Friday, January 14, 2011

Scouting About

• Thankfully, NBC-TV’s rebooting of the classic James Garner series, The Rockford Files, has been shelved--at least for the time being. But ABC appears to have given the go-ahead for a remake of Charlie’s Angels, the 1976-1981 series about three underutilized young women cops--originally Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, and Jaclyn Smith--who abandon the force to become private eyes, working for a never-seen boss, Charlie Townsend. TV Squad says the remake would move all the action to Miami (necessitating a skimpy wardrobe, I presume) and recruit veteran leading man Robert Wagner (of It Takes a Thief, Switch, and Hart to Hart fame) as Charlie. There’s no word yet on who might play his “three little girls who went to the police academy,” but I’m in agreement with a couple of TV Squad’s suggestions: ex-Veronica Mars star Kristen Bell and Gugu Mbatha-Raw of the short-lived Undercovers. Plus, I would throw in Without a Trace’s Roselyn Sánchez. And to play Charlie’s day-to-day liaison, Bosley? Well, since Dermot Mulroney won’t be getting the keys to Jim Rockford’s Firebird at anytime soon, maybe he’d like to take a shot at the role.

• I was quite skeptical about a British version of American television’s most enduring cops-and-prosecutors drama, but Law & Order: UK has managed to set itself apart, thanks to some fine performances (especially by Bradley Walsh as Detective Sergeant Ronnie Brooks and Ben Daniels as Senior Crown Prosecutor James Steel). The series’ second season will begin tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT on BBC America.

• “Tired of writing weepy things about bookstores closing in L.A.,” author-journalist Denise Hamilton took an unusual direction in her report, for L.A. Observed, on the imminent shuttering of Westwood’s Mystery Bookstore. You can find her piece here.

Photos from last weekend’s David Goodis Memorial in Philly.

• Irish novelist and blogger Declan Burke looks ahead to what 2011 will offer in the way of crime fiction, including new books by Tana French, John Connolly, and Gene Kerrigan.

• With the start of Noir City, the ninth annual San Francisco Film Noir festival, coming up this Friday, “cultural archaeologist” Eddie Muller (who’s also president and founder of the Film Noir Foundation) talks with Indianapolis Star correspondent Joe Shearer about “the cultural and historical importance of film noir and film preservation--and whether Batman can truly be considered noir.” Read their exchange here.

• Meanwhile, Pulp Serenade’s Cullen Gallagher interviews Jonathon Woods, author of the short-story collection Bad Juju & Other Tales of Madness and Mayhem (New Pulp Press), which he calls “one of the wildest literary rides of 2010.”

• The espionage-fiction blog Double O Section offers up a belated but entertaining collection of “bests”--movies, TV, DVDs--from 2010.

• Vince Keenan turns his magnifying glass on Ellery Queen.

• And R.I.P., David Nelson.

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