Saturday, December 8, 2012

Abrams Believe Begins Casting

Deadline reports that one of JJ Abrams' TV pilots has begun the casting process. Announced back in September, the currently titled "Believe" is part of a partnership with Harry Potter director Alfonso Cuaron. The series is "about a girl in possession of a great gift/powers — which will come into their own in seven years — and the man who is sprung from prison to protect her from those trying to hunt her down." It seems the green light to pay and film the pilot is contingent on who is cast as the lead character of 10 year old Bo and an older adult male.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Abrams Taps Director for God Particle

JJ Abrams and his Bad Robot production company are moving forward on "God Particle" by hiring Julius Onah as the director of the film. Up to now Onah has mostly directed short films like Big Man among others. The story is step on an abandoned space station after Earth vanishes.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Revolution's Season So Far

Tonight at 10pm on NBC the mid-season finale of Revolution will air. The show will then take an extended hiatus, not returning until March 25, 2013. As a result this one is expected to have a whopper of a cliffhanger to keep you wanting to come back for more. In the video below, Executive Producers and co-creators JJ Abrams and Eric Kripke introduce a video that recaps the season so far and teases tonight's episode.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Abrams Sales Pitch for Revolution

It seems the sales pitch for NBC's hit TV show Revolution started simply enough with executive producer JJ Abrams asking NBC executives the question "...imagine right now that everything stopped." Before reaching that point though, it really started with co-creator Erick Kripke imaged a sword fight in a coffee shop, "I wanted to take everything I love about Lord of the Rings — swords and swashbuckling and quests and damsels in distress — put all that deep nerd fantasy stuff on the American highway." From that Kripke developed a story around a super virus killing most of the country with the focus on Charlie's quest to save her brother.

Abrams decided that a super virus was too much like Stephen King's The Stand and changed the concept to surviving a nationwide blackout based on another idea for Bad Robot to develop. Abrams liked the idea of no devices because, "[Characters] can communicate instantly, they can research things, they can jump on a plane and be anywhere. Writers contort themselves to eliminate cell phones from scenes. And one of the beautiful byproducts of Kripke’s idea is that there’s no longer that immediate access."

JJ Abrams Opts Out of Star Wars

It seems that directing Star Trek is enough "Star" for JJ Abrams as he doesn't seem interested in directing Star Wars: Episode VII that Disney has announced for 2015 release. Most of Hollywood's biggest names have expressed disinterest in directing the next Star Wars films but probably for everyone willing to pass there are a few dozen that would jump at the high risk, high reward project.
"Look, Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time,” J.J. gushed. He added, “I frankly feel that – I almost feel that, in a weird way, the opportunity for whomever it is to direct that movie, it comes with the burden of being that kind of iconic movie and series. I was never a big Star Trek fan growing up, so for me, working on Star Trek didn’t have any of that, you know, almost fatal sacrilege, and so, I am looking forward more then anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!"

Thursday, November 1, 2012

JJ Abrams Buys Rights to Beastlies

It looks like JJ Abrams is joining the children entertainment business with the television and movie rights purchase of "Beastlies". Beastlies are cute monster, hand made one of a kind statues created by Leslie Levings. They are made from polymer clay, sculpted and hand painted by the artist. So while they look like toys, they are not. At least for now. The cute designs are ideal for a children's television show or movie, with the Rugrats coming to mind as the marketing model to follow. The toy line, video games, book deals and more that is guaranteed to follow is going to make Abrams and Levings a ton of money.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Revolution's Map of the Ex-USA

