This Week in TV:
American Gods begins production; Kevin Bacon to star in I Love Dick; Wayward Pines key art; Carrie-Ann Moss joins Humans; Famke Janssen in Blacklist; Snatch TV series; Idris Elba to star in Guerrilla; Naomi Watts to star in Gypsy; Nicole Beharie joins Jacob’s Ladder; Aquarius season two premieres commercial-free; Walton Goggins joins Six; and Stana Katic leaves Castle.
Production begins on American Gods
Starz has announced that their upcoming series American Gods, adapted from the Neil Gaiman novel of the same name, has officially entered production. The 10-episode series, helmed by Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (Heroes), is currently filming in Toronto, Canada, with filming planned in multiple locations across the Americas. Gaiman, who serves as an executive producer on the series, was also present on the set for the first shoots of the series.
Gaiman’s novel details a coming war between gods old and new, the old based on mythology and the new gods drawing their power and influence from money, technology and celebrity. The series stars Ricky Whittle (The 100) as Shadow Moon, who serves as a sort of bodyguard to the mythological Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane). Starz has also revealed a number of new cast members, including Cloris Leachman (Raising Hope), Peter Stormare (Prison Break), Chris Obi (Snow White and the Huntsman), and Mousa Kraish (Arrested Development).
Leachman will play Zorya Vechernyaya, the eldest of three sisters who watch over the stars and guard against forgotten horrors of the past. Stormare plays Czernobog, a Slavic god of darkness and evil. Obi will be playing Egyptian god Anubis, god of the dead responsible for guiding mortals through the judgement of their souls. Finally, Kraish will play The Jinn, a mythical creature of fire who can intuit a person’s deepest desires.
American Gods premieres sometime in 2017.
Kevin Bacon to star in I Love Dick
Kevin Bacon (The Following) has signed on to star opposite of Kathryn Hahn (Transparent) in the upcoming Amazon comedy pilot I Love Dick. Based on the Chris Kraus novel of the same name, the series is set in an academic community in Texas. It follows struggling married couple Chris (Hahn) and Sylvere and details their mutual obsession with the distasteful but charismatic college professor Dick (Bacon). Chris, an independent filmmaker, goes on a journey of self-discovery through her obsession and further realizes her artistic potential.
The series comes from Transparent creator Jill Soloway, who will direct and produce the pilot. Playwright Sarah Gubbins is handling writing duties on the show.
Wayward Pines Season 2 Key Art
Ahead of its summer premiere, FOX has released new key art for the upcoming second season of Wayward Pines. The disturbing image features a baby’s hand grasping at a deformed adult hand, likely belonging to an Abby (abberation), the creatures that populate the world of the series. The poster poses the question “Who shall inherit the earth?” and is likely hinting at a future conflict between the Abbies and the First Generation, though which side is bringing children into the world remains to be seen.
Originally intended to be an event series, the M. Night Shyamalan-produced Wayward Pines proved popular enough to earn a second sesaon on FOX. The season introduces new protagonist Dr. Theo Yedlin (Jason Patric), a surgeon who awakens from suspended animation and soon finds himself caught up in a civil war in the town.
Wayward Pines returns on May 25th, 2016.
Carrie-Ann Moss joins Humans
AMC and Channel 4 have announced that Jessica Jones actress Carrie-Ann Moss has joined the second season of their hit sci-fi drama Humans. The series is set in a parallel version of the present day and explores what happens when the lines between human and machines are blurred, presenting the social and cultural implications of artificial intelligence. The second season will see an expansion of these themes, leaving the synthetics and humans fighting for their place in the world and questioning who or what determines what it means to be alive.
Moss will play Dr. Athena Morrow, an expert on artificial intelligence driven to create a new kind of machine consciousness. The series is written by writing partners Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley (MI-5), who also serve as executive producers alongside Derek Wax (The Hour) and Chris Fry (The Smoke).
Humans season 2 will air in the UK later in 2016 and the US sometime in 2017.
Source: AMC/Channel 4
First Look: Famke Janssen in Blacklist
After the shocking (and probably misleading) events of last week’s episode of The Blacklist, fans will turn their attention from Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) and look to Tom (Ryan Eggold) to move the series forward. The decision to focus on Tom is an expected shift in the series, due largely to the possible spinoff series said to be in development, starring Eggold and former X-Men star Famke Janssen.
Janssen will play Susan ‘Scottie’ Hargrave in the spinoff, a character that will be introduced in the season 3 finale of The Blacklist. Ahead of the May 5th finale, NBC has released the first images of Janssen in the series, showing her in the middle of a confrontation with Tom. The spinoff series, which has yet to be officially ordered by NBC, will follow a similar format as The Blacklist, with Scottie and Tom forming a team akin to Red (James Spader) and Elizabeth.
The Blacklist airs Thursday nights at 9:00 p.m. EST on NBC.
Source: TV Guide
Snatch Being Reimagined for Television
Crackle, the online streaming service owned by Sony Pictures, is developing a television series based on the 2001 film Snatch. Written and directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes), the film centered on two interwoven plots, one detailing the search for a stolen diamond and the other focused on a boxing promoter struggling under the thumb of a violent gangster. The TV version will feature a group of young, small-time criminals who stumble upon a truck full of stolen gold and suddenly find themselves in the world of organized crime.
