the early-evening news

Wes Anderson Wary of Working With Actors Not Named Bill Murray

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As Long As Someone’s Working With Bill: Bill Murray has signed on to voice a character in Wes Anderson’s forthcoming animated feature The Fantastic Mr. Fox, marking the fifth collaboration in a row between the actor and the director. And yet, after all they’ve shared together, the lead character, Mr. Fox, will be voiced not by Murray but by George Clooney. Always a bridesmaid, right? [Movies Blog/MTV]

Thank Heavens for Little Robotic Cars: For those of you who don’t believe one Transformers is one too many, there’s excellent news! Transformers 2 is in the works, set for summer ‘09. Michael Bay and Shia LaBeouf are expected to reprise their roles as director and awkward leading boy toy, respectively. [Variety]

Remember Cop Rock? Despite the incredibly dicey fate of musical series (Viva Laughlin, we cross our fingers for you), ABC and NBC are both working on ‘em. Related: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, always expecting a different result. [Mediaweek]

It’s for a Good Cause: Looking for a philanthropic outlet? Why not donate to Visit Milwaukee? This trailblazing tourism group is working toward commissioning a bronze sculpture of The Fonz, their hometown fictional hero. They’ve raised about $45k, but the total cost will be $85k — so if you’ve got 40 grand burning a hole in your pocket… At any rate, you can bet the person who gets this project completed will remain an anonymous donor. [AP]

Not So Fast: Those wily suits over at NBC are taking advantage of a Nielsen rule that allows networks to combine the ratings for multiple runs of a show, resulting in an overinflated ratings number. We’d suggest that perhaps Nielsen and the networks look into averaging ratings for multiple runs, but we don’t want to scare anyone off with complicated mathematics. [Variety]

Wes Anderson Wary of Working With Actors Not Named Bill Murray