Yes, the network upfronts, where they show off their Fall lineups, were this week, but I wasn't there, and neither were you. So let's talk about other exciting things going on the world of future television and film.
Funny Phony Newsreaders Spun Off From Childrens Hospital
Deadline.com reported that Adult Swim gave a series order to Newsreaders, a spinoff from their outrageous medical drama parody, Childrens Hospital. Fans of that show will remember "Newsreaders", the TV newsmagazine show hosted by Louis La Fonda (Mather Zickel) that went behind the scenes with hard-hitting interviews of the fictional cast of Childrens Hospital. The new series shares the creative team of executive producers Robb Corddry, Jonathan Stern, and David Wain, and Zickel will reportedly reprise his role as La Fonda. Applying the Childrens Hospital formula to TV news -- perhaps even more ripe for mockery -- sounds pretty surefire.
Children's Hospital (Cartoon Network)
Harold and Kumar Go to Adult Swim
In other short, funny news, Adult Swim has also greenlit an animated series featuring the stars of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. Lionsgate is producing the show, and I am just going to assume that John Cho and Kal Penn will do the voiceover work. Normally this kind of animated spinoff of a successful feature does not appeal to me. But unlike, say, Napoleon Dynamite, these characters have proven their longevity with two sequels, and the loose-limbed, drug-fueled zaniness of the films seems well-suited to the cartoon form.
John Cho and Kal Penn (Getty)
Riggle in the '80s for HBO
The other non-upfront news involves comedian Rob Riggle, who is developing a new sitcom for HBO. Riggle will play a successful bond trader with a dark side on the show, which is set in the go-go 1980s. Greed is good, etc. The creative team includes including writers Riggle, Adam McKay (Anchorman), and Chris Henchy (Eastbound & Down), and producers Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. It sounds promising. I'm not a fan of Eastbound's in-your-face, wannabe badass humor, so hopefully this will skew more toward the playful absurdity of McKay's film work.
Rob Riggle (Getty)
Old Guys Team Up for Shenanigans
On the big screen, we can look forward to Last Vegas, about a group of older gentlemen who get together for one last bacchanal in what they used to call "Sin City." Jon Turtletaub is directing for CBS films. Michael Douglas and Robert De Niro have already signed to star, and there are rumors that Morgan Freeman and Christopher Walken will join them, rounding out a pretty powerhouse cast. Then again, Turteltaub managed to make goofy Nicolas Cage seem dull in those National Treasure films, so we'll have to wait and see.
Michael Douglas (Getty)
Andy Garcia is set to step behind the camera again, directing Anthony Hopkins and Annette Bening as author Ernest Hemingway and his fourth wife, Mary Walsh. The film, Hemingway & Fuentes, is about the author's relationship with Gregorio Fuentes, who will be played by Garcia. Fuentes was the first mate on Hemingway's ship, and supposedly his inspiration for his classic, The Old Man and the Sea. Paradigm Motion Picture Finance Group is backing the project. I like Garcia and Bening, but Hopkins probably needs a director who can keep his hamminess in check, and I'm not sure a fellow actor is right for the job.
Anthony Hopkins as Ernest Hemingway (CineSon Entertainment)
The Other Steve Jobs
In what has to be bad news for Ashton Kutcher, who was only recently cast to play Jobs in an upcoming indie biopic, Aaron Sorkin has been hired to write a script based on Walter Isaacson's best-selling biography of the late Apple tycoon. Sony is backing the project. The script hasn't even been written yet, so it's early days, but The Social Network co-scripter seems like a pretty perfect fit for the job. Poor Ashton. But who knows? If Two and a Half Men can continue to be a hit despite, well, everything, maybe there is room in this world for two successful Jobs biopics.
Aaron Sorkin (Getty)
Maybe if enough of you click below to say this article is "inspiring," the networks will invite me to upfronts next year. It's worth a shot!