LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - So it turns out "The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story" is really just Lifetime for "Sharknado." The network opted not to screen the movie in advance, presumably assuming the nostalgia/live-tweeting factor would only be undermined by the realization this wasn't so much a movie as a music montage interrupted by reenactments from a mediocre but improbably long-running '90s Saturday-morning show. Told primarily from the perspective of Dustin Diamond (who doubles as a producer), the project explores the age-old insecurities of young actors and challenges of sudden stardom, but in such a tedious, empty way the bell couldn't come soon enough.
Diamond's memoir about the show (which he later disavowed) was said to have provided only partial inspiration for this account, but since Diamond (as played by Sam Kindseth) narrates the movie, periodically breaks the fourth wall to address the camera and generally guides us through this not-so-magical history tour, that sounds like a distinction without a difference.
As related by Diamond, who played nerd supreme Screech, the movie follows the birth of a show (out of the ashes of a jettisoned Disney Channel series), casting of the principals and near-cancellation before the program caught on. Even in success, however, Diamond clearly feels under-appreciated, grousing that during a promotional tour the others were shipped to glamorous cities while he was dispatched to a rec center in South Carolina, where he promptly got drunk and embarrassed the producers.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Since its rebranding, Esquire is hardly the highest-profile network around, but it's making a pretty strong bid to be one of the more obnoxious. Pushing a jet-setting lifestyle, the channel and movie producer Joel Silver have turned to Jean "Johnny" Pigozzi, an investor in high-tech firms -- born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth -- who has parlayed that into friendships with famous people. Their casual conversations provide the foundation for "My Friends Call Me Johnny," but other than eliciting boorishness from the likes of director Brett Ratner and American Apparel's ousted CEO Dov Charney, seldom has a half-hour felt this long.
Pigozzi describes his outlook on life as follows: "Never go to the office before 12. Business can be fun. And women like to have sex." Setting the third aside, the first two would fall squarely into the "Nice work if you can get it" column.
Unfortunately, nothing about the premiere explains weshy Pigozzi is considered such a hale fellow, and the conversations, seemingly designed to catch the rich and famous in unguarded moments, simply involve prodding them to say jerkier things than they would in a more traditional interview setting. So Ratner brags about the women he dates -- essentially characterizing them as bimbos, without using the word -- while Charney (whose behavior cost him control of the company) mostly dances around Pigozzi's more impertinent questions.
Who doesn’t love a good TV marathon?
Sit back and relax this Labor Day with some of your favorite shows. Thanks to The Huffington Post, you are set with tons of good marathons to watch on Monday.
Below are 10 shows to choose from but you can check out the full list here.
Nick Vadala, Philly.com
"Girl Meets World" may have moved the very Philly universe of "Boy Meets World" to New York, but star Danielle Fishel will soon make her way back to the area — this time, for a book signing. The return of Topanga Lawrence is upon us.
Chester County Book & Music Company in West Chester will host Fishel Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. as she signs copies of her new book, "Normally, This Would Be Cause for Concern: Tales of Calamity and Unrelenting Awkwardness." Playing a large part in that book is — what else? — Fishel's time on Boy Meets World, which still holds a special place in the hearts of many millennials today. As per the event's Facebook page:
“I would describe my book as being a very honest look at a very honest girl who makes a lot of mistakes,” Fishel said. “I talk about my experiences of growing up in the entertainment industry, specifically on 'Boy Meets World,' I share a lot of great pictures and fun stories about my time with Ben Savage, with Rider Strong and in general what it was like growing up the way I did.”
Molly Eichel, Daily News Staff Writer
Fox 29 sports anchor Colleen Wolfe is leaving Fox 29 for the NFL Network according to various sources. Her final day is on Sunday, and she'll start with the NFL Network on Tuesday. The Drexel grad had been with Fox 29 since 2012. Wolfe was a popular figure in the market, making it all the way to the quarterfinals of Crossing Broad's Philly Sports Media Field of 64, upsetting NBC10's John Clark and CSN's Marshall Harris and Neil Hartman.
Replacing Wolfe, is former 6ABC sports anchor Keith Russell, who returns to the Philadelphia market. Russell, a West Oak Lane native, spent seven years with 6 before departing for Washington, D.C. The Central High grad, who left the market in 2012, did a stint at ESPN before his 6ABC tenure.
Russell will join Howard Eskin beginning next week as a co-anchor for "Game Day Live." He will also anchor the stations Friday and Saturday night newscasts at 6 and 10 p.m., in addition to contributing to the "Sports Sunday" show.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - "Have mercy!" Is "Full House" really coming back to TV? According to sources, a revival of the '90s ratings darling has been proposed, but it's not reality just yet.
While nothing is set in stone, there's been talks at Warner Bros. Television about bringing back the sitcom, and some of its original cast, for a revival nearly 20 years after the 1987-1995 show had its finale. Cast member John Stamos is reportedly at the head of the idea, along with original series creator Jeff Franklin and executive producer Bob Boyett.
It's little wonder why Warner Bros. would want to bring back "Full House." Primetime repeats of the show average 1.5 million viewers, according to Nick at Nite, pulling in fans that are too young to even remember the show's original run.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - While "True Detective" star Matthew McConaughey was considered the frontrunner in the lead drama actor race at the 2014 Emmy Awards, it was director Cary Joji Fukunaga who scored the show's sole win at Monday's ceremony for Outstanding Directing. The season's only director, Fukunaga won the gong for "Who Goes There," which featured a six-minute, single-take tracking shot at the close of the hour.
The series also won four awards at the Creative Arts Emmys ceremony, including casting, makeup, main title design and cinematography. McConaughey and costar Woody Harrelson lost out to "Breaking Bad" lead Bryan Cranston, and the departing AMC series also took home the Outstanding Drama award.
"Detective" may have suffered from competing in the crowded drama category, when most pundits considered the anthology show a miniseries, in the same vein as "Fargo" and "American Horror Story." A similar fate befell "Orange is the New Black," which competed in the comedy category and lost to "Modern Family," instead of vying for the drama prize.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - In one of the stranger moments of the Primetime Emmy Awards, host Seth Meyers and Andy Samberg took the stage to introduce parody artist "Weird Al" Yankovic, who created a medley of TV theme songs with added lyrics.
With a large group of dancers behind him, Yankovic riffed off the theme songs for "Mad Men," "Scandal," "Homeland," "Modern Family" and "Game of Thrones," giving each lyrics that describe the show's plot. He played off of Kerry Washington's "Scandal" relationship, singing, "It's not because she's cold, it's because she just loves the president," while also ruminating about "Modern Family's" appeal by mentioning, "a couple of gay guys."
The sequence ended with a dancer in the audience providing "Game of Thrones" writer George R.R. Martin with a typewriter as Yankovic told him to, "type as fast as you can." Samberg followed up the performance with a humorous impersonation of King Joffrey while Lena Headey was presenting the night's next award.