Sunday, May 15, 2011

LOTS OF TV NEWS: PLAYBOY BUNNIES ARE IN, WONDER WOMAN IS OUT

There has been a lot of TV news in advance of the network upfronts that will be happening this week. We've heard lots of stories of pickups of series, and of cancellations. Among the big stories is that NBC is going to pick up the controversial Playboy Club, with its retro-60s theme and impressively hot cast (Amber Heard, pictured.). 

I think Playboy Club is absolutely the way for NBC to go -- the edgy and stylish Mad Men direction. They have to try and do something to compete with all that sexed-up content on cable TV, and this is it.  

And in a wise move NBC has rejected the Wonder Woman pilot, which is good because I thought it was an awful idea. For one thing, they had the star Adrianne Palicki wear long pants. She just didn't look like Wonder Woman in that ugly getup. For another, the guy behind this effort was David E. Kelley, and frankly that would have been a recipe for disaster because Kelley is known for TV series with absolutely outlandish plots and characters who should be committed to the looney bin.

Think of the Ally McBeal show and then take those same storylines and put them in Wonder Woman. It would have been a joke -- all the bad guys on the show would have been absolute lunatics. The comic book fans would have had a cow.

Kelley is good at what he does, mainly these lawyer shows, but he shouldn't touch a DC comic book character with a ten-foot pole.

Oh, and there are lots of cancellations to tell you about. ABC got rid of  Brothers & Sisters, V, Off the Map, No Ordinary Family, Detroit 187, Better With You and Mr. Sunshine. NBC canned Outsourced, Perfect Couples, Chase and others, and FOX booted out Human Target, Lie to Me, The Chicago Code, Breaking In and Traffic Light. Presumably this is all to make room for X Factor with Simon and Paula together again.

And CBS is bringing Ashton Kutcher in to replace Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men, in what is surely a last-ditch Jump the Shark moment for the series. Sheen reportedly said of the move: "Kutcher is a sweetheart and a brilliant comedic performer ... Oh wait, so am I!!"

More news from TV, soon.

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