Freddie Prinze, Jr. has been cast in a CBS comedy pilot called "Atlanta" according to The Hollywood Reporter. The former star of "Freddie" will play "a charming ad executive who falls for a woman at a funeral." "Mad About You's" Paul Reiser is the show's executive producer. Whether the pilot will get picked up for the CBS 2007-2008 season remains to be seen.
Another TV comedy with an Atlanta-based title, "Buckhead Betties," is being developed for HBO by Crimes of the Heart playwright Beth Henley, and may or may not emerge in the 2007-2008 season as well. It sounds like a "Desperate Housewives"-style comedy about life in Buckhead, and if HBO picks it up, maybe they'll change the name to the more commonly used "Buckhead Belles."
Did anyone get a chance to check out the Mastodon show this Saturday? I didn't, so if you did, fill me in!
Newsweek has a new, thoughtful story called Why TV is Better Than The Movies.
Great stuff, but I just have to point out that we ran a How TV Got Better Than Film story more than six years ago â and that was before "The Wire," "Arrested Development" or even the concept of online "webisodes."
Father of Rapper Ludacris Dies ATLANTA (AP) -- The father of rap artist Ludacris has died â two weeks after the Atlanta performer gave a public nod to his ailing father during a Grammy Awards acceptance speech.A publicist for Ludacris -- Barry Florence â said Wayne Brian Bridges died Sunday morning in an Atlanta hospital after a long illness.
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I guess the best thing about the Oscars broadcast was that it was so long and boring, I was able to work on my income taxes and read some of China Mieville's wonderful novel for young audiences, Un Lun Dun, while watching it. Even by Oscars standards, the ceremony was lame, tame and interminable, starting with the early effusions that this year, the show would be about "the nominees." (As opposed to what? The wonderful films that didn't get nominated for Academy Awards? Great, I'm sick of hearing about them.)
As host, Ellen Degeneres' amiable cute/awkward shtick simply made the evening seem even longer than it needed to: How about getting somebody who just tells fast, efficient jokes? Jerry Seinfeld was funny presenting the Best Documentary Oscar: Could he host next year? Cintra Wilson of Salon.com aptly summed up Degeneres' style: "While wandering through the intimidatingly A-list audience, chock-full of her wonky, trademark Yep! I sure am me! silliness, Ellen proved that Ellen is always just Ellen, and always just talks about Ellen."
Certainly it came as a palpable sense of relief that Martin Scorsese won Best Director. Probably nobody wanted to see Scorsese denied yet again, and affection for him probably gave The Departed the edge in winning Best Picture over Babel and Little Miss Sunshine. One of the evening's most amusing moments came when Stephen Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas coming out to present Best Director. Spielberg and Coppola said they were there to talk about the joy of winning one, and Lucas saying, "Wait, I never won a Best Picture Oscar."
Jennifer Hudson won Best Supporting Actress but the Academy continued to diss Dreamgirls: Alan Arkin won Best Supporting Actor instead of Eddie Murphy (the decision to release Murphy's Norbit during Oscar season probably didn't help). And Dreamgirls' three Best Song nominees seem to have cancelled each other out, letting Melissa Etheridge pick up the statuette for her An Inconvenient Truth tune. Between her win and Degeneres' hosting, lesbians were arguably the evening's big winners.
And while I enjoyed the classy acceptance speeches from Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker, I'd just as soon not be reminded that Ben Affleck is an Oscar-winning screenwriter, or that composer Ennio Morricone, who deserves his lifetime achievement award for such classic soundtracks as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, also scored such films as Orca and Exorcist II: The Heretic. And boy, those celebrities sure are proud of themselves for being green. It's like they just can't get over the fact that they know Al Gore personally.
Mostly, the show was neither hip enough nor tacky enough to hold much attention. Probably the most entertaining moment of the show was Will Ferrell, Jack Black and John C. Reilly doing a hilarious musical number about how the Academy never rewards comedy. I was similarly amused to see those weird, Mummenschanz-style interpretive dancers create the shape of the Snakes on a Plane logo â otherwise, the show seemed to be in a cultural vacuum, apart from requisite references to YouTube and MySpace.
And I don't know why a program that's so long invariably includes so many "themed" movie montages, but it was fun to see clips of Ed Wood and Barton Fink in the one about writers; Talladega Nights and O Brother Where Art Thou? in the one about Americana; and Babette's Feast, The Official Story and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in the montage about foreign film winners. Oh yeah â movies are fun and interesting! Why can't the movie awards follow suit?
Minuteman Group Opens Chapter In Atlanta MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) -- A group that patrols the U.S.-Mexico border and reports illegal immigrants to authorities has made its debut in the Atlanta area."This is actually an invasion that is sponsored by Mexico," Minuteman organizer Todd Walker told the more than 40 people in attendance of illegal immigration. "Our administration ... is doing nothing to stop it. Actually, they're encouraging it."
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Not that I assumed the Minutemen were brainiacs to begin with, but do you think they are at least aware of the fact that there is no Georgia/Mexico border?
As the Onion reported nearly 10 years ago, we're in a "national retro crisis" as we run out of past to make cool again.
Having exhausted the '80s and now nearly squeezed the last drops of retro from the '90s, forwardly backward-thinking retro enthusiasts are beginning to tap into a whole new reserve of nostalgia about which to wax: faux retro.
The Interactive Design Lab at Scotland's University of Dundee recently created a collection of fake vintage electronics such as the acoustograph, a monstrous precursor to iTunes, or the social communicator, the imaginary grandfather of text messaging that used Morse code to connect youth of the '30s.
But the most oddly entertaining manifestation of faux retro I've come across is this simplification of one of the simplest video games ever created. Click here to play text-based Pong.
There's a much-ballyhooed bill out there that would enable counties in the metro area to establish a regionwide 1-percent sales tax. The tax would be used for transportation projects.It sounds like a good idea, and has received notable backing from the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
But at the very least, if the bill's language isn't changed before it moves it could prove more trouble than it's worth.
Rep. Jill Chambers, R-Atlanta, chair of the MARTOC Committee, is worried that the bill as currently written would allow the counties to invest in transportation projects that might jeopardize Georgia's access to precious federal transportation dollars.
The state must maintain a mix of mass-transportation measures in order to get the federal money. The bill could be a disastrous end run around rail and spell doom for Georgia's fragile record of air-emissions compliance.
Music: Chris Difford of Squeeze
The lyricist to Glenn Tilbrook's tunesmith in Squeeze, CHRIS DIFFORD includes Atlanta on his first U.S. solo tour pushing his sublime 2006 release, South East Side Story. The Brilliant Inventions open the Mon., FEB. 26, show. $17.50. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com.
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Photo Edmund Bing.
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