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Stop me any time if this sounds familiar: A lawyer at a big corporate firm is denied a promotion, engages in a spectacular meltdown, and finds herself, after a period in purgatory, taking a job as a public defender, uniting her with wacky office mates (including one who’s kinda dreamy) and a new array of unpleasant smells. “Benched” plucks its leads from defunct ABC comedies — Eliza Coupe of “Happy Endings” and “Better Off Ted’s” Jay Harrington — and generally presents the sitcom version of a recycling program. The greatest indignity might be that its unscripted lead-in, “Chrisley Knows Best,” delivers more laughs.
Much like USA’s “Satisfaction,” the outburst by Coupe’s Nina, delivered to a shocked conference room full of colleagues, helps set the plot in motion. Not only does the bridge-burning eruption result in her frequent humiliation — since the legend surrounding the actual event seems to grow »
- Brian Lowry
Houston, NBC has a problem.
Related Unforgettable Cancelled by CBS
The network has decided not to continue production on its midseason comedy Mission Control, THR reports, which was to star Krysten Ritter (Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23) as a strong ’60s woman who clashes with her egotistical astronaut co-worker (The Mindy Project‘s Tommy Dewey).
According to the report, recasting issues are to blame for the cancellation.
Are you disappointed that »
Last night, Deadline reported that NBC is moving forward with a TV series based on the 1989 Cameron Crowe movie Say Anything, which will be written by Justin Adler (Better Off Ted, Samantha Who?). The project is set a decade after the events of the movie, although, thanks to the vocal objections of Say Anything director Cameron Crowe and star John Cusack, the project may now be in jeopardy.
A new Deadline report reveals that 20th Century Fox Television had planned to ask for Cameron Crowe's blessing to move forward with the show, but this never happened due to miscommunication between studio executives. Both Cameron Crowe and John Cusack first heard about the project last night, and took to their respective Twitter accounts to voice their disapproval, with Cameron Crowe even stating that he is trying to stop the show from happening.
Hell no !! “@readdreamwrite: .@johncusack Are you or @CameronCrowe involved with this series? »
Updated: Victory is ours. Put down your boomboxes. Fold up your kickboxing trousers. Wait for the airplane to ding. This is not a drill, and frankly, it’s nearly impossible to believe that this is happening, but here it is: NBC is making a series based on Say Anything, Cameron Crowe‘s 1989 John Cusack- and Ione Skye-starring teen romance. It’s okay if this news is hard to swallow, because even with the recent rash of small screen revivals of beloved properties — think Real Genius, Problem Child and Big – word that Say Anything is getting a new television series seems almost too bizarre to be believed, too weird to be true. Let’s parse this. Deadline reports that the film “is being revisited as a series for Generation Ys.” The new series has been imagined as a single-camera comedy (a comedy, a comedy), which features Justin Adler (Better Off Ted, Samantha »
- Kate Erbland
In the footsteps of MTV's successful Teen Wolf, networks have begun circling teen Eighties movies as inspiration for new television series. It was recently revealed that a show based on Tom Hanks' Big was in the works, and now Deadline reports that NBC is planning a series that would revisit Cameron Crowe's cult romantic comedy Say Anything… for the next generation. The Aaron Kaplan-produced series already received a script commitment from NBC with Better Off Ted's Justin Adler onboard to write it, but immediate objections from »
Here’s a present that’s way better than a pen: A Say Anything TV show!
NBC is developing a sequel series to the 1989 Cameron Crowe film that would catch up with Diane Court and Lloyd Dobler 10 years later, our sister site Deadline reports.
Related Fall TV Spoilerpalooza: Exclusive Scoop and Photos From 42 Returning Favorites!
