This week in TV news, USA Network says goodbye to Graceland, while Lena Dunham teases the end of Girls. Plus, Ranker names the best SNL character of all time, while one of the best podcasts goes into development as a new TV show!
Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the writer-producer team behind 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie, have optioned the podcast Serial for a show with Fox 21 TV Studios. Details are well-guarded at this point, but The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that the show will not focus on the Adnan Syed murder case which had podcast listeners riveted last fall — nor the upcoming season about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a soldier in the U.S. army who was held prisoner by the Taliban. Instead, Lord and Miller’s scripted show will focus on Serial host Sarah Koenig and her team at This American Life. “Chris and Phil take an unexpected approach to telling stories and that is so appealing to us at Serial,” said This American Life producer Julie Snyder. “They experiment. They don’t mimic formulas. Developing a show with them is exciting because we feel like we speak the same language, only they’re smarter than us.”
This week, USA Network announced the end of Graceland, which just wrapped its third season on September 17. The news comes a month after the NBC cabler also cancelled Complications, a drama about a former E.R. doctor seeking revenge for his murdered son. Graceland, which enjoyed solid ratings in its first season — not to mention decent reviews — followed a group of FBI agents and starred Aaron Tveit, Daniel Sunjata, Vanessa Ferlito, Manny Montana, Brandon Jay McLaren, and Serinda Swan. By season three, however, ratings had fallen to under a million viewers a week. Showrunner Jeff Eastin took to Twitter to share the news with fans. “Just got the word,” Eastin wrote. “There will be no more #GracelandTV. Thank you to the best cast, crew and fans in television.”
In an interview with New York-based radio host Elvis Duran of Z100, Girls creator and star Lena Dunham revealed that the sixth season of her HBO show will probably be its last. “Never say never,” Dunham told Duran. “But that is the way that we’re thinking about it right now, and we’re starting to think about how to wrap up the storylines of these particular young women… I started working on this show when I was 23, and now I’m going to be 30 — so it kind of feels right that this show [has] sandwiched my 20s, and then I go off into the world.” In the meantime, season five, which just finished production last month, has yet to air and will probably hit HBO this January. The first four seasons of Girls are all Certified Fresh on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer.
As Saturday Night Live heads into its 41st season, the crowd-sourced website Ranker polled 97,000 users on the best characters in the show’s history. The number-one result? Matt Foley, the motivational speaker who lives down by the river, as portrayed by the late, great Chris Farley. Dana Carvey‘s The Church Lady and Mike Myers‘ Wayne Campbell took the second and third places respectively. Ranker also polled its users on the best current cast member and compiled data on the youngest SNL hosts of all time. And speaking of young hosts, singer Miley Cyrus will appear as host and musical guest for the SNL premiere when it kicks off season 41 this Saturday on NBC. According to the promo for her upcoming episode, Cyrus will be hosting “with or without clothes; we’re not sure yet.”