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Posts about Television

Minnesota-set series 'Golan the Insatiable' gets an upgrade

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: April 29, 2015 - 12:18 PM

Mary Mack/ photo by Richard Sennott

Some good and bad news for those rooting for shows with Minnesota connections.

First, the good stuff: "Golan the Insatiable," the animated series set in Oak Grove, Minn., will not only return for a second season, but it will move from Fox's late-night animation block to prime time starting at 8:30 p.m. May 31.

The series, which centers around the friendship between a mightly overlord from another dimension and a gothic 9-year-old girl, is the first from the weekend animation block to get a promotion.

Now the bad news.

St. Paul's Josh Miller, who created the show, originally provided the voice of Golan. He's been replaced by Rob Riggle. Mary Mack, one of our favorite local comedians who played the girl, has lost her part to "Parks and Recreation" star Aubrey Plaza.

At least Maria Bamford, who started her stand-up career in the Twin Cities, remains in the cast.

HBO options Marlon James' "Brief History"

Posted by: Rohan Preston Updated: April 29, 2015 - 11:15 AM

Marlon James’ critically acclaimed novel, “A Brief History of Seven Killings,” may soon be coming to the small screen.

HBO has optioned James’ rangy epic that was inspired by the 1976 assassination attempt on the life of reggae icon Bob Marley. The novel spans decades as it touches on transnational drug trafficking, CIA Cold War activities and the crack epidemic.

James, an English professor at Macalester College, is doing his own adaptation, overseen by screenwriter Eric Roth, who won an Academy Award for “Forrest Gump.” Roth built his reputation adapting books into screenplays, including “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Munich.”

“Seven Killings” is James’ third novel. His debut was “John Crow’s Devil,” about a Biblical spiritual battle in 1957 Jamaica. His sophomore effort, “The Book of Night Women,” was a slavery-era work often likened to Toni Morrison with splashes of magical realism. “Night Women” was optioned by Samuel Jackson’s production company, an option that was recently renewed.

“Seven Killings” includes Quentin Tarantino-style explorations of violence.

“I was really excited and shocked at how much HBO was interested in the whole story,” he said. “I thought maybe they would be interested in the espionage angle or something about Americans abroad. But they realize the main character, Josey Wales, should be the center of it. A lot of this is still up in the air, but it’s still a big deal.”

James will have some time to work on the adaptation. On Wednesday, he was grading his last three papers of the semester before a yearlong sabbatical. He is a fan of such TV series as “The Sopranos” and “The Wire,” which, he noted sadly, “got Baltimore right.”

“I like the TV serial in terms of what you can do to explore characters,” he said. “There are some characters in the book who are minor who I’d love to dig into in a bigger way. And I know that Jamaica may be wary that the main character, Josey Wales, is a gangster, a bad man. But you can look to New Jersey to see how they deal with ‘The Sopranos.’ They don’t take pride in the criminality, but they look at the show and say, this [setting] is a place of deep, meaningful stories.”

As to the questions about how to keep the show authentic, James said he is not worried.

“A good percentage of the actors portraying convincing Americans on TV are British, and you wouldn’t know until they tell you,” he said. “There are ways of ensuring that with acting, directing, everything. The show runner makes Vancouver feel like New York.”

Renowned filmmaker Ken Burns coming to Twin Cities

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: April 21, 2015 - 11:11 AM



Ken Burns, arguably the most famous documentarian in history, will talk about his work and upcoming PBS projects on May 16.

Don Shelby will host.

The conversation will take place at the Minnesota HIstory Center in St. Paul from 4-5:30 p.m.

The event is open to the public with tickets priced at $20 for TPT members and $30 for non-members. To make a purchase, go to www.tpt.org/kenburns

Let's start the campaign immediately for Shelby to do the interview as Mark Twain.

Last-night host coming to Twin Cities

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: April 20, 2015 - 3:48 PM

Like Jay Leno before him, Seth Meyers is keeping his stand-up chops honed even as he fulfills demanding TV duties.

The host of "Late Night With Seth Meyers" will perform 8 p.m. Saturday, June 6 at the State Theatre. Tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. this Friday and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com.

In addition to his 1:35 p.m. weekday program, Meyers hosted last year's Emmy Awards and was recently named one of Time magazine's most influential people.

No word yet on whether or not he'll be joined by his "SNL" husband, Stefon.

Jimmy Kimmel gets an upgrade in Twin Cities

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: April 16, 2015 - 11:18 AM

Jimmy Kimmel/photo by Matt Sayles/AP

If you tuned in for “Jimmy Kimmel Live” this week at its usual time, you missed almost half the show. That’s because KSTP is now running “JKL” directly against “The Tonight Show” and “The Late Show” at 10:35 p.m., instead of at 11 p.m.

“The fundamental reason is that it was important to ABC,” said Rob Hubbard, the station’s general manager. The time shift was part of Hubbard Broadcasting’s recent renewal with the network. In exchange, the locally owned company got some things that it wanted. Hubbard would not go into details.

The move means KSTP will no longer have an hour of local news late at night..

“It hurts. It hurts a lot,” Hubbard said. “But we did some research and found out some people thought we needed a full hour to do a proper newscast. We know that’s not true.”

Kimmel himself is excited about the move.

"I am very happy to be on earlier," he said Wednesday night in an e-mail. "The whole thing made me tired just thinking about it. I think the result will be a huge boost in productivity for the Twin Cities."


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