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Title: "Ultra" TV Series


ndahzone - February 14, 2006 10:57 AM (GMT)
Apparently, Lena has been cast as the title character in Barbara Hall's (creator of "Joan of Arcadia," developed "Judging Amy") new CBS show about a female superhero/city girl:

Headey dons superhero threads for CBS
14 February, 2006


By Nellie Andreeva 10 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Lena Headey will play a single, city-girl superhero in Barbara Halls comic-book-based drama pilot "Ultra" for CBS.

Headey is currently onscreen in the feature "Imagine Me & You," and appeared last year in "The Brothers Grimm."

Barbara Hall is the creator of the series "Joan of Arcardia" and developed "Judging Amy."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter


Also, Lena Headey (The Brothers Grimm) has joined the cast of CBS' Ultra as Penny. The CBS Paramount TV show is based on the comic book about a female superhero.

Scotch - February 14, 2006 04:28 PM (GMT)
oo. . .I hope she sticks to movies, heh

FICELER37 - February 14, 2006 06:14 PM (GMT)
Well, her being on TV means that we get to see her more. I'm happy with that. Plus I think the story of "Ultra" is very cool. It's set in an alternate universe where there are superheros everywhere among the "commoners", and people just treat the superheros like celebrities. But I think Lena's character is supposed to be very unlucky in love. =(

Jen - February 16, 2006 01:36 AM (GMT)
hopefully the series gets picked up...it sounds a little wierd,but interesting

StepAside - February 16, 2006 03:37 AM (GMT)
She's been cast as Penny, but according to some research I did, the title character in Ultra is named Pearl. Perhaps some names have been changed? Anyone know? I hope she IS the star though. It would be nice to be able to actually watch something she's in...

ndahzone - February 16, 2006 04:38 AM (GMT)
StepAside, Lena has been cast as the lead character Pearl PENALOSA (hence the nickname "Penny"; Pearl = Penny) aka "Ultra." Hope that clears things up a bit.

StepAside - February 17, 2006 03:19 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (ndahzone @ Feb 16 2006, 04:38 AM)
StepAside, Lena has been cast as the lead character Pearl PENALOSA (hence the nickname "Penny"; Pearl = Penny) aka "Ultra." Hope that clears things up a bit.

Wow. Don't I feel exceedingly intelligent?! Haha. Thanks for the elaboration.

Jen - March 21, 2006 02:13 AM (GMT)
there's now and imdb page for ultra....apparently Majandra Delfino (Roswell) and Aimee Garcia(george lopez) have joined the cast along with Peter Dinklage.... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0757354/

Scotch - March 23, 2006 03:58 AM (GMT)
I wonder what channel the show will be aired on. I hope everyone will be able to watch it. :(

somonumental - March 30, 2006 06:23 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Scotch @ Mar 23 2006, 03:58 AM)
I wonder what channel the show will be aired on. I hope everyone will be able to watch it.  :(

I'm guessing CBS? Because that's what the article says.

eternity - July 2, 2006 05:49 PM (GMT)

eternity - July 3, 2006 08:55 PM (GMT)

muriel - July 4, 2006 03:56 AM (GMT)
I hate to be the one to break it to you but the Ultra tv pilot wasn't picked up. So basically there's no show. I'm quite sad about it. I was really looking forward to seeing Lena on a weekly basis and her consequently gaining more attention because of it. There is a lengthy discussion about it on this board called Television Without Pity - here is the link: http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.com/in...5&#entry5476670

As well as http://www.lunabrothers.com/index2.htm

muriel - July 13, 2006 03:06 AM (GMT)
Sorry about the links I posted above - apparently when you click on them you get redirected to some other place.

Here is the link to the Television Without Pity. Then just click on FORUMS http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.com/

If that doesn't work, just go to www.televisionwithoutpity.com - click on 'Forums'

If you try either way, you will find yourself in the forums sections. Just scroll all the way down to the Other TV Shows section and click 'Sci-Fi and Action Adventure' shows. From there, you will find a topic titled 'ULTRA'. It might be on the fourth page since the last post was made sometime in June.

As for the other site. Just type on your browser: www.lunabrothers.com or click here: http://www.lunabrothers.com/
Click on ENTER or any of the pictures. Then click on FORUMS and look for the Ultra topic.

Hope that helps!

