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TV Bulletin Board (Tues., Oct. 7th) -- Twin Peaks anew plus an American Crime Story anthology series starting with O.J. Simpson

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Agent Dale Cooper and Sheriff Harry S. Truman of Twin Peaks.

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
ABC’s most distinctive, offbeat drama series of the past quarter century is getting a makeover.

It’s going to be showtime -- on Showtime -- for Twin Peaks, with creator David Lynch returning to direct all nine episodes. Production is due to start in 2015, with an air date sometime in 2016. No cast has been announced yet, but a Showtime publicity release says the new version will be “set in the present day” and “continue the lore of the original series, providing long-awaited answers for the series’ passionate fan base.”

It’s very much an open question whether Lynch is capable of providing definitive “long-awaited answers” to anything. The original Twin Peaks, which premiered in April 1990, flamed out after two seasons in part because of a wildly veering, nonsensical storyline that eventually turned off many of the show’s core viewers.

Ah, but it was exhilarating at first, with Kyle MacLachlan breaking through in a big way as quirky Agent Dale Cooper. His fondness for cherry pie and a cuppa black steaming joe became two of the show’s trademarks while he more or less doggedly sought an answer to “Who killed Laura Palmer?”

Showtime says it will repeat all of the original Twin Peaks episodes before its remake airs. Or if you have Netflix, you can start watching all 30 of them right now.

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On the eve of its Wednesday, Oct. 8th launch of American Horror Story: Freak Show, FX announced that series creator Ryan Murphy also will be behind a companion anthology series, American Crime Story.

The first 10-episode installment, subtitled The People V. O.J. Simpson, is adapted from Run For His Life by Jeffrey Toobin. There’s no announced cast yet.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

TV Bulletin Board (Thurs., Sept. 25) -- CBS replants a trio of comedies

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Allison Janney, Anna Faris and Mom are moving. CBS photo

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
CBS is making a triple play involving three of its popular comedies.

The Big Bang Theory, originally scheduled to usher in Mom at 7:30 p.m. (central) on Mondays, instead will continue to double up on that night until Thursday Night Football ends its run.

New episodes of Big Bang are set for 7 p.m., followed by 7:30 p.m. repeats through Monday, Oct. 13th. CBS had opened the new TV season on Sept. 22nd with two new Big Bangs in that hour.

Mom, which had been set for a Monday, Sept. 29th Season 2 premiere, is going to Thursdays instead. Its season premiere now won’t be until Oct. 30th at 7:30 p.m., with Big Bang leading off the night after CBS’ half-season with the NFL ends on Oct. 23rd.

The Millers, originally scheduled for a Thursday, Oct. 30th Season 2 launch, will get the post-Big Bang Monday slot on Oct. 20th and 27th. The Millers then will call Thursdays home again, beginning on Jan. 8th. On Jan. 5th, Mom will go to Mondays.

Not yet hopelessly confused? There’s this, too.

The 2 Broke Girls season premiere will be on Monday, Oct. 27th at 7 p.m. And on Thursday, Oct. 30th, Big Bang and Mom will be followed by the season premiere of Two and a Half Men, the first episode of a new sitcom The McCarthys and the season premiere of Elementary.

Don’t bother marking your calendars. They’d be a hopeless mess by the time you finished.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

TV Bulletin Board (Tues., Sept. 23) -- Farrell, Vaughn set for Season 2 of True Detective

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Vince Vaughn and Colin Ferrell will front the new True Detective.

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
After a lengthy search, HBO has settled on Colin Ferrell and Vince Vaughn as the principal two stars of True Detective, Season 2. The network announced their pairing Tuesday.

Vaughn, however, will play “career criminal” Frank Semyon, who’s “in danger of losing his empire when his move into legitimate enterprises is upended by the murder of a business partner.”

Farrell has been cast as Ray Velcoro, whom HBO describes as a “compromised detective whose allegiances are torn between his masters in a corrupt police department and the mobster who owns him.”

Production on an eight-episode season is set to begin later this fall in California. Nic Pizzolatto, who very memorably brought Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson together in Season 1, again will write the entire story., with Justin Lin (Fast & Furious) directing the first two episodes.

HBO says that additional casting will be announced later.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

TV Bulletin Board (Thurs., Sept. 4) -- Dancing with the Stars(???) announces latest cast

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The stars again got smaller for the 19th edition of DWTS. ABC photo

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Another star power outage hit ABC Thursday morning.

Dancing with the Stars, amid the usual over-the-top hoopla on Good Morning America, announced the hoofers and puffers for its 19th edition. And it may be tough for the show’s dwindling fan base to get excited when the biggest brand name is super-inhaler Tommy Chong.

