NBC has cast the title role in its Peter Pan Live production set to air Dec. 4, and it's none other than esteemed actor and singer ... Allison Williams?
If you don't know who she is, it's likely because you don't watch Girls, Lena Dunham's HBO comedy on which the 26-year-old stars as Marnie. Williams is also known for being the daughter of NBC newscaster Brian Williams, who surely didn't have anything to do with getting her this gig.
The announcement comes just a few weeks after NBC cast 71-year-old movie veteran Christopher Walken to play Captain Hook, another bizarre choice. Boy, we never thought we'd say this, but maybe Carrie Underwood as Maria in The Sound of Music Live isn't the worst casting ever.
It appears NBC is honoring the tradition of having a woman play Peter in the musical, but Williams isn't exactly the most compelling actor. And as far as we know, her most high-profile singing gig to date comes from the most recent season of Girls, in which she tried her hand at some folk singing and wasn't terrible at it. Sorry, but we just don't buy Williams as the puckish Pan. But hey, maybe all she's needed to become a true star is a pair of green tights and a jaunty cap! …Full Story
I've interviewed Steve Martin and Tony Bennett, Roger Daltrey and Slash. I've chatted up some bold-facers for sure. And yet, I can't remember ever being as nerdily thrilled during a 30-minute phoner as I was with John Rhys-Davies, who played Sallah, "the best digger in Egypt," in my favorite movie of all time: 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark. "Asps. Very dangerous. You go first." "BAD DATES." Oh, there I go, getting all light-headed again. That guy is AWESOME!! Anyway, my new friend John, also beloved by Lord of the Rings fans for his portrayal of Gimli the dwarf warrior -- plus he just signed on to voice Frozen's Pabbie the troll king on ABC's Once Upon a Time -- will be appearing at Tampa Bay Comic Con this weekend. I hope I get to meet him. And I hope I don't faint. In the meantime, HERE'S MY GUSHY GEEKED-OUT INTERVIEW WITH JOHN RHYS-DAVIES.Full Story
Not only will Tom Petty and his venerable Heartbreakers play Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday, but our Florida guys (yeah, that's right, I'm still claiming them as ours) will be rippin' out cuts from the crew's best album in years, the new Hypnotic Eye. You can read my gushy review here. Then, after that (and only after that), you can rock out to first single American Dream Plan B. Fair warning: That Mike Campbell guitar solo is a monster. Full Story
Ian Ziering fending off a giant shark in 'Sharknado 2'.
Turn up your Twitter accounts to maximum snark: Sharknado 2 airs tomorrow night!
It's the sequel to the shlocky B-movie Sharknado that premiered on the SyFy network on July 11, 2013. That one hit the Internet like a tidal wave, with an average of 5,000 tweets per minute during the first airing. Sharknado was so popular it even played in movie theaters last summer.
So of course there's a sequel. Heck, word is there's even a third one in the works. In anticipation of the second Sharknado, we've rounded up five things you should know before diving in. Just think of it as trivia to share while you're tweeting all night Wednesday.
Editor's note: Josh Murray's family and friends gathered at CineBistro in Tampa during Monday's 'Bachelorette' finale to cheer him on. We sent Times reporter Robbyn Mitchell to see how they reacted to his big win.
Lauren Murray smiled as an acquaintance handed her a rose in the lobby of CineBistro Hyde Park Monday night.
“Finally, I get one of these,” she laughed.
The 50-year-old mom has spent the summer watching her son, Josh Murray, get roses from Andi Dorfman on ABC’s The Bachelorette. She and 98 others gathered at the theater to watch the live finale and celebrate one of the worst-kept secrets in Bachelor history.
“I’ve become so politically correct these last two months,” Lauren Murray said. “My answers are so cryptic these days.”
The gathered crowd cheered Josh’s every appearance and good-naturedly jeered his competition, making this watch party one of the most personal in the nation. …Full Story
Andi Dorfman and Tampa native Josh Murray
Tampa native Josh Murray is one step closer to lifelong happiness, or at least the TV version of it.
On Monday night's finale of The Bachelorette, Andi Dorfman picked Murray, 29, over Nick Viall, 33, from Chicago. Murray, a former professional baseball player, grew up in Tampa and now lives in Atlanta. He took Dorfman to Tampa during the hometown dates, for some baseball and a stroll along Bayshore Boulevard.
After Dorfman told Murray she loved him and wanted to have his babies, he got down on one knee and proposed. Guess what? She said yes!
Click here for reactions from Murray's family and friends, who gathered at Cinebistro in Tampa during the finale to cheer him on.
Andi Dorfman and Josh Murray
It's down to Josh M., 29, a former professional baseball player from Atlanta — and Tampa native! — and Nick V., 33, a software sales executive from Chicago, in tonight's THREE-hour finale of The Bachelorette.
Don't worry, you'll find out who Andi Dorfman picks by 10 p.m.; the last hour is a live, emotional rehash of Andi's choice. Of course we're rooting for Josh, who grew up in Tampa but now hails from Georgia. But does anyone really win in this scenario?
The Bachelorette airs at 8 p.m. on ABC.Full Story
Bear Grylls and Zac Efron
This week in our top TV picks: We find out whether Tampa native Josh Murray wins The Bachelorette's heart ... adventureman Bear Grylls gets celebs like Zac Efron to go along with his outdoorsy shenanigans ... So You Think You Can Dance votes off a big chunk of the remaining dancers ... and a new show premieres on ABC set in a medieval world called Everealm.
