This Week in TV:
J.T. Petty and David Goyer are adapting a werewolf drama for USA; Aziz Ansari’s Netflix series gets a name and release date; Netflix provides updates on their television slate; Tig Notaro is set to star in an Amazon comedy from Louis C.K.; Jason Sudeikis stars in the upcoming comedy series Son of Zorn; AMC renews Humans for a second season; Ellen Barkin and Scott Speedman star in TNT’s Animal Kingdom; Syfy orders the grindhouse series Blood Drive; Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige join The Wiz; and HBO is producing a western drama from Peter Berg.
Based on the IDW comic of the same name, Brooklyn Animal Control follows a secret division of the NYPD charged with providing social services for the city’s werewolf population. The show will explore the insular werewolf community Kveld-Ulf (Old Norse for Evening Wolf) as well as the officers and case workers assigned to the department.
USA has ordered a pilot for the series, which will be written by Petty and produced by Goyer and Alpert, along with Rick Jacobs (Spare Parts) and IDW Entertainment’s David Ozer and Ted Adams. Brooklyn is one of the first series IDW identified for potential adaptation when the company launched its television division in 2013.
Jackie de Crinis, USA Executive VP of original programming, had this to say:
“Fans of the comic book know that ‘Brooklyn Animal Control’ is a thriller anchored inside the world of New York organized crime families. At its core, it is a family drama, albeit an unconventional one.”
Aziz Ansari’s upcoming Netflix project is now officially titled Master of None.
The comedian’s new series will have a 10-episode first season and will be released on Friday, November 6th. Master of None was created by Ansari, along with his Parks and Recreation co-star Alan Yang, both of whom are executive producers on the series. Parks co-creator Mike Schur will also serve as an executive producer.
The show stars Ansari as Dev, a 30-year-old actor who hasn’t yet figured out the path his life should take. His journey takes him through a wide range of subjects, from immigration to elder care to pasta. H. Jon Benjamin (Bob’s Burgers), Lena Waithe (The Comeback), Eric Wareheim (Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie) and Noël Wells (Saturday Night Live) are set to costar in the series.
Master of None debuts on Netflix on November 6th, 2015.
Netflix also provided a number of updates to their upcoming television slate.
- Lilyhammer, Steven Van Zandt’s drama about a mobster informant hiding out in Norway, has been cancelled after three seasons.
- Following the series’ recent success, Netflix comedy BoJack Horseman was renewed for a third season. The BoJack Horseman twitter page revealed that the third season was happening and should be expected at some point in 2016.
- The fourth season of Longmire, the western crime drama starring Robert Taylor, is set to premiere on Thursday, September 10th. Netflix saved the popular series from cancellation last year and fans have been anxious to see what happened after the cliffhanger ending of the third season.
- Netflix confirmed that their second Marvel series, Jessica Jones, will be premiering before the end of 2015. Also coming before the end of the year is the third and final season of Hemlock Grove, along with Bob Odenkirk and David Cross’ sketch comedy series With Bob and David and new animated series F is for Family.
- A Very Murray Christmas will debut at the end of the year and boasts a truly impressive cast, including George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Julie White, Michael Cera, Chris Rock, Rashida Jones, and of course, Bill Murray himself.
Tig Notaro is set to star in a semi-autobiographical comedy series from Louis C.K. and Diablo Cody.
The untitled comedy will star Notaro, who also serves as a co-writer on the series with Juno writer Diablo Cody. The two will also be joined by comedian Louis C.K. as executive producers on the single-camera series. Amazon recently ordered the series to pilot after it was passed on by FX.
Here’s the official synopsis:
“Tig Notaro has just recovered from an abdominal disease that has left her gaunt, wasted, exhausted and pretty much stripped of everything except her finely honed sense of the absurd. Abruptly summoned home to Pass Christian, Mississippi to take her ailing mother off life support, Tig finds herself dealing with her clingy girlfriend, her dysfunctional Gulf Coast family and the loss of the one person who held everything together.”
Notaro is the subject of the recently released Netflix documentary Tig, which details her real life struggle with cancer and the death of her mother. The impetus for the documentary is her now legendary stand-up set where she announced her cancer to the world, which was released on Louis C.K.’s website in 2012.
Jason Sudeikis will lead the cast of FOX’s upcoming animated/live-action mash-up series Son of Zorn.
