Monday, April 06, 2015

Tube Talk

• So can we look forward to a Twin Peaks revival, or not? Fans of that ABC-TV cult series were quite excited when news broke last fall that Peaks’ co-creator, director David Lynch, would be resurrecting the 1990-1991 drama for a nine-episode run on cable channel Showtime in early 2016. But now, Business Insider says Lynch has exited the project, and the director is trying to tamp down talk that Showtime has cancelled the revival altogether. If you’re still craving “a damn fine coffee and a piece of cherry pie” from the Double R Diner, your appetite might not be satisfied at any time soon.

• Meanwhile, Tipping My Fedora reports that Season 3 of the acclaimed Inspector Morse prequel, Endeavour, starring Shaun Evans, is currently in production, with this latest run of episodes to be set in 1967. “Our next quartet of mysteries,” explains creator-writer Russell Lewis, “will take the audience on a psychedelic Summer of Love fairground ride, filled with twists and turns, shrieks and scares.”

• Author Lee Goldberg turned me on to the nostalgic TV Web site Modcinema--and I may never forgive him, because it promises to blow a big ol’ hole in my budget. In addition to offering myriad forgotten theatrical films, the site has for sale many (and I do mean many) made-for-TV movies from the last half of the 20th century. I haven’t located everything on my wishlist yet, but I did find The Judge and Jake Wyler, a 1972 pilot starring Bette Davis and Doug McClure, and written by Columbo creators Richard Levinson and William Link; another Levinson and Link pilot, Charlie Cobb: Nice Night for a Hanging, with Clu Gulager playing a private detective in the Old West; Beg, Borrow or Steal, a 1973 crime drama featuring familiar series stars Mike Connors, Michael Cole, and Kent McCord as “three ex-cops, disabled while on duty,” who “team up to steal a valuable statue from a museum”; and The Crime Club (1975), the second and last pilot of that name, both about elite crime-solving organizations, this one starring Scott Thomas, Eugene Roche, and Robert Lansing. (The previous Crime Club pilot was broadcast in 1973.) I used to love teleflicks, and I’m sorry that the networks no longer invest their time and money in making them, so Modcinema is a site destined to receive many of my hard-earned dollars, a place where I can finally see those small-screen pictures I failed to watch the first time around.

• If you’ve missed William Petersen, formerly the star of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, this is excellent news: The Los Angeles Times reports that “he’ll be part of the main cast of WGN America’s Manhattan in the drama’s second season. Petersen will play Col. Emmett Darrow, described as an ‘enigmatic new ranking military officer at Los Alamos’ [New Mexico] who is also ‘a deeply religious and patriotic man’ who sees himself as anointed by God to bring America’s nuclear power across the planet. Sounds like exactly the wrong person to be anywhere near nuclear weapons.”

• Did you know that William J. “Bill” Koenig, managing editor of The Spy Command, also maintains a couple of fine online TV episode guides? The first looks back at The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-1968) and its one-season spin-off, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., while the second focuses on The F.B.I., the 1965-1974 Quinn Martin crime drama. Both are worth exploring.

• Finally, the third season of Ripper Street--the British crime drama set in London in the wake of Jack the Ripper’s 1888 killing spree--is scheduled to return to BBC America with eight new episodes, beginning on Wednesday, April 29. You may recall that Ripper Street, starring Matthew Macfadyen, was cancelled in late 2013 as a result of “low viewing figures.” Soon after that, Amazon Prime Instant Video agreed to take the show on, and a completed Season 3 was made available last November--but only in the UK. Responding to widespread viewer support, and now without having to foot all the bills for its production, BBC America has decided to bring back this historical-thriller standout. You can watch a trailer for the coming new season here, and learn more about what else the show has in store, by clicking here.

1 comment:

Lee Goldberg said...

If it makes you feel any better, I bought all the TV movies you mentioned... plus half a dozen others. The site is evil. I think Satan runs it.