How 30 Rock Might Be Destroying Television

Ryan Tate · 10/06/08 08:03AM

Tina Fey's 30 Rock is perhaps the most critically-acclaimed show on network television (and about network television), an arch meta-comedy about the production of a fake sketch comedy. But maybe the show's writers are too good at their jobs — and too willing to please NBC executives on whose whims the ratings-challenged comedy will live or die. New York talked to a variety of industry players about the clever way 30 Rock integrates paid product placements from the likes of Verizon, Snapple and women's beverage SoyJoy. Some, like Oz creator Tom Fontana and film-producer-turned ad man Charles Rosen think the show handled the product insertions in such a brilliant, self-mocking fashion that it lit the way for other shows to so likewise. Joss Whedon, the beloved creator of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, said that may be precisely the problem. He took particular umbrage at miniature episodes 30 Rock ran inside American Express ads:

Dr. Horrible's Evil League of Evil Seeks New (Evil) Members

ian spiegelman · 09/28/08 02:50PM

The Evil League of Evil—first exposed to the public in director Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog—is calling for madmen and madwomen to join its ranks. The best applicants—"as determined by the League or its designated agents"— will be featured in an upcoming DVD. Application rules after the jump, if you think you're evil enough.

Kyle Buchanan · 09/10/08 04:45PM

Shutdown Fever! Hot on the heels of 24 stopping production to work out script issues, Joss Whedon's upcoming Eliza Dushku vehicle Dollhouse is grinding to its own quality-mandated halt. Already, Whedon was instructed by a tinkering Fox to shoot a second pilot (the original will air as Dollhouse's second episode), and the additional order left him too busy to bring future scripts up to snuff. Currently on its third completed episode, Dollhouse sets will go dark for two weeks while Whedon works out the kinks, though Fox claims its midseason debut won't be affected. Firefly fans, commence your worrying. [Zap2It]

Wisecracks and Wyverns: It's the Animated 'Buffy' That Never Was

Kyle Buchanan · 08/04/08 01:00PM

Like the blood-sucking vampires dramatized by their idol, fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon are always hungry, letting no series, comic book or musical web-blog go unconsumed. Into their gaping maw, then, we throw this: a just-surfaced clip from the pilot presentation for Whedon's aborted, animated Buffy spinoff. The gang's all here (sans series star Sarah Michelle Gellar), and even though the project was terminated years ago, it's a nostalgic hoot. Plus, cartoon Giles? Strangely alluring.

Joss Whedon's Impromptu Dollhouse Interview

ian spiegelman · 07/27/08 02:05PM

Just in from Comic-Con!Buffy/Firefly/Dr. Horrible creator Joss Whedon discusses how he's trying to ensure that his upcoming Fox show Dollhouse enjoys a long, happy life on TV, unlike Firefly-which met an early demise for no good reason. Also in this clip, Battlestar Galactica/Dollhouse co-star Tahmoh Penikett, and a surprise appearance by Adam Baldwin, who Whedon blames for the downfall of Firefly.

NPH Sweeps The Clouds Away As The Shoe Fairy On 'Sesame Street'

Mark Graham · 07/23/08 08:00PM

· Ever since Neil Patrick Harris warned told the world back in February that he would be appearing as The Shoe Fairy on an episode of Sesame Street, we have been waiting for the mystical unicorn rider to appear on our local PBS affiliate. Fortunately for all of us, our long wait is now over. And while we are slightly sad to report that this clip does not have him uttering the line "I am the greatest fairy in all the land" (that bon mot must've landed on the cutting room floor), we have better news to share. Prepare yourselves for ... a musical number! [Sesame Street]
· While we were excited to introduce you to young Levi Alves McConaughey earlier today, a closer look at the photos shows that America's youngest stoner is already developing some rippling abs! [Best Week Ever]
· In the upcoming remake of Friday The 13th, Jason Voorhees has a mullet. This does not bode well. [Friday The 13th Blog]
· Is the bloom off Joss Whedon's rose? We'll always love and revere him for BtVS, but after getting feedback from the suits at Fox about the pilot episode he shot for Dollhouse, he's going back to the drawing board to rescript and reshoot the whole damn thing. [Vulture]
· Thankfully, this season's TCA press tour has come to a close. THR's James Hibberd put together an easy-to-digest recap, which features this refreshingly honest description from the EP of the new Crash television series about how his show will differ from its Academy Award winning source material: "I didn't want the series to feel somber. Or didactic. Or heavy handed. This is a fun show. The show is not bleak. Or depressing." We're sure Paul Haggis would agree. [The Live Feed]

