If you're planning a Summertime birthday bash, consider following the lead of Beth Saxton of Beth and Co. When her daughter Carter said she wanted a sixth birthday party inspired by ABC's Wipeout, Beth went all out, throwing an awesome, water obstacle-filled party that would make any 6-year-old (and her parents) smile. "Carter was dead set on this being the theme for her party," Beth says. "It threw me for a loop at first, but as I brainstormed, I decided the easiest thing to work off of would be their signature big red balls. I went with one of my favorite color combos, red and aqua, and the rest took off from there. Everyone was laughing and having a ball (no pun intended) all afternoon!" Keep clicking for all the wet and wild details!
- Sam Raimi will direct a live-action movie based on the video game World of Warcraft. — Variety
- The Comedy Central series Drawn Together is also getting the feature treatment, but it'll be straight to DVD. — Broadcasting and Cable
- Adele, Leona Lewis, Kelly Clarkson, and Miley Cyrus are VH1's new Divas. — E! Online
- Uma Thurman will star in the indie drama Girl Soldier, about a woman who helps rescue schoolgirls in Uganda. — ComingSoon
- Wipeout will be back with a mostly new obstacle course. — The Hollywood Reporter
- Daughtry tops this week's album sales charts. — Billboard
- The novel Beginner's Greek will be adapted for film by the screenwriters of 500 Days of Summer. — ComingSoon
- Sam Worthington will star in a remake of Danish thriller The Candidate. — Variety
- ABC will show Wipeout opposite the Super Bowl. — The Hollywood Reporter
- Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler are in negotiations to star together in an untitled comedic bounty hunter movie. — ComingSoon
- Five people, including Martha Plimpton, have joined the cast of Matthew Perry's Showtime pilot. — Zap2it
- Kiss has decided to hit the studio next year to record its first new album since 1998's Psycho Circus. — Billboard
- And speaking of circuses, Britney Spears's album topped the charts this week, making it her fifth No. 1 album. — Billboard
- John C. Reilly has signed on to play the love interest to Marisa Tomei's character in an untitled comedy. Jonah Hill will play Tomei's son who comes between the two lovebirds. — Variety
- A commencement speech by David Foster Wallace will be turned into a book. — New York Times
- Keanu Reeves will play a samurai swordsman in the epic period film 47 Ronin. — ComingSoon
Photo copyright 2008 ABC, Inc.
Between Katie Holmes, Katherine Heigl, and that hilarious Scrubs panel, ABC's session at the TCA press tour has already been action-packed. And it's only getting nuttier today, when Shonda Rhimes, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, and the ladies of Desperate Housewives take the stage. Before we get to that, here are some great stories I didn't get to share on Wednesday:
- One of the reasons I'm looking forward to the Private Practice panel: The show is apparently going to go through something of an overhaul. There will be a greater emphasis on strong medical cases, with the hospital playing a greater role and Kate Walsh's character getting back to doing surgery. "When it just became a soap opera about these people's lives it was just a lot of talking," ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson said. "That's not what Shonda does well."
- At the start of ABC's session, a special reporter addressed the crowd. Identifying himself as "Tom Weinerman from the Sarasota Star-Herald-Tribune," he asked a series of awkward questions of McPherson, including whether ABC was courting Jay Leno and how McPherson keeps his hair so nice. The secret: "Tom Weinerman" was Jimmy Kimmel, relatively incognito as he sat among the reporters.
- McPherson insisted that Life on Mars, ABC's remake of the popular BBC series, isn't troubled — despite the fact that it hasn't shot a pilot, is still casting, and only had two actors (Jason O'Mara and Michael Imperioli) in place in time for its session. The show is ABC's only new drama for Fall, so for the network's sake I hope he's right . . .
A couple of other bits, including a special treat for Dancing With the Stars fans, so just read more
Tonight's a big night for game shows: Three new ones are premiering, two on ABC and one on NBC, all with different levels of zaniness.
NBC's entry, Celebrity Family Feud, is the most recognizable of the three, as it's the latest in a long series of Family Feud updates. Tonight's show pits Ice T vs. the Rivers clan and Raven-Symone's folks against Wayne Newton's. I'm holding out for The Office vs. American Gladiators.
More curious are the shows making their debut on ABC: Wipeout, otherwise known as that show where people fall all the time, and I Survived a Japanese Game Show. Both are based on common tropes of Japanese game shows, as this New York Times article explains, and both involve humiliation played for laughs.
I saw an extended preview of Wipeout during the upfronts, and the voiceover narration making fun of the mud-covered, dazed contestants made me feel extremely uncomfortable. But I am a little curious to see Japanese Game Show, which I hope will be more wacky and less mean-spirited.
Do you think you'll be watching any of these shows tonight?
Photo copyright 2008 ABC, Inc.
ABC, CBS, and Fox have joined NBC in releasing their Summer schedules in recent days, and while we're still waiting on The CW, this already gives us a pretty good sense of how the season will look. There's a lot of reality, of course, but at least one cool scripted series is also on the schedule. Here are some of the goodies:
- Swingtown, the CBS series about '70s swinger couples, will finally see the light of day! It's scheduled to air Thursday nights at 10 starting June 5.
- So You Think You Can Dance will be the centerpiece of Fox's Summer schedule again (yay!), following last year's pattern of performance shows on Wednesdays and results shows on Thursdays. The show will also have a two-night premiere starting Thursday, May 22, and continuing the following Wednesday.
- NBC is touting this as its All-American Summer, thanks to the August broadcast of the Summer Olympics. Apparently, a big part of that is American Gladiators, which returns May 12.
- The High School Musical reality show, now called High School Musical: Summer Session, will begin airing July 20, taking over both Sundays and Mondays for three weeks and ultimately airing on Mondays until the grand-prize winner is chosen.
- ABC's two big reality franchises, The Bachelorette and The Mole, both kick off in May: The Bachelorette starts May 19, while the new edition of The Mole starts May 26.
- Last Comic Standing, meanwhile, returns to NBC May 22.