Dark Days for 'Whitney'

Whitney is in trouble, Seth Grahame-Smith continues to be richer than you, and Jeremy Renner goes witch hunting.

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The Call Sheet sifts through the day's glut of Hollywood news to find the stories even non-industry types care about. Today: Whitney is in trouble, Seth Grahame-Smith continues to be richer than you, and Jeremy Renner goes witch hunting.

In a desperate, terrible Hail Mary attempt to attract new eyeballs, NBC's quickly fading comedy Whitney brought on none other than modern comedy scourge Chelsea Handler for a guest starring role last night. Wow, finally! Chelsea Handler and Whitney Cummings, together at last. How long we've all been waiting for that winning pairing, a combination of humors from approximately 2003 and 1999 respectively, mashed together on a bright, atonal NBC sitcom in the year 2011. Though, hm, as excited as we all were (we all were) about the event, the show earned as low ratings as it ever has, with a paltry 4 million people tuning in for a 1.9 rating. Not so good. And look, we know that piling on the Whitney criticism heap is getting a bit tiresome at this point, but seriously. Can't they just put this thing to bed? And, y'know, make room for... Are You There, Chelsea? Oh god, there's just no winning here is there? [EW]

Speaking of bad television, here is a six-internet-page-long article about what went wrong with the Ashton Kutcher Two and a Half Men revamp, where two words would have sufficed. Seriously, why is anyone waxing long-form about the various mistakes and cock-ups of Two and a Half Men? The show could have been *called* Mistakes & Cock-Ups. Hm, we think we just came up with the title for our British sitcom pilot. Thanks, Ashton! [The Wrap]

Oh boy, you know who is rich and you're not? Seth Grahame-Smith. The little rascal who wrote Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and sold that to the movies for a bunch of money and wrote some other screenplays, has just sold the rights to his latest book, another revisionist tale (he also did Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) called Unholy Night (about the three wise men). The deal is worth a reported $2 million. Two million dollars! For, like, changing an old story around! Why is the world so terribly unfair? Occupy Seth Grahame-Smith, etc. etc. Sigh. Whatever. Who wants two million dollars? Two million dollars isn't cool. You what's cool? No million dollars. That's what's cool. Right. Hmph. :( [Deadline]

In other news involving money, Mattel has decided to make a Barbie doll out of Nikki Minaj and sell it for charity for $1,000. Oh, wait, just reread that. Ha, no no, Mattel hasn't turned evil and made plans to turn the actual Nikki Mnaj into a Barbie doll. It's making a Barbie doll modeled on the singer, because apparently her fans call themselves Barbies. (That's a whole thing that happens these days, huh? Can't wait for the inevitable Gaga/Minaj war movie, Monsters vs. Barbies.) So yeah, if you're the most dedicated Barbie out there, go buy this other Barbie that looks sorta like the singer you like and the money will go to charity. Lots of weirdness eventually trickling down to a good cause. [THR]

Here's a first image of Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which... good grief, really guys? Does this involve Abraham Lincoln too? Why is this movie? Just why is it? Well, obviously Van Helsing proved that changing old literary characters into action heroes always works so well, what a fine entertainment that film is. Oh and The Brothers Grimm of course, mustn't forget that effecting masterpiece. So this will come out and then what? Pippi Longstocking: Zombie Killer? Oliver Twist: Grave Robber? It'll just keep going all the way up to Mr. Toad: Immigrant Hunter and then the whole thing will explode. It's gonna be great. [EW]

More medieval things: Marion Cotillard has been offered a role in the upcoming Arthur & Lancelot (Bromance Hunters?). She would play Morgana, the sorceress witch lady who's related to Arthur. That would be fitting! Well, but kind of backwards. Meaning, we all know that Marion Cotillard is a French deer fawn that was turned human by a witch's spell, so there's the whole witch thing in common. "Where did you get your inspiration from Ms. Cotillard?" "I based Morgana on my creator... I mean mother. Yes.  My mother..." It would be kind of perfect! [Vulture]

VH1 is going to do a bunch of biopics about famous singers and bands, which will surely be amazing given VH1's track record in producing excellent scripted television programming, and the first up will be one about TLC. So, yeah, that's an interesting story for sure. What with house burning down and rivalry and, sniff, premature death. But really, just wake us up when they get to Sisters With Voices. That's the story we really want to hear. [Deadline]

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.