Film and TV

The Week In TV: The Brits Keep Coming

• The recent run of American remakes of British shows isn't stopping any time soon: in the wake of SyFy's Being Human, Showtime's Shameless, and MTV's Skins, NBC is moving forward with a remake of Prime Suspect. The original Prime Suspect starred Helen Mirren as Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison, a predictably tough detective who often found herself battling institutionalized sexism in an attempt to solve crimes. The new version, produced by Peter Berg, looks like it will take a slightly different approach. It was announced last week that Maria Bello has been cast in the lead role, which means NBC wants viewers to tune in to see a blonde in her early 40s instead of a woman in her early 60s. However, this is probably for the best. The new version was never going to live up to the original, so there's no sense even trying to make it look the same. The show might not last very long anyway. You know how NBC is these days.

• Although I've essentially written off The Office by now, I've been pleasantly surprised by the last two episodes. The Valentine's Day installment had some great Michael/Holly moments, and their admission of love in the middle of the office came as a nice surprise. And last week's episode, with Michael showing his homemade Threat Level Midnight to the gang, was hilarious and weird and just perfect. For those two weeks, the show chucked its self-loathing and got funny again. It was great to see.

• Adrianne Palicki -- who will always and forever be Tyra Collette to me -- has been tapped as David E. Kelley's Wonder Woman for NBC. Palicki's had a bit of a rough run since Friday Night Lights: She's done voices for Robot Chicken and she co-starred in Sebastian Gutierrez's little-seen films Women in Trouble and Elektra Luxx, but she also had the misfortune of co-starring on Fox's D.O.A. Lone Star. Basically, she's been spinning her wheels a bit. The Wonder Woman casting is potentially good news for her, since she's never gotten the chance to carry a series before, but it also could be problematic because, well, Kelley's kind of terrible. Rumor is that his Wonder Woman will feature such daring lines as "You go, girl" and show Wonder Woman enjoying sleepovers with BFFs. So, uh, hang in there, Adrianne. If not now, it'll happen soon.

• Helloooo! And goodbye. Len Lesser, known to many for his role as Uncle Leo on Seinfeld, died last week at the age of 88 from complications caused by pneumonia. So long, buddy.

• This week in Glee news: The Glee cast is now expected to surpass the number of Billboard Hot 100 singles clocked by Elvis Presley, according to the magazine. Obviously, that's a statement that requires some qualification, most notably because Elvis started putting out records before Billboard started the chart in 1958. But as others have been right to note, the Glee songs are covers. Every single chart appearance of theirs has been for a Kidz Bop version of a song people already liked. Glee is just a conduit, a musical revue to remind you of stuff that's already come out, and though the success of their singles is understandable, it's impossible to imagine anyone actually preferring the cover versions. Anyway: On another front, Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are returning to FX with a pilot titled American Horror Story, set for this fall. There are no real details to speak of yet, but considering Nip/Tuck was essentially a horror show, chances are it'll be plenty unsettling. Especially if Matthew Morrison shows up to rap.

• James Van Der Beek is not a stupid man. No matter what he does the rest of his life, he'll be hounded by the memories of Dawson Leery and Jonathan Moxon. In the past few months, he's publicly embraced this. Now, the snake is ready to eat its own tail: Van Der Beek's going to play himself on the ABC sitcom Don't Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23. It's a smart play. If you can't shake the memory of your teenage years -- if you're Fred Savage, Neil Patrick Harris, etc. -- you just play into it and have fun. Guy's gotta get paid, you know?