BlasphemousGirl - August 25, 2006 03:44 PM (GMT)
This is what I found on the IMDB.com Forum:


iTunes Campaign for Ultra pilot

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On July 28, 2006, the LA Times online ran an article regarding the shelved pilot for the series Auqaman. The pilot, filmed earlier this year for the new CW network, was not picked up for the Fall lineup but was made available for download last week on iTunes with great success. An excerpt of the article follows.

Earlier this week, a previously unseen pilot for an Aquaman TV series debuted on iTunes, and the show immediately became the website's most-downloaded video, Apple said.

The TV pilot was created by screenwriters Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, who launched the popular Superman -inspired series Smallville. The Aquaman series was initially conceived as a Warner Bros. Television production for the WB network, which has merged with UPN into the new CW network.

For whatever reason, they ultimately decided not to pick it up, says Gough of CW's response to the pilot. The pilot may not be perfect, but you can certainly see a series there.

You can also see potential audience interest.

Gough says he is nevertheless pleased that Warners gave his and Millar's pilot to iTunes. In addition to generating thousands of downloads, the pilot also is attracting strong feedback within the industry, enough that Gough holds out slim hope that it could attract enough Internet interest to revive Aquaman as a TV series.

Aquaman can do this, why not Ultra? Ultra has generated buzz throughout the industry and among fans. While it did not make it into the crowded CBS Fall line up, there is a definite audience for this pilot. Please join us in a write in campaign to CBS to make the Ultra pilot available for download on iTunes.

You can show your support by filling out CBSs feedback form.

Click the feedback link http://www.cbs.com/info/user_services/fb_global_form.shtml

Use the drop down box to choose Other-Not Listed at the very bottom of the PRIMETIME shows (after Yes Dear).
Select the REQUEST option.

Fill in your name, email address, and your request for Ultra.

We have a pre-written message. Use this if you like or use your own.

Hello, my name is XXXXXX and I am writing to please ask that you give Ultra another shot. Give the fans of the comic, of Barbara Hall and of all the wonderful actors that came together to create the pilot a chance to see it via iTunes. As Aquaman proved last week, there is a fan base who are willing to pay the $1.99 to see the pilot making Aquaman the most downloaded video on iTunes. Please give the Ultra fans the chance to show that there is an audience for this show and to support it via iTunes too.

Thank you
XXXXXXX
http://www.mad-online.org/ultra]Ultra-The Series
http://www.myspace.com/ultra_tv


BlasphemousGirl - August 27, 2006 05:18 PM (GMT)
Click for Review Ultra

Otherwise:

Where Pilots Go to Die: An "Ultra" Letdown

Welcome back to another installment of "Where Pilots Go to Die." Last time, I took a look at the CW's underwater drama Aquaman/Mercy Reef which failed to make it onto the CW's fall schedule. I have a fascination with series that don't go any further than the pilot stage. So imagine my excitement when a copy of CBS's dead pilot Ultra ended up in my greedy little hands.

When I first heard of the project a few months ago, I was surprised to learn that CBS was developing a series based on Jonathan and Joshua Luna's superb comic of the same name ("Ultra: Seven Days"). I was even more surprised to discover that other than sharing a title, the two projects had nothing in common whatsoever...
The Luna Brothers' "Ultra: Seven Days" (pictured below) is a smart, edgy, sophisticated comic that's rather like Sex and the City... with superpowers. It recounts the story of Pearl Penalosa, a sexy Latina superhero with the codename of Ultra, as she saves the day and tries to find love in the big city. In this comic, superheroes are more akin to supermodels, with multi-million dollar endorsement deals, savvy agents, and magazine covers. They're celebrities in the biggest, splashiest sense of the word and Pearl and her two fellow superhero best friends--activist Cowgirl and slutty Aphrodite--are the biggest celebrities of all. But Pearl is torn between her duty as a super and her need to find that one true love of her life. And when a fortune teller predicts that Pearl will find love within seven days, she ends up on a quest that redefines who Pearl and Ultra really are. It's a brilliant reflection on rampant consumerism and celebrity in 21st century America, a sometimes raunchy romantic drama, and a ripping yarn to boot.

I was worried, and with good cause. How would this work on television? On CBS? Doesn't anyone remember the last time CBS attempted a superhero series? (Namely, the early 1990's Flash series, starring John Wesley Shipp, who would later be known to teenagers everywhere as Dawson's Dad.) So I was curious to see how the Luna Brothers' work had translated to the small screen and sat down with the 27-minute cut that was available for screening.

Written by Barbara Hall, CBS' Ultra is rather like Hall's last series, Joan of Arcadia. Except that this time, the lead doesn't speak to God (just to the audience) and has the more traditional superpowers of super-strength, heightened senses, and telekinesis. (Really, telekinesis? Um, why?) From the start, I'm a little concerned by Hall's decision to basically throw out the plot and characters of the Luna Brothers' work and instead create a show that revolves around a rather mundane female superhero who has no real connection to the sexy, strong, and sassy Latina superhero Ultra. First off, Ultra's not Latina in the show nor is she named Pearl. Instead, our lead is Penny (Lena Headey, above), a poor and vaguely Southern girl from an abusive and rag-clad family who escaped to Manhattan. I love Lena Headey and while it wouldn't bother me at all to have her as the lead of a series (really, it would be a pleasure), she's not Ultra or Pearl.

I'm not quite sure why Hall and the producers opted to take "Penny" away from her more ethnic roots and turn her into some Southern Gothic urchin. Flashback scenes--accompanied by copious, exposition-laden voiceover--seek to establish Penny as a survivor; we see her first as a bedraggled little kid who hurls herself off of a tall wooden structure and walks away unscathed but she's unable to prevent her leering father from beating up her creepy, emotionless mother. Later as a teenager, Penny suddenly has developed a Southern accent and dreams Big Dreams about becoming a writer, unaware that the boy with her wants nothing more from her than sex. We're told later by Cryptic Man (Coupling's Melty Man himself, Richard Coyle) that most superpowers develop as the result of a bad childhood. Whah huh? So neglect and abuse bring about an evolutionary leap? Color me confused.

Instead of jumping into Penny/Ultra's story in the swing of things, we're instead treated to what amounts to a rather ho-hum origin story, replete with B-grade special effects of explosions. While the Luna Brothers had created an entire world for Pearl/Ultra to have as a playground, Penny's world seems drably similar to our own. The main action of the plot begins after Penny has graduated from NYU and has dreams of being a novelist. But instead she's working a trivial job and living in a grubby underground apartment. And then one day, her amazing abilities suddenly seem to manifest themselves while she brushes her teeth (yes, you read that correctly). She's able to move her water glass around in the air... with her mind! Oooh. And then when she's nearly mugged in the street, she picks up her attacker and throws him through the air... with her strength! She's superhuman! And before you know it, she's contacted by the mysterious Cryptic Man (Coyle), a fellow superhuman with confusing shapeshifting abilities that seem more like teleportation to me, who urges her to see the even more mysterious person called The Scientist (Peter Dinklage, slumming it here), who determines that Penny is in fact special!

When Penny manages to save a number of people from a disastrous traffic accident, she instantly becomes a bit of a minor celebrity, lands an agent, and receives a "cape" from Cryptic Man (really a white sheet) with the name "Ultra" emblazoned--well, written--in silver all around the edges. Her agent then assists her in designing a "costume" to accompany her "cape." The end result looks more like a member of the heavenly choir crossed with... Pocahontas? While I didn't think the producers would necessarily be able to use Ultra's purple and white costume from the comic, I was hoping they would have come up with something that looked a little more television-friendly and realistic. (No X-Men-style black leather here, kids, it's the bedding department of Bed, Bath, and Beyond.) Penny does a commercial hawking some fizzy drink in which she pretends to fly (unlike the comic, this Ultra can't fly, or couldn't yet anyway), and soon acquires a villain of sorts in her deranged stalker, Veronique Nemesis (Marissa Jaret Winokur), a human with delusions that she has superpowers and a fixation on Penny... one which ends in blood when Veronique casually shoots her on a New York City street.

No sign of Ultra's friends Cowgirl and Aphrodite, though some research turned up that actresses Majandra Delfino (Roswell) and Aimee Garcia (George Lopez) were cast as Penny's friends Suzette and Kyra and would have eventually developed powers of their own. They did not however appear in the 27-minute cut that I watched.

It's sad when you see a pilot with fantastic actors working with material so far beneath themselves. Headey, Coyle, and Dinklage are all superb actors, but they can't overcome the truly awful writing, mind-numbingly painful voiceover, and way too earnest tone of the piece. Ultra lacks any of the off-kilter (and sometimes blue) humor of the comic as well as the innate "smartness" of the subject matter. "Ultra" the comic was a glorious combination of superheroics, soap opera, and self-aware humor; that this pilot shares a similar title only makes me question why Hall didn't just create her own twenty-something female superhero for a softer-than-brie drama instead of filleting everything that made this franchise unique and compelling.

Ultimately, I couldn't really see how Ultra would have worked on CBS amid all the crime procedurals and juggernaut reality shows, nor on the CW, which briefly considered picking up the series. At least I still have my dog-eared copy of the Luna Brothers' "Ultra."And in the end, maybe that's for the best as the world doesn't need another sub-par superhero. Especially one that's as much of an ultra-letdown as this one.

intransition - August 27, 2006 06:12 PM (GMT)
A very good review indeed. It probably is for the best. I would have just watched it for Lena and had to suffer with the pain of her critics tearing her to shreds if it would have come out...

Not to mention it probably wouldn't be the best way for her to be remebered, as the super girl has-been who maybe lasted a season on a dead end show, where the end didn't justify the means.

I'm sure she'll come up with something to do though, she already has ^^ I don't think she has much problem with getting jobs.

We love you Lena

brownfoxy9190 - August 27, 2006 11:12 PM (GMT)
The writer's specific comments re: Lena--

Instead, our lead is Penny (Lena Headey, above), a poor and vaguely Southern girl from an abusive and rag-clad family who escaped to Manhattan. I love Lena Headey and while it wouldn't bother me at all to have her as the lead of a series (really, it would be a pleasure), she's not Ultra or Pearl.


specifically this one....

...It's sad when you see a pilot with fantastic actors working with material so far beneath themselves. Headey, Coyle, and Dinklage are all superb actors, but they can't overcome the truly awful writing, mind-numbingly painful voiceover, and way too earnest tone of the piece.


clearly explains that although it could've been a "breakthrough mainstream role" for Lena, the material was not worthy of her talent! yey to CBS for deciding not to pursue the show. She only deserves the best from hereon!

lrulan - August 28, 2006 02:03 AM (GMT)
Very apt review. You are being very kind to Lena in it, though. I felt she was
all wrong for the part, whether it was the Luna brothers' vision of Ultra or
Barbara Hall's. For one thing, I felt she was too old to play the character.

Oh, and one small correction. Majandra Delfino and Aimee Garcia do appear
in the pilot, although quite briefly. If you go back and look at the scene where
Penny almost gets mugged, just before she goes down the street by herself, she
comes out of the bar where she works and gets a goodbye hug from a blonde.
That was Delfino and she and another girl (Garcia) walk away from Lena.

And, like you, I am glad that this did not go forward. It would not have fared
well, I think.



:rolleyes:

Dominae77 - January 28, 2007 02:29 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (lrulan @ Aug 28 2006, 02:03 AM)
Very apt review. You are being very kind to Lena in it, though. I felt she was
all wrong for the part, whether it was the Luna brothers' vision of Ultra or
Barbara Hall's. For one thing, I felt she was too old to play the character.

Oh, and one small correction. Majandra Delfino and Aimee Garcia do appear
in the pilot, although quite briefly. If you go back and look at the scene where
Penny almost gets mugged, just before she goes down the street by herself, she
comes out of the bar where she works and gets a goodbye hug from a blonde.
That was Delfino and she and another girl (Garcia) walk away from Lena.

And, like you, I am glad that this did not go forward. It would not have fared
well, I think.



:rolleyes:

Is there a clip???

lrulan - January 28, 2007 02:46 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
Is there a clip???


No, sorry. I haven't seen a clip on the internet. I have a copy of the unaired pilot.
I might put some screencaps here once I'm absolutely sure I won't get into trouble if I do so.

:rolleyes:




Dollie66 - January 28, 2007 05:09 PM (GMT)
how did you get a pilot!!!???? :o

I wanna see it!!!!!!!

BCK57 - January 28, 2007 06:06 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (lrulan @ Jan 28 2007, 02:46 PM)
I might put some screencaps here once I'm absolutely sure I won't get into trouble if I do so.

:rolleyes:

Hey Irulan, nice to see you here after a long absence. We would LOVE to see screencaps of this since we won't ever see the show itself!

dre bombay - January 28, 2007 10:48 PM (GMT)
Irulan, you are da bomb!

