Beefcake Repairmen, Mock Olympics and Yet More Dragons

A roundup of recent programming news

Flow: Hulu had its giant upfront this week, and this was the most interesting thing to come out of it, with Michael "Dooma" Wednschuh writing. If you are going to call yourself "Dooma" you had better be either a rapper or a video game designer. Michael Wendschuh is the latter, and his developing Hulu show Flow is encouraging for exactly that reason. Wendschuh contributed a lot of the writing to the Assassin's Creed games, which is a pretty solidly written franchise, and it says something about Hulu's demographic that they think teaming up Wednschuh with David Belle, the creator of extreme running sport Parkour, will hit with their audience. Here's hoping they're right - with Legendary making a Mass Effect movie and a new BioShock game coming out this year, the time is more than ripe for TV people to start paying attention to the scripting talent in the game community.

Spies of Warsaw : A well-reviewed spy novel gets an adaptation with a Royal Shakespeare Company vet in the lead role on BBC America, which is co-producing. Normally I'd say this sounds like your mom's favorite series, but said stage actor is David Tennant, better known to U.S. audiences as the 10th Doctor on Doctor Who, and he's the Doctor for so many Americans that this stands a pretty good chance of breaking out alongside Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson's Copper, BBC America's first full-blown scripted original series. For those keeping score, yes, that's another network that is trying for the HBO/AMC/Showtime/FX look-at-all-our-awesome-dramas model. Don't get me wrong, as an avid watcher of television that is absolutely the greatest thing that's ever happened to me, but as a grouchy reporter on the television industry that is a worrying thing to watch happen. Doesn't one of you want to try a less competitive business model, like crummy reality shows or something?

Hurt People: Even HBO's sister network Cinemax is doing it now, with a new drama about a hitman and his family starring/exec produced by William Petersen called Hurt People.

Thief of Thieves: AMC teams up with Robert Kirkman to adapt another one of his comic book series after The Walking Dead exploded in a burst of rotting soft tissue all over the Nielsen ranker and ate the competition's brains (do you see what I did there?). Kirkman is a very talented writer but one of the interesting things about Walking Dead is that, like Game of Thrones, there's a huge body of plot-heavy work to pick over when you're writing the adaptation, even if all you want to do is mess with the established order of things. Thief of Thieves is on what, issue three as of this past week? No doubt Kirkman's a smart guy but there's not much to adapt at this point, so this is pretty much down to executive producer Chic Eglee, who worked on season one of Walking Dead and adapted another comic book, Powers, for FX (which appears to be either dead or a long way off - actors from the pilot told fan site Comic Book Resources they'd all been released from their contracts).

Untitled Male Model Project and Built: The former is in the lab at Bravo, the latter at Style, and both are the beefcake shows you sort of always knew these networks would get around to eventually. I have no idea what the Bravo project will look like beyond the generic logline about male models trying to succeed in a world they never made, but I saw the trailer for Built at the Style upfront and I have rarely heard people laugh that hard. In a related story, this article has been optioned for a full nonfiction book. Is it the End of Men? I feel fine, personally, but this looks like a trend in the making.



Nothing of note, but upfronts are a-coming!

Amusingly, since networks rarely announce cancelations, Harry's Law has been both renewed AND canceled.



Tim Minchin to Showtime's Californication Ordinarily we'll be avoiding non-lead casting like the plague, but composer/lyricist/comedian Tim Minchin is worth mentioning because he's very funny indeed and he's got a show opening on Broadway sometimes this year. And he's going to Californication, for some reason, where he'll play a crazy rock star named Atticus Fetch. Sounds about right.