Coming Attractions: Tv and Film News From 05/02/2021

coming attractions 05022021Latest Update: This week we’ve news on the second series of Sarah Kendall’s Frayed, Lost Voice Guy adapting his radio sitcom for tv, Salma Hayek making a series about talking breasts, one of Chris Gethard’s podcast transferring to tv, Amy Poehler’s latest movie Moxie, a series based on sci-fi comedy film Save Yourselves, and much much more.

Ability – The British Comedy Guide has revealed that Lost Voice Guy is adapting his Radio 4 sitcom Ability for television. “The comic, otherwise known as Lee Ridley, is currently working on a pilot script with Katherine Jakeways, his original co-writer on the radio series, and producer Jane Berthoud…Ahead of Ability returning to Radio 4 for a third series next week (Wednesday 10th February), Ridley, who plays Matt, who like him has cerebral palsy and uses a voice synthesiser to communicate, told BCG in an interview published today that he’d “love to see Ability on television. I think it’d work even better with the added visual aspect.” Berthoud declined to reveal which channel the pilot is being developed for. But she said that the adaptation would draw from the radio series without slavishly attempting to remake it.”

Beautiful/Anonymous – Chris Gethard’s podcast where he chats to a stranger for an hour is transferring to tv. “There are only two rules: He won’t know their name and he can’t hang up first – no matter what. Now, the massively popular Beautiful/Anonymous is getting the TV treatment, premiering on February 11 on First Look Media’s streaming service, Topic. The TV show will work similarly to the podcast, where Gethard tweets out the B/A phone number and has a half-hour conversation with the lucky stranger picked to talk to him. But while Gethard won’t know who he’s talking to, the TV version’s conversations will “be illustrated by different imagery such as still photos and video footage,” per a recent press release.”

A Boob’s Life – Salma Hayek is to produce this new HBO Max series based on a forthcoming book by Leslie Lehr about “a 40-year-old woman who suddenly discovers that her breasts can talk to her…And while there’s obviously something intentionally absurdist about contemplating the inner lives of mammary glands, Hayek and Lehr—who co-produces—have clearly put a lot of thought into what topics might be on their minds. “We are so appreciative that HBO Max was insightful and bold enough to develop this show with us,” Hayek said in a statement about the series. “In A Boob’s Life, we use breasts as a metaphor for the constant judgement women are submitted to, creating a collective sensation that no matter what we do we are never enough. In this show, we give the breast a voice that takes us through the life of a woman from a unique perspective that often we don’t dare to see.””

The Chair – More cast additions to this Netflix dramedy have been announced. “Bob Balaban, Nana Mensah, David Morse, and Everly Carganilla have all been cast in series regular roles, Variety has learned. In addition, Ji Yong Lee, Mallory Low, Marcia DeBonis, Ron Crawford, Ella Rubin, and Bob Stephenson have all been cast in guest starring roles. They join the previously announced cast memebers Sandra Oh, Jay Duplass and Holland Taylor. The six episode, half-hour series centers around the Chair of an English department, Ji-Yoon (Oh), at a small university.”

The Farm – Stand-up and farmer Jim Smith has made a sitcom pilot for the BBC. “A 30-minute taster of The Farm, in which Perthshire livestock breeder Smith plays a cloddishly exaggerated version of himself, has been shot by BBC Studios to air on BBC One Scotland on 17th February, following a successful series of shorts for iPlayer from 2018. The pilot was written by Smith, who plays lovelorn Jim MacDonald, along with fellow stand-up Chris Forbes (Scot Squad), who plays none-too-bright farmhand Donnie. It follows farmer Jim as he faces sticky situations whilst trying to keep his agricultural business on track. It’s not always idyllic as Jim, tractorman Donnie and his mother Mary regularly struggle against the elements, each other and outside forces, on their farm in deepest Perthshire. Jim is a proud man; often wounded but never beaten, who cares deeply about what he does. Mary is extremely hard to please and doesn’t mind delivering home truths. Donnie is loyal to a fault and always eager to please. The Jim’s neighbouring farm is up for let and Jim’s excited about the possibilities. But a strident rambler and some birthday blues threaten to derail him. Ann-Louise Ross (Bob Servant Independent) returns as Jim’s temperamental mother, while Anita Vettesse (Get Duked!) plays Sandra the Rambler and Billy Mack (Still Game) appears as Kevin the Factor. Like the shorts, the pilot is filmed at Smith’s own farm with his dog, sheep and cows. Stuart Elliott, who helmed the iPlayer shoots, returns again as director.”

