Vin Diesel Is Kojak 2.0
Today in show business news: Vin Diesel has a potentially big new project in the works, Bill Clinton and Martin Scorsese join forces, and Showtime had a big ratings night.
If there's any one thing that most people have been saying about Vin Diesel since he lurched onto the scene in the late 1990s, it's that he was the next Telly Savalas. Everyone said it! There are just so many similarities between the two, from the bald heads to the bald heads to the bald heads. So it makes perfect sense that Diesel is now taking over the role of Kojak from Savalas. Well, actually, he's technically taking it over from Ving Rhames, but that doesn't really count. (Though, it should. Ving Rhames is a very good, Juilliard-trained actor who was given his nickname by Stanley Tucci. Where's he been lately?) Yeah, the guys who wrote Skyfall are writing a new Kojak movie script, with Diesel set to play the bald, tough-talkin', lollipop-lickin' detective. Which is a big deal for Diesel, potentially. He's mostly just been making Fast & Furious and Riddick movies these days, so a brand-new franchise would help him out. And meanwhile Ving Rhames is stuck doing Piranha 3D. It just doesn't seem fair. [Deadline]
Bill Clinton will soon be getting the fictional treatment in a movie called Rodham, and will even sooner be getting the real-life documentary treatment in an HBO movie directed by none other than Martin Scorsese. Yes, Bubba and Marty are teaming up to tell Clinton's story, even though there was just a big long American Experience all about the guy. This one will probably be flashier, though, with lots of tracking shots and Leonardo DiCaprio playing Chelsea. ("Finally got you in a dress..." Scorsese will say, before sadly realizing that Clint Eastwood beat him to the punch.) Nah, it's actually going to be lots of interviews with Clinton and will follow his life post-presidency. So it will be like Scorsese's documentary Public Speaking, in which Leonardo DiCaprio played Fran Lebowitz. Could be good! [The Hollywood Reporter]
Everyone watched the season finales of Homeland and Dexter last night. Well, if we lived in Panama or Oman it would be actually everyone. As is, about 1% of the U.S. population watched the Showtime shows last night. Dexter earned 3.4 million viewers over two airings, while Homeland finished up with 2.7 million. So, less than 1% there. But these are still very high numbers for both shows. Records, even! Showtime has reason to celebrate. And reason to consider moving operations to Mongolia, where they'd basically have everyone in the whole country watching their shows. Think about it, Showtime. [Entertainment Weekly]
A TV series about Joan of Arc is in the works at British TV company Freemantle, with the guy who wrote Moulin Rouge adapting a novel called The Maid. The story traces Joan from peasant girl to military leader to witch or whatever crazy thing she was burned for. This could be very exciting! And will cause something of a casting frenzy across all Britain and Australia. (Americans rarely get cast in these things, though plenty of Brits get cast in our stuff all the time. It is the way of things.) The show is not attached to any American network yet, but you can be sure it will end up somewhere. Maybe Showtime Mongolia. If it's not very good, that is. Maybe AMC? Maybe HBO? Maybe Oprah's OWN Network? You never know. Wherever it lands, we'll be eager to see it. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Ben Stiller's production company has sold a show to ABC starring and written by Michael Ian Black. The show is "a comedy about modern marriage and parenting and takes a hard look at what happens when you wake up, look around, and don’t recognize the life you are living as your own." So it's every show ever made, basically. That is every sitcom ever made except for a few. It is almost every sitcom there has ever been. But, it's written by Michael Ian Black, so it will probably be actually funny. I went to a taping of a pilot he made for Comedy Central once and it was very funny but then it never went anywhere, but still, it was funny. So if this show goes somewhere, it will very likely be funny. And maybe a little sweet. He did a thing for Father's Day on This American Life that was very poignant. So. Even though it is every television comedy ever made, we should be excited about this. [Deadline]