Click here for the full rundown.Full Story
Cumberbatch with a penguin
With a resume that includes Star Trek, The Hobbit and fan-favorite BBC show Sherlock, you’d think Benedict Cumberbatch could’ve made it to Comic Con at least once before.
But the British dreamboat made his debut on Thursday for … Penguins of Madagascar?
Well, aside from Cumberbatch voicing a superspy wolf in the Madagascar sequel, rumors say he could be annouced by Marvel’s panel today as oddball superhero Doctor Strange, which would make at least a bit more sense (Cumberbatch + Marvel might just make the Internet explode, after all).
He stoked those rumors Thursday when a fan asked what superhero he’d like to play, and he responded, “Nurse Normal,” then explained, “That was a joke on Doctor Strange.” Other actors rumored to be on the short list are Tom Hardy and Joaquin Phoenix, but they’re not at Comic Con causing swooning and screaming, are they?Full Story
No power in the ’verse can stop Firefly.
Announced at a panel Thursday, the crew of the spaceship Serenity are reuniting for the game Firefly Online — including Alan Tudyk, whose fan-favorite character Wash was tearfully killed off in the 2005 follow-up movie Serenity.
In the game, you can create your own character and a spaceship to captain. No one seems to know when it will launch, although a trailer says if you aim to misbehave, you can register now at keepflying.com. However, as of this writing, the site appears to be down because apparently you can stop the signal. Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal, Internet! You’re almost as bad as Fox!
Joss Whedon’s sci-fi Western TV series was canceled due to low ratings in 2003 after just 11 episodes aired (out of order) on Fox, but it has since earned a huge cult following. Even though Browncoats have lost many a war to reboot the show, they keep on flyin’.Full Story
Actor John Duff, Tyler Hoechlin, Shelley Hennig and Dylan O'Brien attend MTV's "Teen Wolf" panel during Comic-Con International 2014 at the San Diego Convention Center on July 24 in San Diego, California.
Man, people really like their cheesy supernatural television.
Fans squealed and screamed, and some shed tears at Thursday’s Comic-Con panel for MTV’s hit series Teen Wolf, according to the AP, when executive producer Jeff Davis announced the show had been picked up for a 20-episode fifth season. He also confirmed actor Dylan Sprayberry has been upped to a series regular.
The fainting continued whencast members like Tyler Posey, Dylan O’Brien, Tyler Hoechlin and Holland Roden took questions from fans about the shown on which a town is filled with various packs of werewolves. Davis says season five focuses on “human problems instead of creating another mythology or creature.” Yeah, like all of that unwanted body hair that comes with wolf puberty.Full Story
Jack and Phyllis Fredericks, of Chatham, N.Y., look at Fleetwood RVs at the Lazydays RV SuperCenter in Seffner in this 2009 file photo.
Hey, look! The Tampa Bay area is being featured on TV this weekend.
Shopping for an RV at Lazydays in Seffner is the focus of a reality show premiering Sunday on the Travel Channel.
Big Time RV takes viewers behind the scenes of the country's largest recreational vehicle dealership as customers tour and test different makes and models, from $18,000 travel trailers to $1 million tour buses
Get all the details from Susan Thurston's story here.
Jessica Biel is coming to 'New Girl'.
Gather 'round kids, and let us tell you about a time when Jessica Biel was a weekly fixture on our TV screens. This was back in the heyday of a little network called the WB, home to such '90s tween classics as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson's Creek and 7th Heaven. Biel starred on that last one as chaste older daughter Mary Camden, a minister's kid whose worst crime was vandalizing her school's gym. We felt for her. We sympathized with her actions. Mary Camden could have been any of one us.
Then Biel went and married Justin Timberlake, and we were all UGH JUST GET OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW GIVE ME YOUR LIFE.
Since then, we've tired of all things Biel, especially her terrible career choices. Total Recall? Lame. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry? Ugh. Valentine's Day? Come on.
So it's with mixed feelings that we report Biel has signed on to star in the season premiere of one of our fave comedies, Fox's New Girl. She'll play a nemesis of Zooey Deschanel's character Jess, a stunning (of course) scientist at a wedding the gang attends. Unfortunately for Jess, she finds out she's competing with Biel's hot nerd for the interests of the same guy. Good luck with that one, Zooey. …Full Story
Billy Bob Thornton in 'Fargo'
Well, this isn't really a surprise, but it's welcome news nonetheless: FX announced at the 2014 Summer TCA Press Tour today that its first-year drama Fargo is returning for a second season. Fargo, which ended its first season in June, cleaned up in the Emmy nominations announced earlier this month.
Writer-producer Noah Hawley had teased that the anthology series based loosely on the 1996 Coen Brothers movie would likely be back, but since the first season was a contained story with a clear ending, it wasn't a sure thing.
So it makes sense that Fargo's second season, also 10 episodes like the first, will feature a new cast (see ya, Billy Bob!), a different time period setting and a new story. Hawley will again be the showrunner.
Here's the obligatory statement from FX CEO John Landgraf: "We could not be more proud of Fargo. Noah's audacious, bordering on hubristic riff on my favorite Coen brothers film earned 18 Emmy nominations, the most of a single program in our history. Fargo was nothing short of breathtaking and we look forward to the next installment."
Indeed, season 2 has a lot to live up to. …Full Story
Justin Theroux in 'The Leftovers'
Up this week on our list of top TV picks: Only two more weeks until we find out if a Tampa Bachelorette contender wins the grand prize ... Gordon Ramsay goes to Hotel Hell ... and we can't get enough of The Leftovers, HBO's eerie and poignant new drama.
Click here for the full list. Full Story