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PARK CITY - If you only see one Dust Bowl sci-fi eco-western starring Nicholas Hoult this year... well, maybe wait for the next one. Arriving in Sundance on a tide of buzz that seems justified only by its on-paper singularity, Jake Paltrow's infallibly earnest genre experiment "Young Ones" marries the stark heartland integrity of John Steinbeck to the post-apocalyptic nihilism of "Mad Max," with the waxen self-importance of neither. Relocating a classical land-ownership saga to a barren New-Old West situated, we can only hope, in the very distant future, Paltrow's film never quite finds the happy medium between B-movie splatter and literary elevation; if nothing else, it confirms my suspicion that films adorned with their own chapter headings are rarely good news.
Given the spectacular ratings for "The Sound of Music Live!" despite the critical drubbing Carrie Underwood's performance received, it's no surprise that one of the first things NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt mentioned during the network's executive panel (well, right after referencing the "19 million viewers and 3 million on DVRs" the adaptation of the Broadway musical lured in) was the follow-up.
"Parks and Rec" will be back next season, NBC boss says
NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt was very definitive about it, telling critics "'Parks & Recreation' is going to have a seventh season." PLUS: "Community" could be back, too, and what about other NBC shows?
NBC reveals Jay Leno's final guests -- Jimmy Fallon will join him his final week
Billy Crystal and Garth Brooks will help close the curtain on Leno's "Tonight Show" on Thursday, Feb. 6. Fallon will be Leno's guest on Monday, Feb. 3.
Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show" kicks off at midnight on Monday Feb. 17
Fallon's debut will come after that day's Olympics broadcast.
NBC's next live musical: "Peter Pan"
"Get ready for flying children and some kind of state-of-the-art light technology for Tinkerbell," says NBC Entertainment boss Robert Greenblatt, on the follow-up to "The Sound of Music Live."
NBC orders a Katherine Heigl pilot, gives series orders to Oz-themed "Emerald City" and "The Slap"
Heigl will play a CIA agent in a drama she and her mom are producing. "Emerald City" is a dark reimagining of "The Wizard of Oz," while "The Slap" is a remake of the Australian series about a man who slaps a child, from the creator of "Brothers & Sisters."
NBC signs Amy Poehler to a 3-year deal, orders her Natasha Lyonne comedy pilot
Poehler co-created a "Golden Girls"-like comedy about a young woman who works with old people.
NBC plans to eventually move "The Blacklist" away from "The Voice"
NBC Entertainment boss Robert Greenblatt says "The Blacklist" will only get the benefit of "The Voice" for one season. "'Blacklist' in the future will move to a new time period and hopefully help build a new night or a new block for us."
Happy 60th birthday, Katey Sagal!
The "Sons of Anarchy" and "Married with Children" vet is celebrating 60 years today.
Our final network executive session of the January 2014 Press Tour -- And my last live-blog of this press tour before heading to Sundance -- is NBC's panel.
Naturally, we have NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt, but as he sometimes likes to do, he's being joined by NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke and President of Late Night, Alternative & Whatnot Paul Telegdy.
It was a fairly decent fall for NBC, plus they have the Winter Olympics coming, plus they have a big late-night shift coming, so there will be plenty to discuss.
It's time for Breakfast with a Cannibal, as NBC's "Hannibal" arrives for what is actually its first Television Critics Association press tour appearance.
Strange, but there we are.
We're being joined by Bryan Fuller, Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne and Caroline Dhavernas.
Click through for all of the highlights.
It isn't always easy being the smartest guy in the room. There's a lot of pressure that comes with celebrated genius, and if you can't demonstrate it each and every time out, people can start to look for a smarter person to take your place.
Nor is it all that easy to write the adventures of the smartest guy in the room — particularly if, as Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have done with "Sherlock," you insist on only making three 90-minute episodes a season. These modern-day adventures of Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman) are beloved, but the series doesn't have the leeway a more traditionally-structured series — like, say, CBS' own modern-day Sherlock series "Elementary," which does 22 episodes a season — get. The scarcity of "Sherlock" makes every episode an event, which is a lot to live up to. Yet for the most part (the second episodes tend to be less impressive than the first and third), Moffat and Gatiss pulled it off through the first two seasons. Their take on these familiar characters and mysteries have been exactly as smart as their dark and mysterious hero, and they've become a sensation in the UK.
Sasheer Zamata makes her "SNL" debut
The first black female cast member since Maya Rudolph had a busy first episode, appearing in many sketches. In fact, some are calling the Drake-hosted "SNL" the "blackest" episode ever. PLUS: twitter.com/sethmeyers/status/424788473984593920Drake and Lorne Michaels went to the same high school in Toronto.
PARK CITY - You could be forgiven for wondering what we stand to gain from a documentary about the Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage issued in California in 2008, and its subsequent reversal. The final Supreme Court ruling on the case is not even a year old, and the five long years of back-and-forth legal wrangling toward this resolution should be fresh in the minds of even those only casually concerned by the issues at stake. Has enough time passed for our perspective on the events to have shifted? Are proponents of the ban ready to engage in even-handed conversation? Can any film on Proposition 8, whatever its stance, do much more at this stage than preach to the converted?
PARK CITY - Imagine you worked at a Hollywood studio and someone were to pitch you a movie set in the late '70s centered on a clinically diagnosed manic depressive raising his two young daughters all by himself. Your first thought would be to immediately question its commercial viability. Happily, Maya Forbes' directorial debut wasn't dependent on a studio. If it had been, there's no way this wonderfully unexpected tearjerker would have found its way to the big screen.
PARK CITY - It's hard to believe it was 2009 when Mike Cahill was here with "Another Earth," one of the two films that put Brit Marling on the map during that year's Sundance. I'm not sure I ever got around to reviewing "Another Earth," a film that just didn't work for me. I thought there were some interesting ideas in the movie, but almost all of them were pushed to the background in favor of a familiar story about guilt and grief, which left me frustrated more than anything.
After seeing his new film, "I Origins," I think it's time for me to admit that I'm simply not on the same storytelling wavelength as Cahill at all. This time, he's once again using what is ostensibly a science-fiction hook to tell what is ultimately a story about emotional states, and I have no problem with that in theory. My biggest problem with "I Origins" is that it telegraphs its ending a good hour earlier, and then spends that hour spinning its wheels through slow-motion plot mechanics to get to what could have been a fairly powerful moment in the right context. This is a film that wants you to be rocked when that final piece falls into place at the end, but it's one of the least surprising surprises I've seen in a movie.