CBS Films makes its debut with Extraordinary Measures, a fact-based [if compressed and composited]tale that follows a family where two of the three children have Pompe Disease [a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy] and a curmudgeonly scientist who is persuaded to move from pure research to developing a treatment for the disease.
I’m not sure who Legion will affront more – Christians or horror movie fans. The story, simply put, is that God has lost faith in humanity and ordered his angel, Michael [Paul Bettany] to slay an unborn baby and lead the rest of the angels to destroy humanity. Michael said no and was cast out into the world, where he has cut of his wings to show his love of humanity. Now the angel Gabriel [Kevin Durand] is sent to kill the baby and destroy the world. Only Michael – and a handful of stranded customers at a diner in the middle of nowhere – stands between Gabriel and the apocalypse.
If you like a bit of conniving, plotting and skulduggery with your sex and violence, then Spartacus: Blood and Sand [Starz, tonight, 10/9C] just may be the show for you. This very extreme new series is shot in the same manner as Zack Snyder’s epic 300 – apart from a few sets, and its props, the rest is CG. The result is a rich and gorgeous – if peculiarly colored – world.
Tonight marks the premiere of the long-awaited Battlestar Galactica prequel series, Caprica [Syfy, 9/8]. The pilot has been released on DVD – with sexier bits that couldn’t air on Syfy – and online with the nudity somewhat blunted and with a few new scenes, and now it airs on Syfy with an added scene that wasn’t edited into the ep prior to screeners being sent. While the multi-format release strategy has been intriguing – and imaginative – tonight’s premiere, even with that mysterious added scene [which involves deepening the culture and civilization of The Twelve Colonies by showing their love of sports – yes, folks, it’s a Pyramids sequence!], is a bit on the scattered and unfocused side and possessed of few, if any, likable characters.
Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica prequel series, Caprica premieres tonight [9/8C], and on Tuesday, I took part in a conference call Q&A with series co-creator and executive producer, David Eick and Paula Malcomson, who plays Amanda Greystone on the show. It got off to a bit of a weird start, but quickly picked up steam and was, ultimately, a very interesting experience.
Also taking part were: Jim Halterman [jimhalterman.com], Charlie Jane Anders [io9.com], Troy Rogers [thedeadbolt.com], Michael Hinman [Airlock Alpha], Lisa Steinberg [Starry Constellation], Ivy West [CliqueClack TV], and Steve Aramo [SciFi Talk].
Beginning in 1967, Callan, starring Edward Woodward – best known for The Equalizer and the original The Wicker Man – portrayed David Callan on a spy series that was as dark as the Cold War.
Callan was, as he puts it, “a sergeant who was promoted to private,” before he was forced out of the army and into The Section – a unique little British intelligence organization that was frequently at cross purposes with the police and other intelligence agencies.
In the aftermath of Burn Notice’s [tonight, USA, 10/9C] third summer finale, things have gone south, once again, for Michael Westen [Jeffrey Donovan]. With the death of his CIA contact, Diego, the plan to unburn him has gone away, and he’s left tending to the wound Fiona [Gabrielle Anwar] sustained as she and Michael dealt with the threat to her life that was posed by her former associates in the IRA.
Now, the injured Fiona has taken a job to help a widow and her son get out of an insurance scam [and we all remember how Fi feels about those who exploit children…]. At the same time as Michael and Sam are trying to find Diego’s killer, Fi brings them in on her gig – action, explosions and dramedy ensue.
The Deep End [tonight, 8/7C] is ABC’s newest primetime addition – a soapy legal dramedy that brings a cast of nine extremely presentable lawyers of various ages into our living-rooms. It’s a mix of law, sex, ethics [and/or lack thereof], humor and drama. What makes it different is that takes the perspective of five first-year lawyers with a prestigious Los Angeles law firm – Sterling Law – we see them learn, fail, grow and all that good stuff. We also get to see into their private lives – and see how they function at a firm where the two senior partners are at war for control. It’s a volatile mix and the results aren’t always predictable.
Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief [dozens of networks, and online, Friday, 8/7C], today announced its lineup of superstar musical performances. The global telethon will feature performances by Wyclef Jean, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, and Sting in New York City; Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift and a group performance by Keith Urban, Kid Rock, and Sheryl Crow in Los Angeles; and Coldplay, and a group performance by Bono, The Edge, Jay-Z, and Rihanna in a newly added London location. All musical performances will be available for purchase for $.99 per song through the Apple® iTunes® Store beginning Saturday, January 23, with all proceeds benefiting Haiti relief funds managed by "Hope for Haiti Now" charities.
Friday evening [7:30/6:30C], Fox Movie Channel will premiere a half-hour special AVATAR: Creating the World of Pandora. With James Cameron’s colossal [literally] film poised to equal or best Titanic’s box office, perhaps now is the perfect time to take a look at what was required to create an entire world, from the ground up, in 3D.
Adding fuel to the rumors of Joseph Gordon-Leavitt taking on the mantle of Peter Parker/The Amazing Spider-Man is the news that  Days of Summer director Marc Webb has been signed to direct the next Spider-Man movie.