Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Hump Day (April 5) TV News

SUPER Lawsuit
Variety reports that the widow and daughter of Jerome Siegel, originator of the comicbook series SUPERBOY, is suing the WB over SMALLVILLE.

A federal judge in Los Angeles has found that WB's show may be infringing on the copyrights held on the Superboy character. The summary judgment also found that Joanne Siegel and Laura Siegel Larson had successfully recaptured the SUPERBOY rights as of mid November 2004.

The lawyer for Siegel and Larson told Variety, "Jerry Siegel's SUPERBOY focuses on Superboy's relationship with his parents and his adventures with school classmates in a small town which, by SUPERBOY #2, was named Smallville."

Warner Bros. said in response that it "respectfully disagrees" with the rulings and will pursue an appeal EDITOR'S NOTE: AND HERE, 'RESPECTFULLY' MEANS IN ASSOCIATION WITH OUR CADRE OF LAWYERS.

AMC's 'Mad Men' Set in Ad Agency Golden Days
Abbey Klaassen and Lisa Sanders

NEW YORK ( -- If you’re nostalgic for interoffice affairs, three-martini lunches, selling cigarettes and sexual liberation, EDITOR'S NOTE: AND, REALLY...WHO ISN'T!? “Mad Men” will be your kind of show. In the one-hour pilot AMC has commissioned about Madison Avenue in the '60s, TV is new media and the Pill and Valium have just hit pharmacy shelves and office desk drawers.

Matt Weiner, the writer-director who created the dramedy, has a more blunt description: “A lot of f**king and drinking and very, very wry and funny.” And ironic, he said. “The people are aware of the fact that what they’re doing is bulls**t.” EDITOR'S NOTE: WOW. SOUNDS A LOT LIKE ADVERTISING IN 06...EXCEPT FOR THE AWARENESS PART.

Onset of 'creative revolution' The show follows Don Draper, the 30-something creative director of the Sterling Cooper agency, “a white, old-fashioned advertising firm that’s about to be left behind” when the likes of DDB, Mary Wells Lawrence and David Ogilvy launch the “creative revolution.”

I was interested in writing something about American men and their complexity, some of which is ugly,” Mr. Weiner said. “There are two conflicting drives: one, to be an ideal father on the PTA ... and, two, to get drunk, laid and smoke as much as possible.” EDITOR'S NOTE: HE'S MAKING ADVERTISING SOUND WAY MORE INTERESTING THAN IT REALLY IS.

If it sounds a bit “Sopranos”-like, there’s a reason. After years of passing around the script to no avail, it landed in the hands of “Sopranos” creator David Chase, who hired Mr. Weiner to write several episodes in seasons five and six of the HBO mob drama.

Real-life admen Radical Media’s Jon Kamen, whose firm is handling production, has read the script as has Hal Riney. And on a recent cross-country flight Mr. Weiner found himself sitting next to the sister of DDB chief Ken Kaess who suggested he show the script to her brother. Unfortunately, said Mr. Weiner, he never got the chance. But he offers an appraisal of advertising that would make the late adman smile.

If you’re into media and idolize business, there are very few things more American than advertising,” Mr. Weiner said. EDITOR'S NOTE: AND YOU 'IDOLIZE' BUSINESS? HOW SAD.

Rob Sorcher, AMC’s exec VP-programming and productions, started out as an advertising copywriter at Benton & Bowles -- “a place that still had all those guys from a previous era.” Despite its setting, he said the show offers a social commentary on today. And AMC is optimistic “Mad Men” will elicit high interest among advertisers.

“I just know that everybody in the mafia’s watching ‘The Sopranos,’” Mr. Sorcher said.

Astin one of 'The Guys' for ABC pilot
Hot off his stint on "24," Sean Astin is in negotiations to star in ABC's comedy pilot "The Guys."

Meanwhile, Jennifer Esposito has been tapped as the lead in Fox's comedy pilot "More, Patience," Lindsay Sloane has landed the female lead opposite Nick Lachey in the CW comedy pilot "She Said/He Said," Roger Bart has joined Tom Cavanagh in CBS' comedy pilot "My Ex-Life," EDITOR'S NOTE: THEY ARE GOING TO KEEP GIVING TOM CAVANAGH SHOWS UNTIL SOMETHING STICKS ,HUH? Emmy winner Cloris Leachman has been added to the cast of NBC's untitled Chris Sheridan comedy pilot, and Paul Michael Glaser has been cast in Fox's drama pilot "Faceless." EDITOR'S NOTE: WOW. PAUL MICHAEL GLASER? ISN'T HE A BIG-TIME PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR THESE DAYS? (I GUESS HE'S LIKE HENRY WINKLER, AND JUST WANTS TO HAVE A LITTLE NO-PRESSURE ACTING IN THE MIX)?

In other pilot news, Marsh McCall has come aboard NBC's comedy pilot "Twenty Good Years" as executive producer/showrunner.

Jeffrey Tambor's latest Development
Another indication that the fat lady’s singing the theme for “Arrested Development”EDITOR'S NOTE: SORRY, BOB.... – in other words, that it’s definitely kaput – is The Hollywood Reporter announcing that star Jeffrey Tambor has already been signed for a new series.

According to the trade, Tambor will co-star with John Lithgow in the NBC comedy “Twenty Good Years” about “two men in their 50s who experience personal epiphanies and decide to make the most of their next 20 years”. EDITOR'S NOTE: LITHGOW AND TAMBOR ON THE SAME SCREEN? I DON'T THINK MY TV SCREEN IS BIG ENOUGH!

On Wednesday, FOX announced that, contrary to rumours that Showtime might be interested in picking it up, there were no plans to resume production on "Arrested".

The Bluth family has left the building.

Arc enemy: ABC's 'Legal' retains Posey
Parker Posey has been tapped for a multiple-episode arc on ABC's drama "Boston Legal."

In a three-episode stint on David E. Kelley's "Boston Legal," Posey will play Marlene Stanger, a recent transfer from another firm. Nicknamed "The Squid" after the only animal in popular mythology that can kill a shark, Stanger is a BlackBerry-carrying politico looking to make partner.


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