If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, a wise man once said. Or as another said, don’t mess with success.
Unfortunately, television producers with no imaginations continually rehash old successes, and most are abysmal failures. One such example is the redo of “The Odd Couple”. Hyped heavily by the network, it wasn’t even remotely comparable to the classic show staring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman.
But in Hollywood, nothing is sacred, including the classic shows that defined generations.
Norman Lear continues to defy convention about career longevity and age. The TV icon, who today celebrates his 96th birthday, and his Act III production company have signed a two-year first look deal with Sony Pictures TV.
The pact includes the option to re-imagine titles from Lear’s extensive library including All In The Family, The Jeffersons, Good Times, Maude and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, among others, reports Deadline Hollywood.
“I couldn’t be prouder and more excited about joining Sony Pictures Television, who has the guts to go with a kid,” Lear quipped.
Sony Pictures TV, which owns the Norman Lear library, has been his partner for the past few years. The studio produces the reboot of Lear’s classic series One Day At A Time on Netflix. Executive produced by Lear, the comedy is currently filming its third season. And it was Sony TV that last year took in Lear’s passion project, Guess Who Died, a retirement home comedy script he had unsuccessfully tried to sell for more than seven years. Partnering him with Peter Tolan, the studio sold the project to NBC where it went to pilot. When the pilot did not make the cut to series, the studio tried actively to find another home for it.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be expanding our relationship with Brent and Norman. Norman is an icon in our industry and it’s a dream come true to be working with him. We’re excited to create more magic with Norman and Brent,” said SPT President Jeff Frost and Co-Presidents, Chris Parnell and Jason Clodfelter.
One Day At A Time was inspired by Lear’s series of the same name which aired on CBS from 1975-1984. Developed and executive produced by Gloria Calderon Kellet and Mike Royce, the reboot is praised for tackling important issues. It follows the life of Penelope (Justina Machado), a newly single Army veteran, and her Cuban-American family, as they navigate the ups and downs of life.
Over Lear’s vast career, the World War II veteran and Kennedy Center honoree has won four Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards. As the founder of People For the American Way, he has been recognized for his passion in politics and has been a force behind social change, climate change, women’s rights and overall humanitarian efforts.
Meanwhile, former “All in the Family” cast member, Director Rob Reiner‘s new movie Shock and Awe, about journalists during the Iraq War, debuted this weekend… to disappointing numbers.
According to the movie’s description on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is “based on the true events of Knight Ridder journalists who were the only ones who ‘got it right’ in the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq War when they questioned the true nature of the Bush White House’s justification for the conflict.”
Yet, you would be forgiven for not knowing that because this weekend practically no one bought tickets to see the film, which opened in limited release on July 13th.
According to Box Office Mojo, for the weekend of July 13-15th, Shock and Awe grossed a measly $41,000.
In contrast, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, which topped ticket sales earned $44,100,00.
Now granted, the latter is a big budget kids movie, but in comparison, Shock and Awe earned about the same amount on its first weekend as Show Dogs did for the same period. That film has been running for 9 weeks and ranks 17 percent on the Rotten Tomatometer.
So far, the Tomatometer has Shock and Awe at 36 percent but with less than 30 reviews.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
July 27th, 2018