The single-camera comedy from writer Justin Adler (Better Off Ted) finds Lloyd single after long ago being dumped by Diane. His life hasn’t exactly turned out like he thought it would. But then Diane surprisingly returns home, inspiring him to “dare to be great” once again, »
Twenty-five years after the John Cusack held a bulky boom box over his head and blasted Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes,' Say Anything is returning in the form of a comedy series. NBC has given a script commitment plus penalty to the half-hour, single-camera series from Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV, EW has confirmed. Deadline first reported the news. The series picks up 10 years after Cameron Crowe's 1989 original, which followed Cusack's Lloyd Dobler and his whirlwind romance with valedictorian Diane Court (Ion Skye) during the summer after their high-graduation. According to the »
- Emily Blake
The streak is over! Jesse Tyler Ferguson finally won an award after being snubbed by the Emmys five years in a row — courtesy of “The Queen Latifah Show.” The “Modern Family” star sat down with Latifah, for an episode to air Wednesday, to talk about the show's new season. In this exclusive clip (above), they discussed the fact that he's been nominated for an Emmy every season the show has been on the air, but he's never won. Also read: ‘Better Off Ted’ Star Andrea Anders Joins ‘Modern Family’ as Horrible Neighbor “I'm sort of like the Susan Lucci of the. »
- Linda Ge
Related Cable Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Cancelled? What’s on the Bubble?
Happy Endings‘ Eliza Coupe stars as Nina Whitley, a corporate lawyer who loses everything — her shot at making partner, her sanity, etc. — and is forced to seek employment at the Public Defender’s office. (Gross, right?)
The Dunphys are about to get some annoying new neighbors. Andrea Anders has been cast in a recurring role on season 6 of ABC's “Modern Family,” playing wife to “Treme”‘s Steve Zahn and part of a horrible family who move in next door to the Dunphy family, played by Julie Bowen, Ty Burell, Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter and Nolan Gould. Also read: Emmys Winners 2014: The Complete List Anders is a mainstay at ABC, where she also had starring roles on “Better Off Ted” and “Mr. Sunshine.” She is repped by Gersh and Jr Talent Group. “Modern Family,” which just won its fifth Emmy. »
- Linda Ge
Related Fall TV 2014: Your Handy Calendar to 99+ Season and Series Premieres
Modern Family returns Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 9/8c.
Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well…
Modern Family has cast Andrea Anders for a recurring role in season 6, EW has learned exclusively.
Anders, who previously co-starred on ABC comedies Better Off Ted and Mr. Sunshine, will play Kim, the wife of the horrible family that moves in next door to the Dunphy clan. As previously announced, Treme’s Steve Zahn will play the husband, Ronnie.
Both will first appear in one of the early episodes of the upcoming sixth season.
Modern Family returns on Sept. 24 at 9 p.m. Et on ABC. »
- Natalie Abrams
Well, this is not necessarily the final match-up we were expecting when the Uncanceled Showdown brackets were set up, but the competition has come down to two shows: "Almost Human," which held off a late charge from "Freaks and Geeks" to win the One-Season Wonder field, versus "Jericho," which crushed all comers, including the once-mighty "Firefly" and its browncoat fans. That is, of course, part of the fun of a thought experiment like this. "Firefly" seemed an obvious finalist, but it turns out that the same fans who convinced CBS to uncancel "Jericho" in the first place were able to stomp everyone in their path. "Almost Human," meanwhile, was one of a large group of shows we were considering for the lower seeds on that side of the bracket (look for "Rubicon," "Better Off Ted," "Karen Sisco" and more in Uncanceled Showdown 2: The Uncancelling, sometime in 2015!); it could just as easily have been, »
- Alan Sepinwall
ABC has proven itself capable of delivering creatively strong comedies over the years, though almost all of them don’t last long (see: the late, lamented Trophy Wife, underrated gem Suburgatory, gone-too-soon Happy Endings, very funny Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, subversive Better Off Ted and, looking back further, cult classic Pushing Daisies). It’s too early to tell whether Selfie, starring Karen Gillan of Doctor Who fame, will join that lineup of strongly written, low-rated comedies, but the pilot episode shows some promise, despite a few missteps.
Centering on Eliza Dooley (Gillan), a self-obsessed sales rep in her early twenties, Selfie takes aim at the general public’s crippling addiction to social media. Eliza is “Insta-famous,” having amassed 263,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Out of those ‘friends,’ though, she can only claim to know a select few. Everything about Eliza is built for public consumption, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Where's everyone getting guns? This is Canada!
