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Fox’s Version of “Broadchurch” Looks Just as Good as the Original

One of the best police procedurals to come on television last year was actually in the U.K.  ITV, a competitor of the BBC, gave the world the first “series” of “Broadchurch.”  The show was an eight-episode serial focusing on the death of a 10-year old boy and the effect it had on a small seaside tourist town and the families which lived there.

It starred “The 10th Doctor,” David Tennant as the lead detective on the case and was a critical and ratings success.  So much so that not only did the BBC buy it for its American channel — BBC America — but the U.S. networks reached out to the showrunner Chris Chibnall and asked for a remake.

That show is now known as “Gracepoint,” still will star Tennant (notice the American accent from the Scottish actor below) and “Breaking Bad” alum Anna Gunn as his partner.  Instead of being eight episodes, the here is for the series to be 10.

Check it out the preview.  Will probably be a critic’s choice just as the one in the U.K was.


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Comic Book Themed TV Shows Taking Over Network Upfronts

As one season of TV wraps up next week, another is slowly being prepared.  In that new year, there will be count them five (so far) new dramas that base their source material in comic books just on broadcast networks.

The CW, owned by Warner Bros. which owns DC Comics, is already the home of “Arrow,” a take on the Green Arrow.  Next season, they introduce “The Flash,” (essentially an Arrow spin-off) and “iZombie,” based on a short-lived series from DC Comics’ Veritgo imprint.

NBC is joining in the fray with “Constantine,” based on DC Comics “occult investigator” John Constantine of “Hellblazer” fame (Yes, the same one Keanu Reeves played in the movie.).  Rumors are the series will be put on Fridays to piggyback off the success of its sci-fi / monster series “Grimm.”

FOX has given the green light to “Gotham,” a take on the Batman mythology directly after the days of the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, with a specific focus being on Jim Gordon before he becomes police commissioner.  Pretty much, the idea is to provide “prequel” ideas to “Bruce Wayne, the years before he becomes Batman,” with a mix of the acclaimed “Gotham Central” series which focused on the city’s police department.

(Batman as the backdrop of a police procedural in itself, is an interesting idea for television.)

Not to be left behind, ABC — owned by Disney, which also owns Marvel Comics — has given the go ahead to “Agent Carter,” the continuation of the story of Peggy Carter from the films “Captain America: The First Avenger” played by the beautiful Hayley Atwell.

Agent Carter follows the story of Peggy Carter (Atwell). It’s 1946, and peace has dealt Peggy Carter a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark, all while trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life – Steve Rogers. Reaper creators Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters serve as executive producers/showrunners, Captain America: The First Avenger‘s Steve McFeely & Christopher Marcus wrote the script and also executive produce, along with Marvel’s Jeph Loeb. The script was finished more than four months ago (“the script is great,” ABC’s Paul Lee said back in January), the option on one-shot’s star Atwell had to be extended as it came up three months ago.

ABC also renewed “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” for a sophomore season and has seen a ratings spike since April thanks in large part to a huge tie-in to “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”  The rumored plan for the two series is to use “Agent Carter” as a bridge of new episodes over the winter months (roughly 10 weeks) as “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” splits its season essentially into two.

Times and which days of the week these series will air should be announced next week.  Network upfronts (when ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and the CW) are the traditional times advertisers get to see newly-minted programing for the fall season.

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Deal Reached to Eliminate Wisconsin’s Aggregate Donation Limit

Good.  This was always a stupid law in my opinion on the books.  People are still limited to $10,000 per candidate, but the idea of limiting total contributions always seemed to make no sense, especially in years where many statewide offices are up.

This now frees up many donors to give simultaneously to both gubernatorial and attorney general campaigns; not to mention state legislative as well.  Apparently this scares liberals or something even though their rich donors aren’t handcuffed by the law anymore either.

The state of Wisconsin has agreed to stop enforcing a limit on how much people can donate in total to candidates running for office, bringing state law in line with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The state Department of Justice on Thursday released a settlement it reached in a federal lawsuit brought challenging the limits.

The U.S. Supreme Court last month struck down overall limits on how much donors can give to multiple candidate for Congress and political committees.

Wisconsin law prohibits donors from giving more than $10,000 a year to all candidates. That is what donor Fred Young challenged in a federal lawsuit brought in Milwaukee.

The settlement was submitted Thursday to U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman to sign.

The case was “Young v. GAB.”   The U.S. Supreme Court case which paved the way for this deal was McClutchen vs. FEC.

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TVA Wants His Old Job Back

This is the problem you get when the only Republican in the race is now Job Hous-Eye.

Political veteran Terry Van Akkeren has announced plans to run for his old post representing the 26th Assembly District.

The 60-year-old Democrat, who held the seat from 2002 to 2010, said Wednesday that he’s been encouraged to run by supporters in Sheboygan County and Madison and ultimately felt compelled to enter the race as no other candidates came forward.

Van Akkeren served four consecutive two-year terms in the seat before losing in 2010 to Republican Mike Endsley, who has since announced that he will not seek a third term.

“We need to put aside all the partisan bickering and work together,” Van Akkeren said. “Even if we’re in the minority as Democrats, we should still be able to work together and get things done.”

Van Akkeren most recently served a one-year term as Sheboygan’s mayor after winning a 2012 recall election against former mayor Bob Ryan for the right to serve out the remainder of Ryan’s term.

Van Akkeren left City Hall the following spring after losing in the general election to current Mayor Mike Vandersteen.

Redistricting has made the 26th Assembly District GOP-leaning, but without a more top-tier candidate, then Van Akkeren will have an easy path to being elected to the seat.  Not that Job isn’t a nice guy, he’s just rather eccentric and largely seen as a perennial candidate who has run multiple times as either a Republican, or Independent or Libertarian party tickets.

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