Laura Linney and Armistead Maupin pitching brand new Tales of The City
Laura Linney is committed to playing Mary Ann Singleton. When other ongoing film/TV series might recast due to scheduling troubles or a host of other reasons, writer Armistead Maupin’s main character for his novel Tales of The City has become a shared creation between author and actor. Proof: the two have been pitching an updated miniseries to studios, which, come on, had to be the charming highlight of any of those executives’ days. The series, as it’s currently described by Maupin himself, will be set in modern-day San Francisco, with Mary Ann and best friend Michael Tolliver in Baby Boomer late-middle age. What they’ll be up to is a mystery, but it hardly matters (honestly, it could well be an actual mystery, since they’ve become embroiled in those before); we just want to watch these lovable characters grow as old as possible. Olympia Dukakis is already attached to the project, too, so now all that has to happen is for that elusive “go” light to turn green.
Wanda Sykes’ Dream Team
Wanda Sykes’ recurring role on Black-ish has us wanting more. It’s been too long since she was a regular on a hit series, and frankly we need her. That’s why it’s good news to hear she’s working on a pilot for My Name is Earl producer Marc Buckland that could land her back on weekly TV. The title – for now, anyway – is Dream Team. It’s about a soccer coach who’s gotten a little rusty and who then has to shepherd a group of 8-year-olds as they learn the sport. Justin Long stars as the coach, alongside Betty Gilpin (Nurse Jackie) and gay comic actor Parvesh Cheena (Outsourced). As with all pilots, this may be the first and last you ever hear about it, but you never know. In the meantime, Sykes is also shooting an untitled action comedy with Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer. Look, anything but another Ice Age movie.
Jim Parsons joins the cast of Hidden Figures
The forthcoming nonfiction book Hidden Figures is that rare property so movie-ready that even before its publication date (Sept. 6), a film version is already in production. Concerning the little-known history of the African-American women mathematicians who provided NASA with the data necessary to dominate the Space Race and give the US an edge in that arena of the Cold War, the book by Margot Lee Shetterly should go a few steps toward dismantling the historical face of science as white and male. And the movie, already scheduled for release in early 2017 – no doubt to coincide with Black History Month – and directed by Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent) will star Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Kirsten Dunst, Kevin Costner and Jim Parsons. We’re ready to see this one right now, just as long as it doesn’t prioritize its helpful white characters and turn into The Help Helps In Space.
Broadway: The Next Generation has a cast of thousands
Well, OK, not thousands. But a lot of people. And this forthcoming documentary is from Rick McKay, whose career is very sincerely focused on documenting the Broadway stage. He already made Broadway: The Golden Age, Elaine Stritch at Liberty and this year’s Broadway: Beyond The Golden Age, so he’s pretty much your guy for this sort of thing. As you might guess from its title, it’s set to showcase the people taking musical theater into the next few decades. People like Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jonathan Groff, Anika Noni Rose, Billy Porter and Megan Hilty. Not that the old guard isn’t represented. They speak, too. And by “they,” we mean Barbara Cook, Lillias White, Betty Buckley, Michael Crawford, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lea Salonga, Joanna Gleason, Rosemary Harris, Kelly Bishop, Debbie Allen, Cherry Jones, Nathan Lane, Richard Thomas, Loretta Devine, Donna Murphy, Bebe Neuwirth, John Lithgow, Frank Langella, and about seven dozen other names you know. The bad news? It’s not due until 2018, which is probably still sooner than you’ll get a ticket to Hamilton.
Romeo San Vicente came crawling back to Broadway.