Today in showbiz news: Annette Bening might be heading to HBO, The Simpsons will probably rerun on cable, Teller of Penn & Teller directs a movie and more.
Benheads might have reason to get excited. Annette Bening superfans are called Benheads, right? If not, they should definitely adopt that name. Anyways, the Oscar-nominated actress is "attached to star" in The Third Coast, a potential HBO comedy pilot about "a larger than life casting director in New Mexico." Jay Roach, an Albuquerque native who grew up to direct the Austin Powers trilogy before shifting to award-winning HBO political movies Recount and Game Change, will direct and produce the pilot. Of course, HBO is infamously picky when it comes to pilots it picks up and there is no guarantee of a full series pickup, so Benheads should maybe exercise some caution. [Deadline]
Cable television will basically now have everything that broadcast television has. For the time ever, Fox will shop around syndication rights for The Simpsons, which had long been exclusive to broadcast networks, to cable networks, and the studio may be fetch as much as $1.5 million for each of the show's 500-plus episodes. Likely suitors include Fox, who owns FX and the forthcoming comedy-centered spinoff network FXX; Turner, owners of Adult Swim and TBS; and Viacom, owners of Comedy Central, MTV, Spike TV and TV Land. Yes, one Fox division may essentially pay another Fox division nearly a billion dollars to air that Fox division's programs. Aren't multinational media corporations great or what? [Variety]
What does Teller, the silent partner in magic duo Penn & Teller, do in addition to silent magic stuff? Real estate investment or food blogging, perhaps? Nope, he directs documentaries about the Golden Age of Dutch art. Sony Pictures Classics picked up the distribution rights to Teller's film Tim's Vermeer which is about "a Texas inventor" trying to ascertain how 17th century artist Johannes Vermeer achieved such photorealism in his paintings long before the invention of photography. Penn of Penn & Teller—the talking half of the duo—is also producing, so perhaps he'll be doing all the talking during the press rounds for the film when it comes out next year. [The Wrap]
Improv comedy is apparently hot with today's young people, and glee clubs are yesterday's news with today's teens or something. The CW—a television network expressly designed to appeal to young people—is ordering a second season of its Whose Line Is It Anyway? revival after the first season averaged 3 million viewers per episode, which apparently qualifies it as a smash hit for the CW. Is improv comedy is an upgrade over glee clubs? Maybe teenage angst could become passé if teenagers find a constructive medium to work through their issues, and perhaps Colin Mochrie will become the new Bieber. [Deadline]