The breakup of Coupling has done nothing to bolster optimism for The Office, the latest U.K. comedy hit to get Americanized by NBC. Slated to debut next fall, the U.S. branch is being headed by King of the Hill exec Greg Daniels. And although the show's original creator and star, Ricky Gervais (a.k.a. bossman David Brent), has agreed to play an "advisory and support" role, skeptics predict something's bound to get lost in the translation.
TV Guide Online: The idea of an American Office scares us.
Ricky Gervais: Yes, because you've seen the English version. And hopefully, there are 249 million Americans that haven't.
TVGO: So, it's inevitable that Office fans will hate the U.S. version?
Gervais: You're bound to be disappointed if you keep comparing it. I don't think they should be the same. And for as many nightmare stories of remakes, you have one that [worked]. I'm sure Americans d read more
Sunday night's much-hyped TV movie showdown between CBS's The Elizabeth Smart Story and NBC's Saving Jessica Lynch ended in a virtual dead heat. While the Smart pic prevailed among total viewers (15.5 million vs. 15 million), Lynch tied Smart in key demographics, including adults 18-49. read more
Will Smith has signed on to play a "date doctor" who runs a matchmaking service in the romantic comedy Last First Kiss. Eva Mendes is in talks to play the female lead, a journalist who enrolls in the program intent on exposing Smith as a fraud. read more
NBC's latest dating show, Average Joe (Mondays at 10 pm/ET), appeals to the social misfit in all of us. Here's their angle to suck us in: In last week's premiere, ex-NFL cheerleader Melana Scantlin who thought she was in for a Trista-esque fairy tale discovered that her 16 eligible bachelors are a gaggle of geeks, shorties, husky guys and other less-than-model-perfect types. She's a dream come true for most of them, but they're a crashing disappointment to her, at least at first. How did Average Joe lure self-respecting males to volunteer themselves for this unflattering scenario?
"We cast them saying we were looking for people who were 'the life of the party,'" exec producer Stuart Krasnow tells TV Guide Online. "We then chose who we thought matched the description that we wanted physically. When we put them in that house together, that's the first time they realized read more
The weather outside is frightful, but Zooey Deschanel helps make the climate inside movie theaters delightful in Elf (opening today). But it wasn't all cheery holiday fun. The 23-year-old co-star of The Good Girl was required to lighten her brunette hair to play Will Ferrell's love interest, and she insists blondes don't have more fun.
"It is all a lie," Deschanel says emphatically. "I'm never going to be blonde again. I'd much rather be a brunette."
Even if she disliked her makeover, the starlet enjoyed heating up Elf with a toasty rendition of the classic tune, "Baby, It's Cold Outside." And hey, this girl can actually sing! "I started out doing a lot of musicals," she reminds us. "So it was cool that I got to sing in a movie."
In fact, Deschanel read more
Don't be surprised if Justin Guarini's trademark afro starts graying soon. The American Idol runner-up whose debut CD tanked is being sued for $100,000 by a Pennsylvania couple who claims he rammed his truck into the back of their car last March. read more
Bravo has greenlit Straight Eye for the Queer Guy, a one-hour special in which five hetero men make over a gay guy. The Queer Eye spinoff will reportedly feature lessons on power tools, NFL basics, decorating your garage and keeping your emotions bottled up. In related news, Bravo will air a Queer Eye holiday special on Dec. 16 in which the Fab Five revisit their past makeover subjects. Good, because I'm dying to find out how Tom M's kids made out with those toys Jai bought them. read more
Joe Schmo dupee Matt Kennedy Gould is getting back into bed with the very network that scammed him. Gould has inked a development deal with Spike TV, the New York Daily News reports. read more
Maybe moviegoers do actually listen to critics. The poorly-reviewed Matrix Revolutions topped the weekend box office with $50 million down 45 percent from the $91.8 million Matrix Reloaded took in during its three-day debut last May. Since opening Wednesday, Revolutions has grossed $85.5 million domestically and $204.1 million worldwide. Elsewhere, Will Ferrell's holiday comedy Elf debuted at No. 2 with a better-than-expected $32.1 million, and Love Actually grabbed the No. 6 spot with $6.6 million which, actually, is pretty good considering it opened on only 576 screens. read more