On the Industry
'Terra Nova' And The Emmys In Hollywoodland
By Contributor
Sep 18, 2011 - 11:59:58 PM

BEVERLY HILLS—There is so much going on this week in Hollywoodland. The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards show will air on Fox, and HBO has the most nominations, twice more than any other competitor at 101 Emmy nominations. “Mildred Pierce” is the top nominated miniseries, with a record 24 nominations, and it’s going to be an exciting night. Also on Fox later in the week the incredible new Steven Spielberg science fiction dinosaur series “Terra Nova” will debut, and it’s absolutely incredible. This week, I’ll try to take you deep in to the Australian bush where the series is filmed, and trust me, it’s going to be as big a hit as Spielberg’s TNT “Falling Skies” was over the summer. I think it may even be bigger than that!

Science Fiction Meets The Present Reality

“Terra Nova” is perhaps the largest set of any TV show ever. Back in the early 1980s, you’d often see permanent sets built, but we’ve become a transient-styled industry, and have not seen such an epic TV series since Aaron Spelling’s 1980s hits like “Love Boat,” “Dynasty” and “Fantasy Island.” This week’s two-hour miniseries debut is already estimated at a whopping $16 million production alone. With heart-stopping and incredible visual effects planned for each following episode.

The series is about a family in 2149 who travel back 85 million years to try to revive our own civilization. We know back then there were dinosaurs. Insert the chart-topping music, yes, it’s an amazing experience, that actor Jason O’Mara told TV Guide, “I’ve been doing television almost exclusively for the past eight years and I’ve done some very ambitious shows, but nothing like this.” That sets the stage for an unbelievable series that men will love, but women will want to watch as well. The two teenage cast members will definitely be enough to bring in the special youth demographic that television is now obsessed with as well.

As the main character ex-cop (Jim Shannon) is caught breaking the law of the 22nd century society of having more than the limit of two kids, he manages to escape along with his wife Elisabeth (played by British actress Shelly Conn) to an underworld of the past, filled with prehistoric dangers. However, don’t expect the outlandish costumed dinosaurs of the 1970s Saturday morning cartoon series “The Land of the Lost.” These creatures seem as though Spielberg hired scientists and anthropologists to recreate some of the most enormous and scary lizards of the past that I’ve ever seen on television before.

There is enough other subplots going on in the storyline to keep people interested in the inner workings of this family. However, be prepared for a shocking appearance in many of the show’s spectacular scenes that will fill the TV screen with the frightening dinosaurs from time to time. Expect it to make its debut on Monday, September 26. Yes, a week away, but next week HBO’s Nucky returns in “Boardwalk Empires,” so Hollywoodland will be dedicated to that show.

Here's an exclusive peek at “Terra Nova”


Fox's New Series "Terra Nova"

Also airing on Fox this weekend is the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmys. There are so many categories that are up for grabs, and so many deserving shows, performers, writers and producers who will be picking up their golden statuettes at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. Let's hope the sunshine holds out. It is September, you know. However, the 24-time nominated miniseries “Mildred Pierce” is the show I am rooting for mostly. With Evan Rachel Wood and Kate Winslet on the top of my wish list for picking up an Emmy. Kate is one of the most outstanding actresses of her generation. She is beautiful and talented. So here’s hoping for an exciting night tomorrow. I’ll be dressed in Tom Ford, what are you wearing?

“Spartacus” TV star Andy Whitfield died earlier in the week from lymphoma. And I was very sad about the death of my friend Cliff Robertson, who died at the age of 88 in his home in New York last week. Robertson was an Academy Award winner, and it’s sad that more hasn’t been done in the media about the legend’s death.

And for Tyler Perry, who like many of us who work hard and are successful in the business, has endured such unfair criticism of his work. Many African Americans complain that his shrewish and sometimes physically violent character named Madea in many of his films has been named Hollywood’s top paid mogul in 2011. Why is it that Spike Lee, who has created some of the most demeaning films in Hollywood history and his “hip” crowd complain so much about Perry’s choices in his writing, producing, directing and acting? In two words: pure jealousy! Norman Lear created similar characters over the years in “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons” and “Maude.” As well as dozens of other shows we all grew up with, loved and buy on DVD today, whenever the shows become available.

Winslet And Pearce In The Emmy-Nominated HBO Series "Mildred Pierce"

The unfair targeting of Perry is unfortunate. However, Madea, I mean Tyler Perry, will be going to the bank this year with an astounding $130 million from 12 months of work. With TV shows like “Meet The Browns,” and films like “Madea Goes To Jail,” it sure looks like Mr. Perry gets the last laugh on his detractors. As the old song says, Tyler, “Keep on Trucking!”

Have a great weekend, see you next week! XOXO

Photographs are Courtesy: “Terra Nova” images by Fox Broadcasting and Kate Winslet and Guy Pearce in the Emmy nominated “Mildred Pierce” by HBO 

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