We've known for some time that "True Blood" and "The Leftovers" were premiering on HBO on June, but on Thursday (April 3), the network decided that it was time for a little specificity.
NEW ORLEANS, LA. It's November 2013 and Phil Lord and Chris Miller are living a double life.
By day, they're hard at work on "22 Jump Street," the sequel to their 2012 live-action feature debut, which went from an adaptation of a FOX TV drama that nobody thought they needed to being one of the most profitable and best reviewed blockbusters of that year.
By night, they're deep into post-production on their latest return to animation. Like "21 Jump Street," it's based on a property fueled by nostalgia. And like "21 Jump Street," it's a property that faced skepticism throughout its development process, right up until audiences got a glimpse at the first trailer.
It's quite possible, then, that "22 Jump Street" is the first movie the "Clone High" veterans have done that will actually be greeted by an audience without an initial wave of skepticism. Is that prospect scary for the longtime collaborators?
NEW ORLEANS, LA. It's nearly noon on the set of "22 Jump Street" and the star of the scene is laying flattened on the turf at Tad Gormley Stadium just outside of New Orleans, immobile. Dozens of extras, clad in football uniforms, look away.
A man in a Saints shirt hovers above the featured player, taking in the decapitation and the splattered insides with growing frustration.
"Is there any way of making it so that it doesn't fall apart?" he laments.
The man is a second [or possibly third] unit cinematographer and he's currently facing the difficult challenge of a thespian who clearly isn't ready for his close-up, in this case a roast beef sandwich that refuses to catch the light in the right way. Maybe it's the glare off the lettuce or maybe it's the lifeless meat, but effort is being put into capturing the fumbled sandwich just right. There's a stunt sandwich off to the side, currently in one piece but ready to take the dive if necessary. There's a Coke cup that keeps being used for lighting reference.
The disarrayed sandwich is a key part of the "22 Jump Street" scene a group of reporters is observing on this morning. Like many of the jokes in the franchise, it's a largely improvised conversation that takes a long journey to a very meta punchline that will make certain savvy viewers chuckle, but could very well get lost in a barrage of rapid-fire bits. But great care is being taken. See, Channing Tatum's Jenko and Wyatt Russell's Benji bump into each other at open football tryouts and if certain elements aren't visible in the insert, the laughs may get lost as well.
Over at video village, this produces its own sight gag. The first monitor features actual human stars Tatum and Russell warming up with a football. The second monitor features the aforementioned extras doing basic drills as an instructor talks them through their paces. And the third monitor features a tight close-up on a sandwich, bread splayed dangerously far from fillings.
Trust me, it's a funny juxtaposition.
In "22 Jump Street," which takes Jenko and Jonah Hill's Schmidt to college for their latest undercover caper, Russell -- You might know his parents Kurt and Goldie -- plays the quarterback of MC State [Metropolitan State] football team, the Statesmen.
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, April 2, 2014.
"Survivor: Cagayan" and "Criminal Minds" both beat "American Idol" in key measures and helped CBS win Wednesday night both overall and among young viewers.
"Idol" was actually flat week-to-week in Fast Nationals, while "Survivor" was down a hair, but last week was the first time the "Survivor" margin-of-victory from Fast Nationals held up over "Idol" in Finals. Given the history of tightening in Finals, there's a strong possibility FOX could end up tied for the night in the key demo, but we'll have to wait and see.
For the most part it was a sluggish Wednesday, though there were small gains for "Suburgatory," "Nashville," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Chicago PD," while "Modern Family," "Mixology," "Arrow" and "The 100" were among the shows in decline.
On to the numbers...
Pre-credit sequence. When we left, Aparri had decided to keep Jeremiah over Alexis. Everybody is very taken aback by Alexis crying after her elimination, though Spencer is feeling OK about the vote and about the cohesion of his six-person tribe. Sarah wants to have two fast targets in case there's a Merge the very next morning and the agreement seems to be that either Trish or Jefra should be the votes. They put their hands together and celebrate Final 6. For a tribe that just lost two straight challenges and that only has a one-person number advantage, there's a lot of smugness. "The best laid plans often end up sprawled out on a murder scene floor," Kass says colorfully and portentously. For some reason, Kass thinks it's good strategy to tell Sarah that she and Jeremiah are the only people she worries about, loyalty-wise. "People don't like to be called a liar and pretty much I got called a liar without being called a liar," Sarah grumbles. "When I know that you guys think that I'm teetering, that's going to push me away," Sarah says. Sarah and Kass shake hands and they agree they're good. Kass points out that Sarah has only voted with her once, so she hasn't proven anything. "Show me blood on your hand from a former tribe mate and then we'll talk," Kass declares, colorfully again.
So tonight's "American Idol" theme is basically Deja Vu?
Wednesday's (April 2) "Idol" theme is officially Back to the Start and it apparently means that we're going to be hearing the Top 8 sing the songs they auditioned with. Are we really deep enough into this season to be getting repeat performances? Don't we want to hear singers do fresh things? I do. But maybe I'm wrong? To me, this feels like a theme that's intended to help sagging frontrunners like Sam Woolf, but what do I know.
Click through and we'll celebrate what is sure to be a filler-filled telecast together...
Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls. It's time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
On Tuesday's Firewall & Iceberg Video Show, we reviewed "Silicon Valley" and "Veep," which we quite liked, so that's not here. We also talked extensively about the series finale of "How I Met Your Mother," which we didn't like, but we still talked a bit more about it here in one of several very good Listener Mail segments.
We also reviewed AMC's "Turn" and we talked in spoiler-detail about Sunday's "Walking Dead" finale.
"Turn" (00:01:20 - 00:11:30)
Listener Mail: "Dexter" vs "HIMYM" (00:11:50 - 00:14:40)
Listener Mail: Uncontested Best Episodes (00:14:55 - 00:27:45)
Listener Mail: Death of Reruns (00:27:45 - 00:36:10)
Listener Mail: Death of Television Without Pity (00:36:10 - 00:40:30)
Listener Mail: "HIMYM" Ratings Rise/Quality Drop (00:40:30 - 00:45:55)
The "Walking Dead" Finale (00:46:00 - 01:00:30)
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed or subscribe on IHeartRadio.]
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
On a lackluster Tuesday with a slew of ratings lows across the board, CBS dominated overall and edged out NBC among young viewers, with the main notable being an "NCIS: Los Angeles" victory over "NCIS" in the key demo.
Given that "NCIS" was the second part of a nested spinoff for "NCIS: New Orleans," will this quell CBS' enthusiasm for the fresh project? Probably not on its own, no.
And "NCIS" wasn't the only show having a rough time of things on Tuesday.
FOX's "Glee" and the return of "The Mindy Project" were both down, as were ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and "The Goldbergs" and NBC's "The Voice."
In light of yet another "Voice" drop, it's actually a triumph that NBC's "About a Boy" rose a hair in the key demo, while "Growing Up Fisher" was flat.
On to the numbers...
RICHMOND, VA - Nestled next to the Richmond International Raceway, the vast warehouse inhabited by AMC's "Turn" are an unusual place to travel back in time to the American Revolution.
That's where I met Jamie Bell on a chilly day in late February.
Riddle me this: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
While you're thinking on that one, riddle me this: Who will play Edward Nygma in FOX's "Gotham" pilot?
While The Hatter's riddle has no one answer, the answer to the second one is at your finger-tips if you just follow something that's black and white and read all over, namely this blog.