Tag Archives: Jimmy Fallon

Remakes, Breakups and Bad Blood Highlight News Out of Summer Press Tour 2015

The broadcast and cable networks and Internet streaming outlets have wrapped up the 17-day promote-athon known as the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. Many shows were touted by many creators and stars in many panels and parties — so many, it was easy to get lost in the swirl of it all. So here’s a blitz recap of 10 of this year’s top news bites.

Lee Daniels says it’s inevitable, “without question,” that his massive hit “Empire” yields a spinoff. That spinoff will be a prequel that delves into the life of everybody’s favorite flamboyant Cookie, Taraji P. Henson’s one-of-a-kind matriarch character. No word on when the new series will come along, but “Empire” returns Sept. 23.

Jimmy Fallon has signed on to keep doing “The Tonight Show” into September of 2021.

Donald Trump has definitely been fired from hosting “Celebrity Apprentice.” NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt told critics the show will be back in 2016 with a new host, someone who must be big and make a lot of noise.

Maybe there will be a “Downton Abbey” movie. Executive Producer Gareth Neame says there’s been talk of a film and it just might happen, though there is no script or projected start date. Putting money on this one doesn’t seem like a good idea. Nevertheless, it takes a teensy bit of the sting out of the forthcoming farewell at the end of season six (which begins airing on PBS Jan. 3).

THE MUPPETS - The Muppets are back in prime time like you've never seen them before. Romance! Breakups! Success! Failure! Muppets are opening the doors to their homes and offices in this fresh documentary style series that explores these beloved characters as they live their lives in Hollywood. This real-world Muppet series will have something for kids of all ages. (ABC/Andrea McCallin ) DENISE, MISS PIGGY, JANICE

Denise, Miss Piggy, Janice “The Muppets” (ABC/Andrea McCallin )

Kermit and Miss Piggy broke up and he’s purportedly dating a pig named Denise in the ABC marketing department. Well, we all know how celebrities gin up their feuds to create interest in their new movies and shows. Would anyone be surprised if the showbiz savvy Piggy was behind this tactic to bring attention to their new “The Muppets” coming up on ABC Sept. 22. Co-created by Bill Prady (protege of Jim Henson who went on to create shows including “The Big Bang Theory) and Bob Kushell, the new “Muppets” looks like a good prospect for another TV hit.

Louis K.C. is going to take an extended hiatus after season five of his award-winning FX show. He wants to focus on other things and there is no telling when he’ll resume.

FX Chieftain John Landgraf believes that with all the outlets scrambling to put on more and more — and more — shows, we’ve reached a point of “Simply Too Much Television,” so expect a dropoff. But Showtime President David Nevins contends “There may be too much good TV. There’s never enough great TV. We’re trying really hard to make great TV.” So there.

There’s certainly a lot of retread TV. For example, Showtime has a “Twin Peaks” revival going into production next month for a 2016 debut. In addition to “The Muppets,” there’s “Heroes: Reborn” launching Sept. 24. Come midseason, we’ll see the return of Craig T. Nelson as “Coach.” “Prison Break” will return to Fox next year. Everyone involved wants to do a “Law & Order” revival, if the timing can be worked out, according to super producer Dick Wolf. And NBC’s Greenblatt raised the frightening prospect of a new “Alf.”

Wolf also disclosed plans for crossovers between his series, including a “jumbo” four-way crossover, with a story shared by “Chicago P.D.,” “Chicago Fire,” the new “Chicago Med” and “Law & Order: SVU.” That will be in February. In time for sweeps, of course.

Britney Spears will be on the CW’s “Jane the Virgin.” “The Muppets” guests will include Imagine Dragons and Nathan Fillion. But no show is a match for “Empire” when it comes to featuring famous names. This coming season, the show’s Who’s Who includes Pitbull, Chris Rock, Alicia Keys, Al Sharpton and Lenny Kravitz.

Gosselaar Responds to Bring Back Zack Buzz

Mark-Paul Gosselaar

Mark-Paul Gosselaar

Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s recent appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s show, when he dressed up as the beloved Zack Morris from ‘Saved By the Bell,‘ has been all over the Internet.  It’s got people talking TV reunion. 

