Try as she did, her presence on air last night didn't get people worked up. Also today: Matt Dillon gets a juicy role, Angelina finds her leady lady, and two favorite Lost actors are getting together for a new show!
Let's do the ratings tango again. Last night was Wednesday which means ABC's Gentle Family Comedies Plus One Bizarrely Raunchy Show About Old Ladies Talking About Sex And Getting Tangled In Plastic Chaise Lounges programming block. The Gentle Family Comedies did well, with Patricia Heaton's oddly likable The Middle pulling in 8.81m viewers, which is a record for that show, and Modern Family riding the Emmy-buzz wave to a sweeeeet 12.6m pairs of eyeballz. Unfortunately, the old ladies got extra tangled up in their chaises, even though they enlisted the help of one very famous old lady. Yes, Cougar Town could only parlay Jennifer Aniston's celebrity cameo into 8.35m viewers, so it got bested by The Middle, whose biggest guest star last night was Doris Roberts, a very old lady. So there you have it, ladies and germs. Doris Roberts is officially a bigger star than Jennifer Aniston. Look for her to start dating John Mayer. A comedy called Better With You premiered last night too but it was so bad it's not even worth discussing the numbers. In other ratings news, J.J. Abrams' newest spy show Undercovers disappointed with only 8.57m, and the wonderful Maura Tierney's not-so-wonderful return to television, The Whole Truth, completely tanked with only 4.91m. So that and Lone Star could easily be the season's first casualties. [TVByTheNumbers]
Well, the good news is that a good piece of theater writing is going to get more attention. The bad news is that Roman Polanski is going to be the one to give it attention. The fugitive director has just cast his adaptation of the stage play God of Carnage, about parents warring about their kids, but mostly about each other. The cast is quite impressive! There's Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, and... Matt Dillon? Good for you, kiddo! From Takers to a high-brow play adaptation directed by an Oscar-winning director starring three Oscar winners! That is pretty, pretty impressive. Sure the part I'm assuming he's going to play is something of a brute, and he is a bit brute-ish in face structure and voice and whatnot, but it's still a good acting opportunity for the guy what wore them falsies in There's Something About Mary and who, y'know, is in the movie about people who take things that's called Takers. So good for you, Matt! Bad for you, everyone who keeps giving Roman Polanski money to make movies. Ah well. Artistry knows no legality, I suppose. The original play was set in Paris, but when it came to Broadway it was changed to Brooklyn, now that it's with a half-American cast I'm pretty sure it'll be set in New York still, but will have to be filmed in Paris, because of y'know the Polanski stuff, so it's going to be a play changed from Paris to New York that films in Paris. Whee. [Deadline]
Elizabeth Banks, America's go-to actress for things that are like "Eh... let's just hire Elizabeth Banks", has joined the cast of Man On a Ledge, which is about a woman standing safely inside her apartment. No, silly! It's about a man, on a ledge! Banks will play the psychologist tasked with getting the man on the ledge (Sam Worthington) off of the ledge. With Sam Worthington that should be easy. "Sam, I have some CGI monsters for you to kill down here!" "Are there robots too?" "Of course there are robots!" "Oh crikey, that sounds great! I'll be right down!" "No, take the staiirrssss!!" SPLAT "Aieee!!!!" Look for the 2013 sequel, Man Off a Ledge, about grief. [Variety]
Whoa. J.J. Abrams has just sold a show to ABC that stars Lost friendz Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson. Whoa!! They are playing retired spies sort of. No, silly, they're not married to each other (I don't think?) like on Undercovers. It's to be called Odd Jobs and might be about "suburban hitmen." So it's True Undercover Red Lies or something. But still, those two! This is reason to be excited, wouldn't you agree? [NYM]
Famous actress Angelika Jorfman, known to her friends as Angelina Jolie, has found the leading lady for her directorial debut, a love story set during the Bosnian War. She has tapped Zana Marjanovic, one of the stars of the hit Bosnian sitcom Lud, Zbunjen, Normalan. God!! Why isn't LZN on Netflix Instant Watch yet??? I'm like two seasons behind and it's killing me. Will Izet Fazlinović ever calm down and learn to be nice to people? Will Samir Fazlinović ever get caught for his crazy scams?? I need to know. God do I love Lud, Zbunjen, Normalan. Anyway, Marjanovic also starred in the critically acclaimed movie Snow, a drama, so she has the chops to do what Angelika needs her to do. [THR]
Often called the Mike Leigh of American cinema for his quiet and almost fussy humanism, director Rob Zombie has begun work on a new project. This one is about the working-class Massachusetts North Shore town of Salem, where regular folks live regularly until one day some new women show up to town and throw everything out of whack. Of course, those women also happen to be 300-year-old witches, so. It ought to be a pretty moving film, in a slow and subtle way, much the same as Zombie's wistful road trip movie The Devil's Rejects was. In the future I think we can expect, as Leigh did with Topsy-Turvy in 1999, Zombie to eventually make a prestige period film, perhaps a remake of The Turn of the Screw or an original work, something called Dr. Fistfuck's Old-Timey Machete Massacre. Y'know, something for awards season. [Deadline]