There's currently a really fantastic season of TCM podcast The Plot Thickens which follows Lucille Ball's life from rural farm girl to star of the iconic I Love Lucy sitcom.
I've been listening to this the last few weeks and have Lucy-fever.
The early episodes aren't hugely enthralling, but as soon as she reaches Hollywood and becomes a contracted player, boy is this a fun listen.
As a bad TV fan, I've somehow never seen an episode of I Love Lucy. Yeah, I know. My experience and love of all things Lucille Ball comes from her (not that well regarded) sitcom Here's Lucy (1968-74). I watched that show endlessly as a kid, with the show constantly in rotation during the morning on Channel 9 in Adelaide throughout the 80s.
There's certainly Lucy fever in the air. Just as the podcast series winds down, Amazon Prime Video drops the Aaron Sorkin-helmed movie Being The Ricardos.
The film promises to be a real treat for fans of TV and, specifically, I Love Lucy.
Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) are threatened by shocking personal accusations, a political smear and cultural taboos in Academy Award®-winning writer and director Aaron Sorkin’s behind-the-scenes drama Being the Ricardos. A revealing glimpse of the couple’s complex romantic and professional relationship, the film takes audiences into the writers’ room, onto the soundstage and behind closed doors with Ball and Arnaz during one critical production week of their groundbreaking sitcom “I Love Lucy.”
J.K. Simmons and Goliath‘s Nina Arianda are in the film playing I Love Lucy co-stars William Frawley/”Fred” and Vivian Vance/”Ethel.” Also on board are Alia Shawkat (Search Party), Tony Hale (Veep), Jake Lacy (The White Lotus), and Sorkin regular Clark Gregg (The West Wing, Sports Night).
The trailer for the film was released this morning. While the film will get a short run in cinemas in select markets, it will debut on Amazon Prime Video on Dec 21. I'm very enthused about this one...
(Will I have time to binge 180 episodes of I Love Lucy before the film is released?)
- The writers of Marvel film The Eternals are keen to make a prequel series featuring everyone's favourite Eternals characters. Read: THR
- Melissa McCarthy will co-host a home renovation show with her cousin. The Great Giveback with Melissa McCarthy and Jenna Perusich debuts on Discovery+ next year. Read: Deadline
- Peter Jackson has sold his digital effects company Weta Digital to Unity Software Inc. for $1.625 billion in cash and stock. Weta's technology will be incorporated into the Unity software packages used by effects companies globally. Read: LA Times
- Gossip Girl returns Nov 25 on HBO Max. Read: Deadline
True crime podcast Happy Face in the works for Paramount+
Melissa Jesperson-Moore's iHeartRadio podcast Happy Face is being adapted into a TV series for Paramount+ by writer/producer/showrunner Jennifer Cacicio and executive producers Robert & Michelle King (The Good Fight, Evil). This is now the third show that the Kings have at Paramount+, with a fourth scripted show on Showtime (Your Honor, which is set for a second season). The Kings also have a US version of Would I Lie To You? currently in production for The CW.
Happy Face is based on the real life experience of Jesperson-Moore, as told in her podcast series -her book Shattered Glass covered similar material. She is the daughter of a serial killer.
At age 15, she discovered her father, whom she loved dearly, was the prolific serial killer known as “Happy Face.” As an adult, Melissa changed her name, guarded her secret, and cut off all ties to her father, who is currently serving life in prison. Jumping off from her true-life story, in the series version, her father contacts her to take credit for another victim, and she gets pulled into an extraordinary investigation of her father and his crimes. The series follows her as she discovers the impact her father’s crimes had on the families of his victims, which ultimately leads to a reckoning of her own identity.
David Nevins positions Paramount+ as 'franchise first'
The head of Showtime David Nevins recently added Chief Content Officer, Scripted Originals at Paramount+ to his job title. He has given a very broad interview to Deadline about his views on the streaming service. It's a really solid read, even if there's nothing especially revelatory in it.
I’d point to a few different things that I think will wind up distinguishing Paramount+ over time. Definitely franchise first. We’re building out the Star Trek franchise, we’re building on the strength of franchises that we own. You’ve seen what the Nickelodeon strategy has been, very much about franchises. We are trying to build off what Taylor Sheridan has done; Grease is going to be an important show in the new year; Fatal Attraction is going to be an important show in the new year; and The Offer, which touches the history of Paramount and The Godfather, one of the great franchises in Paramount history, you’ll see that.
Christmas on The Farm, with this strange cover art below that doesn't seem to reflect the TV movie at all, debuts Dec 1 on Aussie streamer Stan.
The brilliant How To With John Wilson debuts season 2 on HBO Max Nov 26.
The final season of Hanna debuts Nov 24 on Amazon Prime Video.
The final season of Lost in Space debuts Dec 1 on Netflix.
Silent Night debuts on AMC+ in North America on Dec 3.
Decoupled debuts on Netflix Dec 17.