The Ominous Return of Dane Cook

America's number one shirtless comedian is headed to the small screen. Also today: Good news for a Lost actress, good news for a lost actor, bad news for CAA, and challenging news for Mel Gibson.

  • Dane Cook! Nobody likes him. Well, no, that's not true. Many people like him. But comedy purists, the Luna Loungers of this world, they decry him for being a hack and a joke thief, a voraciously gobbled lump of Cheez Whiz to their delicately savored cave-aged gruyere. This is to say that he's a somewhat polarizing figure who, after a string of ratty movie bombs (Good Luck Chuck, My Best Friend's Girl, Mr. Brooks), seemed to have lost the war. But! He also managed to turn in a surprisingly low-key and enjoyable performance in Dan in Real Life a couple years back and recently he addressed the joke-stealing controversy head on in an admirably frank and respectable scene on Louie. So the guy's crawling back, earning some cred on his way. And now he's just signed a deal with NBC that would, likely, see him develop a half-hour sitcom for next year's TV season. So it could either be classic Dane Cook rock 'n' roll air quotes, or it could possibly be newer, gentler, seemingly penitent Dane Cook. Could go either way! Though, because it's on NBC, I feel like the latter is not terribly likely. [TV Line]
  • Aha! On this, the 5772nd anniversary of Christopher Columbus discovering the Jewish Americas (that is what this Rosh Hashanah thing is all about, right?), we hear that someone else has decided to make a movie about the origin of Hanukkah. I say someone else because, as you may remember, beloved friend of the Jews Mel Gibson is already working on a similar movie. So we've got dueling Maccabee projects! Like the cases of Armageddon v. Deep Impact and Volcano v. Dante's Peak before it, this Hanukkah hullabaloo ought to be interesting. Though this latest project, which already has a completed script written by a frequent HBO films writer, could end up a TV miniseries rather than a full-length feature, so maybe they're not competing at all! Gibson will have his big multiplex Armageddon attention, and this other thing will basically just be Michael Biehn running around screaming at the sky. [THR]
  • Hm. I. This is. Interesting. In a secular way. I mean, nothing weird or untoward or whatever, you know. Grant Gustin, a Broadway actor who looks like this has been cast as the new gay villain on Glee, a "male version of Santana in that he's both promiscuous and kinda-sorta scheming" who goes after Blaine. So, yeah. Glee now has a hot gay slut character. Good grief! I guess that's progress? Too bad he's a villain, but whatever. I just. Hm. I. Yeah, I'm going to go chain myself to the radiator now just to get it out of the way. [TV Line]
  • There's trouble in Hollywood agency paradise, which of course is not paradise at all but rather a miserable snarling pit of anger and money and empty, soul-sucking schmoozery. But anyway, Robin Williams has been at CAA for a long time, but now he's leaving for WME, which has pissed CAA off because they feel like he didn't give them enough advance notice that he was considering making the switch. But, you may ask, why fret over Robin Williams, who has steadily Bicentennial Manned himself out of the A-list over the past decade a half? Well, he still does standup tours that do very well and, who knows, a movie career revival is always just one phone call from Quentin Tarantino away. So yeah, CAA is mad, but ultimately they shouldn't be surprised. They knew what they were getting into. They could all be lawyers and humble business man in Anytown America right now, but they wanted the glitz and the glam, and so have to take the grime and the gnashing along with it. No use crying over spilled milk, millionaire middlemen. What's done is done. [Deadline]
  • This is nice news about an unheralded favorite. Sonya Walger, who spent many episodes of Lost crying into a time-traveling telephone as Odysseus's Desmond's eternal beloved Penelope Penny, has landed a regular gig on the upcoming USA show Common Law. She'll play the sassy/sexy psychiatrist that two buddy cops are forced to see as some sort of hilarious couples therapy. So, OK, it's a USA show, which isn't too great, I mean it will inevitably be dopey and, say it with me, terribly lit, but! Still! USA is nothing if not the kind of network that so many times reaches out and catches random actors I like and puts them safely on the steady ground of a show. Think Tiffani Thiessen or Piper Perabo or Gabrielle Anwar. And now Walger is getting that treatment, which is a good thing no matter the quality of the program. So thanks for that, USA. [EW]
  • Hey, speaking of actors who fell a bit by the wayside but are now getting small second chances, Tom Everett Scott, who had a first burst into stardom way back in the mysterious mid '90s in movies like Dead Man On Campus and That Thing You Do! and has since popped up on a few TNT shows, has been cast alongside Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, and Billy Crystal in a comedy conceived and produced by Crystal. It's about "old-school versus new-school parenting," which likely means there will be Facebook jokes and maybe something about how every kid gets a trophy these days. You know, snarky mom blog stuff. Basically Midler and Crystal play grandparents who are babysitting their daughter's kids and the parenting styles don't really synch up and hilarity ensues. Who doesn't love parenting comedy? There's just not nearly enough of it these days, so this ought to be exciting. Hopefully one of the kids is a queeny gay boy who Billy Crystal just. doesn't. get. [THR]
  • Look out, bitches! Head bitch Kelly Cutrone has been tapped to be one of the judges on the next season of Tyra Banks's study in futility America's Next Top Model. That's a good choice actually! Cutrone was fun when she was on MTV and Bravo, though it is too bad that her new foray into the public eye has to be on ANTM, which should be sued for false advertising as it has never once created a top model. A few actresses and Brady kid ex-wives, sure. But no top models. Not a one among them. You know what I'd really like to see? Top Model All Stars. Not with former contestants, but with former top models. Cindy Crawford, Elle Macpherson, Rachel Hunter, Nikki Taylor, Christy Turlington and a bunch of others all duke it out to see who can still hack it. That'd be fun. Sigh. Remember when there were supermodels everywhere? Now it's just actors in makeup commercials and Victoria's Secret girls. Ah the '90s! A RuPaul song echoes dimly through time's halls. [EW]

[Photo via Getty]