The comedy series comes from Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the writers/directors of The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street. Sudeikis will voice Zorn, the animated fantasy warrior who is struggling to reconnect with his live-action son and ex-wife, played by Johnny Pemberton and Cheryl Hines, respectively. Tim Meadows (Marry Me) and Artemis Pebdani (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) round out the cast.
Lord and Miller have quickly become household names after the incredible success of The Lego Movie. Their recent work on the FOX comedy series The Last Man on Earth has earned them an Emmy nomination and the two creators show no signs of slowing down. They have recently earned Disney’s attention, being tapped to direct the upcoming Han Solo film.
AMC has renewed their science fiction drama Humans for a second season.
Based on the award-winning Swedish drama Real Humans, the series explores the concepts of what it means to be human in a world where artificial intelligence is rapidly progressing. The show attempts to tap into the fear of the unknown and the potential consequences of granting machines consciousness. The series is co-produced by AMC and the British Channel 4, along with production company Kudos. Humans boasts a solid viewership both in the U.S. and the U.K., with the premiere being Channel 4’s best rated drama in twenty years.
Joel Stillerman, AMC’s president of original programming and development, had the following to say:
“As one of the year’s top new cable series, ‘Humans’ has been embraced by fans and critics across the U.S. and U.K. We’re looking forward to continuing this very captivating story and further exploring the show’s parallel, Synth-filled world that hits so disturbingly close to home.”
The second season of Humans is expected to air in 2016.
Source: AMC/Channel 4
Ellen Barkin and Scott Speedman will star in the pilot for upcoming drama series Animal Kingdom.
The upcoming series from TNT follows 17-year-old Joshua ‘J’ Cody, who moves in with some of his wild, free-spirited relatives. However, as the young man gets further involved in their lives, he finds out that their activities are funded by illegal means. The drama is based on the 2010 Australian film of the same name, from acclaimed writer-director David Michôd.
Barkin plays Janine ‘Smurf’ Cody, who, by all appearances, is a working-class mom with a quaint lifestyle. Underneath the façade, however, Smurf is the tough matriarch of a crime family who tolerates only absolute loyalty. Speedman will play Barry ‘Baz’ Brown, who was adopted into the Cody family and leads the group during armed robberies.
The pilot will begin shooting in August in Los Angeles.
Syfy has ordered 13 episodes of the grindhouse-inspired series Blood Drive.
The series, created by John Hlavin (Underworld: Awakening) and David Straiton (Bates Motel), earned a straight-to-series order from the network. The pilot was written by James Roland (who served as a production assistant on Weeds and Mad Men) with help from Hlavin. Roland will serve as supervising producer on the series as well.
Described as an over-the-top scripted series set in a near-future dystopia, Blood Drive will follow the last good cop in Los Angeles, who is forced to take part in a cross-country death race with cars powered by human blood. Syfy president Dave Howe says the series is a “highly stylized roller coaster ride [that] is a throwback to 1970s grindhouse cinema”
The show offers an intriguing concept that could be a lot of fun, though it might not fit with Syfy’s promised return to serious science fiction.
Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige are the latest singers to join NBC’s live production of The Wiz.
Executive producer Craig Zadan announced that the two will join Stephanie Mills (who performed in the original Broadway production) in the live television event. Latifah will be playing the mysterious wizard who holds the keys to the Emerald City, though she has a few secrets regarding her rise to power. Blige will be playing Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West and the primary antagonist of the main character.
NBC is currently holding a nation-wide search to find an unknown performer to take the part of Dorothy. The Wiz is an updated version of the original Broadway production, with new material created by Harvey Fierstein. The live production will air on NBC at the end of this year, prior to the updated version returning to Broadway in 2016.
The Wiz airs live on NBC on December 3rd.
HBO is developing the western drama Untamed from Friday Night Lights creator Peter Berg.
Untamed follows three travelers as they cross the Rocky Mountains from Wyoming to Utah during the 1840s. The series promises to explore the relationships between the dissimilar travelers as they are forced to embrace their primitive instincts to survive.
Peter Berg will serve as the director and executive producer on the series. Mark L. Smith (The Revenant) will join Berg as an executive producer, and will also handle scripting duties. While it might not fill the void left by the unfinished Deadwood, the series has the potential to tell an engrossing story (especially if they include reference to the infamous Donner Party).