Welcome to a new feature here on the blog, the Morning Links. With these posts, I’ll provide you with some interesting television-related news items culled from the various TV websites I frequent on a regular basis with a slight bit of commentary attached. Pretty straightforward – no fuss, no muss. Onto the links:
*Pretty big potential Walking Dead spoiler in that Jon Bernthal, who plays former deputy sheriff Shane Walsh on AMC’s apocalyptic zombie drama, is reportedly the leading candidate for the new Frank Darabont-helmed TNT cop drama called LA Noir. According to The Hollywood Reporter, TNT picked up the pilot for LA Noir – a period mob drama set in 40s & 50s Los Angeles – and Darabont is eyeing his former Walking Dead castmember for his new show’s lead role. As The AV Club points out, when you take into consideration the rumors that one actor or actress wanted out of their contract on The Walking Dead following Darabont’s ouster by AMC, that the Shane character seems to have taken a villainous turn in the first half of the show’s second season, and that (SPOILER ALERT) Shane actually dies in the comic book series that The Walking Dead is based on (END SPOILER ALERT) it seems like there’s a whole lot of smoke around this potential fire.
*The AV Club’s Todd VanDerWerff is off with yet another of his excellent episode-by-episode interviews with a television showrunner. This time it’s with Homeland co-creator Alex Gansa and part one of the four part series was posted on Tuesday. Well, well worth a read if you’re a fan of the series. If haven’t gotten around to watching the #5 show of 2011 on the Jeremy Likes TV Top 13.5 Shows Of 2011, consider this a big, fat spoiler alert. Bookmark it for after you’ve caught up.
*Fox seems to have a modest hit on their hands with Alcatraz. In its third airing on Monday night, it managed to drop just nine percent in the coveted 18-49 demographic after debuting as Fox’s highest-rated drama in three years. Now if it could just get a little weirder – like it seems it wants to – we might actually have something interesting on our hands.
*NBC picked up a bunch of pilots on Monday evening, the most interesting of which seems to be the medical drama County from Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood). While it’s true that medical dramas are usually pretty dime-a-dozen, the fact that this one is being helmed by Katims – whose track record on his past two shows is damn near impeccable – and stars Jason Ritter (Parenthood) in the lead role of a drama that follows doctors and nurses at an underfunded LA hospital makes it more than your average doctor drama. In case it gets picked up to series, maybe don’t get to attached to that Mark (Ritter) and Sarah (Lauren Graham) having a baby thing on Parenthood.
*One other NBC pilot of note – Greg Daniels (The Office, Parks And Recreation) will be leading the adaptation of another successful British series called Friday Night Dinners, which follows two Jewish brothers in their twenties who visit their parents for traditional Shabbat dinners. Daniels has had success adapting series from the UK in the past and this one sounds at the least *somewhat* interesting.
*Speaking of interesting projects, all I needed to see was, “Bill Lawrence will write, direct, and produce a single-camera comedy for Fox,” to know that I was in. After Scrubs and Cougar Town, I’ll follow Lawrence anywhere. The new potential series is reportedly based on Lawrence’s relationship with his father.
*You know how there seem to be various new series with the same concept every year? Two years ago it was twentysomething couples in various stages of relationships (Perfect Couples, Traffic Light, Happy Endings). This year it was dramas that used fairy tales as a backdrop (Once Upon A Time, Grimm). Next fall? Beauty And The Beast adaptations. Uh… yay?
*30 Rock star Tracy Morgan collapsed at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday night. Morgan seems to be fine after the incident, blaming his condition on the altitude difference. Even money that this is a 30 Rock plotline in the very near future.