Whether or not his lungs are shot, Chong will be partnered with pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd when DWTS resumes on Monday, Sept. 15th with a two-hour floor show. The first two weeks will have elimination Tuesdays before DWTS settles back into last season’s pattern of one Monday outing per week with same-night eliminations.

Here are the dozen other people joining DWTS, which as previously announced is adding veteran dance professional Julianne Hough to its judging panel. Charter judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli are all returning. Your hosts are Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews.

Actor Jonathan Bennett (with rookie pro partner Allison Holker)
Martial arts dude Randy Couture (Karina Smirnoff)
Fashion designer Betsey Johnson (Tony Dovolani)
Hurdler Lolo Jones (rookie Keo Motsepe)
Social media maven Bethany Mota (Derek Hough)
Singer/actress Janel Parrish (Valentin Chmerkovskiy)
Actor Alfonso Ribeiro (Witney Carson)
Duck Dynasty’s Sadie Robertson (Mark Ballas)
Actor Antonio Sabato Jr. (Cheryl Burke)
PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley (Sharna Burgess)
Actress Lea Thompson (Artem Chigvintsev)
NASCAR racer Michael Waltrip (Emma Slater)

***ABC also has announced that Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace will round out the revamped panel of The View when its new season launches on Monday, Sept. 15th. Whoopi Goldberg is the only holdover, with former View fire-starter Rosie O’Donnell returning after a stormy exit in 2007.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

TV Bulletin Board (Thurs., July 31) -- NBC picks its Pan

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Mary Martin as iconic Peter Pan; Allison Williams will be the new one. NBC photos

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
NBC’s surprise pick to play Peter Pan is Allison Williams, co-star of HBO’s Girls and daughter of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams.

The network announced its choice Wednesday after earlier failing to land Kristen Bell of Frozen, whose schedule wasn’t compatible. Williams will star opposite the previously announced Christopher Walken as Captain Hook in a Dec. 4th production. NBC hopes to make live musicals an annual holiday event after last year’s The Sound of Music with Carrie Underwood became an unexpected hit.

Executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said in a publicity statement: “Allison Williams is a major find. “She will reinvent the iconic role of Peter Pan with her wit, her warmth, her dynamic flying and her wonderful musical abilities.”

Williams’ rhetoric was a bit less soaring. “I’ve wanted to play Peter Pan since I was about three years old,” she said. “And besides, what could go wrong in a live televised production with simultaneous flying, sword fighting and singing?”

Williams is a “classically trained singer” who has performed several song for a Girls soundtrack CD, NBC noted. The network’s original 1955 live production of Peter Pan starred the late Mary Martin in a reprise of her previous year’s Broadway show. Sandy Duncan and Cathy Rigby also have played the character on Broadway. All risked being Panned by critics

***

TV Land is taking an edgier approach to its original sitcoms by signing acerbic standup Jim Gaffigan to star in The Gaffigan Show. Its executive producer, Peter Tolan, previously helmed FX’s Rescue Me.

The Gaffigan Show also will be TV Land’s second single-camera comedy, following June’s premiere of Jennifer Falls with Jaime Pressley. This means it’ll be shot without a live studio audience or, presumably, a laugh track. Episodes of the series, due in 2015, will be shown a week later on Comedy Central.

TV Land says The Gaffigan Show is “inspired by” the comedian’s real life, “exploring one man’s struggle in New York City to find a balance between fatherhood, stand-up comedy and an insatiable appetite.” The last reference is to Gaffigan’s bestselling book, Dad is Fat. But the entire description very much smacks of FX’s Louie.

Adam Goldberg, Michael Ian Black and Ashley Williams will co-star in The Gaffigan Show, which has a 10-episode order. It was originally developed -- and re-developed -- for CBS, which passed on it twice.

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CBS’ classic, Texas-filmed Lonesome Dove miniseries, which premiered on the network in 1989, is newly available for free on Hulu. Subscribers to Hulu Plus also can access it.

The not-so-classic trio of Lonesome Dove sequels also is housed on Hulu and Hulu Plus. Namely, Return to Lonesome Dove, Streets of Laredo and Dead Man’s Walk.

The mothership Lonesome Dove, adapted from Larry McMurtry’s best-known book, had perhaps the best cast ever assembled for television. Its ensemble included Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Anjelica Huston, Diane Lane, Danny Glover, Chris Cooper, Steve Buscemi, Frederic Forrest, Margo Martindale, D.B. Sweeney, Robert Urich, Ricky Schroder, Barry Corbin and Barry Tubb.

Lonesome Dove deservedly received 19 Emmy nominations. But on the big night it was shut out in all of the acting categories while also losing the “Outstanding Miniseries” Emmy to ABC’s War and Remembrance. All of these years later, the defeat of Duvall as best actor, by James Woods for his performance in CBS’ My Name Is Bill W, is still one of the biggest misappropriations in Emmy history.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net