The French Are as Dumb as Us

Judging by their taste in TV, this is true. Also today: Jodie Foster embarks on a sci-fi adventure, J.B. Smoove is hitting the big time, so is Olivia Wilde, and another medical show thrills us.

The Mentalist is the most popular show in France. And here we thought they were all smart and cultured and stuff over there! Nope, they're just Mentalist-grubbing foops (fools + saps) like us cornbuttered Americans. Sacre blech. [Variety]

Well-scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste Jodie Foster has used that little bit of taste to wisely choose Neil Blomkamp (District 9) as her next director. She's signed on to star alongside Sharlto Copley ("Have you stayed at the Sharlto Copley? It's far nicer than the Sharlto Fanueil Hall.") and Matt Damon in Blomkamp's Elysium, a sci-fi feature whose plot is a deep dark secret. One assumes, or hopes at least, that Foster will spend at least a portion of the film shooting goons with her Jodie Foster gun, as she so clearly likes to do in movies. That's what her Facebook profile says. "Interests: My Jodie Foster gun. Activities: Shooting goons." [Deadline]

Nickelodeon has picked up a sitcom pilot called How to Rock Braces and Glasses, about a cool girl's fall from grace after being cursed with bespectaclification and mouth-metal, and about how she overcomes the odds and regains social cachet through her music. The show will star a young recording artist named Cymphonique. Yes. Based on that fact, it's a pretty safe bet that the supporting characters will be played by young recording artists Melodia, Percussator, and Demisemiquavera. Also, Wyclef will play her dad. (Get it?) So, aren't you all so excited for How Cymphonique Got Her Groove Back? Ugly Cymphonique? It's going to be symphonic. [Variety]

Hot girl of the moment Olivia Wilde had been added to the cast of Welcome to People, playing Chris Pine's girlfriend. Welcome to People is an interesting title — vaguely reminiscent of Clay Shirky — unless the town that Chris Pine returns to (following the death of his father he discovers his alcoholic sister, Elizabeth Banks, and her twelve-year-old son) is called People. Then it's just annoying and should just be called Welcome to Mooseport or Trapped in Paradise. The movie was co-written and will be directed by Transformers poet Alex Kurtzman, so it's all too possible that the town is actually called People. But who knows. I shouldn't prejudge! Resolutions! So, uh, Olivia Wilde, ladies and gentlemen. [THR]

Here is your important J.B. Smoove news update! There is a lot of J.B. Smoove news today. Well, only two items, but two items in one day is a lot of J.B. Smoove news. The actor has been cast in Cameron Crowe's dramedy (ugh) We Bought a Zoo, about Matt Damon... buying a zoo. Who knows who Smoove is going to play, but one hopes it's a very serious part and not silly or funny at all. So that's kind of strange casting. But strange can be good! The other bit of J.B. Smoove news is that Fox has ordered a show about J.B. Smoove getting a divorce but being too poor to move out of his family's house, so he lives in the basement. He's basically Uncle Joey, except not a borderline-suicidal alcoholic repressed gay man. (Which Uncle Joey was, without a doubt.) Isn't that good for J.B. Smoove? He is a funny fellow and, of course, irrepressibly smooth. [Deadline]

Award-winning playwright (and TV showrunner) Warren Leight is developing a medical series for Fox. Oh good. More medical shows. Can we just go for the gumbo and make a show about doctor cops who try law cases and have wacky romantic relationships and sass-talking mothers? Let's just cover all the bases at once so the world will explode and we'll all be sent to sweet, sweet Elysium. (Not Jodie Foster's Elysium, the old one.)