As we head into the weekend, a few puzzling television tidbits have popped up on our radar.
First, while director David Fincher argues over the budget of the Netflix-primed “House of Cards,” the subscription based service is becoming a retirement home for shows that could never quite cut it on network television. We don’t mean “retirement home” in a negative sense, after all we’re anticipating the return of “Arrested Development” in 2013, but now some odd news is coming out in regards to a floundering new series. The “Lost”-riffing Oren Peli and Steven Spielberg-produced “The River” may find a new life on Netflix, this coming in the wake of the news that they’ve also recently been eyeing the axed Fox series “Terra Nova,” so it looks as if Netflix is banking on some strong streaming numbers by acquiring these flimsy genre titles. For those who don’t know, “The River” is a pseudo-found footage series about a crew looking for a missing TV explorer in the Amazon, and is just short of unwatchable in this writer’s opinion.
Next, Logo is looking to satiate the appetite of those who love campy Paul Verhoeven films this April Fools Day, as they plan to run a 24-hour long marathon of “Showgirls.” It’s sort of like how TBS reruns “A Christmas Story” during the holidays, only “Showgirls” promises far more nude Elizabeth Berkely, and awkwardly sexual posturing courtesy of Kyle MacLachlan. With the title of “24 Hour Salute to Great American Cinema,” Logo at least promises the chance for you to watch that cringe-inducing pool scene repeatedly for an entire day. Perhaps in that case, the joke would be on you indeed.
In the last puzzling piece of news, Hugh Dancy has been cast in NBC’s “Hannibal,” a contemporary take of Thomas Harris’ “Red Dragon” novel, which famously offered the world their first taste of Hannibal Lecter. Written and executive produced by “Pushing Daisies” creator Bryan Fuller, Dancy has been cast as Will Graham, a character previously played by William Peterson in Michael Mann’s excellent “Manhunter” and Edward Norton in Brett Ratner’s ill-advised “Red Dragon.” The series will follow Graham and Lecter’s budding relationship, with the role of Lecter yet to be cast. Dancy joining is a good sign (as well as the involvement of Fuller) and at this point, NBC can’t do any worse the abhorrent “Awake.” [Deadline/EW/TVline]