The Weirdest TV Pilot of the New Season

Today in show business news: A surprising talent gets involved in the network pilot game, bad news for Breaking Bad, and our first look at Michel Gondry's latest.

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NBC has announced a pilot order that, for us anyway, strikes us as the year's strangest. Not because it's about aliens with weird accents living nextdoor to a regular family or anything. (ABC already has that show.) It's because of the guy in charge. You see, Alfonso Cuarón is doing a TV show with NBC. Yes, like one of the greatest living directors Alfonso Cuarón, the man behind Y Tu Mama and Children of Men. He's doing a television pilot. For NBC. With J.J. Abrams. The show is called Believe and was co-written by Cuarón. It's about "the unlikely relationship between a girl in possession of a great gift/powers — which will come into their own in seven years — and the man who is sprung from prison to protect her from those trying to hunt her down." Huh. OK. That sounds... like a lot of other crappy shows from years past, from Heroes to Touch, which isn't good. But, it's him! It's Cuarón! So maybe it will be good anyway? He's directing it, too, so there's no way it can be terrible, right? This is all very strange, that he would debase himself so. But, hey, I guess people gotta eat, right? Even Alfonso Cuarón's gotta eat. [Deadline]

Some less strange pilot news: NBC has ordered a sitcom written by and starring John Mulaney, the cutie-patootie standup comedian and Saturday Night Live writer who has a fun, self-deprecating, vaguely old-timey sense of humor. The show will be "loosely based on the life" of Mulaney, which means it's sorta low-concept, and it will be multi-camera, neither of which makes the show sound that promising. But, again, Mulaney is good and Lorne Michaels is the executive producer, so it's certainly a project worth following. Who knows, maybe he'll get Iñárritu to direct the pilot. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Ugh, no AMC, no. Do not encourage this stuff. After the success of Chris Hardwick's Walking Dead after-show Talking Dead (yup), AMC is creating a post-Breaking Bad show called, well, Talking Bad. It will be hosted by, I dunno, Simon Rex or some other Hardwick-era MTV VJ. It used to be that only shows like The Hills (or The Avenue!) got after-shows, but now respectable dramas are getting into this irksome game. At least they'll never be able to do a Mad Men postmortem, as Talking Men is already the name of Kevin Jonas's podcast. [Deadline]

Perky former star of The CW's The Secret Circle (and, very importantly, Avalon High) Britt Robertson has been cast on the big new CBS pilot Under the Dome. That's the one based on the popular Steven King book about people living in a town that's... under a dome. Robertson is set to play "Angie, an attractive young waitress and aspiring nurse who’s always dreamed of escaping the town of Chester’s Mill." Sigh. Too bad she can't escape Chester's Mill. Because of the dome. That the town is under. In Under the Dome. [Deadline]

Here's a trailer for Michel Gondry's latest, L'écume des jours, which is being called Mood Indigo in its American release, because Froth on the Daydream doesn't quite work. Anyway, it stars Audrey Tautou and good ol' Romain Duris from L'Auberge Espagnole and it looks weird as hell. But, like, so deliberately weird. Obviously this is just a trailer and who knows, maybe the actual movie is whimsical and wonderful, but this little clip reel just makes me want to say calm down, dude. Just relax a little, Michel Gondry. Not everything has to be something, y'know? Not everything has to be something.

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