Friday, January 30, 2009

BUZZ: "Heroes" Jumping Ship, Shannon & Scorsese, "Narnia" Revived, and more

• In Season 6 of "Entourage," the guys are going to start figuring out what they're going to do with the rest of their lives. As in...Turtle might actually get a life?

• When the cast of "Private Practice" crosses over to "Grey's Anatomy" next week, they'll give Meredith the 411 on what Derek used to be like in his younger days, putting the future Mrs. Shepherd into panic mode...which is practically her default setting at this point.

• Either Hayden Panettiere or Ali Larter asked to be released from their "Heroes" contract, but NBC aint having it. My bet is on Hayden. She's young and she's starting to see her peers get all the good roles, complete with accolades and worldwide worship. I bet she'd love to have Amanda Seyfried's (Mamma Mia) budding career.

• Three formerly-fired actors will get another shot at series-success in NBC's "Off Duty." It's about a "once-legendary police detective (Bradley Whitford from "Studio 60") on his way down who complicates the life of his new partner (Romany Malco from "Weeds") -- a straight shooter on his way up -- both on duty and off." Bonnie Sommerville ("Cashmere Mafia") will play Malco's wife."

• The seemingly albino comedian Jesse Tyler Ferguson ("The Class" and "Do Not Disturb") will play a gay dad on ABC's "An American Family." It'll be a docu-style single-camera comedy that "revolves around three families: one comprised of a working dad, stay-at-home mom and two kids; another that includes a 60-year-old man who becomes a stepfather after marrying a Latina who is 30 years his junior; and the third, a gay couple who have just adopted a Vietnamese baby."

Michael Shannon, who's been getting a lot of buzz lately for Revolutionary Road, officially became relevant when Martin Scorsese hired him to co-star in his HBO series "Boardwalk Empire." The project is based on Nelson Johnson's book about the early 20th century origins of Atlantic City, N.J. The story will focus on "Nucky Johnson (Steve Buscemi), who runs a liquor distribution ring at the onset of Prohibition, and Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt), a ruthless World War I veteran and a low-level flunky for Nucky. Shannon will play Van Alden, a dedicated senior agent with the Treasury Department who with his team has been charged with controlling bootlegging in the Prohibition era. Vincent Piazza's Luciano is a young associate of Arnold Rothstein, a rich, blunt New York businessman who wants in on Nucky's liquor production." Who better to revive the TV gangster than the honorary gangster himself?

Amanda Seyfried stole Lindsay Lohan's role--not that it was that difficult--in the Oscar Wilde adaptation of A Woman of No Importance. She'll play "a young woman who falls victim to the mischievous games of a group of upper-crust members of British society." It seems Lohan's freefall isn't over yet. It's a shame...journalists probably would've had a field day with that title if it bombed.

• The third installment of Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader finally has a studio that's interested in footing the huge bill that'll take to bring all the characters to life. Fox 2000 set it for a holiday season 2010 release. While everyone attached to the previous films have been welcomed back, they are looking for a new writer.

• Writer Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) has been tapped for the romantic comedy Leap Year, which'll star Amy Adams (Enchanted). It's the story of an "uptight woman who travels to Dublin to propose to her boyfriend on leap day, Feb. 29, following an Irish tradition in which women propose to men on that day and the man must say yes. When weather derails her trip, she enlists the help of a surly Irish innkeeper to make an unexpected cross-country trek to pull off the perfect proposal in time." That's actually a real superstition, which makes it even funnier to watch.

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