Your Mission Should You Choose to Accept It: Make Tom Cruise Viable Again

News of the entertainment world continues apace this dreary near-afternoon. Real Housewives reaches a milestone, Tom Cruise reaches an impasse, and Sigourney Weaver just can't stay the fuck away from aliens, no matter what she does.

In America, everyone just wants to be housewives. As true today as it was in 1958. As evidence, the season finale of Real Housewives of New Jersey won Tuesday night's ratings battle not just in cable, but in regular network television. OK, not in terms of sheer millions of viewers, but at least in terms of young adults. 3.48 million folks tuned in, earning the show a 6 share in 18-49ers, the highest of the night, from any show on the air at the time. Pretty remarkable. Also, pretty goddamned depressing. [Variety]

Poor, heart-faced Reese Witherspoon will soon be taking a deep dive into the horrifying annals of the pharmaceutical industry. Well, not that deep. She'll star in and produce the comedy Pharm Girl, about a wide-eyed young dreamer lady who gets beaten down, hilariously!, by the byzantine and morally corrosive machine that keeps people on unnecessary drugs for their restless legs because everyone wants money. Terrific. [THR]

Yay, we're gonna see it! We're gonna see the "stark" pre-WWI drama about a wicked boarding school directed by shock auteur Michael Haneke (the brilliant Cache, the unnecessary Funny Games)! Sony Pictures Classic has picked up American distribution rights for The White Ribbon, which recently won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes film festival. Oh, and it's in black and white. So. Popcorn flick! [Variety]

Shantel VanSanten, yes the Shantel VanSanten, has joined the cast of the CW's bizarrely successful workhorse series One Tree Hill. She'll play the sister to some other character and I'm sure there will be romantic polyhedrons and everyone who's watching at home will just wheeze and fart and take another hit of Munchos. [THR]

Oh good. The Travel Channel has picked up a reality series called The Streets of America: The Search for America's Worst Driver. It will pit a bunch of terrible drivers in a battle royale in the streets of Los Angeles. Winner kills all. It will be the highest employer on television of women and Asian people. DRIVING JOKES! [Variety]

Perhaps sensing the acrid, cotton-candyish whiff of defeat in the air, fading megastar Tom Cruise has reteamed with Jackie Joyner Abrams to produce the next Mission Impossible flick. No, he's not yet signed on to star in the flick, which would be the fourth in the franchise, so that's still cast in some doubt. Abrams is also not onboard to direct, as his threequel was a box office disappointment. Which is a shame, because it was, in strict movie-makin' terms, the best of the series. Sure MI one was fun but Brian De Palma is also kind of a hack, and we all know that John Woo's ludicrous MI 2 was an execrable failure, so really, MI 3 was the best. Hands down. You just can't beat that opening scene with Phil Hoffman (we're best friends). Anyway, the two might reboot the whole thing and do an ensemble approach, which they tried with the first one (Kristin Scott Thomas! Emilio Estevez!) until Tom Cruise got greedy and hired Jon Voight to kill everyone. [THR]

Aw, old ladies are funny. Sigourney Weaver (did you know that when she and Meryl Streep were at Yale together, Sigourney was the perpetual underdog, always overshadowed by the genius acting machine that is Meryl? It's true! And, sadly, it still sort of is) and Blythe Danner have been cast in the new Simon Pegg/Nick Frost commedia dell'arte, Paul. Flick is about two science fiction dorks who travel to Area 51 and discover a real alien. Then Sigourney busts out and screams "Get away from them, you bitch!" and kills Paul with her Exosquad suit while Blythe stands in the corner nervously reciting lines from Suddenly Last Summer. Oh, Greg Mottola is directing it, so there will probably be dick jokes as well. We're excited. No, really. We are. [Variety]

Image of Tom Cruise pretending to like basketball via Getty