British people make the best vampires, they also make good crooks. Pirates are all the rage! As is crazy Glenn Beck. An HBO pilot gets more interesting by the day, while Showtime finds none of its pilots worth keeping.
Oh here's what the whole Twilight fiasco needed: a touch of class. Lauded British actor Michael Sheen has joined the cast of the sequel, in which he'll play the leader of the Voltrons, a dangerous sect of vampires that are sparkly and wear high-water pants. Or something. [Variety] Speaking of classy British types, Ray Winstone, Anna Friel, and David Thewlis have all joined the cast of London Boulevard. The crime drama stars Keira Knightley and Colin Farrell and is being filmed in London this summer. It just shits sophistication! [Variety]
FX is capitalizing on the whole pirate craze, just as any self-respecting cable network ought to do. They've just green-lit a pilot for Pirate Hunters: USN (because initials are so hot in TV right now!), which follows Navy sailors as they sail the seas, stop pirates, and make careful, tender love to each other down somewhere in their bunks, buried in the belly of the ship. [Variety] In other pilot news, Showtime has decided to make it 0 for 4, passing on their final possible series for next season, Possible Side Effects. The show, written and directed by Tim Robbins and starring Josh Lucas, was the last of a quartet to be turned down by the premium cabler, following End of Steve, The Farm, and Ronna and Beverly. Instead Showtime has picked up, for cheap at a flea market, reruns of Arli$$ and Carnevale. [Variety]
Good news for NBC! Their new drama Southland set out on fairly sturdy legs on Thursday night, the first drama to air in that night's 10pm slot since e.r. came rumbling out of the gate allllll the way back in 1994. It earned 9.86 million viewers, winning the night in all key demos. The show's actually not half bad, I recommend giving it a look-see. Also Parks & Recreation held on to 88% of its Office lead-in, though it was certainly buoyed by the second new Office of the evening waiting just beyond it. It'll have a tougher time holding onto those numbers once My Name Is Earl returns to the 8pm slot next week. [Variety] In other businessy news, Sundance Institute executive director Ken Brechner has resigned from his post after 14 years. This comes after the recent news that festival director Geoff Gilmore has resigned to head up the Tribeca Film Festival. Sundance getting too big? Too corporate? To stagnant? Restless and in need of a change? Probably a little of all of that. [THR]
In case his bellowing from over there on Fox at 5pm isn't quite loud enough, populist horrorshow Glenn Beck is taking his act on the road. He'll be doing six live performances in June, touring such liberal hotspots as Houston, Kansas City, and San Diego. He calls his act "poor man's Seinfeld," but I call it "poor man's insane agitator, pitchfork supplier, and torch lighter." [Variety] While on the topic of imbalanced, worrisome people, animal nut Jeff Corwin has landed a deal with the Food Network. Apparently attempting to compete with the Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods, Corwin will travel the globe eating weird stuff. He'll also spend some time staring unblinkingly at the camera, smiling insanely. [THR]
HBO's new pilot The Wonderful Maladys, about three siblings who lost their parents at a young age, just keeps getting more interesting. Already making me curious for starring the wonderful trio of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Molly Parker, and Nate Corddry, the show has now added the underused Adam Scott (Party Down) and Zak Orth (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, recently) to the cast. Consider me intrigued. [THR]