's son, Edward, may have something to do with the tragic bout of accidents. Prophecy relies on the lead's Catholic religion and her boyfriend's (Nigel Havers) family history. As a sadist and paedophile, Marquis Francis Halkin is the “black sheep” of the family and somehow young Edward seems psychically linked to him. The eerie Halkin family motto “Non Omnis Moriar” (“I
See full article at Shadowlocked »

'All I Want for Christmas'

'All I Want for Christmas'
All Paramount is likely to get for Christmas from this kids' feature is a pleasing yuppie demographic -- not many happy kid viewers but the titters of approval from all the right adults, with all the right toys. Too bad it's not for the Thursday night time slot watched by the oat bran and Beemer crowd; as a movie, the only thing it's likely to generate on Saturday afternoons is long bathroom lines of bored kids.

Still, it's tempting to praise Paramount for realizing it doesn't take a couple of years to crank out a back-lot movie. But expeditious excellence cannot overcome tired scriptwriting. While its Christmas boxoffice stocking may be pretty much limited to lumps of coal, the captivating title alone will ensure rentals.

Unfortunately, kids aren't going to sit through this thing unless an authority figure is camped right next to them to ensure attention -- it's goody-goody and it's boring.

The story of two WASPy rich kids who miss their father (their parents are divorced), ''All I Want for Christmas'' is a modern-day family story in which, typically, the family is a bit broken. But Mom Harley Jane Kozak) still loves Dad (Jamey Sheridan) although he's been going through a midlife crisis, presumably some sort of lost-youth thing since he's established a 1950s restaurant.

Anyway, the kids want him back; indeed, he's a definite improvement over Mom's current beau, a financial geek.

Certainly, getting the family back together for Christmas is a laudable narrative goal, but screenwriters Thom Eberhardt and Richard Kramer have concocted a movie that is more wishy-washy adult melodrama than a thoughtful, robust kid's movie.

All too often, the dialogue is stilted way beyond the kids' years, while the drama itself all too often replicates big people's movies -- discussions about modern art, restaurants, relationships -- all the neurotic stuff of the self-absorbed set.

Worst of all, the two lead characters are not likely to generate much empathy from the kid crowd: the boy is bland and the girl is a prissy, butt-in-front-of-the-line twit.

And it's not simply because they're children of privilege. John Hughes' tykes are privileged but are full of beans and all the crackling stuff that kids love. It's because there's a decidedly silver-spoonish quality to the writing that tarnishes the heartfelt potential of this project.

Although the story line does accelerate into a pleasing high-speed ruse that the kids orchestrate to get the parents back together, it's not particularly involving or even logically clear.

Under Robert Lieberman's cautious and static direction, ''All I Want for Christmas'' comes across as a movie package overwrapped by the Correctness Council. Those great nutrients, slapstick and visual humor, are kept to a maddeningly minimal level (the only positive kid audience reactions came here) and can't quite burst the film's hoity-toity bubble.

Among the players, Lauren Bacall is a delight as the acerbic grandma; Harley Jane Kozak is well-cast as the patrician mom, while Leslie Nielsen is wasted as a nondescript Santa.

Tech contributions, despite some obvious mattes, are up to snuff with special praise to Bruce Broughton for the energetic, traditional score.

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS

Paramount

Producer Marykay Powell

Director Robert Lieberman

Screenwriters Thom Eberhardt, Richard Kramer

Executive producer Stan Rogow

Director of photography Robbie Greenberg

Production designer Herman Zimmerman

Editors Peter E. Berger, Dean Goodhill

Co-producer Vicky Herman

Costume designer Nolan Miller

Music Bruce Broughton

Casting Judith Holstra

Color/Stereo

Cast:

Ethan O'Fallon Ethan Randall

Hallie O'Fallon Thora Birch

Catherine O'Fallon Harley Jane Kozak

Michael O'Fallon Jamey Sheridan

Stephanie Amy Oberer

Lillian Brooks Lauren Bacall

Santa Leslie Nielsen

Running time -- 92 minutes

MPAA Rating: G

(c) The Hollywood Reporter

See also

Credited With | External Sites