This week in TV news, MTV Classic announces its launch, Sesame Street is evicting old favorites, Idina Menzel will star in a Beaches remake, and more!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story screenplay writer Chris Weitz and his brother and Mozart in the Jungle co-creator Paul have signed on to produce the television adaptation of the Black Mask Studios comic book Sinataro written and created by Grant Morrison. And the comic isn’t even available yet! Morrison will co-write the series along with American Odyssey writing team Adam Armus and Kay Foster. Morrison’s idea for the title as a whole is to include an interweaving of narratives between all types of media like comics, film, and television. The story is a new take on the Tibeten Book of the Dead with Western influences and focuses on the mission of one soldier that leads him through many dark American mythologies. The creative team plans to assign a director, and then shop the series to buyers at Universal Television, the studio that is co-producing the project.
MTV has announced that it will rebrand VH1 Classic as MTV Classic. The rebrand takes effect on Monday, August 1 — 35 years to the day that MTV first debuted — when MTV Classic will air MTV Hour One, MTV’s first hour of programming from 1981. At launch, the network will feature primetime “from the vault” programming blocks that will include beloved series such as Daria, Beavis & Butt-head, Aeon Flux, Run’s House, Pimp My Ride, Cribs, Jackass, Punk’d, Wonder Showzen, Clone High, as well as favorites MTV Unplugged, Storytellers, The Real World, Laguna Beach, Road Rules, and more. Additionally, MTV Classic will continue to run movies, concerts and music videos from the past that speak to the last three decades of music. Check out the trailer for the relaunch here.
Sesame Street‘s recent move to HBO is coming with a lot of changes. The classic one-hour format will be shortened to 30-minutes, the set is being changed up and the last of the original cast members are being “graciously let go” from the series they helped to build. Bob, Luis and Gordon have been asked to move out of America’s favorite neighborhood. Bob McGrath sang many of Sesame Street’s signature songs like “People in Your Neighborhood.” Emilio Delgado played Luis and was crucial to introducing Latino culture to the show. Science teacher, Gordon, the patriarch of the Robinson family was the first character introduced on the show. It is not clear whether the new series will simply return without them or if audiences will have a chance to say goodbye.
The consummate Broadway performer and fan favorite, Idina Menzel has been cast as the lead in Lifetime’s remake of Beaches. The Frozen, Wicked, and Rent super-star will play the role of CC, originated by Bette Midler in Gary Marshall’s 1988 feature film. The film will include the movie’s music, including the infamous “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “The Glory of Love,” which Menzel will record for the Lifetime remake. The role of Hillary, originally played by Barbara Hershey, has yet to be cast. Production is set to begin on August 15 in Vancouver and will premiere in 2017.