If you’re one of the 2.37 million people who follow comedian Jim Gaffigan on Twitter, chances are you’ve seen a flurry of posts in the past three days about his new TV Land comedy, The Jim Gaffigan Show. Set to premiere this July, The Jim Gaffigan Show made a sneak attack on Wednesday, when the first episode, “The Bible Story,” appeared on JimGaffigan.com.

After TV Land agreed to let him release the first episode on his website, Gaffigan’s team made a plan to launch the episode today — but then it was ready a few days early and Gaffigan didn’t want to wait.

“Once my web guys told me and Jeannie that it was ready, I was like, ‘Just put it up.'” Gaffigan told Rotten Tomatoes. “I wanted to give people all this week, before the weekend… I know [from] selling tickets to shows that you want to do it when people are at work during the week. I was like, ‘If it’s Wednesday, let’s put it up Wednesday. It’s giving people more of an opportunity to finally get to JimGaffigan.com and watch it.'”

The series, created by Jim Gaffigan and Peter Tolan, stars the comedian playing a fictionalized version of himself, living as a stand-up in New York City with his wife, Jeannie (Ashley Williams), and their five children. Michael Ian Black and Adam Goldberg play his two best friends. The first episode, “The Bible Story,” about a controversial photograph of Jim that goes viral, also features an impressive list of guest stars that includes Chris Rock and Jon Stewart.

 

Getting The Jim Gaffigan Show to a network has taken a few years for husband-wife team Jim and Jeannie Gaffigan (who is also a writer and producer on the show). Bounced around from NBC, TBS and CBS, it eventually found a home at TV Land with a deal that also allows Comedy Central to air week-old episodes. And for the Gaffigans, the wait has been worth it. They’re able to make the show they want.

“All these scripts were written by me and Jeannie,” Jim Gaffigan told RT. “There isn’t an episode where I cringe, which is amazing because I’ve worked on many shows and many of these shows were good or popular, and a lot of those I cringed on. I’m not saying it’s going to be for everyone, but I do think that maybe there’s something about people [in TV] should care more.”

Jeannie Gaffigan, who admittedly obsesses over the details of her husband’s stand-up which she helps write, is just as particular about the specifics of their TV show. In addition to co-writing a character based on herself, she also focuses on the small details, such as how big a salad for a family of seven should be or whether or not the dinner table should have crumbs on it. Also, the set for the Gaffigans’ apartment is an exact replica of the one they moved out of in April.

“We’ve had people who’ve seen that episode, including my mom, be like, ‘Wow, you got all the cameras and everything up all those stairs in your apartment?'” Jeannie Gaffigan said, laughing. “I’m like, ‘That’s not our apartment.'”

For a project this personal, the Gaffigans care less about cranking out episodes and more about being authentic. “We kind of approached these ten episodes as ‘These are the last ten episodes we’re ever going to do.'” Jim Gaffigan explained. “There’s no filler episode of, ‘All right, this is just the one where it’s a bottle episode where they’re all on the roof.'”

The Jim Gaffigan Show will be available on the comedian’s website through the end of June and its creators hope that social media and word-of-mouth will bring on viewers when the series premieres on July 15.

“I wanted people to be able to sample this,” Jim Gaffigan told RT. “If they have twenty minutes in their day, they can go to my website and watch it and make the decision there, rather than trying to maybe DVR it in the middle of the summer. I just want people to sample it. Then, even if people don’t watch it this go around, maybe a friend will have watched it and will hopefully say something nice about it.”

 

The Jim Gaffigan Show premieres on TV Land Wednesday, Jul. 15. Watch the first episode, “The Bible Story,” here.

Two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster returns to the big screen this weekend in the vigilante thriller The Brave One which has its sights set on an easy top spot debut. The frame’s only other wide openers, the comedy Mr. Woodcock and the fantasy adventure Dragon Wars, bring with them less buzz and look to make less of a dent into the North American box office.

Gunning for her third number one hit in as many years, Foster takes a darker role starring as a woman who takes the law into her own hands after her fiancé is brutally beaten and killed in the Warner Bros. drama The Brave One. The R-rated film from director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire) co-stars Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews, and Mary Steenburgen and should play to an adult audience. Cross-gender appeal is strong here so this will not play out like a chick flick or a woman-in-peril film. Foster is one of very few women in Hollywood bankable enough to open pictures consistently year after year and she tends to pick projects with commercial viability in the first place. Gone are the Nell days.

