Today in show business news: A Fox comedy gets the axe a day after an ABC comedy did, Showtime is developing a potentially controversial new show, and an American Horror Story alum returns to the show.
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Another day, another comedy down. Yesterday it was ABC's Don't Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 (we can start saying "bitch" now that it's off the air, right?), today it's Fox's Ben & Kate. The network has pulled the show, about a brother and sister duo played by Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson (son of Don & Melanie G.), from its schedule starting immediately, and will be replacing it with back-to-back episodes of Raising Hope. Ah well. Though many critics (though, ahem, not all) liked the show, and as is almost always the case its small fanbase was fairly devoted, Ben & Kate never had the oopmh, in ratings or in on demand viewings, of other Fox comedies like New Girl and, to a lesser extent, The Mindy Project. (Which just did a fairly significant cast retooling.) Meanwhile Fox has only one new comedy coming in during the midseason shuffle, the strange-looking The Goodwin Games, which, according to The Hollywood Reporter, "recently had its episode count cut to just seven." So... it's thin times in the Fox comedy department, just when they looked to be getting robust. (THR also points out that Raising Hope's future is in jeopardy, as its creator and showrunner Greg Garcia just finished a contract with Fox and is moving on to new things.) At least there's The Following to buoy the network! Or, well, maybe not. American Idol? Hm, not really. All right then, New Girl it is. Go long, Zooey. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Robert De Niro and his producing partner Jane Rosenthal have successfully pitched a project to Showtime, one with the button-pushing title The Fourth Reich. The show would be about neo-Nazis, particularly "a dogmatic faction of the neo-Nazi movement in South Boston. When a former leader is sprung from jail by agreeing to become a confidential informant to the FBI, he assimilates back to his old life and finds his estranged 15-year-old son has been co-opted by his former best friend and now current leader of the Brotherhood. The trajectory of the series will track the central character caught between two worlds as he starts to gain perspective and change." So... it's American History X meets Donnie Brasco meets Good Will Hunting. Hm. The Boston thing is strange. I know that people like that do exist in Southie and elsewhere in the city, but it's not exactly a hot-bed. Ah well. The show does sound kind of interesting, though it's going to be really hard to make many of the characters even remotely likable. At least on Sons of Anarchy they're not complete monsters. But neo-Nazis? Those dudes are real jerks. But really, we shouldn't worry. We can trust a network like Showtime to handle the material delicately, wisely, and without a hint of sensationalism. I mean, that's just what Showtime does. Showtime is the one that aired The Sopranos and The Wire right? [Deadline]
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Though she took a break from the second season — wisely it turns out, what a mess — American Horror Story season one vet Taissa Farmiga will return for the third installment next year. No one really knows anything about the next season, except that it's going to take place in three different cities and that it's going to focus more on the ladies. Farmiga will play one of the leads, a mea culpa as show co-creator Ryan Murphy was sorry he couldn't find a place for her on Asylum. And really, would she have wanted one? What a dreary, incoherent slog this season has been. It started off promising enough, but oof, about halfway through it just turned into a muddle of muck. But that's the interesting thing about this project. This season being bad has no bearing on next season, because it's going to be completely different! Sure Famiga, Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, and Sarah Paulson will all be back, but they'll be doing different things. So while we're not all that excited about the Asylum finale tonight, we are looking forward to learning more about season three. [Entertainment Weekly]
The CW has ordered a reworked pilot (one was already shot last year) based on a Y.A. novel called The Selection. It is described thus: "Set 300 years in the future, The Selection is described as an epic romance centering on a working class young woman chosen by lottery to participate in a competition with 25 other women for the Royal Prince’s hand to become the nation’s next queen. Balancing her loyalty to family, true love, and kingdom, she must attempt to remain true to herself as she navigates the cutthroat competition and palace intrigue, all while a budding rebellion threatens to topple the crown." So it's The Hunger Games except with marriage instead of murder. Basically it could be called Senior Year at Ole Miss. Doesn't mean we won't watch it, but that premise is a little off-putting, isn't it? I mean, we already have The Bachelor. Do we really need a scripted teen version of it set in the future? Actually, now that we've typed that out it's clear that yes, yes of course we do. [Deadline]