Media Morsels 7.27.12

The Newsroom

We're half way through the inaugural season of The Newsroom - what do you think of the show thus far? "Amen" allowed Dev Patel's Neal to shine, and provided an interesting example of how traditional media and new media are working together. Below, catch a glimpse at next week's episode, "Bullies," which has shades of "Night Five" and "The Black Vera Wang" all over it!


Election Update: Debates

The timing and format of the upcoming presidential debates have been announced. There will be a total of three debates, all in October and all lasting 90 minutes. First up will be the October 3 debate at the University of Denver; this will have six 15-minute segments, with different topics being debated during each segment. Topics will be announced in advance. The second debate will take place at Hofstra University on October 16 and will take on a town hall format, with undecided, Gallup Organization-selected voters asking questions about foreign and domestic policy. The third and final debate will cover foreign policy, and brings President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL. Find more details about the debate on The Wrap

And remember, decisions are made by people who show up! So educate yourselves about the issues, pay attention and show up and make your voice heard on Election Day (November 6). Visit Rock the Vote for election season info, including how to register to vote and find your polling place.


Leslye Headland (Assistance) has adapted her acerbic, sharp and keenly observed play Bachelorette for the big screen, and the first trailer is now out. Starring Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher as bridesmaids gone bad, Bachelorette is part of Headland's serires of seven deadly sins plays, with Bachelorette representing gluttony. Watch the trailer below and then mark you calendar for September 7.

Downton Abbey Scoop

After the Television Critics Association press tour last week, E! Online is reporting lots of Downton Abbey scoop. The show (which received 16 Emmy nominations last week) will return to PBS for its third season on January 6, 2013. In addition to meeting Lady Cora's mother, played by Shirley MacLaine, and having her presence really shake things up, on season three we can expect to see Lady Sybil and her Irish lad Branson back on the Downton compound and (perish the thought) a rocky road for Lady Mary and Matthew. Get all the details at E! Online.

TV Line is reporting that Dan Harmon, who created Community and was the chief mastermind behind the incomparably funny show, is about to seal a deal with Fox for a new, multi-camera series. (I'm surprised he doesn't have some sort of non-compete clause in his contract.) You might remember that Harmon was rudely ousted from Community and new show runners are being brought in for the show's final season. Who knows if Community will have that same, zesty bite without Harmon, but I can tell you I will definitely watch whatever he does next.

Gangster Squad Gets Moved

Warner Bros. is pushing back the release of Gangster Squad in order to accommodate reshoots. The Ryan Gosling-led film, which also stars Emma Stone, Sean Penn and Josh Brolin, focuses on the LAPD's efforts to combat the Mafia in the 40s and 50s, and includes a scene (seen in the first trailer) in which the characters shoot through a movie screen and open fire on the audience. The trailer was pulled immediately after the tragedy in Aurora, CO, and now execs are figuring out how to rewrite the movie out of respect for the victims. Originally scheduled for release on September 7, the reworked film will be released on January 11, 2013. The Hollywood Reporter has details.

Ghost: The Musical

Word came this week that Ghost: The Musical will close on August 18. The show is a technical triumph, featuring some of the most dazzling effects seen in a Broadway house. On the night the closing notice was posted, I attended a post-show talk back with the cast and the stage manager; all were in great spirits. Caissie Levy, who plays Molly, said that she and the rest of the cast and crew are really proud of what they've done and that they are all looking forward to cherishing the next month. When Ghost closes, it won't be totally gone: the show is launching a national tour next year. Playbill has details.

In other Ghost news, Levy shared with her current obsessions, like Bob Dylan, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and lower case letters!

2012-2013 Theatre Season Update

  • Bebe Neuwirth will return to the New York stage this fall in Terrence McNally's Golden Age. The Manhattan Theatre Club production will be directed by Walter Bobbie (Venus in Fur). Previews begin November 13. MTC subscriptions are currently available; single tickets go on sale on October 1. Visit for more information.

  • Comedian and sometimes Daily Show correspondent Lewis Black will bring his new show, Running on Empty, to Broadway for a week-long stop on his tour. The show will play the Richard Rogers Theatre from October 9 through 14. Playbill has details.

  • Speaking of Daily Show correspondents, Aasif Mandvi will appear off-Broadway in Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced. The limited engagement play will run through November 18 at Lincoln Center's newly opened Claire Tow Theatre; previews begin October 7, with opening night set for October 22. has details.

  • The Fonz Henry Winkler, Cheyenne Jackson (Finian's Rainbow), Ari Gaynor (Trust) and Daniel Breaker (By the Way, Meet Vera Stark) are among the cast members of The Performers, a new play by Dream of the Burning Boy playwright David West Read. The new play is coming to Broadway's Longacre Theatre this fall, with previews beginning October 23 and opening night set for November 14. The play concerns high school friends who reconnect at the Adult Film Awards. Yep. Wonder what the matinee crowd will think of that! (Also, Jackson is on the Tony nominating committee; I wonder how his being in a show will affect his ability to see Tony-eligible shows.) Playbill has details.

  • Fresh off the successful opening on their new musical Dogfight, composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul will bring A Christmas Story, The Musical! to Broadway for a limited holiday season engagement. Previews begin November 5 in advance of a November 19 opening, and will run at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre through December 30. has details.
Dig This

  • My favorite headline of the week, courtesy of Rolling Stone: "Snoop Dogg to Release Reggae Album as Snoop Lion."

  • Tickets are now on sale for If There is I Haven't Found it Yet, a new off-Broadway play that will see Jake Gyllenhaal make is New York stage debut. (See "meet the press" photos)

  • From Modern Family to litigious family, the adult actors on the hit show are suing the show's production company over a contract dispute. Rolling Stone has details

  • Steven Van Zandt spoke with Rolling Stone about life on the road with The Boss and the possibility of a new album in 2013. 

  • American Idiot is hitting the road again, this time on an international tour. The cast was just announced and Playbill has the details.

  • Good news: Jeopardy host Alex Trebek has begun taping the 29th season of the beloved quiz show. He is doing well after his mild heart attack, according to a posting from Jeopardy's official Facebook page, and the new season will begin airing on September 17.