This Week in TV:
Netflix orders Altered Carbon; Love trailer; Master of None Season 2 Update; Josh Donaldson joins Vikings; HBO orders The Deuce; The People v. O.J. Simpson; Marilyn Manson joins Salem; and Second Chance moves to Friday Nights.
Netflix Picks Up Altered Carbon Adaptation
Netflix has ordered Altered Carbon, a science fiction drama written and produced by Laeta Kalogridis (Avatar). The series will be based on the award-winning cyberpunk novel of the same name by Richard Morgan. The world of Altered Carbon features humanity evolved to the point where the mind has been digitized and can be downloaded into new bodies. The novel follows Takeshi Kovacs, an elite soldier known as an Envoy whose mind has been imprisoned for 500 years. Kovacs wakes up in a new body and is granted an irresistible offer: solve a single murder (in a future where murder should be impossible) and be granted a new life on Earth.
Kalogridis has been pursuing this project since she acquired the rights to Altered Carbon and its sequels back in 2012. Originally envisioned as a film, the project has shifted to television — a wise move for capturing the nuance of the futuristic world of the series. The producer released the following statement upon acquiring the rights:
“‘Altered Carbon’ is one of the most seminal pieces of post-cyberpunk hard science fiction out there — a dark, complex noir story that challenges our ideas of what it means to be human when all information becomes encodable, including the human mind.”
Love Official Trailer
After weeks of teasers, Netflix has finally released the full official trailer for the upcoming series Love. The series stars Gillian Jacobs and Paul Rust as Mickey and Gus, two strangers who haven’t found any success in romance. The show will follow the characters as they both come together, coping with the ends of their recently failed relationships and grow closer as they navigate the pitfalls of modern romance.
The series was created and written by Judd Apatow, Paul Rust, and Lesley Arfin. Love promises to take an honest look at romance and modern relationships, in a similar vein as the recently released Netflix series Master of None.
Love will be available on Netflix on February 19th, 2016.
Master of None Season 2 Update
Master of None, the fantastic Netflix series from Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, will have a second season at some point in the future, but not immediately. Speaking at the Television Critics Association Press tour, series co-creator Ansari said the following about the second season:
“We’re figuring it out; I need some time to refill my head… We have a bunch of ideas bouncing around in our heads – it’s a little early to say anything.”
Yang agreed with Ansari:
“We really put a lot of aspects of our life into this show, and that’s part of the reason we don’t want to rush into season two.”
Ansari also pointed out that whatever they choose to do, it has to live up to the high quality of the first season. A second season has not yet officially been ordered by Netflix, but the announcement is expected in the near future.
Toronto Blue Jay Player Joins Vikings Season 4
Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jay third baseman and 2015 American League MVP, will be featured in an episode of the fourth season of Vikings. The two-time All-Star will guest star as the character Hoskuld, a skilled Viking warrior. Donaldson is currently filming his episode in Ireland.
In preparation for his role, Donaldson has been growing out his hair and beard, adopting a style similar to Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), the lead character in the series. The fourth season of Vikings will focus on a escalating war between the brothers Lothbrok and those caught in the middle.
Vikings returns for its fourth season on February 18th, 2016.
HBO Orders David Simon’s The Deuce
HBO has ordered The Deuce, the first of two drama pilots from David Simon (The Wire), to series. The series chronicles the legalization and rapid growth of the porn industry in Times Square from the early 1970s through the mid 1980s. It was a dark time, as the Mob slowly took over the industry, before the whole thing came crashing to a halt after the rise of HIV and the cocaine epidemic.
The period piece will star James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal in the lead roles, with Franco playing a set of twins involved in the industry. The script for the pilot was written by Simon and his frequent collaborator George Pelecanos, with Breaking Bad (and nearly Wonder Woman) director Michelle MacLaren on board to direct and produce the series. This order won’t affect Simon’s other pilot with HBO, set to shoot after the completion of The Deuce‘s first season.
The People V. O.J. Simpson – First Look
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story is an upcoming FX miniseries that seeks to explore the events surrounding the O.J. Simpson trial in the mid 1990s. The series will not only showcase pivotal moments from the trial proceedings, but will also shed light on some of what was happening off camera during the highly publicized investigation. Most importantly to the show’s creative team, it will highlight the racial divide that permeated the trial.
The series stars Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J. Simpson, with John Travolta starring as attorney Robert Shapiro and David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian. Courtney B. Vance will play defense attorney Johnnie Cochran. American Crime Story is anthology series similar to its sister series American Horror Story, with each season set to focus on an entirely new storyline. The second season is reportedly already in development, with a story centered around Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story premieres on Februrary 2nd, 2016.
Marilyn Manson joins Salem
Four-time Grammy nominee Marilyn Manson has joined the third season of Salem in a recurring guest role. Manson will be playing Thomas Dinley, a local barber and surgeon in Salem. The third season details the emergence of the devil on Earth and his betrayal of the witches who brought about his coming. Only one person can banish the devil from this plane — Mary Sibley, his supposedly dead mother.
Manson is no stranger to the series, as he is the co-writer of the show’s opening theme song. “Cupid Carries a Gun” was written and produced in collaboration with composer Tyler Bates. Production on the third season of Salem began this week in Los Angeles.
Salem returns sometime in 2016.
Second Chance Moves to Friday Nights
Second Chance, a Frankenstein-inspired crime drama starring Robert Kazinsky, has officially been moved to Friday nights after only airing two episodes. The series will now air on Friday nights at 9:00 p.m. EST, switching time slots with the veteran series Hell’s Kitchen. FOX’s Wednesday night lineup will now be all reality shows, with the final season of American Idol airing just before Hell’s Kitchen.
American Idol‘s final season has drawn impressive ratings, but Second Chance failed to capture most of that audience. The series’ first episode lost half of the lead-in audience from American Idol and ratings only dropped further with the second episode. Second Chance will now air after Sleepy Hollow, which is more in line with the tone of the series and may help boost the ratings. That said, the “Friday Night Death Slot,” or the idea that shows airing on Friday nights are destined for cancellation, is especially accurate with FOX’s scheduling.
Second Chance returns to FOX on Friday, January 29th at 9:00 p.m. EST.