News: Murdoch Mysteries renewed, John Barrowman’s Heavy Metal, Ray Winstone back in the Bible, the final Ultron trailer + more


  • Ridley Scott to adapt George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman books

Film casting

  • Billy Zane, Jack Thompson and Jake Ryan to star in Blue World Order
  • Dan Stevens to play the Beast in live action Beauty and the Beast
  • Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth and Jessie Usher join Independence Day 2



Canadian TV

  • CBC green lights/renews: The Romeo Section, Shoot The Messenger, Kim’s Convenience, Heartland, Murdoch Mysteries, X Company and Schitt’s Creek

Internet TV

New UK TV shows

  • Trailer for BBC One’s Ordinary Lies

New UK TV show casting


US TV show casting

New US TV shows

New US TV show casting


The Pretty in Pink reunion you weren’t expecting on The Blacklist

First, an introduction for younger readers. This is the group of actor/singers known as the Rat Pack. They were big in the 60s. You weren’t alive then. Neither was I.

The Rat Pack

I don’t quite know why I’m mentioning them since they’re irrelevant to this piece. However, this is the far more relevant Brat Pack. They were big in the 80s. You might have been alive then. I definitely was.

The Brat Pack

To be exact, that’s not quite the Brat Pack, so much as the cast of St Elmo’s Fire, most of whom were in the Brat Pack – look closely and you’ll spot Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Andrew McCarthy, Ally Sheedy and Demi Moore (as well as the lesser known Judd Nelson and even lesser known Mare Winningham).

However, the Brat Pack was made up of a group of young actors and actresses who dated each other and/or frequently appeared together in movies (eg The Breakfast Club, Oxford Blues, Sixteen Candles) and their numbers also included the likes of Kiefer Sutherland, Robert Downey Jr, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall and James Spader.

One of the most notable and iconic Brat Pack movies was Pretty In Pink, which starred Ringwald, McCarthy and Spader, as well as Jon Cryer who would go on to star in Two And A Half Men with the somewhat infamous Brat Pack member Charlie Sheen. Here’s a trailer to explain the basic plot, which involves Ringwald picking the right boy – and the right dress – for her prom: should it be good guy Andrew McCarthy, bad guy James Spader or unnoticed best friend Cryer?

Here are Spader and McCarthy being interviewed about the movie at the time. My, how young they look, don’t they?

But as we’ve seen, careers can go in odd directions. I really don’t need to tell you what Robert Downey Jr has been up to since, while Rob Lowe – who was the baddest of the bad in the Brat Pack – has also gone on to numerous decent roles in things like The West Wing and Parks and Recreation, and Kiefer Sutherland became the TV star of the 2000s as Jack Bauer in 24 and Demi Moore became an action movie star. Others have branched off into different parts of the industry – Emilio Estevez won a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival for his biopic of Robert Kennedy, Bobby, which he wrote and directed.

Spader, by contrast, has gone through a slow process of ‘Shatnerisation’, slowly going from the acclaimed movie performances of Sex, Lies and Videotape and Crash down into a hammy TV hell of his own making, perhaps in part caused by his proximity to the Shat himself in Boston Legal.

Meanwhile, Andrew McCarthy after sticking around in acting doing the serious likes of John Frankenheimer’s Year of the Gun with Sharon Stone…

…ended up mainly behind the camera, the difference being that he’s stuck to directing TV, on shows such as Gossip Girl, Alpha House, Orange is the New Black, The Carrie Diaries, and Lipstick Jungle.

Oh, and The Blacklist, which stars James Spader, and for which McCarthy has directed three episodes this season.

“They’re both great artists who have had such a wonderful working relationship in the past, it just seemed like too good of an opportunity to pass up,” series executive producers Jon Bokenkamp and John Eisendrath said [via].

Look, here they are together behind the scenes. My, don’t they look not quite so young? But then, don’t we all?

James Spadaer and Andrew McCarthy behind the scenes of The Blacklist

European TV

What TV’s hot in Lisbon right now?

Good question. See, I was there for the past few days (hence my lack of blogging), and following the success of my previous photo expeditions to LA and New York, including my New York TV advertising feature, I thought I’d give you a brief rundown. With pictures.

So the first thing to note is that Meo is the king of telecoms over there. As well as mobile phones and broadband, they also offer TV services over the phone line, via satellite, via cable and even over 3G/4G. Meo is everywhere, particularly when it comes to WiFi hotspots. However, NOS does pretty much the same thing, including offering a whole range of premium channels, largely featuring US imports, and so has a lot of cash to spend on advertising. Here, for example, towering over the monument to Luís de Camões and this Easter parade is Claire Danes, the star of Segurança Nacional (aka Homeland).

Easter parade Claire Danes

Claire Danes

Traipse all over Lisbon and you’ll spot NOS adverts for everything from Modern Family and Castle through to Vikings and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. However, confusingly, Homeland/Segurança Nacional actually airs on one of Fox International’s channels, which does its own advertising, too. Top of the heap of its advertising and appearing on the wall of pretty much every Metro station in Lisbon? Empire.

Fox's Empire in Lisbon

But NOS, Meo and Fox aren’t the only channels in Lisbon. AXN is out there, too. Top of its promotional considerations and dominating most bus stops and street signage is Chicago Fire.

Chicago Fire in Lisbon

“But, Rob,” you might ask. “Aren’t there any programmes made in Portugal?”

There are a few, at least, including news programmes, although most of the ones I saw advertised were for kids and were cartoons. The only truly ubiquitous advert was for Portugal’s very own version of Masterchef, which was about as common as Empire was on the Metro and airs on TVI, Portugal’s fourth terrestrial TV channel.

MasterChef Portugal


Look! Here’s two Supergirls in one place!

Well, here’s something you don’t see very often: not just one but two Supergirls.

Two Supergirls

On the left, we have Melissa Benoist, who plays Kara Zor-El in the new CBS Supergirl; on the right, we have Helen Slater, who played Supergirl in the 80s movie Supergirl.

They’re together in one place because Slater is also appearing in the new Supergirl, as is former Superman Dean Cain, although their exact roles in the show are yet to be revealed.

They’re probably not playing Supergirl’s biological parents (or should that be ‘biological’, given Kryptonian reproduction?), as Laura Benanti has already been cast as Supergirl’s mum Alura Zor-El, but maybe their adoptive parents? No word yet if the show intends to make it a triple and rope in Smallville’s Supergirl, Laura Vandervoort. She’s currently slumming it on Bitten, so could probably do with a change.

News: Strange Empire, Garfunkel & Oates cancelled, Community trailer, epic pilot casting + more


  • Bryan Singer to adapt Robert Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

Film casting

Canadian TV

Internet TV

  • Trailer for season six of Community


UK TV show casting

New UK TV shows

New UK TV show casting

  • Emily Watson, Sarah Lancashire, Vanessa Kirby et al join BBC One/Starz’s The Dresser


US TV show casting

New US TV shows

New US TV show casting