Daily Read (5/3/16)

Someone is making The Catcher Was a Spy into a movie! Starring Paul Rudd! I haven’t actually read that book yet, but I read about Moe Berg in a different baseball-related book and his story was FASCINATING.

Oprah Winfrey will star in the movie based on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Amazon is doing a new Jack Ryan series starring . . . John Krasinksi? I’m not sure I’ve actually seen a Jack Ryan movie but that casting feels . . . different. I am intrigued.

I am also intrigued by The Lears, a comedic (?!) King Lear adaptation starring Bruce Dern and Anthony Michael Hall.

The movie based on Philip Roth’s American Pastoral, which is also Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut, is now set to come out on October 21st.

Amazon Renews Bosch

BoschGood news! Amazon has ordered a second season of procedural Bosch, starring Titus Welliver and based on the novels by Michael Connelly.

“I am very excited about continuing the Bosch story with season two,” said Michael Connelly. From the press release: “I love what we started with and I think our plans for the second season will make the show even better and more exploratory of the character of Harry Bosch. We have a great cast and crew and we are all going to be one year better at this. I can’t wait.”

TV News: Bosch, Shannara, Zoo, TVD, Nora Roberts

BoschAll ten episodes of Bosch will premiere on Amazon on February 13th! Can’t wait.

John Rhys-Davies has been cast in Shannara.

Billy Burke and Kristen Connelly have joined Zoo, based on the James Patterson novel.

The Vampire Diaries has cast Tristin Mays.

Nora Roberts’s latest trilogy has been optioned for TV.

TV in Development: Lemony Snicket, Little Women, & More

Netflix is developing a live-action family show based on Lemony Snicket’s The Series of Unfortunate Events. That could be fun.

ABC has a contemporary Little Women limited series in the works. Hmm. It’s about “four sisters — coming of age against the backdrop of a military scandal as their family loses its fortune and position — who find themselves at odds with the conservative and traditional society in which they live.” I . . . guess? Huh.

There’s a second show in development based on The Phantom of the Opera, though this one is ABC Family’s wheelhouse.

ABC is also working on a legal series based on Ingrid Thoft’s Fina Ludlow books.

Amazon is now looking at that adaptation of Fitzgerald’s The Last Tycoon that’s been floating around.

Syfy is adapting Arthur C. Clarke’s 3001.

Amazon Picks Up Bosch, Mozart in the Jungle, & More

BoschAccording to a Variety exclusive, Amazon has picked up four of its pilots to series, including adaptations Bosch and Mozart in the Jungle. I really enjoyed both of these, so I’m quite happy. If you missed it, you can read my quick reviews: Bosch and Mozart in the Jungle. There’s no word yet on premiere dates – I’ll let you know as soon as I see anything!

Pilot Thoughts: Bosch

BoschAmazon handles its pilots differently from most: It puts a whole batch online and lets its viewers watch and give feedback, and then takes that into account in deciding which shows should go forward. Two pilots in the current batch are based on books, so I took a look for you, and it turns out that I highly recommend them both.

Drama Bosch is based on Michael Connelly’s mystery series about LAPD detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch. Caveat: I read one of the books about a decade ago, and I remember liking it but not a lot of the details. I went into this expecting a fairly standard procedural, which would have been fine with me – I love procedurals. But I was delighted to find that this had a bit of a harder edge than many procedurals, and that – if the pilot is anything to go by – the show looks to be finding a nice middle ground with a case-of-the-week aspect but a tone and character elements closer to case-of-the-season shows like Broadchurch or The Killing. Star Titus Welliver makes a compelling leading man, and the supporting cast is made up of a whole bunch of people I’ve liked on other shows, including Valerie Cruz, Annie Wersching, Amy Aquino, and Lance Reddick. I loved everything about the way this show was made – the tone, the filming style, the music. And I have a not-so-secret soft spot for grim murder stories casually set at Christmas, which this pulled off very well, making Christmas a constant background presence without ever making it a Thing. If I hadn’t already been convinced, the ending music, a jazzy “What Child Is This?”, would have made me want more of this show immediately.

Pilot Thoughts: Mozart in the Jungle

Mozart in the JungleAmazon handles its pilots differently from most: It puts a whole batch online and lets its viewers watch and give feedback, and then takes that into account in deciding which shows should go forward. Two pilots in the current batch are based on books, so I took a look for you, and it turns out that I highly recommend them both.

First: Mozart in the Jungle, subtitled “Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music” and based on the book by the same name by Blair Tindall. It’s a comedy – but a slightly dark one – set behind the scenes at a leading symphony orchestra transitioning from its elderly, established conductor (Malcolm McDowell) to a new young unconventional one (Gael Garcia Bernal). The cast, which also includes Bernadette Peters, Lola Kirke, and a fun Joshua Bell cameo, is great, and as someone who’s always been into classical music, I sat there and marveled at the wonder of a comedy full of music jokes I actually got. (I don’t think there are too many classical music in-jokes, though, that those who aren’t into it in general wouldn’t like it. But let me know, if you watch it!) There was a drinking game involving playing pieces from different classical periods. It was amazing. The writing was good, and I immediately cared about the characters and wanted to learn more. (One line I loved: “Most Victrolas are antiques.”) I really, really hope we get more of this show.

Watch & Vote on Amazon Pilots Including Bosch & Mozart in the Jungle

BoschAmazon has unveiled its new slate of pilots, and they do it a little differently than the networks do: They make all the pilots available, and viewers can then vote for the ones they want to make it to series. This time around, there are two book adaptations in the mix:

Bosch, based on the novels of Michael Connelly, stars Titus Welliver as an LAPD detective on trial for the murder of a serial killer.

Mozart in the Jungle, based on the Blair Tindall book, is a comedy about “sex, drugs, and classical music” from Jason Schwartzman that stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Malcolm McDowell.

I’ll try to watch these this weekend and let you know what I think next week! Please join in!

Hannibal Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

HannibalHave you been wishing you could catch up on Hannibal before its second season premiere on February 28th? Well, you’re in luck: The whole first season is now streaming free for Amazon Prime members. (Others can buy it from Amazon by the episode, or the whole season with a discount.) I recommend it with some reservations, because it’s very, very disturbing and obviously not for everyone. That said, I was completely skeptical going into it – I only watched it because I watch at least an episode of practically everything – but wound up loving it. And I’m saying that as someone who doesn’t like horror, had no particular interest in the premise, and is easily scared. But the writing, acting, and cinematography on this show made it worth it for me. It’s one of the best-made shows on TV right now. So if you can get past the premise and creepiness, give it a try!