NBC's presentation at the Television Critics Association's 2014 Summer press tour took place on Sunday, and we were on hand to get all the juicy details on the network's fall schedule. We learned a few goodies about highly-anticipated new shows "Constantine" and "State of Affairs," plus, new info on the Emmys, their upcoming live musical, and more.
1. Walken the Plank?
Perhaps the biggest news of the day was the announcement that Christopher Walken has landed the role of Captain Hook in the live musical version of "Peter Pan" -- an event planned for a December 4th airing. The actor "will be the first tap dancing Captain Hook you've ever seen," according to NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt.
2. A Maya Rudolph show isn't off the table
There may be more Maya Rudolph coming to the network in the future. Her "Maya Rudolph Show" special was considered an "imperfect first episode" and she and NBC are "still in an active creative discussion," says executive Paul Telegdy.
3. Bill Cosby will be back on our TV screens, sooner than you may think...
Another star making a return to NBC? Bill Cosby. The comedian has a show currently in development which was described as a "classic, extended-family sitcom" and could debut as early as next summer. Mike Sikowitz ("Rules of Engagement") and Mike O'Malley are co-creators on the project.
4. Seth Meyers isn't Ricky Gervais
Seth Meyers was on hand to discuss his August 25th Emmys hosting gig and gave us a taste about what to look forward to. When asked about the tone he's going to set, he revealed it's going to be an "upbeat" broadcast. His approach? The Lorne Michaels way. "He always stresses to try not to tell a joke about somebody that you would want to leave the cocktail party over if they showed up." So, don't expect anything "cutting" or "biting."
One of the standout quotes of the panel was Katherine Heigl's response to pressing questions about her reputation. The actress said, "I certainly don't see myself as being difficult. I would never intend to be difficult." Her upcoming show, "State of Affairs," is about a CIA analyst who briefs the president (Alfre Woodard). Heigl's mother Nancy is a executive producer on the show and when asked about her role, Heigl (junior) joked, "She bakes us cookies."
Emmy winning must-see TV alum Debra Messing is making a return to the network in "The Mysteries of Laura," about a detective balancing her hectic home life and dangerous, high-pressure job. Messing said she picked the role because it straddles genres. "I didn't have to choose, do I want to do a comedy? Do I want to do a drama?" she explained."The thing that is challenging is finding the funny in the drama and finding the drama in the funny -- to find one consistent tone so it exists in the same world."
"Marry Me" is a new sitcom following an engaged couple (Casey Wilson of "Happy Endings," Ken Marino of "Party Down") navigating the trials and tribulations of pre-married life. The pilot features some choice language and when asked about how that would be presented on-air, everyone preceded to throw F-bombs around in the funniest ways possible. We also learned that although this is a show that is anchored around an engagement to begin with, it is "not a wedding centric show." Exec producer David Caspe says, "Occasionally we'll do stuff about the wedding. It's not episode two is the dress and episode three is we need another dress." By the way, Caspe is Wilson's real-life hubby and he admitted that NBC execs knew he was proposing before Casey did.
8. "Constantine" has got a new leading lady
The biggest news to come out of the panel for DC comics Hellblazer adaptation "Constantine" was the reveal of a new female lead. Following the departure of Lucy Griffiths, who plays Liv and is featured in the pilot, telenovela star Angelica Celaya will swoop in and star as Zed. Oh, Constantine will be a smoker (per the comics), but that won't be glorified. When asked if Constantine will be bisexual (again, per the comics), executive producer Daniel Cerone said there were "no immediate plans" to go there.
9. Cristin Milioti and Ben Feldman appear to have chemistry galore
It was pretty hard not to fall in love with "A to Z" stars Cristin Milioti ("How I Met Your Mother") and Ben Feldman ("Mad Men"). The pair headline the rom-com, which chronicles the entire relationship of a couple named Andrew and Zelda. Did we mention it's narrated by Katey Sagal? Milioti charmingly touched on chemistry on-screen and in real life, saying, "Either it's there or it's not. It's not tangible, it's not something you can manufacture." She also referred to a sizzle real as a "sizzler," which made her even more endearing. The series is produced by Rashida Jones, who talked about the possibility of exploring a breakup: "Our hope is that to put that ticking clock on it will help people to invest in whatever that moment is, whatever that change is."
"Private Practice" star Kate Walsh returns to her comedy roots in "Bad Judge," a Will Ferrell and Adam McKay created series about an LA judge with a wild and crazy personal life. Walsh likened the "party girl" character to "Peter Pan" and compared her to "House," explaining, "you were never waiting for that guy to get married and have kids. 'I wish he would just settle down.' You never had that wish for him." Fair enough, Kate!
11. "Parenthood" is probably going to make us cry. Again.
On a showrunners panel for dramas "Parenthood," "The Blacklist," "Grimm," and "Chicago Fire," we got some insight into the final season of one of NBC's most beloved. Producer Jason Katims revealed that there will be a storyline that affects all the characters and the Bravermans will face "a huge challenge." This arc will be introduced in the first episode of the show's sixth season and will be "something we haven't seen before." Uh oh.
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