The streaming service likened their new show to FX’s Fargo, stating the series would serve as more of a spiritual successor and develop a separate world than the one in the film. The series is in the earliest stages of production, with no talent currently attached to the project. Currently it is slated to run for 10, hour-long episodes. It remains to be seen if Guy Ritchie will be involved in the series.
Idris Elba to star in Guerrilla
Idris Elba (Luther) has signed on to star in the upcoming Showtime series Guerrilla. Created by John Ridley (American Crime), the six-episode limited series will take place against the backdrop of the Black Power movement in the 1970s. The series centers on a young couple, who have not yet been cast, in the UK who move from political activism to radical militancy when they liberate a political prisoner and form an underground resistance. The group ultimately targets the Black Power Desk, a real-life counter-intelligence unit within Special Branch that aims to crush all forms of black activism.
Ridley earned an Oscar for his work on the script of 12 Years a Slave and was nominated for a 2015 Emmy Award for the writing on his series American Crime. He is joined by writer Misan Sagay (Belle) in scripting the series and will direct the first two episodes. In addition to co-starring, Elba will also executive produce the series alongside Ridley.
Elba released the following statement about their upcoming partnership:
“It’s been a long time desire of mine to collaborate with Mr. Ridley and his work here is nothing short of a masterclass in character building and storytelling. TV is in for a treat.”
Naomi Watts to star in Gypsy
Netflix has announced that Naomi Watts (Allegiant) will star in their upcoming original drama Gypsy. Watts will play Jean Holloway, a therapist who crosses ethical boundaries and develops intimate relationships with the people in her patients’ lives. The series is being written and executive produced by Lisa Rubin, with Liza Chasin (We Are Your Friends), Tim Bevan (Hail, Caesar!) and Eric Fellner (Fargo) serving as co-executive producers. Sam Taylor-Johnson (50 Shades of Grey) will direct the first two episodes of the series.
Gypsy premieres on Netflix sometime in 2017.
Nicole Beharie joins Jacob’s Ladder
Sleepy Hollow star Nicole Beharie, who played lead character Abbie for three seasons of the series, has joined David M. Rosenthal’s re-imagining of the 1990 film Jacob’s Ladder. Beharie made her film debut in American Violet and later starred opposite of Chadwick Boseman (Captain America: Civil War) in the Jackie Robinson biopic 42, but it was her role in Sleepy Hollow, as well as her controversial exit, that has earned her the most attention recently.
That decision prompted an outcry from the series’ fans and will likely lead to even less viewership in the fourth season, should the show be renewed. However, rumors surrounding Beharie’s departure seem to indicate she wished to leave the show and the decision to kill her character off was prompted by the actress. After a disappointing third season, it’s not terribly surprising that Beharie might want to seek out new opportunities. Beharie joins Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams and Michael Ealy (Almost Human) in the Jacob’s Ladder remake.
Aquarius Season 2 Premieres Commercial-Free
NBC has announced that the second season of Aquarius will premiere with a two-hour episode on June 16th at 9:00 p.m. EST. Most importantly, that entire block will be presented with no commercial breaks or network promos, featuring only a single 55-second break for a local news update. The NBC telecast on June 16th will be the only opportunity to watch the premiere without commercials, as the network will insert the normal commercial load when the episode becomes available online.
Aquarius stars David Duchovny (The X-Files) as Sam Hodiak, a fictional LAPD Detective on the hunt for Charles Manson. The show debuted in 2015 and was the first broadcast series to be made available streaming in its entirety following its debut. The surge of online viewing was enough to prompt the network to renew the series for a second season.
Aquarius returns to NBC on June 16th, 2016.
Walton Goggins joins Six
Walton Goggins (Justified) has joined History’s upcoming miniseries Six. The eight-episode series will follow Navy SEAL Team Six, the squad responsible for the killing of Osama bin Laden. Goggins will play Rip Taggart, the former SEAL Team Six leader who now patrols an African village, protecting its residents from the terrorist group Boko Haram.
Goggins replaces Joe Manganiello, who had to step away from the project due to an undisclosed health reason. Production was stalled due to Manganiello’s departure, but is expected to resume shortly. Six also stars Barry Sloane (Longmire), Dominic Adams (Devious Maids), Edwin Hodge (The Purge), Kyle Schmid (Being Human) and Juan Pablo Raba (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). William Broyles Jr. (Cast Away) and David Broyles are writing and executive producing the series.
Stana Katic leaves Castle
Castle star Stana Katic has announced that she will not be returning for a potential ninth season of ABC’s crime procedural. Katic played the role of Detective Kate Beckett, who partnered with mystery writer Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) to solve real-life cases. Tamala Jones, who plays medical examiner Lanie Parish, will also be leaving the show with the conclusion of the eighth season. Both actresses have been with the show since its premiere, appearing in every episode to date. ABC released the following:
“Kate Beckett has been a beloved character on our hit series ‘Castle’ for the past 8 years. We are grateful for Stana Katic’s talent and dedication to the series and we hope to continue our relationship. Tamala Jones has been an integral part of the series and we are grateful she was a part of ‘Castle.'”
The series has not officially been renewed for a ninth year, but Fillion is said to be in talks to return for a truncated season. Rumors seem to indicate that Katic and Jones were never asked to return, possibly for budgetary reasons.
Castle airs Mondays at 10:00 p.m. EST on ABC.