Frayed – Sarah Kendall’s sitcom is returning for a second series on Sky. “Talking about the plot, the producers say: “We find Sammy (Kendall) and her kids, having made it out of Australia, living in a tiny London flat while she frantically tries to prove that her lawyer, Rufus (Robert Webb), stole her house. Barely able to make ends meet working in ‘exhaust management’ (she’s a secretary in a muffler repair shop), Sammy is desperate to find a way to reclaim her opulent London life. She must also keep her kids far away from Australia and the truth about what happened to their neighbour. “Meanwhile back down under in Newcastle, an ambitious cop heads up the missing persons case and simply does not believe Sammy’s neighbour would just disappear. With Jim (Ben Mingay), Jean (Kerry Armstrong) and Abby (Alexandra Jensen) trying to keep their secret hidden, and con artist Bev (Doris Younane) lurking on the scene, it’s only a matter of time until Sammy is called back to be a key witness in the case.” The producers confirmed today that Diane Morgan will reprise her role as Fiona, and that Matt Passmore (Dan), George Houvardas (Chris), Frazer Hadfield (Lenny) and Maggie Ireland-Jones (Tess) will also be in the new series. Hamish Michael (Rosehaven), Jane Hall (Neighbours) and Emma Harvie will be joining the cast.”

Hicks – An ABC pilot in the works, “The show follows three former sorority sisters who lost touch after college and reunite during a pivotal point in their lives. They realize sometimes it’s okay to crack and when you do, no one will be there for you like your friends.”

Kate and Allie – NBC have ordered a pilot of a reboot of this series, which “hails from writer and executive producer Erica Oyama. It follows two best friends raising their kids together in one household. They are like sister wives, only they don’t have to pretend to love the same man with bad hair. Through their unconventional arrangement, the two prove romance isn’t necessary to be a successful woman and mother…The original “Kate and Allie” aired on CBS from 1984-1989 for six seasons and over 120 episodes. It starred Susan Saint James and Jane Curtin in the title roles, with Sherry Coben having created the show.”

Maggie – Is another pilot that ABC are making which is “written by Maggie Mull and Justin Adler, with both also executive producing… In the show, a young woman tries to cope with life while coming to terms with her abilities as a psychic. She can see everyone’s future, but her present is a mess. It is based on the short film of the same name by Tim Curcio”.

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman – Emily Hampshire is to star in a remake of this Norman Lear sitcom parody according to the AV Club. “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a TV sensation in the 1970s, sending up the soap opera genre while injecting a relentless tide of consumer satire into the heart of the American home. A stereotypical housewife living an often un-stereotypical life, Lasser’s Mary lived in fear of “waxy yellow buildup” and the constant outbreaks of bizarre violence around her, introducing the wider world to the resident strangeness (and strange residents) of her hometown of Fernwood, Ohio. The new series sounds like it’s hoping to do something similar—except with the obligatory internet twist, as Hampshire’s Mary is forced to deal with the consequences and “verified” attention of the world after a clip of her having a breakdown goes viral online. The reboot series – just the latest in efforts to revive Lear’s socially conscious, often biting TV comedy for modern audiences, following in the footsteps of One Day At A Time—is being developed at Sony TV”.

Moxie – Amy Poehler’s latest film sees her direct and co-star, “playing a suburban mom whose rebellious past inspires her daughter to subvert the bro-forward culture at her high school. Today, the streamer shared the rowdy first trailer for the feminist teen comedy.” More info and a trailer is here:

Patriot Brains – Bill Bailey is heading to New Zealand to tour and while there he’ll be hosting a new panel show “in which Kiwis and Australians battle it out to prove they know the most about their own country…The comedian said: ‘I am very much looking forward to hosting Patriot Brains, and a chance to referee a spirited international debate between two rival countries, which could end up as a right old ding-dong. A ding-dong which I hope to be thought-provoking, informative and hilarious.’”

