Small screen: Rocky Horror has rocky ratings; Dwayne Johnson is crushing 2016
We’ve written about how cool the Rock is before, but he just keeps getting cooler. Between juggling multiple shows, movies, and apparently even singing now, it’s no wonder he’s the top paid actor of 2016. Elsewhere, audiences tuned into Rocky Horror to do the time warp in small doses, FOX has optioned a bunch of pilots, and show runner Veena Sud (best known for The Killing) is returning to Netflix. For these stories and more, read on:
Network: Even if Laverne Cox’s performance wowed, viewers did not tune in to do the time warp again. FOX’s reimagining of the original musical cult classic drew 4.95 million viewers to the channel Thursday night, scoring a 1.7 in the 18-49 demo. Yes, it doubled the network’s usual Thursday night fare with Rosewood and Pitch, but it still drew less than half the audience that’s been tuning into network musical productions (2014’s Peter Pan previously drew the least, and even that had 9.1 million). Between the ratings and an unfavorable 29% approval rating, the musical probably left a few FOX execs cursing Janet again.
Dwayne Johnson is rocking 2016. The action superstar sold yet another television pilot, this time a wrestler comedy picked up by FOX. Teaming up with Will Ferrell’s production company Gary Sanchez Productions, the show has received a put pilot and is the Rock’s second pilot sold this month. The comedy offers a behind-the-scenes look at an awkward wrestling manager out of place in the alpha male energy at a fictional wrestling outfit. Yet another bullet on Johnson’s resume – did we mention he’s the year’s top paid actor, too? Oh yeah, and he can sing.
Shondaland signed a legal drama pilot commitment deal with ABC. Created by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, the show will focus on the Southern District of New York Federal Court as new lawyers take on the country’s most watched cases. Paul William Davies, writer for Rhimes’ other project Scandal, will lend his pen to the project. This is the production company’s second pilot in consideration at ABC, and could potentially be its seventh program on the network.
Will Smith’s 1998 spy thriller Enemy of the State is being remade into a television show on ABC. The original film starred Smith and Gene Hackman as assassins hired to murder a US Congressman – and then outlaws on-the-run when a video of the murder was released to the public. The show will take place two decades after the film, following an FBI agent attempting to expose an NSA spy. Morgan Foehl (Blackhat) will write the script.
One Vine star is transitioning from six-second videos to a FOX comedy series pilot. The network ordered a comedy script from Vine user Andrew Bachelor, perhaps better known as King Bach. Titled The B Team, the show centers on a team of shoddy mercenaries lead by a Navy SEAL veteran (Bach). The team’s name? Badass Taskforce for Elite Assault Mercenaries. Adam Devine (Pitch Perfect) will executive produce, while Danny Mackey (Jackass of All Trades) will write the script.
Online: Veena Sud is coming back to Netflix. The The Killing showrunner is teaming up with the streaming service again to create Seven Seconds, a drama taking place in post-Ferguson Jersey City about crime, politics and corruption. Sud will team up with Gavin O’Connor (The Accountant), who will direct the first and last episodes in the 10-episode first season. After Killing ended, Sud directed her first feature, The Salton Sea, and signed an overall deal with Fox 21 TV Studios. Hoped to last three seasons, the show will start filming in January.
Ellen Wong will appear in G.L.O.W., Netflix’s upcoming female wrestling series from Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan. The Carrie Diaries graduate will play a recurring role alongside Alison Brie and Marc Maron. The 10-episode comedy will focus on an aspiring actress (Brie) who joins a female wrestling league in attempts to find fame. Wong will play a Cambodian pop culture junkie. The show is inspired by the true story of a female wrestling league that took place in the 1980s.
A few months after its release, we now know how much The Get Down costs to produce. It was already touted as Netflix’s most expensive show. Now we know Netflix wasn’t fooling around – the show costs a whopping average of $16 million per episode. To put that in perspective, a normal episode of television is considered expensive if it crosses the $6 million border. The whole 12-episode first season cost about $190 million to produce. The first half of the season premiered in August, and the next six will drop sometime in 2017.
Cable: Platinum recording artist Michel’le is crossing over to television and film in a more permanent position. The star signed an overall deal with Thinkfactory Media that includes acting and music, as well as an autobiography. Thinkfactory is currently in talks with multiple channels to shop around a docu-series featuring the singer and her family. The production company’s recent biopic Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge and Michel’le was a ratings score for Lifetime, drawing 2.3 million viewers and inspiring working with the artist in greater capacity.