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TV News Round-Up: Breaking Bad Final Season Update, Robin Williams’ New Show & Beverly Hills Cop Pilot Gets The Green Light

Breaking Bad

The last eight episodes of Breaking Bad are creeping ever closer and audience anticipation is at an all time high. Vince Gilligan, creator of the show has been doing interviews every other day, expressing his mixture of intense excitement and fear as we reach the end of his most successful creative property. Obviously with a show that has as much rapt love and attention thrust upon it as Breaking Bad has; there’s a real danger of disappointing a lot of people. Ending beloved television series has always been a prickly dilemna as viewers are rarely satisfied at the prospect of never seeing their favourite characters on the screen again. Gilligan is certainly feeling the pressure, but is confident that he and his team of writers will deliver an ending that most fans will be happy with, though he does admit it will be somewhat polarizing.

Stars, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have also been talking about the end, and their own mixed feelings towards having to finish up a show like Breaking Bad, which has been a huge part of their lives for the last five years. As many of you know in the first half of season five, shown last year there were many developments in the story, not least a major character death, one that certainly saddened and hit a lot of fans of the show pretty hard. You’d think at this point everyone would be excited about the end of the show, but there’s one disgruntled actor who’d rather not be involved. It turns out that actor Dean Norris (he plays DEA agent Hank in the show) has publicly announced his disdain for still being a part of the show.

Dean Norris

It turns out that Norris saw the end in sight and wisely lined up his next role. Originally, he thought that he could have fitted the full 16 episodes in and then gone to shoot the other show, but unfortunately his plan became well and truly screwed up when AMC decided to split the show over two years. When he discovered the split he approached Gilligan and requested that his character be killed, which the creator refused to oblige due to the fact that Hank plays a very key role in proceedings. This unfortunately didn’t allow him to shoot the pilot for the other television series.

Now, Norris has lost out on his big role on an unspecified show because of it, which is be a considerable blow for a character actor like Norris. Needless to say, he’s not happy, especially since Gilligan’s refusal to help him, cost him his next job. Let’s hope that he’s not feeling too much animosity towards the show, as that would be unfortunate for all involved. Here’s a quote from him:

“When they [AMC] originally picked up the 16 [episodes] I thought, ‘Great, I can do a pilot, do the 16 and then be free to do a show. And then at some point f*****g whoever decided they were going to split it into two [halves] so it cut me off from doing a pilot — and I had a pilot I wanted to do.”

The final eight episodes of Breaking Bad will return to AMC starting on July 15th, 2013. 

Robin Williams

Robin Williams’ career has become extremely sporadic in his later years. We’re treated to a rush of films one year, a lull the next. Unfortunately, most of the films he has been involved with recently have been different variations of terrible, with a couple of absolute gems hidden in the rough. It has recently come to light that CBS have ordered a half-hour comedy pilot for a show titled Crazy Ones, created by David E. Kelley the acclaimed creator of long running shows like Ally McBeal and The Practice. Robin Williams is being pegged to star, which is a very exciting prospect indeed.

While Williams has appeared on television shows occasionally over the last couple of decades, most often, like his appearance in Louie, he merely plays himself. In fact, he hasn’t had his own TV show since the classic Mork and Mindy. This could be a great chance for the legendary comedian and Oscar winning actor to return to the realms of television, hopefully triumphant. While I personally love Williams, I feel that as he has got older, his strengths lie less in his comedy and more in his dramatic acting. If you’ve seen films like One Hour Photo, Insomnia, The Night Listener, Good Will Hunting or World’s Greatest Dad you’ll agree that while his comic timing is remarkable, it’s his dramatic acting abilities that are the most mesmerizing of his many talents.

Details about Crazy Ones are surprisingly scarce, but when more surface we’ll tell you.

Beverly Hills Cop

Speaking of comedy legends that have been faltering in their later years – Eddie Murphy is reportedly going to be gracing our television screens in a continuation of Beverly Hills Cop, returning in the role of his iconic character Axel Foley. While it’s no secret that Murphy has been trying to get a fourth Beverley Hills Cop movie into production for many years now, it’s somewhat surprising that they’ve decided to abandon this and turn it into a tv show. Especially considering that networks are already congested with countless dime a dozen procedural cop shows – there’s a legitimate concern as to whether a Beverley Hills Cop format would work as a television show.

Now, I personally love the BHC movies, even though they certainly became weaker as the series advanced with age. They had a lot of charm and charisma and I take great, undeniable pleasure in watching the classic, fast quipping Murphy talk himself out of a series of increasingly ludicrous predicaments. Of course, Murphy is too expensive to be the star of a television show, so the format instead focuses on Foley’s son, Aaron. Brandon T. Jackson has been cast as the iconic character’s son and while Murphy will appear in the pilot and multiple episodes of the series if it is made, it is unclear as to how many and in what capacity. If the show is set in Beverley Hills and Foley Sr. is perhaps the Detroit police chief now, it would explain why Murphy may not be in it much, but still able to have an influence on his son.

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about the prospects of this. There are already many, many cop shows on the networks and the idea of having Jackson walking around a modern Beverley Hills trying to impersonate Eddie Murphy in his prime isn’t exactly the most enticing idea I’ve ever heard for a television series. However, there are some very positive qualities to all of this. For one, the show is being run by Shawn Ryan, alumni of The Shield, which is one of the highest quality cop shows that has graced modern television. Certainly, that heightens expectations, though that could also be to this series detriment, as its focus is of a more comedic lineage instead of a gritty show about corruption.

Brandon Jackson BHC

The pilot will be directed by Barry Sonnenfield, the director of all three Men In Black films, which continues to follow the recent trend of Hollywood directors creating the pilot in highly anticipated shows. Sonnenfield’s involvement is certainly encouraging – he manages to perfectly balance the buddy cop dynamic between Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in the Men In Black films, creating a strong sense of charisma and engagement. Let’s hope he has similar success here.

Obviously, with the star power (no matter how faded) generated from Eddie Murphy’s presence and the legacy of the film series, CBS are hoping that this series will do very well for them and surely this will be a great career move for Jackson if he manages to pull off a fine balance between tribute and carving his own path out of the character mould. While, of course he is playing a new character, I wouldn’t wager it will be much different from what made the series so successful originally. It’s abundantly clear that the only reason why this show isn’t an official prequel is because Murphy would like to make some coin from it.

Kevin Pollack and David Denham will also star in the show, playing two Beverly Hills detectives, and from the description of their personalities are filling the roles for Aaron that were previously held by John Ashton and Judge Reinhold for Axel.

Kevin Pollack David Denham

No word on a release date yet, but The Monolith will keep you updated! 

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