OMG! Gawker Q&A with Joss Whedon!

ian spiegelman · 07/12/08 11:09AM

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Serenity creator Joss Whedon's writers' strike project "Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog"-starring Nathan Fillion and Neal Patrick Harris-premieres the first of three fun-filled acts Tuesday. To that end, the director has done the unthinkable-agreeing to a Q&A session with Weekend Gawker! Yaaaay! The totally biased interview after the jump.

Joss Whedon hopes to tease fans into buying DVDs of his musical

Jackson West · 07/01/08 06:20PM

Whedon fans are a nerdy sort, and certainly if the source video links can't be unearthed and the files downloaded, it can always be captured with software, and then distributed on file-sharing networks. Of course, truefans will make noises about then the artist won't be getting paid, but then there weren't exactly enough truefans to save Firefly, and that didn't even have dance numbers.

Gays and Geeks Rejoice As Trailer for Joss Whedon/Neil Patrick Harris Musical Hits Internet

Kyle Buchanan · 06/26/08 05:10PM

In a world where musical theater devotees and sci-fi fans yearn for common ground, the trailer for Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog grabs you by the lapels and sings, "I am that rare beast of boogie-woogie/for fans of Buffy/and fans of Doogie." Penned during the writers strike (ssshh!), the three-part internet series (helmed by Buffy creator Joss Whedon) stars Neil Patrick Harris as timid villain Dr. Horrible, who's about as skilled at wooing cute girls as he is at defeating good guys — which is to say, not very. Two pressing questions: how will Whedon fare in a medium free of low ratings and premature Fox cancellations? And also, is Neil Patrick Harris doomed to play a blogger for the rest of his career?

Dollhouse Fans Campaign to Save Show 8 Months Before it Airs

ian spiegelman · 05/25/08 11:49AM

Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Firefly creator Joss Whedon's Dollhouse isn't set to air until 2009, but the director's army of nerdy fans are already plotting to save it from the bean-counting buzz-kills at Fox. The program stars Eliza "Five by Five" Dushku as a brainwashed assassin, and so it's only reasonable that Whedon fanboys and fangirls should fear having such a precious gift of insanely hot hotness taken away from them. "Led by, the campaign urges followers to organize viewing parties, watch the trailers online, buy Dollhouse-endorsed merch and create more fan sites."

OMG! Joss Whedon's Dollhouse Sneak Peek!

ian spiegelman · 05/17/08 11:16AM

Serenity/Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon's upcoming Fox series Dollhouse is profiled today at Entertainment Weekly. And there's new video from the pilot. Eliza Dushku! "Dollhouse follows Dushku's Echo, a mysterious agent with no identity except for the personalities imprinted on her and then deleted by her employer depending on the wishes and needs of wealthy clients. Between assignments, Echo lives inside a cushy secret HQ with other blank-slate dolls in a state of oblivious, hyper-healthy bliss...though as the series unfolds, she's starting to remember stuff she shouldn't." Video after the jump.