I just wish i had my shit together a lot earlier in life to realize that I should've gone into the film industry in some sort of capacity rather than what i'm doing now.

So envious of you and I'm glad you find time in your busy schedule to help us Lena-obsessives catch a few hard to find glimpses of her...

for that i say Thank-You!

surfergirl - January 30, 2007 11:45 PM (GMT)
user posted imagejust found this while I googled Lena :lol: I think they were refuring to the superhero theme of the show

BCK57 - January 31, 2007 03:07 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (surfergirl @ Jan 30 2007, 11:45 PM)
just found this while I googled Lena :lol: I think they were refuring to the superhero theme of the show

Oh, that's disgusting!@ Ewwwwww! They've made her look HORRIBLE.

Dominae77 - January 31, 2007 10:32 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (surfergirl @ Jan 30 2007, 11:45 PM)
user posted imagejust found this while I googled Lena :lol: I think they were refuring to the superhero theme of the show

thats kinda scary!

kristin - January 31, 2007 11:24 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (dre bombay @ Jan 28 2007, 11:48 PM)
I just wish i had my shit together a lot earlier in life to realize that I should've gone into the film industry in some sort of capacity rather than what i'm doing now.

Me too... but you're closer to Hollywood! :rolleyes:

kristin - January 31, 2007 11:28 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (lrulan @ Jan 28 2007, 03:46 PM)
I might put some screencaps here once I'm absolutely sure I won't get into trouble if I do so.

I'm begging you on my knees...
I was watching Helen Shaver ('"Ultra's" director) last Sunday on an old episode of Columbo... wow, what a shape! :rolleyes: It was only five years after DESERT HEARTS.

BCK57 - January 31, 2007 03:08 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (kristin @ Jan 31 2007, 11:28 AM)
I was watching Helen Shaver ('"Ultra's" director) last Sunday on an old episode of Columbo... wow, what a shape! :rolleyes: It was only five years after DESERT HEARTS.

Oh I think you have a LITTLE crush on our Canadian Helen!

kristin - January 31, 2007 03:37 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (BCK57 @ Jan 31 2007, 04:08 PM)
Oh I think you have a LITTLE crush on our Canadian Helen!

How did you guess?
I was never able to choose between her and Patricia Charbonneau, though... :rolleyes:

Wendy - February 1, 2007 02:03 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (surfergirl @ Jan 30 2007, 04:45 PM)
user posted imagejust found this while I googled Lena  :lol:  I think they were refuring to the superhero theme of the show

Well, that's bizarre! :blink: But hey, I new pic is a new pic. :huh:

surfergirl - February 1, 2007 02:05 AM (GMT)
haha yeah it's weird but I though to myself 'I can't keep all that weirdness to myself I have to share it' ;) :D

Wendy - February 1, 2007 02:08 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (surfergirl @ Jan 31 2007, 07:05 PM)
haha yeah it's weird but I though to myself 'I can't keep all that weirdness to myself I have to share it'  ;)  :D

Yes, always share! :)

Lena_LuvHer - February 1, 2007 05:00 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Wendy @ Feb 1 2007, 02:08 AM)
QUOTE (surfergirl @ Jan 31 2007, 07:05 PM)
haha yeah it's weird but I though to myself 'I can't keep all that weirdness to myself I have to share it' ;) :D

Yes, always share! :)

Keep sharing. :) Lena is way tooooo skinny. I still say she needs some meat
on her bones. I wish they would have gone ahead with Ultra. More chances to
see Lena. :)

BCK57 - April 18, 2007 08:22 PM (GMT)
Photos from the Ultra You Tube clip:

user posted image

user posted image

user posted image

user posted image

BCK57 - April 18, 2007 08:23 PM (GMT)
user posted image

user posted image

user posted image

user posted image

BCK57 - April 18, 2007 08:24 PM (GMT)
user posted image

user posted image

user posted image

user posted image

dre bombay - April 18, 2007 08:40 PM (GMT)
She looked awesome in this..... *whew!*

BCK57 - April 18, 2007 08:43 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (dre bombay @ Apr 18 2007, 08:40 PM)
She looked awesome in this..... *whew!*

Great description "whew"!! :wub: Wish we could find a better quality copy to make REALLY good screencaps from.

Glad to see that she was not SOOOO thin in this.




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