We first wrote about Graham Gordy's forthcoming Cinemax show "Quarry" in April 2013 — shooting was set to begin that summer, and the Times noted, "2013 might just turn out to be Graham Gordy's year." As it turned out, things took a little longer than we predicted, but now that production has wrapped (as of August) and a teaser trailer has arrived, I think we can say with even greater confidence: 2016 might just turn out to be Graham Gordy's year.
In case you were wondering where Brad Neely, the Fort Smith native and cult-favorite animator, stood on the presidential election, here is his brand new video tribute to Bernie Sanders. Neely, who created the Adult Swim series "China, IL" as well as a number of other popular web series and one-offs, has produced tributes to presidents in the past, but they tended to be dead ones.
The new issue of the Hollywood Reporter features a nice dispatch from Springdale by journalist Scott Johnson, who attends church services and speaks to a number of locals in and around "Duggar territory," even making a stop in Tontitown to try the family's front door.
Fiction writer, TV show-runner and renowned mystic Nic Pizzolatto, who got his MFA at the University of Arkansas roughly a decade before creating the HBO neo-noir series "True Detective," is profiled in the new issue of Vanity Fair ahead of the June 21 premiere of the show's second season. Written by Rich Cohen, the piece opens with the equivalent of an extended full disclosure before proceeding to probe Pizzolatto's creative universe and very vaguely tease details about the new season. It's fairly intense.
Deadline Hollywood reports today that Cinemax has picked up "Quarry," a 1970s-set drama created and produced by Little Rock's Graham Gordy and Michael D. Fuller, as an eight episode series. According to Deadline:
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Little Rock's Mary Steenburgen has joined the cast of a new Fox series called "Last Man on Earth," created by and starring former SNL cast member Will Forte. The show, a single-camera post-apocalyptic comedy about the survivor of a "viral epidemic," also stars Kristen Schall, Mel Rodriguez and January Jones, and will be directed and produced by writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller ("The Lego Movie," "21 Jump Street").
TV network WGN America has announced the premiere of a new reality TV series set in Arkansas slated to appear in 2015. The show, brought to us by the same production team behind the absurd, now-classic "Clash of the Ozarks," will be titled "Wrestling with Death,"
Globetrotting Little Rock rapper-activist Big Piph has announced the release of a new, five-part, autobiographical documentary series focusing on his music and his education and relief efforts abroad and locally, through his organization Global Kids Arkansas. The series will premiere tomorrow and was directed by Arkansas Times Visionary Kenneth Bell.
Renowned meth expert Dr. Donna Nelson, whose day job is as a chemistry professor at the University of Oklahoma and formerly a science adviser to the TV series "Breaking Bad," will give a talk in the UCA Student Center Ballroom Room 205 7 p.m. Friday.
Little Rock native David Gordon Green, best known either for art-house dramas like "George Washington" or for stoner comedies like "Pineapple Express" or "Eastbound and Down," (depending on your age, predilections and drug habits), has signed on to direct a new TV show produced by Steven Soderbergh for Amazon Studios.
Not since the glory days of Leonard Cooper and Brock Thompson has Arkansas seen so promising a hometown Jeopardy contestant as 15-year-old Cooper Lair, who will compete in the Teen Tournament semi-finals tomorrow night (July 29) and will almost definitely emerge a very wealthy man.
Little Rock's Mary Steenburgen has announced that she'll be joining the third season of "Orange is the New Black," playing the mother of irredeemable crooked prison guard George "Pornstache" Mendez, pictured above. It's been a great year for the Newport native, who stole the show in "Last Vegas' (presumably? I somehow missed "Last Vegas") and was pretty menacing in her three episodes of the most recent season of "Justified."
Kevin Delaney, the Museum of Discovery's director of visitor experience, will appear as a guest on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" at 10:30 p.m. Monday, May 5, performing scientific demonstrations. Kelley Bass, the museum's CEO, notes, "Kevin demonstrates his unique brand of interactive science to thousands of Arkansas school children each year, so we're thrilled a huge national audience now will be treated to the same kind of exciting science."
Adapting a classic film into a television series is a great idea from a marketing perspective (it's a pre-sold franchise with name recognition) and a boldly terrible idea from an artistic one. "M*A*S*H" admittedly worked out pretty well, and I still ride for "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles," but for the most part it's a bleak subgenre.
Well it looks like Arkansas's reality TV moment isn't quite over, and now's your chance to get involved. The CBS show "Big Brother" will hold an open casting call for its sixteenth (!) season this Sunday in Benton from 1-6 p.m. The show, as CBS explains it, "follows a group of people living together in a house outfitted with 65 cameras and 98 microphones recording their every move, 24 hours a day."
The final episode of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" aired Friday night, something I won't pretend to have known until a few minutes ago, and Fallon closed things out with a performance of "The Weight," starring himself in the role of the late, Arkansas-native Levon Helm and with The Muppets filling out the rest of the group.
Animal Planet's "Finding Bigfoot" — the reality show with a character who makes the guys on "Ghost Adventures" look rational and sane — returns on Nov. 10 for their fourth season, with the first episode featuring the team's return to Fouke, Arkansas in search of the famous Fouke Monster. Check local listings for times and channels, because there's 'Squatchin' afoot!
Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
The strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of "eye-for-an-eye" justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, "The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!" From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, "Killers should be killed." Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no.
Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.
In amber Aviators and varying stages of radiant purple formal attire, Tom Petty proved last night that it wasn't too soon, after all, to return to Little Rock and, as he put it, to "thank our friends for showing up for forty years." 13,551 friends, in this case.