Punky Brewster – A trailer for the reboot is here:

Real Love – Is a semi-improvised film which will star Russell Tovey and Sian Clifford, and is directed by Jamie Adams. “Rosie Day (Living The Dream) co-stars in the film, produced with the working title Real Love, in a cast that also includes Clifford’s fellow Fleabag alumnus Hugh Skinner, as well as Richard Herring, Nick Helm, Ophelia Lovibond (Feel Good, W1A), Mali Ann Rees (Tourist Trap), Phoebe Torrance, Richard Elis and Laura Patch…The comedy follows down-on-their-luck best friends Sally, Denise and Mick, who hatch a plan to receive a sizeable family inheritance by staging a sham wedding.”

Red Dwarf – Due to tedious legal reasons the future of the series is currently in doubt.

Red Nose Day – Takes place on March 19th this year and will feature “A contribution from Dawn French as the Vicar of Dible and a special edition of David Tennant and Michael Sheen’s lockdown comedy series, Staged”. More info and celebrities offering bland platitudes are here:

Save Yourselves – A tv version of this sci-fi comedy is in the works according to Deadline. “Save Yourselves! The film, which premiered at Sundance last year, comes from writer-directors Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson. It follows Jack, played by Search Party’s John Reynolds, and Su, played by Glow’s Sunita Mani, a hip Brooklyn couple who like many of their friends find themselves dependent on technology and unable to put down their phones. Fearing their mindless scrolling may impact their connection with each other, they seize the chance to head to an isolated cabin in the woods, vowing to unplug from the outside world for a week. Sheltered from texts and push notifications, they are blissfully unaware when aliens attack the Earth. As strange events unfold, the couple must figure out a way back to civilization — or what’s left of it. Ben Sinclair also stars.”

Spreadsheet – Is a new Australian comedy series from Kala Ellis that Rhys Nicholson is also involved with, “about a woman who uses a database to help her sex life. The eight-part TV series, Spreadsheet, has just been handed a share of £3.3million funding from Screen Australia. It revolves around a recently divorced and hectically busy mother-of-two, Lauren, who is looking for sex without commitment. With the help of her best friend, they create a spreadsheet of options of who she is going to sleep with. Producers Viacom CBS say: ‘Lauren is determined to prove women can play men at their own game, from mastering casual sex, to a career, her family and her own sanity.’”

Starstruck – Rose Matafeo’s sitcom has been given a second series before the first airs, and her stand up show Horndog is set to air on BBC1 as well after being shown in the US on HBO last year. “Starstruck, in which Matafeo plays Rose, a twenty-something juggling two dead-end jobs in London whilst navigating the awkward consequences of accidentally sleeping with a film star, will also air on the BBC and HBO Max this spring, with a second series recording later this year. Joining Matafeo in the cast are Alastair Roberts (Stath Lets Flats), Emma Sidi (Pls Like), Jon Pointing (Plebs), Tessa Coates (The Other One), Matthew Jacobs Morgan (Enterprice), Ambreen Razia (The Emily Atack Show), Nadia Parkes (Doctor Who) and Joe Barnes of sketch duo Goodbear, with other casting yet to be revealed.”

Untitled Alec Berg Dramedy – The Barry showrunner is working with Soprano’s star Michael Imperioli which will be a “meta blend of fact and fiction based on Imperiloi’s experiences as a practicing Buddhist”, though work on it has only just begun and no network is currently attached.

The Wonder Years – Originally announced back in July, a pilot is to be made of the remake of the show – “It will show how a black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama in the turbulent late 1960s, made sure it was The Wonder Years for them too. The series hails from writer and executive producer Saladin Patterson with Lee Daniels and Marc Velez of Lee Daniels Entertainment also executive producing. “Wonder Years” star Fred Savage will direct the pilot and executive produce. Neal Marlens, the original show’s creator, will serve as consultant.”

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Alex Finch.
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