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At the Movies: Nerds' Revenge Is Rescinded

Fox Atomic has officially ceased production on its Revenge of the Nerds remake, which it had hoped to release next summer. Sources close to the production tell Variety that studio biggies were not satisfied with the dailies for the film, which suffered a setback earlier this month when Emory University booted the production off its campus.... MGM has set a Dec. 1 release date for Two Weeks, a comedy about a quartet of brothers and sisters who rush home to say a final farwell to their ailing mother (Sally Field), only to see her cling to life, trapping them together for weeks. This sounds funny! read more

November 19, 2006: Thanksgiving

One of the things I like most about Brothers & Sisters is that each week there are moments that I think about long after the show is over. Tonight, that moment was Kitty comforting Nora as she cried about losing Justin again. It can’t be easy to see your mom fall apart, and I’m sure it was scary for Kitty to play the mom role for her own mother. But she did it very well, and the shot of the two embracing showed viewers that Kitty and her mom will make it through Justin’s second call to duty without the tension and anger that existed between them when he enlisted. It was overall an emotional night for the Walker family, who dealt with both their first Thanksgiving without William and Justin’s impending return to active duty. Kitty made a mistake in asking Senator McAllister (Rob Lowe) for help in getting Justin out of the army, but at least her intentions were good, and she was honest about what she had done. It didn’t seem like Amber, on the other hand,... read more

I am growing to like Brothers ...

Question: I am growing to like Brothers & Sisters, especially now that Treat Williams, an Everwood favorite, has been added to the cast. I find the pairing of him and Sally Field on screen together very interesting. However, I recently heard that Betty Buckley was the original mother in the series and even did a pilot for the show. It is not that I don't like Sally Field, but I have always loved Betty Buckley. I am curious to see if you think the show would be as successful if Buckley were in it rather than the very popular Field. Sally Field has been doing TV spots in recent years, but it would have been great to see Betty Buckley on television. Answer: I have nothing against Betty Buckley — she was the best Norma Desmond ever in the stage version of Sunset Boulevard, and her recordings are a knockout. I only saw a few clips from the original pilot, when she was in the mother role, but I can't second-guess the producers on this one. Sally Field exudes such humor and warmth in th ... read more

November 12, 2006: Mistakes Were Made

Sarah, Kitty, Kevin, Tommy, Justin... Rebecca. It looks like Sarah’s suspicions were right and Rebecca is in fact their father’s daughter. After all those combinations, the password, which was composed of William’s children’s initials, was actually relatively simple. Although, to be fair, no one knew about William’s sixth child. Including, it seems, William himself. Holly’s reason for hiding the truth from everyone, although apparently well-intentioned, seems to have made everything extremely complicated. And really hard on Holly. Did William suspect that Rebecca was his child? The extent of his relationship with Rebecca isn't quite clear, but he obviously thought enough of her to keep a photo of her at the ranch and to make her part of the password. The past played a big role in tonight’s episode, as we saw in the flashbacks of September 11, the family’s reactions (including those of guest star Tom Skerritt) and Justin’s decision to enl... read more

Housewives and Sisters: Good Neighbors

While some of us still miss Grey's Anatomy on Sundays, a perfectly entertaining bit of escapism to charge our batteries for the week ahead, ABC's new Brothers & Sisters has been growing on me. Week by week, culminating in this Sunday's most enjoyable episode yet, the show has become both lighter in tone and more emotionally compelling, proving to be a suitably compatible companion piece to Desperate Housewives — which, by sweeps coincidence or not, also enjoyed on Sunday its finest hour since the heights of its first breakthrough season.Housewives' much-touted supermarket-hostage crisis lives up to its billing, in no small measure thanks to killer performances (in one case literally) by Laurie Metcalf as a deranged wronged wife who takes over her cheating husband's store at gunpoint, and by Felicity Huffman's Lynette, whose final hysterical showdown with the mad Carolyn Grisby in the wake of Nora's fatal shooting (Yay!) was the sort of galvanizing moment we'd long been wait... read more

