HBO Drops Something Big, Picks Another Up

Today: Some new series drama on premium cable, NBC goes gay again, and Angus T. Jones is very rich.

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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: Some new series drama on premium cable, NBC goes gay again, and Angus T. Jones is very rich.

HBO has officially passed on the TV series based Jonathan Franzen's family saga novel The Corrections, which was adapted by Noah Baumbach and starred Chris Cooper, Dianne Wiest, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Ewan McGregor. Yes! HBO said no, to that. Yikes, it must have been terrible. Or too expensive. Or boring. Or something. I mean, who was really going to watch that anyway? Sure all those coastal, cardigan-wearing, horn-rimmed bespectacled, food co-op members would, but how many of them even have HBO? It's the Girls problem only with adults. So I guess it does make some sense that HBO would decide to not proceed with this, despite all the talent involved. Hey, HBO, any chance you'll release the pilot though? Just so we can see what it would have been like? And while you're at it maybe you could release The Miraculous Year, too? We undertand you have your reasons for not producing whole series of these things, but as long as the pilots exist can't we see them at least? After all that news, to just get nothing in the end is a letdown. So come on, guys. Give up the goods. And to all you Franzen fans boohooing into your vegan chicory lattes or local Fort Greene beers or whatever, better luck next time. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Meanwhile, HBO has gone and picked up, straight to series, no pilot needed, the show True Detective, the first season of which will star Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as detectives unraveling a decades-old mystery. The season after will be the same format — multiple time frames and points of view — just with a different mystery and new characters. So that is pretty big! Bigger, maybe, than The Corrections. Or at least likely to a draw a bigger crowd. I mean, famous drawl monsters Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, solving murders, on every  week. Whoo boy. You're gonna need a bigger TV, basically. [Deadline]

Ha. Elijah Wood has signed on to star in an indie thriller that's described as "Speed at a piano." Yes. As in: "The story concerns a once-great concert pianist who suffers from stage fright and comes back to perform after a five-year hiatus. Just when he's about to play the first bar, he notices somebody has written a threatening note on his music sheet. He's now forced to play his best concert ever to save his life as well as his wife's." Terrific. I can't wait for the sequel, Grand Piano 2: Bassoon Control. Very exciting. Great movie idea, guys. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Well, Ashton Kutcher, Jon Cryer, and Angus T. Beefburger will all be back for a 10th season of Two and a Half Men. Well, it'll only be Kutcher's second season, but you get it. They're each keeping their salaries and getting a signing bonus, but lest you start to feel bad for them for not getting raises, consider that Kutcher makes some $700,000 an episode, Cryer only a little less, and Angus T. Hamburg, a teenager, makes $300k per episode. Yes, that awkward little bastard is a millionaire many times over and you are not. Angus T. Jones is richer than any of us and will forever be. He's 18 and never has to work again. (And, let's be real, never will. Hahahah. Mean.) So, there's your daily good feeling for the day. [Deadline]

It seems that Ryan Murphy's new show is all but a go at NBC and might premiere as early as August, in the hopes that it can ride the ratings wave of the Olympics. The show is called The New Normal and is about a gay couple and the surrogate they pick to have a kid with. The show features the eclectic talent of NeNe Leakes, Ellen Barkin, Leslie Grossman (Mary Cherry!), and Michael Hitchcock (from Christopher Guest movies). So it could be good? The gay dudes are played by Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells, so no complaints there. But, obviously, Ryan Murphy is a little hard to depend on. There's Glee, which ugh, but then American Horror Story, which yay. Though AHS has only had one season, so who knows what disaster potentially awaits next time around. But yeah, no matter what Murphy ultimately ends up doing to the show, the point is that soon NeNe Leakes and Ellen Barkin will be doing acting scenes together and NBC hopes they will save the network. Talk about a Hail, Mary. [Vulture]

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