By Romeo San Vicente
Justin Timberlake’s got the beat
If you’re old enough to remember disco’s heyday, then you know Casablanca Records. It was “the” dance music record label of the 1970s, home to Donna Summer, The Village People, Cher and even Kiss (who scored their one disco hit thanks to the label). And it was masterminded by marketing genius Neil Bogart, who was as extravagant and party-minded as the times themselves. Well now “Spinning Gold,” a biopic about the late music mogul, is in the works with Justin Timberlake acting as both producer and star. There’s no other cast or details just yet (for example, who’ll play Summer and Cher? Where will they find enough rollerskates?), but when it all falls into place you can expect a trip into hedonism, hit songs, happy-making chemicals and “Hot Stuff.”
Lee Daniels taking a trip to ‘Valley of the Dolls’
In 1966 it was a wildly popular, groundbreaking scandal of a novel. Then, in 1967 it was a wildly popular (and compellingly bad) movie. Over the years there’ve been sequels to the book, a TV miniseries version in the ’80s and even a low-budget, syndicated late-night soap opera in the 1990s.
The cult of Jacqueline Susann’s “Valley of the Dolls” is that strong, with new generations discovering its retro glamour and trashy appeal. So it makes sense that “Precious” director Lee Daniels wants to resurrect it all once again for television. His plan is for a primetime series, not cheap midnight fare, but that’s about the only information available for now. In other words, there’s little more here than an announcement, but sometimes announcements are all you need to stir up the excitement of hardcore “Valley” fans. Details as they develop.
Ellen DeGeneres and Jane Lynch will make it a ‘Laughing Stock’
Comedy junkies, get ready, because “Laughing Stock” is coming. A project from veteran comic/director David Steinberg and producer Steve Carell, the forthcoming Showtime series promises interviews and profiles of the most prolific comic talents of the past fifty years. The short list alone is impressive: Carell, Ellen DeGeneres, Tina Fey, Jane Lynch, Sarah Silverman, Judd Apatow, Mel Brooks, Chris Rock, Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld, Carl Reiner, Don Rickles and more. In other words, over the course of the 10-episode series, you’ll get to hear way too many firsthand accounts of what drives funny people to do what they do and witness the mechanics of comedy dissected by people who are usually always “on.” The punchline? You have to wait until 2012.
‘The Glee Project’ refuses to stop believing
“Glee”? A record-breaking pop culture phenomenon. But “The Glee Project”? Less so. How much less so? Well, remember that 3D “Glee” concert movie that nobody went to see? The low-rated “Glee Project” was sort of like that, only free and on television. In other words, they couldn’t give it away. But sometimes shows just need time to develop and build their audience. And the powers that be must have gotten at least something of what they wanted from the reality competition, because a second season casting call is already in the works. Will tenacity pay off for the struggling Oxygen show? Will an audience rise up to meet it during season two? And does it matter? Because either way, it’s probably a cost-effective way to restock the show as aging “high schoolers” move on, no matter how many people tune in for the process.