Today in show business news: NBC actually has a new hit, The Simpsons is killing someone, and Hunger Games tickets are already going fast.
NBC must really be crossing its fingers hard now, because its new mystery-thriller series The Blacklist, about James Spader being a crook and catching all the other crooks, barely dropped in its second week. About 12 million people tuned in last night, down only 5 percent from the premiere. So that means people are interested! And you know what? I can't blame them. It's a fun premise and features just-smarter-than-you'd-think writing. Plus last night's episode had Jane Alexander AND Isabella Rossellini. You can't beat that. [Deadline]
Uh oh. The Simpsons producer Al Jean says that a major character is going to die either this year or the next. Who will it be?? Grampa? Mr. Burns? Moleman? One of the other old people? I doubt it. It'll probably be someone more random, like Carl. I mean, at this point who isn't a major character on The Simpsons? And really, who shouldn't die? Shouldn't they all? Look, I love that damn show like a third parent, but it's really been off its game for like... ten years now. It's time. It's time. [The Hollywood Reporter]
If you don't have your tickets to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire yet, what the hell is wrong with you? Everyone else does! Tickets went on sale today and, as of earlier this afternoon, sales for this ding-dang movie represented 35% of all sales on the entire MovieTickets.com website. Sheesh! (Though, hm, just 35%? What other things are people buying tickets to on a Tuesday afternoon? I guess maybe Gravity, but beyond that, there shouldn't be that many movie ticket sales on an autumn Tuesday afternoon. Unless it's all government workers on furlough, then by all means, go nuts. But if not? Get back to work!) This is going to be a big movie, so you gotta get your tickets. You should be ashamed that you haven't already. It's really embarrassing. [Deadline]
A writer and a production company are suing Warner Bros. and other parties claiming that the studio stole the idea for its Clint Eastwood baseball movie Trouble With the Curve. Which... Wait, people are fighting over credit for Trouble With the Curve?? [Entertainment Weekly]
Paramount laid off 110 staffers this morning. The studio was said to have about 2,400 employees back in 2011, when 120 staffers were laid off, so this latest reaping represents around 5 percent of the whole staff. Which is a lot! But don't worry, all those development execs who came up with things like Pain & Gain and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters are fine. The layoffs only hit people in Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, International Home Media Distribution, Legal and Marketing. So the non-cool jobs, basically. Phew. [Deadline]