In the 15 year future of JJ Abrams' Revolution where civilization was forced to pre-Industrial Revolution technology, the United States is no more. As a map released by NBC shows, the country has been split into six major regions. So far the story has been focused on the "Monroe Republic" but it turns out the South has become the Georgia Federation, Texas...remains Texas, the Midwest is now the Plains Nation, California has merged with Washington and the desert regions of Nevada, New Mexico and few others has become the "Wasteland". Wonder what that means. In short, it seems show creator Eric Kripke has a plan and its bigger in scope then we thought. Most show creators make the claim of some grander plan (see Lost, X-Files, 24 and a whole host of shows) and later prove that they were making it up script to script. That may not be the case here as Kripke successfully executed his five year plan for Supernatural. This isn't to say he has deep and very specific episode to episode plan, I just mean he has major goalposts in mind, specific themes he wants to explore and a general idea how to get there. It should be interesting to see how the now-fractured United States impacts events as the story progresses. Personally the potential political and military ramifications interest me far more then this silly sister rescuing brother nonsense that has been driving the story so far. (via EW)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Abrams Producing Electropolis for CW

Yep, JJ Abrams is adding yet another TV series to his slate of projects. I think this is series 8 or 9 but not really sure.  The series, called Electropolis, is for the CW and if ordered to series will put a JJ Abrams TV series on the 5 top prime time networks in the US. The series is an hour long drama around an undercover cop working the night shift in Los Angeles.  Abram's Alias partner, Ken Olin will executive produce the series and direct the pilot.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Abrams Producing New Comedy

JJ Abrams is adding yet another TV show to his production slate, this time a half hour comedy called "Adulting" for Fox. The series is from "The Vow" writers Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein based on the book "Adulting: How to Become A Grown-Up in 387 Easy(ish) Steps) by Kelly Williams Brown. The commitment is for the pilot episode and if Fox execs like it they may order it to series with Abrams as executive producer. The book is a humorous look at day to day things like talking politic, problems at works and so forth. Based on the vlog the book is based on, it almost seems New Girl like but probably without the huge dose of cutesy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Revolution Gets Full Season Order

Only three episodes in and NBC has greenlit a full season order for JJ Abrams' Revolution. I am unclear what a "full season" means in this case as that number usually lands between 20-24 episodes. The initial order had been for 13 episodes of the show. The decision seems to be based on Revolution's viewership numbers of around 10 million, a number that few shows can get nowadays. The show also benefited from a huge 53% bump in viewership once DVR ratings are added (called Live+3 for air time plus three days after). Since most DVR users tend to be in the coveted 18-49 age range that advertisers love it scores the dual hit of strong ratings and happy advertisers.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Abrams Sells New Pilot with Potter Director Attached

JJ Abrams continues his slow march to be executive producer of all television shows as he has signed up Alfonso Cuaron to direct the pilot of his next potential NBC series. Cuaron is the director of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and received Oscar nominations for writing Children of Men and Y Tu Mama Tambien. The untitled series is described as being "about a girl in possession of a great gift/powers — which will come into their own in seven years — and the man who is sprung from prison to protect her from those trying to hunt her down." The pilot episode will be used to show off a show's potential to entice a network to pay for an entire season of a show for the 2013-2014 season.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Abrams Renews Deal with Warner Bros

Director, writer and executive producer of a bunch of stuff JJ Abrams has signed a three year extension with Warner Bros. Television. The deal keeps Abrams and Bryan Burk with WB to develop television shows for the studio to then sell to various networks. Currently the deal has resulted in three JJ Abrams shows on TV this season with Revolution, Person of Interest and Fringe with more in the pipeline.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Abrams Signs Up New Fox Drama

JJ Abrams' remains busy as he has has found a replacement show for Fringe with Fox. Abrams and his Fringe showrunner J.H. Wyman have signed a pilot agreement with the network for "an action-packed buddy cop show, set in the near future, when all LAPD officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids." Abrams will exec produce with Wyman set to run this new show if it gets an order.

Full Revolution Pilot Episode

NBC has posted the full pilot episode of Revolution that will premiere on September 17th. The show, executive produced by JJ Abrams, explores a world devastated when electricity and other complex sources of energy ceases to work. The first episode shows a whole lot of potential. Most of the introduced characters are interesting. The exception is the son character (forget his name) that repeatedly acts like an angst ridden moron that writers who don't have teenagers tend to write and fail to recognize how tiresome they quickly become. Episode is below.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fringe Season 5 Teaser Videos

The final season of Fringe starts September 28th but Fox has already started their promotions for the JJ Abrams' executive produced series. Below are two teaser videos that help highlight that the final season is about future takeover of Earth by the Observers.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Abrams to Produce Earthquake

Deadline has announced that JJ Abrams has added yet another movie to his executive producing slate. The film is called Earthquake with Dustin Lance Black set as the writer the disaster flick being released through Universal. The film is not a remake of the 1974 film. Black won an Oscar for the writing for the film Milk and also wrote J. Edgar and 1st season of Big Love. Not entirely sure but think this puts Abrams at half dozen films and four television series for the next year that he is producing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Abrams Signs up For Collider

JJ Abrams adds yet another movie to his producing plans with the movie Collider. The film will be written and directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) with Wright, Abrams and Nira Park sharing producing credits. The title and this team is currently all that is known about the movie. (via

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jon Favreau, Abrams Talks Revolution

Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and JJ Abrams spoke about Revolution in a new NBC video that promotes the upcoming television show. Favreau directed the pilot episode while Abrams is executive producer. In the video, they discuss the themes of the show while it shows off a ton of new footage from the show.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Fringe Final Season Teaser Poster

It seems the Observers are coming, at least judging by this teaser poster for the final season of Fringe. Posted by Entertainment Weekly, it shows several Observers doing their creepy thing with the phrase "They are coming." This could be hinting at the final story arc that has the Fringe crew (unknowingly) triess to stop a future where the Observers have conquered the planet as teased in a season four episode "Letters of Transit". Hopefully a little bit more will be learned at the San Diego Comic Con panel that will be held on Sunday July 15th.

Lost Castmember Joins Revolution

JJ Abrams' Revolution has added to new cast members to the show that will debut this fall. The always gorgeous Elizabeth Mitchell, who previously worked with Abrams on Lost, joins the cast as the mother of Charlie and Danny (two other stars of the show). Mitchell is joined by Daniella Alonso (Friday Night Lights) as Nora who is part of the revels fighting against the militia that have taken over North America after the world loses all electricity and suddenly reverts to circa mid-1800s technology wise. These all part of ongoing tweaks to the show after the pilot episode with removal of Andrea Roth and Anna Lise Phillips. Sadly it does sound like this show will follow the Terra Nova/Falling Skies formula of focusing on the many ways humanity will hurt (and help) each other while trying to survive some X event. I just hope the execute the formula in a little more interesting fashion then has been done by these other shows as it gets to feel repetitive very quickly.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Abrams to Produce Wunderkind

JJ Abrams seems to enjoy being an Executive Producer as he has signed on for a third film with Paramount. The film is called Wunderkind written by Patrick Aison. It is set in the 1970s as it follows a CIA and Mossad Nazi hunters who are forced to work together. In the last few weeks Abrams has signed on for God Particle and an untitled spec script. Abrams is currently working on completing the Star Trek sequel but this is unlikely to interfere with that.

Keep in mind that the Executive Producer is kind of like the CEO of a film. His job isn't the day to day decisions. Those are delegated to those with "Producer" credits that are not stars on the films. His main role is to interface with the studio, bring legitimacy to a product (think "from Steven Spielberg..." type lines you see in movie ads), approve the director (and sometimes the cast) while providing comments and ideas on the script with the occasional set visit when production starts. It’s a low time commitment but high paying role as often the executive producer gets a piece of the profits. Really if your goal is to make as much money as possible, this is what you eventually want to devote most of your time to (again see Steven Spielberg) as get credit for making films while not involved in all the time consuming minutiae that is involved in getting a film made.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Abrams Producing God Particle

Variety is reporting that JJ Abrams is set to produce God Particle written by Oren Uziel (The Kitchen Sink). The story is a stuck in space story when a crew must figure out how to survive after an experiment with the hadron accelerator causes the Earth to vanish. A European spacecraft is spotted but the crew doesn't know if they are friend or foe. Paramount wants to film the picture for around $5 million under their Insurge Pictures division they just created for "micro-budget" movies. Basically Paramount is hoping for the profit margins of Paranormal Activity. Abrams will not direct (to expensive). Frankly this sounds like one of those boring atmosphere movies that have killed horror for these last few years. The term is mine as it means the movie has so little meat on the bone that they spin their wheels for most of the movie trying to build suspense with fake-outs that by the time you get to the pay-off you are too bored to care. Hopefully Abrams will bring a higher quality to the story.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

JJ Abrams to Produce Spec Script

The Star Trek sequel may be in post-production but that isn't stopping JJ Abrams from signing on to produce another movie. According to Variety the untitled project "described as a contained thriller with sci-fi elements, though story details remain under wraps." The script is from Josh Campbell (remake of The Killer) and Matt Stuecken (associate producer on GI Joe Retaliation). The movie will be made through Abram's Bad Robot production company for Paramount. Abrams will likely just have executive producer credit but if the itch strikes he could direct it as likely will wrap up most of his post-production work on Star Trek 12 by the end of the summer or early Fall. (via TrekMovie)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Abrams' Revolution Trailer

Sunday NBC announced its planned schedule for the 2012-2013 season when it starts next Fall. While it will likely be adjusted over the summer, right now JJ Abrams' Revolution is set for Monday at 10pm EST. The series is a post-apocalyptic story set 15 years after some mysterious electromagnetic pulse eliminates all electricity on the planet, essentially forcing modern humanity to live as if still the 19th century. Below is the official trailer for the film and NBC's description of the series. If the series can live up to the promise of the trailer, it could be the hit of the season. As long as they don't get stuck on humanity and individual character angst that tends towards the annoying rather than interesting. NBC's full schedule is here, trailers for the new shows here.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Nimoy Explains Fringe Return

Even though Leonard Nimoy has technically retired from acting, it doesn't mean he still doesn't get the itch. Nice thing about retiring is get to do what you want, when you want. Nimoy returned to reprise the role of William Bell that he has been playing off and on over the course of Fringe but never with as much screen time as he as been getting over the last three episodes. Before it was a brief scene or a line here and there. As season four draws to a close with the finale tomorrow, he has more to say about the role and why he returned as io9 reports. Even better, he is willing to return for the final season.
He was excited to play a villain
Originally, said Nimoy, "the character of William Bell was supposed to be ambivalent," with a lot of mystery about whether he was a good guy or a bad guy. "We couldn't quite figure out what his motivation was." But after it was settled that Bell was basically a nice person, "the mystery of William Bell was explained," and it seemed like there was noplace to go with the character. But when he heard they were going to turn Bell into a baddie, it sounds like his excitement returned, because "I could play aspects of a character that I haven't played in a long time."

Fox Cancels Alcatraz

Yesterday, Fox announced that JJ Abrams' Alcatraz has been cancelled. The writing was on the wall for a while now as the show continued to decline in ratings and Fox went ahead and allowed its season finale to air back in March. Usually when that happens the show is toast even if the network is not willing to make it official yet. There are exceptions but it is pretty rare. Oddly, the show that replaced it "Touch" has been renewed even though its ratings are not much better. Likely Alcatraz was done in by so-so cast and the bad guy of the week formula that wasn't terribly interesting. On the bright side, Abrams' Revolution was ordered by NBC for next year.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Nimoy and Noble Promote Fringe Season Finale

This Friday brings the season finale of Fringe and they are going out with style as Leonard Nimoy returns as William Bell. He made the surprise reprisal of the character last week as the apparent big bad of the season. His goals remain unknown however. The character had died in the previous season but considering Season 4 brought about the creation of a new universe with a new history it does stand to reason his character may not have died in the reboot. Below is a video of Nimoy and John Noble talking about working together on Fringe and after that is the "movie trailer" for the finale. Fringe will return for its final 13 episode season in the Fall. (via TV Line)

Monday, May 7, 2012

NBC Orders Revolution for Fall Schedule

EW is reporting that NBC has ordered JJ Abrams' executive produced series Revolution for the Fall TV schedule. Where on the schedule has not yet been the determined. Revolution is a high concept idea that answers the studio's executive demand of "We need something like The Walking Dead!". In this case instead of living in a world of zombies, it is a world without electricity as a group attempts to survive after society suddenly being plunged into the 1900s once again. The cast includes Giancarlo Esposito (Once Upon a Time), Andrea Roth (Rescue Me), and Billy Burkes (Rizzoli & Isles).

I want to be enthusiastic but between Terra Nova, Falling Skies and The Walking Dead I have grown a bit tired of stories that essentially focus on how humans tend to kill humans as a means to survive but hey there is hope because our cast will demonstrate the best of humanity as they...yada yada yada. It has been done to death already in the last year alone. Even children know that people will do horrible things to survive and others will not. It doesn't have to be the thrust of every single story in one of these TV series. Hopefully Abrams will surprise me and add a new dramatic angle on surviving a post-apocalyptic landscape.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fringe Renewed for Final 5th Season

In some surprising TV news, Fox has renewed Fringe for a final fifth season of 13 episodes. The decision was made in part because Warner Bros agreed to lower its license fees to Fox along with an attempt to hit the magic 100 episode number that generally gives a show a longer shelf life in syndication. The reason suprised is the show just kept finding new record lows in ratings, now getting beat regularly by every other network show including Univision. This isn't to say the show has dropped in quality. If anything it is better then ever but for some reason it just can't find an audience. If you are not watching it, hit up Netflix and start catching up. Congrats to show Executive Producer JJ Abrams and the team.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Person of Interest Renewed

JJ Abrams received some good news yesterday thanks to CBS. The network announced that Abrams' produced Person of Interest has been renewed for a second season. It was part of 15 other shows that the network has officially renewed including CSI, The Good Wife, NCIS and more. Two other Abrams' shows, Fringe and Alcatraz, remain in limbo but the prospects are not looking good for either judging by the ratings.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cloverfield Sequel Remains Grounded

While promoting The Cabin in the Woods, Cloverfield writer Drew Goddard provided an updated on the sequel. In short, nothing has changed. Everyone wants to do it but no real progress has been made due to other projects everyone is involved with. Unless Abrams' sells the rights for a direct to DVD movie, I would be surprised if a sequel ever happens.
“I wish I had a better answer (laughs), I wish I had an answer where it’s like, ‘Oh the sequel’s starting shooting at this time next year,’ but the truth is, these things take time.”

“I think if you asked J.J., Matt and I, we each have our own ideas of what we would want to do, which is kind of how the first Cloverfield worked, it was sort of a conversation between the three of us. I’ve certainly thought about it a lot and I think Matt said the same and J.J. said the same, we just haven’t got the three of us together in one room to figure out what we would want to do.”

Monday, February 27, 2012

Abrams' Revolution Finds a Star

Deadline reports that Once Upon A Time's Giancarlo Esposito has scored a potential promotion (assuming it goes to series) as co-star on JJ Abrams' Revolution pilot for NBC. Created by Eric Kripke (Supernatural), the series follows a group of survivors as they try to live in a world mysteriously without energy. Esposito "will play Capt. Neville, a hard-as-steel military man with a genteel southern manner who may not always be what he seems." Jon Farveau is set to direct the pilot, giving a huge boost to the chances of this going to series.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Paramount, Abrams Extend First-Look Deal

Today J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot production company have announced they have extended their first-look deal with Paramount Pictures through December 2015. The deal means what it sounds like, any movie ideas that Abrams' company is considering making gives Paramount first dibs on it. The deal led to Mission: Impossible 3, Cloverfield, Star Trek, Super 8 and now many more. The extension of the deal doesn't exactly come as a surprise considering the successful string of films that Abrams has produced, written and directed.

Press release:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Jon Favreau to Direct Revolution Pilot

Iron Man I & II director Jon Favreau has agreed to direct the pilot episode for JJ Abrams' Revolution. The show was created by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke who will also write the pilot episode. Revolution is an action adventure drama that follows various characters as they attempt to survive in a world where all energy no longer exists. I assume this means man made energy (electricity, possibly gas combustion, etc.) since everything is energy in some form or fashion (wind, fire, water, or even a heartbeat).

According to Deadline, this is the first TV drama that Favreau has directed, normally doing the occasional TV comedy pilot. There are several reasons a movie director often will do the occasional TV pilot (but not direct any further episodes), most of it coming down to money. A feature director can often get executive future credit from that point forward (see Bryan Singer and House), good for building TV production companies (McG, Peter Berg) and because they sometimes get to craft and look and feel of the show with the pilot which continues to be used that point forward (Danny Cannon for CSI). I also understand that depending on the deal, the pilot director can get residuals from every episode for the show that is made after that. Nothing like the potential of continuing to get paid for doing nothing to make someone want to sign up for a pilot.

Friday, February 3, 2012

JJ Abrams Sells Another TV Show

The momentum continues for JJ Abrams. He previousily sold the pilot for Shelter to the CW and now its "Revolution" to NBC. The Hollywood Reporter describes the series as "an epic adventure thriller, the Warner Bros. Television project follows a group of characters struggling to survive and reunite with loved ones in a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously ceased to exist." The show is from Supernatural's Eric Kripke and the pilot episode will be written by Kripe with Bryan Burk and Abrams as executive producers through Bad Robot production company.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

JJ Abrams' Shelter Pilot Ordered

JJ Abrams just might have another show on the air next year to replace the Fringe whose ratings continue to find new lows. The CW orderd the drama Shelter from One Tree Hill's Mark Schwahn and produced through Abrams' Bad Robot production company. Deadline describes the show as "set at a historic New England summer resort where the new and returning staff attend to the practical, emotional and often comical needs of the guests while navigating friendships, rivalries and romances of their own." The order is just for a pilot episode which is a way for CW executives to test the concept to see if they like it enough to order more episodes for next year's schedule.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Abrams Hopes for Fringe Season 5

Fringe Executive Producer J.J. Abrams tells TV Line that, "We remain hopeful that Fringe will be able to continue." This seems to indicate that Fox is at least willing to listen to the idea. Do not get your hopes up as Fox president Kevin Reilly (and one to make the decision) said that Fringe was losing the network money as it seems to find new rating lows each week. I think they only way Fox would renew the show is if the entire production costs are covered by Warner Bros. WB is the studio that makes the show might be willing to do that to hit that 100 episode milestone that will increase syndication possibilities worldwide. It seems show runner Jeff Pinkner is prepared for cancellation or renewal saying "Worst case scenario, if this were the last aired season of Fringe… we know what the end of this season is going to be and it can function as a series finale." The economics of TV today makes me think that syndication dollars are not enough to prevent cancellation.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

JJ Abrams Talks Alcatraz

Today at the Television Critics Association’s press tour to promote Alcatraz, the series executive producer talks about the series that will debut on January 16th on Fox. He revealed little about the show except to say "this show was designed as episodic with an overarching large mythology we get to over time."

He also briefly commented on the changing of show runners halfway through filming, essentially dismissing it, "[Elizabeth Sarnoff] helped the pilot get to a place that was extraordinary. "She didn’t feel like she was the right person to run the show" after creative changes were made.

The impression I get is Fox demanded the show have a villain (escaped convict) of the week format with the serialized (aka mythology part) de-emphasized. The mythology will be the reveal of how and why the inmates of Alcatraz were allowed to jump forward in time (and hopefully explain how they adjust to a new era at a fast rate). My thinking is the show's format will not be much different than The Mentalist with its mystery of the week and the occasional "mythology" of the Red John serial killer. Or if need another example of a more sci-fi bent, go with the show that created the episodic with serialized mythology format - The X-Files. JJ Abrams sales pitch for the show to TV viewers can be found here.