‘Jimmy Fallon has been petitioning for a reunion for a while,’ notes Gosselaar, who told the ‘SBTB’-obsessed host he would reunite with the cast on his show.  However, the actor admits he’s not so sure if he’d be up for an actual scripted TV reunion.  ‘I don’t know how that would work having a reunion with all of us.  I think a lot of us have moved on.  My fear is if you do a reunion, you just don’t want it to be campy and that was the charm of our show 20 years ago.  It was very tongue-in-cheek and I don’t know if we can recreate that now without it being sort of a farce.  I’m testing the waters with Jimmy’s show to see how it works out and maybe it will change my opinion.’ 

Gosselaar’s actual purpose of being on the talk show was to promote his current show, ‘Raising the Bar,’ which just began its second season.

Mark-Paul 'SBTB'

Mark-Paul 'SBTB'

Says the actor, who also served a stint on ‘NYPD Blue’ in the interim, ‘A lot of my ‘Saved By the Bell’ fans aren’t aware that I’m still on TV, so I’m hoping I can grab some percentage of those people and bring them over to watch ‘Raising the Bar.”  He tells us there’s a lot in store this season on the TNT drama.  ‘We’re certainly feeling the pressure of getting that second season under our belt.  The audience has invested time in us and we want to give them what they want.  I think we’re on the right track,’ he says.  ‘Last year a lot of the show was focused on the public defender side, but this year we’re showing the prosecutors’ side as well.  With 15 episodes, it certainly allows us to broaden the strokes quite a bit and see the characters in more depth.’ 


ANOTHER GENERATION HEARD FROM:  When your grandfather was a movie icon — ‘a 6-foot-5, 260-pound man who had the presence of a downtown city block’ — taking part in a remake of one of his classics gives you pause. At least, it certainly did for Brendan Wayne, whose grandfather was none other than John Wayne. Brendan costars with Lou Diamond Phillips and Luke Perry in the Hallmark Channel’s ‘Angel and the Badman,’ debuting July 5. He admits he asked for a day to think it over when the project came his way. ‘I don’t mind the idea you can market films on my grandfather’s name and the whole deal. He worked hard enough that his family legacy is something to be used,’ he says. ‘Without a doubt I couldn’t be more proud to be his grandson, but doing one of his films — there’s a fine line of losing your identity.’Not only that, but The Duke ‘meant so much to so many people. I thought, ‘Holy moly! I’ve got to do this some justice!’ more than you’d feel with a regular role,’ says Brendan, whose acting resume thus far lists episodics like ‘The Closer’ and ‘CSI,’ and films including Samuel L. Jackson’s ‘Home of the Brave.’

What got him over his hesitation was, ‘I have five brothers and two sisters, and they all said, ‘You’ve got to be an idiot not to go for this.’ And my Uncle Patrick said, ‘Get on it. Go have some fun.”Brendan says he was particularly interested in seeing who the producers wanted to play Quirt, ‘my Granddaddy’s role’ — the outlaw who’s transformed when a kind Quaker family (with a beautiful daughter, natch) nurses him back to health after he nearly dies. ‘You’d need someone who was confident in himself and had great character traits of his own — you can’t reproduce JW,’ Brendan notes. ‘When they told me Lou Diamond Phillips, I thought ‘That’s perfect. They thought outside the box.’ You can’t compare him and my grandfather.’

Brendan Wayne

Brendan Wayne


THE INDUSTRY EYE:  Having killed off Emmanuelle Vaugier in its latest season finale, ‘CSI: NY’ is casting a new lead character. She’s named Kaye Sullivan, and is described as ‘attractive, funny, extremely sexy…’ (That’s attractive and extremely sexy, got that?) ‘…late twenties or early thirties. Takes risks.’ She’s also quite book smart. Brililant, in fact, so while she hasn’t got much experience, she’s not just your average rookie. She asks lots of questions.


Are you ready for a musical of ‘Bonnie & Clyde’? It’s legit. They’re holding auditions next week for a Frank Wildhorn’s new musical at the showcase La Jolla Playhouse, with plans for an October opening. You know the story: Boy gets girl, boy and girl terrorize Depression era America and become mythic figures robbing banks, boy loses girl and self in rain of machine gun fire. Sing it! Seriously, if ‘Sweeney Todd’ can be ‘Sweeney Todd’ then anything can be a musical. Wildhorn did the music, Don Black the lyrics, Jeff Calhoun is the director.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster