The Call Sheet

The Call Sheet

THE MOB DOCTOR IS… Well, the verdict is still out on that but here’s how the new series from Fox fared on its premiere this past Monday… THE MOB DOCTOR pulled in 5.1 million viewers or a 1.5/4 rating, according to Deadline. These ratings are less-than-stellar but it’s worth keeping in mind that this brand new series is going up against NBC’s ratings juggernaut THE VOICE, which makes for some very tough sledding. Christina Aguilera is one tough woman, she’s not going to give up those viewers without a fight! Let’s see how THE MOB DOCTOR (currently filming in Chicago) fares this coming week. In the meantime, the first episode will be re-aired this Friday September 21st at 8 pm Central. Check out clips and more at http://www.fox.com/the-mob-doctor

REGARDING YOUR LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION: In case you missed the Midwest Independent Film Festival’s Chicago Premiere earlier this month… the Sundance hit and critic’s pick LIBERAL ARTS heads into theaters in Chicago and throughout the Midwest this weekend. Filmed in Ohio by writer-director and Columbus native Josh Radnor (best known as the frontman for the popular series HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER) alongside producer and fellow Buckeye native Jesse Hara. LIBERAL ARTS boasts an all-star cast that includes Elizabeth Olson, Alison Janney in full scene-stealing mode and Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins. It’s a thoroughly entertaining film, it’s made in the Midwest, let’s make it sure it has a killer opening weekend here… http://www.landmarktheaters.com for showtimes.

IT’S GOING TO BE PAYNE-LESS: Not a huge surprise but Oscar winner Alexander Payne will be filming his next feature in Nebraska, not Illinois. I mean, the film is tentatively called NEBRASKA. Paramount asked Payne to consider filming some scenes in Illinois thanks to the state’s tax incentives. He scouted here this summer but ultimately he’ll be shooting almost entirely in his home state of Nebraska. The production crew will be based in Norfolk, and filming will be in Lincoln and surrounding cities/towns/suburbs starting next month. NEBRASKA stars Bruce Dern and Will Forte (yep, the SNL alum).

IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS: Steven A. Jones, producer of The Promotion, The Merry Gentleman and the classic Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, has joined screenwriter Brett Neveu’s team for CHRISTMAS BYTES, the indie formerly known as ATARI CHRISTMAS. Oscar nom Michael Shannon and PSYCH/ WEST WING star Dule Hill are also on board (as reported here earlier this summer), early 2013 targeted for filming. It’s Xmas. 1982. 14 yr-old Gary wants a game console. His pal Pickford? A girlfriend. A film about 8-bit schemes, arcade dreams & 1st love. More at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1678105444/christmas-bytes

BEH-WATCH UPDATE: Earlier this year, I mentioned that Chicago native Alex Beh was planning on returning home to film his coming of age dramedy WARREN. Casting is underway, the production office is open and the film is set to begin filming later this month. Joining Beh’s team will be producer Orian Williams, best known for the critically acclaimed “Control.” Welcome home, Alex!

Is your film heading into production? Please drop me a note at mac@midwestfilm.com and tell me all about it. I’ll do my best to include it in “The Call Sheet.”

Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, www.midwestfilm.org. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.