Coming off a hilariously entertaining role alongside Will Ferrell in the summer hit, The Other Guys, Mark Wahlberg has landed a role in another upcoming comedy. Ted, the directorial debut of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, stars an average guy from Boston (Wahlberg) whose childhood wish brought his stuffed bear to life; years later, the life-size, walking-talking teddy is still his best friend.
However, as one might guess, having a teddy bear best friend poses a dilemma — a carousing, irresponsible slacker, the bear gets in the way of his buddy committing to adulthood and the girl he loves.
Ted draws inspiration from Neil Swaab’s acclaimed comic, “Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles,” which appears in various magazines including the New York Press. Universal Pictures acquired the rights to the film last April, and Media Rights Capital agreed to finance the $65 million budget. MacFarlane’s partners in “Family Guy,” Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, helped write the script for Ted, crossing the line of “racy sitcom” and earning the film an R-rating.
It will utilize a mixture of live-action and CGI to bring the bear to life, and MacFarlane himself will provide the voice-over for the animated character. Some who have predicted a “Family Guy” feature-film in the works believe the success or failure of Ted may be a good indicator of future big-screen projects for the young director.
Dorchester, Mass. native Wahlberg has been busy lately; he also will star as Boston wrestler “Irish” Mickey Ward in David O’Russell’s The Fighter, which will hit theaters in the U.S. on December 10, 2010. According to an interview with Mike Fleming for Deadline New York, Wahlberg comitted wholly to the film. The moment he learned that the role was his, nearly 5 years ago, he built a boxing ring his backyard, hired two trainers out of his own pocket, and worked out extensively to prepare himself. According to Wahlberg, playing the role of Micky and filming the movie so close to his hometown brought back memories of his own childhood. “There were so many comparisons to my life, my story, my upbringing,” he said. Check out the trailer for The Fighter below.
Walhberg will also appear alongside Kate Beckinsale in Contraband, a remake of the 2008 Icelandic crime drama Reykjavic-Rotterdam. Wahlberg hopes to follow the release of that picture in 2012 with MacFarlane’s Ted.
According to an October 13 post on Variety.com, Kent, CT native and “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane will appear alongside Alex Borstein in the variety special “Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show” on Sunday, November 8 at 8:30pm.
MacFarlane and Borstein provide the voices for Peter and Lois Griffin of “Family Guy,” respectively. In addition to comedy sketches and live performances of popular “Family Guy” music numbers, the half-hour show will feature new animation sequences and celebrity guest appearances.
The airing will be commercial-free…sort of. “Family Guy Presents” is a product of the collaboration between Microsoft and the Fox Entertainment Group sales unit–Fox One–to creatively market the Windows 7 operating system. Universal McCann and Crispin, Porter + Bogusky–along with MacFarlane and Borstein–will produce the marketing messages that will appear throughout the show.
“The format of the show lends itself to collaborating and creating content together,” Fox One president Jean Rossi told Variety. “Having done a lot of branded entertainment, the best results come when you’ve got the creative agencies, the Hollywood writers and talent and the brand coming together.” “Family Guy Presents” is part of an all-Seth MacFarlane night: “American Dad” will air at 7:30pm, “Family Guy” at 8pm and 9pm, and “The Cleveland Show” at 9:30pm.
Despite his fame, MacFarlane still takes time to appreciate his dedicated New England fan base. On October 26, as reported in The Salem News, the local legend visited Connors Farm in Danvers, MA to check out the “Family Guy”-inspired “corn maize.”
There are some things that characterize early fall and Halloween more than anything else: pumpkins, apple picking, warm cider, changing leaves. This year, Conners Farm in Danvers, MA is taking a fall favorite, the corn maze, and giving it a pop culture update “Family Guy” style.
According to the Salem News, this year’s corn maze, a tradition for Conners Farm, is designed to feature Stewie and Brian Griffin, characters in the popular cartoon show “Family Guy”. After his web designer Mark Jones of Mead Web Design and Computing obtained the rights to the characters, Bobby Conners, owner of Connors Farm, enlisted the help of the maize to create his Brian/Stewie masterpiece. The Utah-based company designs and creates mazes around the country, using a GPS to map out the overall design of the maze then manpower and machines to plant the corn.
In addition to the new design, which includes “Family Guy” written above the two figures and “Connors Farm” below them, the maze itself will feature interactive activities such as passports with clues from Family Guy episodes to help visitors get out of the maze. The passports will be geared toward two different age groups, one for children and a slightly racier one for adults, which fits with the whole Family Guy theme.