The Brave One should play to the same crowd that came out for two other September thrillers led by fortysomething white women – Foster’s own Flightplan from 2005 and Julianne Moore‘s The Forgotten from a year earlier. Flightplan took off with $24.6M and a $7,193 average while Forgotten bowed to $21M and a $6,773 average. Brave carries a harsher R rating but that should not affect the grosses too much since most of the interest will come from those over 16 anyway. A more narrow release in 2,755 theaters will have an impact though. Marketing has been top notch and Foster has been making so many promotional appearances that you’d think her name were Hillary. Despite a bad title, The Brave One should still score a strong opening weekend in the number one spot and could gross about $22M over three days.




Jodie Foster is The Brave One.

Seann William Scott and Billy Bob Thornton compete over who has the best three names in the biz in the new comedy Mr. Woodcock. The PG-13 film finds a young man whose life is traumatized when his mother decides to marry his old nemesis, the junior high gym teacher. The New Line release does offer up some starpower from the two leads plus Susan Sarandon as the remarrying mom. Hopes are for a wide age range to take interest. But the buzz around the picture is not too strong and it is not exactly at the top of the must-see list at this moment for teens and young adults. The Thornton-Sarandon crowd will be hard to reach with Jodie and Russell out there with high profile flicks for mature adults. Crashing into over 2,200 locations, Mr. Woodcock could debut with about $6M.


Billy Bob Thornton is Mr. Woodcock.

The forces of good and evil go at it once again in the new fantasy adventure Dragon Wars from Freestyle Releasing. The PG-13 pic hopes to tear young males away from their PlayStations, but with zero starpower and a light marketing push the grosses and averages will not fly too high. After a big wave of good summer action movies targeted this demo, a series of bad ones went after young guys too in recent weeks. That leaves little space at the multiplexes. Debuting in a curiously wide 2,000 theaters, Dragon Wars could collect about $4M this weekend.


The Korean sci-fi/thriller Dragon Wars a.k.a. D-War

Audiences have been upbeat on the Russell CroweChristian Bale Western 3:10 to Yuma and its older skew should mean that the sophomore drop will not be too fierce. Plus competition for adult men is not very formidable. A 40% decline to $8.5M could result giving Lionsgate about $28M after ten days.

Halloween‘s freefall means it will be out of theaters by the time trick-or-treating begins. A 55% drop would lead to a $4M frame and a 17-day tally of $50M. Superbad should continue its strong run with a 40% dip to $3M which would boost Sony’s total to $109M.

LAST YEAR: The Rock‘s football drama Gridiron Gang from Sony led a batch of new films with a debut of $14.4M which was good enough to clinch first place. Opening in second and playing to a more mature adult audience was The Black Dahlia with $10M for Universal. Final grosses reached $38.4M and $22.5M. Bowing poorly in third was the baseball toon Everyone’s Hero with $6.1M for Fox on its way to just $14.5M. Sony’s teen thriller The Covenant dropped from first to fourth with $4.8M while Paramount’s The Last Kiss opened quietly in fifth with $4.6M leading to a $11.6M final.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Veteran British actress Julie Walters, who plays Mrs. Weasley in the "Harry Potter" series, recently sat down with a reporter from JewReview.net, and she doled out a few little tidbits that should keep the Potterites happy for a few minutes.

From JR.net: "She’s currently done shooting the film, but Rupert (Grint), Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and the rest of the cast are still in production in London – “Toiling away” as she put it. But just like the book, Ron Weasley’s parents are much more involved in the film. “Oh yeah, Christmas; we have a very good Christmas,” she said. “The sets are fantastic; Mark (Williams), who plays Mr. Weasley, said they made his hair stand up on the back of his neck when he walked into one of the rooms. They’re just so beautiful, they’re amazing.”

And working with new Potter director, David Yates, has been fabulous. She mentioned David brings a new style and feel to the set compared to Chris Columbus and Alfonso Cuaron. “He’s very unassuming; they were in a way, Alfonso was, but he’s fantastic. [David] is very into the emotional truth of it, the kids absolutely love it; he’s very sweet and kind, and very, very into the story like a child is. And he’s really into the emotional depths, and he’s really fantastic, he’s a lovely man."

Click here for the rest of the interview.

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