October 29, 2006: For the Children

So Tommy’s wife Julia finally talked tonight, and she certainly had a lot to say. I felt bad for Tommy when she announced to the entire family that she was hoping to get pregnant soon, knowing what Tommy had just found out. They seemed to discuss everything and reconcile before the benefit was over, although the coatroom scene was pretty embarrassing for everybody. Speaking of embarrassing, Nora keeps getting stuck in awkward situations with other men, although at least tonight wasn’t over a date that wasn’t really a date. It was pretty awful of that guy to let his wife think that Nora was hitting on him, and to make matters worse, his wife (Meredith Baxter from Family Ties) believed him. I don’t know how, because I’m sure that’s not the first time her husband did that.I personally found it hard to believe that Kevin would be so insensitive as to offer to pay for Scotty’s lost wages if he would be his date for the night, because Kevin is generally ... read more

Brothers, Mother and Other Odds and Ends

Some random TV thoughts:Each week since its overly somber premiere, ABC's Brothers & Sisters has improved, slowly becoming a more entertaining, if not yet compelling, family drama. The most recent episode, involving a series of eventful dates for most of the major characters, had a mostly deft light touch, showing (I think) the influence of Everwood's Greg Berlanti on the creative direction of the show.It's becoming a more suitable companion for Desperate Housewives, which also has improved from last season's doldrums. Housewives is still far from perfect, but give me some Edie Britt bitchiness, a little manipulative scheming from Bree and several mysterious twists (why was Mike Delfino's phone number etched in ink on the season's mystery corpse?), and I'm relatively satisfied. I can even get past the tiresome Gabby-Carlos feuding and Nora meddling in the indifferently plotted Lynette-Tom story line. (Did you notice, by the way, a walk-on by Who Wants to Be a Superhero's Major V... read more

October 22, 2006: Date Night

It was nice of Jonathan to give the brothers and sisters some friendly business advice, although I got the impression from his final conversation with Kitty that he might not be that optimistic about the future of the family business. I actually felt kind of bad for him when he and Kitty were breaking up, even though Jonathan often comes off as arrogant and I never really liked him for Kitty. He appeared to be genuinely sad, and he also apparently knew Kitty better than she thought, as he seemed aware that she hadn’t fully let him in.But tonight was really all about Nora and Kitty for me. Sally Field was great as usual, especially when Nora realized her “date” with David the contractor wasn’t really a date. How awful, and it only seemed worse when Nora tried to salvage it with jokes about her “comedic timing” being off. It was good to see Treat Williams (Everwood) back on TV again as David, even though things ended awkwardly between him and Nora. Kitty ... read more

On the Set

It is the first day shooting episode 8 – first shot, 11 am – and I am writing from the set.A great mood here at "Brothers & Sisters" in the wake of being picked up for a back nine, or ten or eleven, depending on whom you ask. When the executives told us, I felt like we had a full term in office. Our show, the little candidate, like Clinton after New Hampshire, was elected. Driving home on Monday night, after we heard, I felt like I could finally rest a little, and relax. For a moment. But the news dovetails nicely with the ambition of the episode we're shooting – a more emotional, deeper palate for us – a little advance by "Brothers & Sisters" into deeper waters. Now that we know we are here for a while, we are getting bolder. The network and studio seem thrilled.Rachel Griffiths is shooting a scene with Tyler Posey, who plays Sarah's stepson, Gabriel. A tough scene in which the 14-year-old's sense of being on the outside of the family looking in comes ou... read more

Week 3

I am going to write today about what it takes to get a show on the air. I am a playwright, and one with virtually no experience in television. But I have entered a new world, and I am no longer who I was. I used to be a New York bohemian art-boy, one who grew up working in the not-for-profit theater, which is as far removed from the passionate fear-driven chaos of network television as can be imagined. I would read, swim, write a little, or a lot, and own my day. That changed when I was invited to try my hand at creating a TV show in July 2005. I had worried that the audience for my plays was aging and dismayingly white and limited to those fortunate New Yorkers who could afford the price of a ticket, which is anywhere from $40 to $75 a pop Off-Broadway. The theater was starting to feel like opera to me: rarified and beautiful, but like Venice, sinking into the sea. So when Ken Olin offered me the chance to try a TV show, I took a breath, left Sag Harbor, New York, and came out to L... read more

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