Here Comes Dr. Horrible!

ian spiegelman · 04/05/08 01:19PM

Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon has just released this teaser poster for his upcoming internet musical, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. "It's the story of a low-rent super-villain, the hero who keeps beating him up, and the cute girl from the laundromat he's too shy to talk to," says Whedon. How can it get any cooler? It stars Neil "Doogie" Patrick "Howser" Harris, as Dr. Horrible, Serenity's Nathan Fillion as Captain Hammer, and insanely cute Buffy alum Felicia Day as Penny. [OhNoTheyDidnt]

'Buffy' Cast Reunion Proves Starring In A Decade-Old Hit Does Not A Glamourous Future Make

Molly Friedman · 03/21/08 03:12PM

Back in 1997, two wondrous events occurred: Joss Whedon surprised the television world by managing to remake the classic Buffy The Vampire Slayer into an incredibly watchable, witty, addictive TV show, receiving critical praise and an instant loyal fan base, despite a relatively unknown cast. Secondly, Sarah Michelle Gellar's career skyrocketed from ugly duckling soap star to teen idol in a matter of weeks. Girls wanted to be her and get in the sack with Xander, and guys just wanted her to karate kick the shit out of them. And now, 11 years later, the entire team (well, minus wise ol' Giles, David Boreanaz, and star in her own right these days Alyson Hannigan) reunited yesterday at the Paley Center to the joy of all Buffyverse inhabitants. And my how things have changed: they've got jobs! And new hairstyles! Pictures from the smiley reunion, plus details on the vampire-fighting clan's future plans, after the jump.

Everyone's Reteaming!

mark · 11/01/07 01:48PM

· A mere nine years after the first X-Files film surfaced in theaters, Fox announces that the second of Mulder and Scully's big-screen adventures (a reteaming, if you will) will arrive on July 25, 2008, a project that will begin shooting in December in Vancouver, far away from the picket lines of Los Angeles. [Variety]
· Joss Whedon reteams (we love it when people reteam) with former Buffy cast member Eliza Dushku for Fox's Dollhouse, getting a seven-episode commitment from the network for an idea that struck Whedon in between bites of a Caesar salad while lunching with the actress. [THR]

Trade Round-Up: Silver Trying To Take 'Wonder Woman' Competition Off The Market

mark · 02/01/07 02:57PM

· Jennifer Garner seeks to emasculate husband Ben Affleck by proving that at least one person in their household can carry a holiday-themed comedy, signing on to star in the remake of the 1945 movie Christmas in Connecticut for Warner Bros. [Variety]
· Warner Bros. and Joel Silver, who have been developing a Wonder Woman movie to be written and directed by fanboy-sainted Buffy creator Joss Whedon, are "quietly" trying to buy another Wonder Woman script, possibly to cover their asses in the event its writers decide to sue because their "getting it on in the invisible jet" scene is too similar to the one in the eventual WB product. [THR]
· Unfaithful co-stars Richard Gere and Diane Lane reunite for the Nicholas Sparks adaptation Nights in Rodanthe for Warner Bros. [Ed.note—Is today Warner Bros. Day at the trades?], in which they hope to recapture the carnal chemistry they enjoyed in their previous collaboration. [Variety]
· American Idol continues to destroy everything in its path. Interestingly, its Nielsen halo effect is now even boosting its lead-ins, bringing Bones its highest ratings in a year. [THR]
· In speculating about how moving beloved, but ratings-challenged, Friday Night Lights to a better timeslot might improve the show's chances of survival, Var invokes the name of Freaks and Geeks, the standard by which all beloved-but-ratings-challenged-series- that-were-killed-off-too-quickly are judged. [Variety]

Short Ends: Griffin, Alba, And Wonder Woman

mark · 08/02/05 06:54PM

· $20 gets you the once-worn, authentic, 1950s pin-up bathing suit, but you have to take Kathy Griffin with it. It's a package deal. Sorry, no exceptions!
· And now to cleanse the pallette: In the words of Goldenfiddle, "Jessica Alba adjusts her bikini to get the sand out of her acting ability on a beach in Mexico."
· It goes without saying that the idea that Tom Cruise is a relationship addict is completely ridiculous. After all, this is a man who has personally—personally!—stepped countless others off the dangerous street drug of serial monogamy.
· It's only a matter of time before the next celebrity sex tape hits the market, and it looks like Jude Law is the odds-on favorite amateur porn-star-in-waiting.
· Director Joss Whedon reveals that his version of Wonder Woman might not be wearing panties. [via, scroll down to fifth section.]