If your last name is "Butt", then there's really only two things you can be: a cigarette filter manufacturer or a comedian. Brent Butt took the latter route. Stand-up comedy took him into television with two Canadian series, Corner Gas (2004-09) and Hiccups (2010-11), and a feature film, No Clue (2013), that is basically a 90-minute pilot for a detective sit-com. It's a busy field especially and the light Canadian touch is certainly popular in American television at the moment. Shows like Better off Ted, Pushing Daisies, and Psych take the same gentle approach to laughs out of goofy awkwardness and verbal inanity as No Clue. However, this Butt vehicle is a step above those shows by looking sleeker and pushing the jokes without winking at the audience.
- Jason Ratigan
The news of de Rossi’s casting was broken by her wife, talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres. “So annoying when people brag on twitter & that's why I'm not tweeting that Portia just signed on to do a top secret arc on 'Scandal,’” wrote DeGeneres. “Oops.”
So annoying when people brag on twitter & that's why I'm not tweeting that Portia just signed on to do a top secret arc on "Scandal". Oops.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) July 23, 2014
We are so excited to have Portia de Rossi joining us this coming season!
— Scandal Writers (@ScandalWriters) July 23, 2014
De Rossi's breakout TV role was in Ally McBeal, »
About two-thirds of the way through the pilot episode of Working the Engels, Ceil Engel, the family’s matriarch, gestures toward her hardworking daughter, Jenna, and tosses off the line, “Where does she get that bossiness from?” It’s an ordinary enough punch line, and Tony winner Andrea Martin delivers it with a wry turn, but it’s hard to know where the joke is supposed to land. It seems designed to reflect back on herself, but Ceil’s more of a busybody than a boss. Everywhere else in the show, Jenna’s competence is played as a sort of »
- Jackson McHenry
The TV network upfronts have begun and NBC has released its fall schedule. Katherine Heigl‘s political drama State of Affairs will get that powerful time slot after The Voice while The Biggest Loser bumps what has long been a home to comedy on Thursday nights.
NBC also ordered three new comedies including the gay parenting comedy One Big Happy, which stars Elisha Cuthbert as a lesbian who has a child with her best friend (Nick Zano) when he meets the woman of his dreams. It also ordered Mission Control where Krysten Ritter plays an engineer dealing with sexism in 1960s space race. Mission Control also reunites Jonathan Slavin with his Better Off Ted co-star Malcolm Barrett.
The network also put together a last-minute renewal for Parenthood (They first needed to convince the expensive cast to agree to appear in fewer episodes). Furthermore, NBC announced that this will be »
- Lyle Masaki
Just keeping busy before its big schedule announcement on Sunday, NBC picked up a trio of comedies on Friday afternoon, including two from executive producer Will Ferrell. The "Anchorman" star and "Anchorman" director Adam McKay's Gary Sanchez Productions is behind "Bad Judge" and "Mission Control," which will be joined by "One Big Happy" on NBC's slate for next season. Sadly, Ferrell has nothing to do with "One Big Happy," but with Ellen DeGeneres executive producing, it doesn't lack for behind-the-scenes starpower. Let's look at the three new NBC comedies and let's try not to resent that they were ordered while "Community" was cancelled... In addition to DeGeneres, "One Big Happy" is executive produced by creator Liz Feldman and pilot director Scott Ellis. The comedy focuses on best friends Lizzy (Elisha Cuthbert) and Luke (Nick Zano). She's a Type-a lesbian! He's a laid-back straight guy! They've decided that they want to have a family together, »
- Daniel Fienberg
We're many years into the Cult of the Showrunner on TV and nobody would argue, I don't think, that in the vast majority of cases, TV is a writer-producer's medium. And nobody would argue, I suspect, with the notion that on Fox's "The Mindy Project," the driving creative force is Mindy Kaling, who is the creator and star and leads an extraordinary strong writing stuff of comedy veterans. With that focus, I've often felt that one of the industry's least understood figures is the directing-producer. Sometimes, like with a Pamela Fryman on "How I Met Your Mother," that person may end up directing ever episode of a series, so their name is easy to notice and retain. Other times, the directing producer may be a frequent director on a series, but they aren't behind the camera on every episode, which makes their involvement a bit nebulous in the mind of some viewers. »
- Daniel Fienberg
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