James Franco has obviously remembered his quest for increasingly inexplicable performance art, because he’s following up his meta role on General Hospital with a guest spot on Nickelodeon‘s new primetime soap Hollywood Heights.
I have to say, my knee-jerk reaction was “What high executive signed on pothead James Franco to a kids’ network?” The only way I can envision James in relation to a children’s program is this Saturday Night Live digital short where he’s on the “Tizzle Wizzle Show.” It ends with mind-altering pills, blacklight, and bloodshed.
Somehow I don’t think this is what Nickelodeon had in mind. But upon further research, I found that it’s actually Nick at Nite that will be running the show five nights a week, telenovela-style. (Hey, it’s worked wonders for the last few seasons of Degrassi.) Seeing as Nick at Nite runs repeats of Friends and That ’70s Show, it’s safe to assume that kids will be kept safely away from anything that could be considered inappropriate.
Not to be confused with the awesomely absurd Summer Heights High, Hollywood Heights is Nick at Nite’s take on a Mexican telenovela about a shy girl who wins a songwriting competition and is propelled into sudden fame. (Hmm, sounds a bit like The N’s Instant Star.) Although the casting was announced a few weeks ago, today’s press release tells us about James’ predictably ridiculous character:
Franco will star in a multi-episode arc, playing the role of Osborne “Oz” Silver—a passionate, intense eccentric movie mogul who lives life to the fullest, often outrageously. Funny, offbeat, seductive, ruthless when he has to be, Oz adores the moviemaking process and does whatever it takes to make the films he wants.
You can already envision James flying over “the Hills” in his private helicopter, divebombing his competitors and playing a wackier version of 30 Rock‘s Jack Donaghy. OK, now I’m envisioning him having mentor sessions with the show’s star, Brittany Underwood. Yeah, I’ll probably watch this for the promised hijinks.