the industry

All Those Nuts You Sent to CBS Paid Off: ‘Jericho’ Might Return

Skeet Ulrich in JerichoCourtesy of CBS

Jericho to Return?: CBS is negotiating with actors and writers from Jericho, cult-hit series that was canceled last month, to return for abbreviated second season. Skeet Ulrich, series star, would return along with some of show’s cast. If deal goes through, would be a triumph for aggrieved fans inspired to send random shit to TV execs in the mail. [HR]

Peter O’Toole on Showtime: Peter O’Toole will join second season of Showtime’s The Tudors, playing Pope Paul III, who clashes with Jonathan Rhys Meyers’s Henry VIII. Look for O’Toole to appear bewildered all the way through next year’s Emmy Awards. [Variety]

Thundercats, Ho!: Warner Brothers options Thundercats script by first-time writer (and Fox ad exec) Paul Sopocy. Film will focus on origins of the Thundercats, including Lion-O’s coming-of-age as the group’s leader. Our 13-year-old self just flipped out. [Variety]

Hoffman, Thompson Take a Chance: Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson sign on to British romantic drama Last Chance Harvey. Hoffman will play a man attending his daughter’s wedding who meets Thompson’s character on the streets of London. Joel Hopkins writes and directs. [HR]

Shannara Series to Screen: Popular sci-fi–fantasy hybrid series by Terry Brooks, which started with The Sword of Shannara in 1977, bought by Warner Brothers for film. Second book in series, The Elfstones of Shannara, reportedly to be jumping-off place for movies. [HR]

Oprah Picks Middlesex: Oprah Winfrey announced on her talk show that the next title in her book club will be Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex, the 2003 Pulitzer winner about a transgender child in seventies Detroit. Picador publishes the book in paperback. [PW]

Connick Hits KC: New Harry Connick Jr. musical, The Happy Elf, will have world premiere at Kansas City’s Coterie Theatre in December. Musical follows one of Santa’s elves sent to Bluesville to cheer the residents up. We wouldn’t travel to Kansas City for that, but we would travel for the theater’s October show: a stage version of Night of the Living Dead. Braaaiiiiiins! [Playbill]

Ayckbourn Steps Down: Playwright Alan Ayckbourn will step down from his post as artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theater in Scarborough, England, after 37 years. The prolific and inventive playwright is 68 and had a stroke last year. An alternate future in which Ayckbourn stays on as AD will be explored in a different play. [NYT]

Pirate Queen Closes: Lavish Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg musical The Pirate Queen will close June 17. Producers blame Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End for exhausting audience interest in overblown pirate malarkey. [Playbill]

All Those Nuts You Sent to CBS Paid Off: ‘Jericho’ Might Return