Today in show business news: Jason Sudeikis and Kirsten Dunst try their hand at romantic comedy together, Bethenny Frankel's new show may be in trouble, and don't worry, there will be another Step Up movie.
Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine. Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler. Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler. Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. These are recent romantic comedy pairings that have not worked. In fact, the romantic comedy is, with a few exceptions, in a general state of disrepair at the moment. So might a new pairing help revive it? We thought the entirely winning combo of Drew Barrymore and Justin Long in Going the Distance might do it, but it didn't catch on for some reason. But now come Kirsten Dunst and Jason Sudeikis, who have just signed on to star together in a romantic comedy called Sleeping With Other People, to be written and directed by Bachelorette auteur Leslye Headland. That is an interesting group of people! Headland and Dunst did good things together in Bachelorette (though it was nowhere near as good, nor as dark and bruising, as Headland's original stage play). And Jason Sudeikis recently charmed in his first true leading role in We're the Millers. So this could work. The plot doesn't sound all that promising — "a good-natured womanizer ... befriends a remorseful serial cheater. Their platonic relationship reforms their chronic infidelity but sparks an inconvenient romantic attraction to each other" — but, whatever, a lot of romantic comedy concepts sound silly on paper. It's all in the details and, of course, the chemistry. Which could be an issue. Maybe it's just me, but doesn't Jason Sudeikis seem a lot older than Kirsten Dunst? They're only about six years apart, but still. Kirsten Dunst is the little girl from Interview With the Vampire! Jason Sudeikis is that guy who plays game show hosts on Saturday Night Live. It's a little odd. But, still, let's hope they can make it work. At this point any romantic comedy success would be welcome. And that Hugh Grant/Marisa Tomei movie is still a ways away. [Deadline]
Bethenny Frankel's new talk show and its official premiere yesterday, after a successful try-out run last year, and, well, the numbers ain't great. The former Real Housewives of New York star's show, obscurely titled Bethenny, debuted to numbers on par with the premieres of The Jeff Probst Show and Ricki Lake last year. Both of which are, y'know, gone now. So that is not good! There is a ray of sunshine, though. Deadline points out that in terms of demographic numbers, Bethenny did pretty well. In the desired demo, women 25-54, the show "was up double digits from its lead-in and the time period’s average last September." So the show will hold on to that, wave that in everyone's faces while desperately hoping that more viewers show up before everything goes kablooey. Because if things do go wrong, then in some ways Jill Zarin has won, and we cannot let that happen. [Deadline]
Michelle Monaghan is the final lead cast in Ryan Murphy's HBO sex pilot Open. She joins Scott Speedman, Anna Torv, Wes Bentley, and, excitingly, Jennifer Jason Leigh. Monaghan, who's been making a pleasant go of it in the movies for years now but for some reason hasn't moved much beyond wife/girlfriend/woman in trouble roles, will play Grace, a "recently engaged gynecologist." Speedman plays her fiance. So now that it's all cast, shooting can begin! Everyone take your clothes off and learn this song, Mr. Murphy will be will you in a moment. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Speaking of Ryan Murphy, here's a 30 second teaser thing for American Horror Story: Coven in which we get some early hint, a sliver of a hint, at the plot. Thrillingly, it looks like Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, and Angela Bassett are the head witches in charge, while folks like Taissa Farmiga and Gabourey Sidibe are their apprentices. We have to wait about a month to find out for sure, though. But everyone loves witches, right?? This should be good.