Anderson staple Bill Murray stepped out of a car and made a show of sipping from a martini. Shortly before, there appeared a young man in the crowd, wearing a "Ghost Busters" outfit. Coincidence? We think not.
Deadline.com reports that Zachary Quinto, star of stage ("The Glass Menagerie) and screen ("Star Trek's" Spock 2.0) will by in the "Hitman" sequel "Agent 47," with Rupert Friend ("Homeland"). Paul Walker had been cast in the lead and his death in a car crash postponed filming for director Aleksander Bach. The project will now go before the cameras in March, Deadline said.
The new Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi, has decided on a look that sets him somewhat apart from predecessor Matt Smith: no bow-tie, no tweed, no fez.
BBC America describes the new look: Sporting a dark blue Crombie coat with red lining, dark blue trousers, a white shirt as well as black Doc Marten shoes, the look was created by Doctor Who costume designer Howard Burden.
“He's woven the future from the cloth of the past," Capaldi said. "Simple, stark, and back to basics. No frills, no scarf, no messing, just 100 percent Rebel Time Lord.”
Said executive producer Steven Moffat: “New Doctor, new era, and of course new clothes. Monsters of the universe, the vacation is over - Capaldi is suited and booted and coming to get you!”
Back in the day, say, the 1990s, a television press kit might consist of a VHS tape or DVD, maybe a folder of glossy photos and information about the show.
Some screeners are still sent to critics in no-frills packaging. But there is a growing trend among some of the networks that's wildly imaginative, particularly for sci-fi and fantasy shows. A fairly large box arrived at the Post-Gazette before the holidays, bearing episodes of Syfy's "Being Human," tucked in with a bottle of Bloody Mary Mix, a drinking glass, herbal tea and Altoids mints.
Syfy also sent screeners for its horror show, "Helix," in boxes embedded with heavy plastic helix designs, some dark liquid rolling around the DNA strand. Syfy's "Face Off" has packaged screeners with makeup kits and one season, a set of stick-on decorations like the Colorforms we played with as kids.
But the best of the bunch might be the press kit for "The Monkey's Paw," an original movie set to debut tonight at 9 on Chiller (which is owned by NBCUniversal, same as Syfy). Based on W.W. Jacobs' classic tale that warns "be careful what you wish," it's a cautionary tale about a man who is granted three wishes and finds nothing but grief.
The press kit is a grey, hardbound book of "grim rhymes." The concept and design are by Luke Watkins, with creepy limericks by Eve Penzer and black-and-white sketches by David Lupton.
A couple of examples:
"Demetri loved Madeline heaps
And he wished he could have her for keeps
But his heartfelt confession
Caused a dangerous obsession
Now she stands at his bed as he sleeps."
"Stefan made a wish to be free.
And to live in a home by the sea
But above the Pacific
His wish wasn't specific
And so lost in the ocean he'll be."
Chiller is carried in the Pittsburgh area on Verizon FiOS, DISH Network and DirectTV.
Directing live television often requires split-second decisions. In the case of “Saturday Night Live,” director Don Roy King, the Pittsburgh native deals with actors who have improv skills -- but woe to anyone who breaks from the script.
“The overriding [rule] is that Lorne [executive producer Michaels], as a writer himself, believes this is a writers’ show, and what’s written comes first...
“When an actor breaks character, it might be funny. It might even be funnier. But it undermines the purpose and the thread, the flow line of the sketch.
“Lorne is very strongly opposed to those moments and discourages anyone from breaking.”
Still, there are exceptions.
Jimmy Fallon, notorious for cracking up on camera when he was a cast member, hosted the December 21 Christmas show. In a spoof of “Family Feud,” he played "The Big Bang Theory's" Sheldon, with musical guest Justin Timberlake doing the “Late Night” version of Jimmy Fallon.
Watching Timberlake-as-Fallon, Fallon began to laugh as he ducked behind a prop.
Despite the policy not to point a camera at such offense, Mr. Fallon’s good-natured reputation for giggling allowed him to get away with it. King ordered a quick shot of the real Fallon, bent over with laughter.
There also was a practical aspect to his decision: “If you’re sitting at home and hear the audience laughing... clearly laughing at Jimmy Fallon breaking up and sliding behind a lectern, then that’s the time you’ve got to break away from the sketch and let the people at home in on what’s happening in the room,” King said.
"It's based on my vision to put the home audience in the studio."
Emmy Award-winner King was honored Jan. 24 with a Directors Guild of America Award in the category of Variety/Talk/News/Sports -- Regularly Schedule Program. The win was for "SNL" with Justin Timberlake as host. He will be speaking Feb. 5 at the University of Pittsburgh's Frick Fine Arts building as part of the Steeltown Spotlight Series.