The maze opened on September 12 and will stay open until Halloween. For more information on ticket prices, scheduling and special events, click here for the Connors Farm.
On Sunday, September 20, the 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards aired on CBS, hosted with much aplomb by Neil Patrick Harris. Some of the more notable winners that evening include Glen Close for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and Michael J. Fox for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. In addition to the winners, gowns, after-parties, and critiques of Harris’s hosting job, yet another interesting aspect of the show was the numerous New England connections to those that attended.
Though they say its an honor just to be nominated, many of the humorously entertaining north-easterners did not get to take home their own awards. Seth MacFarlane’s “Family Guy” was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series.
Though the Connecticut funnyman’s series lost to “30 Rock”, its ability as an animated series to stand alone in a category against live-action sitcoms speaks for itself. New Hampshire’s funny honey, Sarah Silverman, also lost in her category for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, but took it in stride while sporting a fake mustache on camera.
Concord, MA born Steve Carell lost out to Alec Baldwin for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy, so be nice if you see him at the general store he bought in Marshfield. One comedy winner for the evening did include Beverly, MA native, and writer for “30 Rock”, Matthew Hubbard, who won an Emmy that evening in both the Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series category and Best Comedy, for his additional role on the show as a producer.
Though he was neither nominated nor presenting, Brookline, MA’s John Hodgman, better known as “The PC Guy” on the now iconic Mac vs. PC commercials, played sidekick yet again, this time helping announce the show between Harris’s appearances as host on stage and in pre-taped skits.
The fall television season is upon us, as both new shows and old favorites will soon be taking to the airwaves across the networks. While many of these shows are shot in California or Canada, nevertheless, New England is well-represented in a variety of ways. Whether it’s stars who originate from the area, or the shows themselves being set here, let’s check out where we can find Hollywood East on the fall 2009 line-up.
“Eastwick” on ABC, Wednesdays at 10 starting September 23, is inspired by the 1987 movie starring Jack Nicholson, Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Susan Sarandon. This incarnation of the John Updike novel follows the story of 3 women (including Rebecca Romijn) whose everyday lives get thrown for a loop when a mysterious man arrives at their small, fictional New England town.
Connecticut born Seth MacFarlane’s “Family Guy” spinoff, “The Cleveland Show” is set to premiere September 27 on Fox. The animated comedy will air Sunday nights, along with MacFarlane’s other long-running series–”American Dad!” and “Family Guy”.
AMC’s surprise hit, “Mad Men” got a head start, with its season 3 premiere episode airing on August 16. Boston native, and recent Improper Bostonian cover model, John Slattery, will reprise his role as advertising executive Roger Sterling.
Everett’s Ellen Pompeo will be appearing less towards the start of the perpetual favorite “Grey’s Anatomy” with her real-life pregnancy pulling her away from an otherwise heavy workload. The season 6 premiere airs Thursday, September 24, and also stars Maine native Patrick Dempsey.
The second season of Fox’s “Fringe” coincides with production being moved to Vancouver, Canada, despite the fact that the series is set in Boston. Beantown’s own Leonard Nimoy will make several appearances throughout the season of the sci-fi show.
Fox’s other eccentric enterprise, “Dollhouse”, starring Watertown, MA’s Eliza Dushku will be returning for a second season after an uncertain beginning. The first episode will air September 25, as it returns to 9 PM time-slot on Friday nights.
Ann Maney, an LA talent scout who is currently in development with the ABC Family channel on cable to bring two new shows to the network, will be bringing one of her workshops to Beantown this month. The workshop, called “TV Pilot Camp” will cover different aspects of the studio and network process. As a casting director and producer, Maney is interested in meeting with teens, parents, comedians, and 20-somethings, though space for the workshop is limited to 25 actors. Maney’s impressive resume includes development on TV shows like “Grace Under Fire”, “Roseanne”, and “3rd Rock from the Sun”, and casting for “The Bernie Mac Show”, “Family Guy”, and “Arrested Development”. With her extensive experience in not only TV, but film as well, that has spanned both coasts and multiple countries, Maney’s expertise and connections could prove invaluable for workshop attendees. To register, e-mail mpi@bo[email protected] or call Lisa Lobel 617-245-1001 ext 114. The cost of the workshop is $125 and will take place on Wednesday, June 24th, from 6-8PM at Boston Casting.
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