The Failure of 'Liz & Dick' and the End of the Lohan Era

Today in show business news: The much talked-about (and teased) Lifetime biopic didn't score huge ratings, Beyoncé is going into the Beyoncé business, and Cory and Topanga and live.

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Though your Twitter feed might have been choked with mean jokes about the Lifetime biopic Liz & Dick last night, it wasn't really much of a hit. The insanely awful movie, which had Lindsay Lohan playing Elizabeth Taylor, netted only 3.5 million viewers, which is certainly big enough for a basic cable network, but not a blowout success when you consider the network's recent Steel Magnolias remake raked in 6.5 million sets of eyeballs. Liz & Dick even had fewer viewers than The Craigslist Killer, whose biggest star was that dopey guy from Greek. So what happened? Lifetime promo'd the hell out of this thing, and there was that Lindsay Lohan looky-loo curiosity factor, and yet it still under-delivered. Maybe no one cares about Elizabeth Taylor? If only she had killed a few people through MySpace or been a sassy salon owner. Or maybe it's just that the Lohan Trainwreck Express is losing some steam? Whatever the reason, it's both good and bad news. On the negative side, we probably won't get our dreamed-of string of Lohan/Lifetime biopics now, but on the positive end, maybe it means we are finally moving past the mean Lohan era and into something less disaster-obsessed. As for the future of LiLo? Well, who knows. Maybe she should have used some of Elizabeth Taylor's diamonds before the movie aired. After all, those always brought Liz some luck. [Deadline]

Beyoncé to direct movie about Beyoncé! Yes, America's most wonderful and important woman has actually already made a backstage documentary about herself that will make its debut on HBO in February. Beyoncé says that she's excited to be working with the premium cable network, and that "This film was so personal to me." Well... uh, yes. One would hope that a movie one directs about oneself would be personal to... oneself. That should perhaps go without saying! Anyway, this documentary will hopefully be illuminating, as Bey has, in the past, been considered a somewhat private person. Except for that time she announced her pregnancy at the Video Music Awards. Other than that, totally private. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Hang ye heads, nerdy fans of nerdy British television. The BBC has announced, via Syfy, that it will be ending the fantasy series Merlin after five deeply nerdy seasons. The show's creators say it has reached its creative zenith and to continue on would be belaboring the story. So, goodbye Arthur and Morgana, and, um, Merlin and Lancelot, and, uh, Phil and Gus and Sandra and whoever else might have been characters on that show. Nobody really knows. Anyway, now Game of Thrones can reign supreme as the one true fantasy series on the air, unless you count Once Upon a Time, which you really, really should not. Like really do not. [Entertainment Weekly]

Oh, god. It is not a good day to be a nerdy fan of nerdy British television! The BBC has also announced that the third season of its popular Sherlock series might not return until 2014. Well, if you live in the US. It will likely air late next year in the UK, because they made it so they get to watch it first. But even so, that's a long damn wait for more of Benedict Cumberbumber and The Hobbit. In the meantime you'll have just to watch Elementary and wonder why they don't have Lucy Liu do anything but leave the room when Sherlock tells her to. [Enteratinment Weekly]

Well, now. Fans of cheesy American teen TV can rejoice. Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel, aka Cory and Topanga, have officially joined the cast of the Disney Channel Boy Meets World-inspired pilot Girl Meets World, about C & T raising a teenage daughter. Yup. That's a thing that is actually happening. The daughter's name will be Riley, because of course it will be Riley. That part has not been cast, nor has the inevitable Mr. Feeny nextdoor mentor role, but we can probably assume that part will be played by the butler from Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Or not butler, but whatever he was. As for original series member Will Friedle? Well, he'll be "playing" a guy who loiters around the set and does oddjobs when necessary but mostly stands outside the trailers, smoking cigarettes and muttering to himself. [TV Line]

How about that. Good Morning America looks poised to win the November sweeps ratings race for the first time since 1994. With longtime top-dog the Today show faltering, GMA has sneaked in to take the crown. They're only going to win by about 43,000 audience members, but that doesn't matter. A win is a win is a win. Bonuses all around for the GMA staff, champagne and cigars for those of age, and lots of hugs for everyone. And those of you at Today? Firings and public shamings, the tarring and feathering of Matt Lauer, and the returning of Al Roker to the pit of Tartarus where they found him. Savannah Guthrie has already been crated and put back in storage. [Deadline]

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