This Week in TV:
Kristen Bell to guest star in iZombie; New Lucifer TV Spot; Hulu releases new images for The Path; Syfy Renews The Expanse; and BBC orders a new Howards End adaptation.
Bell is perhaps best known for playing the lead role in the cult series (and Kickstarted film) Veronica Mars. The critically acclaimed show was created by Rob Thomas, who later went on to write and produce iZombie for The CW. The reunion between Bell and Thomas is one fans have been hoping for since iZombie premiered last year — especially since notable Veronica Mars actors Ryan hansen, Percy Daggs III, and Daran Norris have already made appearances in Thomas’ new show.
However, Bell’s cameo will be a bit different than those previous. As announced by iZombie star Rose McIver in the above video, Bell will be doing a voice-over role for the series. The cameo is part of the eleventh episode of the second season, titled ’50 Shades of Grey Matter.’ The episode is slated to air on January 26th, 2016.
iZombie returns to The CW on January 12th, 2016.
FOX has released a new TV spot for their upcoming comic book series Lucifer.
The short advertisement is largely focused on the charismatic titular character, played by Tom Ellis (Doctor Who), and his ability to manipulate people’s secret desires. Lucifer knows what people want, though he has to convince Detective Chloe Dancer (Lauren German) that he doesn’t have Jedi powers. While the tone of the trailer is light, there are hints of the darkness to come when actor D.B. Woodside makes a brief appearance as the angel Amenadiel.
The series is loosely based on the character Lucifer as depicted in Neil Gaiman’s incredible comics series The Sandman. In this interpretation, Lucifer has relinquished his lordship over Hell after growing tired of his existence and his reputation among humanity. The character was spun off into his own book, written by Mike Carey, that ran for 75 issues. Both series are highly regarded and should serve as rich source material for the series.
Lucifer premieres on FOX on January 25th, 2016.
Hulu has released the first images for their upcoming original series The Path.
The series stars Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and Michelle Monaghan (True Detective) as a couple who find themselves at the center of a controversial movement — widely considered to be a cult. The two will face the ordinary problems of a relationship, but while also struggling with the ramifications of their involvement with the members of the movement. The series also stars Hugh Dancy (Hannibal) as the leader of the cult. The full set of photos can be viewed here.
The Path earned a straight-to-series order from Hulu last year for a 10-episode season. The series was created by Jessica Goldberg (Parenthood) and produced by Friday Night Lights creator Jason Katims and his production company, True Jack Productions.
The Path launches on Hulu on March 30th, 2016.
Syfy has renewed The Expanse for season 2.
Though the series is only four episodes into season 1, the show is off to a strong start thanks in part to its widespread, multiplatform release. The first episode of the season has been sampled by approximately 4.5 million viewers since its release on digital platforms. This was enough for the network to order a second season of the series, as well as upping the number of episodes from 10 episodes in the first season to 13 episodes in the second.
Syfy President Dave Howe had the following to say:
“‘The Expanse’ is firing on all cylinders creatively, building a passionate fan base among viewers and critics alike, and delivering on Syfy’s promise of smart, provocative science fiction entertainment.”
Interestingly, Alcon Television Group, the production company behind The Expanse, had commissioned scripts for season 2 even before the first episode was released. This is largely due to the series’ lengthy lead time and the extensive special effects work necessary for the show.
The Expanse is based on a series of novels by writing team Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, released under the pseudonym James S.A. Corey. Set two hundred years in the future, humanity has moved to colonize the solar system, but they lack the means to travel any further. The story itself is centered on Captain Jim Holden and his crew as they stumble into a massive, system-wide conspiracy.
The Expanse season one returns to Syfy on January 5th, 2016.
BBC has ordered a television adaptation of the classic novel Howards End by E.M. Forster.
Like the novel, the series will be focused on exploring social conventions and class conflicts present in early 20th century England. The story will be told through the three families of different socioeconomic classes and the drama that unfolds between them as relationships flourish and falter over time.
The adaptation will be a four-episode miniseries, with each episode set to be an hour long. The series is being written by Kenneth Lonergan, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the screenplay for Gangs of New York. Production on the series is expected to begin this summer.