This Week in TV:
AMC adapting NOS4A2; FOX orders Shots Fired; Queen Latifah joins Star; The Americans season 4 teaser; Spike orders Red Mars; Dan Harmon joins Mystery Science Theater 3000; Powers season 2 trailer; Fox renews Wayward Pines; Dirty Dancing TV Movie to air on ABC; and Showtime renews Homeland and The Affair.
AMC is adapting NOS4A2, the bestselling novel from author Joe Hill.
NOS4A2 (pronounced Nosferatu) follows Victoria “Vic” McQueen, a young woman with the strange ability to find any object she desires. By riding her bike across the Shorter Way Bridge, she is taken straight to whatever object she seeks. Her powers take a toll on her mental health, however, and she begins to exhibit symptoms of a breakdown. Vic seeks help from serial killer Charles Manx, who has a supernatural ability of his own — immortality, so long as he kills his victims in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith.
A search is currently underway for a writer to script the pilot. The project is the latest property from Joe Hill to earn an adaptation. Last year’s Horns starring Daniel Radcliffe is based on Hill’s novel of the same name, and his novel Heart Shaped Box is currently being developed at Warner Bros. Hill’s incredible comic series Locke and Key has seen several adaptation attempts, one for television and another for the big screen. Unfortunately, neither came to fruition, though there’s renewed interest in a television adaptation.
FOX has ordered the drama Shots Fired, a new event series from Imagine TV.
Shots Fired follows the aftermath of a series of racially charged shootings that take place in a small Tennessee town. The show follows an investigator and a special prosecutor who look into the cases on behalf of the Department of Justice, navigating the social tension while seeking justice. The event series was created by Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Rock Bythewood, the team behind Beyond the Lights, with Sanaa Lathan (Love & Basketball) attached to star.
FOX Entertainment president David Madden had the following to say:
“Gina and Reggie have crafted a profoundly moving portrayal of a timely and sensitive issue that pervades our culture at this very moment. This is not only an important story to tell, but an explosive mystery-thriller, and we couldn’t be in better hands both with the creative team behind this, along with the very talented Sanaa Lathan leading the cast.”
Queen Latifah has joined Lee Daniel’s Star, the creator’s second musical drama for FOX.
After playing Oz in NBC’s The Wiz Live! earlier this month, Queen Latifah is set to have a lead role in Star, a new musical drama from the creator of Empire. Latifah will be playing Carlotta, the owner of an Atlanta beauty salon who happens to have an amazing singing voice.
There has been a nationwide talent search for the three lead roles in Star, and FOX has confirmed all three roles have now been filled. Joining the series are up-and-coming actresses Jude Demorest (Dallas), Ryan Destiny (Low Winter Sun), and Brittany O’Grady (The Messengers). The newly cast talent will play Star, Alexandra, and Simone respectively, three girls trying to break into the Atlanta music scene. Latifah’s Carlotta will serve as a maternal figure for the three, though she doesn’t approve of their goals.
Production on the pilot episode of Star is expected to begin before the end of December.
FX has released a new teaser for season 4 of The Americans.
Tackling the Cold War, the series focuses on two Soviet spies living on American soil in the 1980s. The (very) brief teaser features a shot of Elizabeth (Keri Russell), one of the Soviet agents, holding her silenced pistol at the ready. There’s not much more information to be gleaned from the teaser, though the final moment before the gunshot sees the pistol symbolically turned on its owner. Considering that the Soviet spies’ secrets are in more danger than ever after the season 3 finale, the danger to Elizabeth is very real.
Despite a relatively small viewership, The Americans has continually been one of the most critically acclaimed dramas season after season. As with You’re the Worst, FX is renewing the series largely based on critical response, indicating that the Nielsen ratings may not be as important as they once were.
The Americans returns to FX in March of 2016.
Spike has ordered science fiction drama Red Mars to series.
The series is an adaptation of Kim Stanley Robinson’s bestselling novels Red Mars, Blue Mars, and Green Mars — known collectively as the Mars Trilogy. The series details mankind’s colonization of Mars and the subsequent terraforming of the Red Planet. The book series is highly regarded, having received both the Nebula and Hugo Awards. Robinson will also serve as a creative adviser on the adaptation.
Spike ordered ten hourlong episodes for season 1, the network’s first scripted, ongoing drama series in nine years. The series will be written by Sense8 writer J. Michael Straczynski and produced by Skydance Television.
Source: Spike TV, Image Source: CarlosNCT
Both Harmon and Cline will be serving as guest writers on the series, joining a growing team that includes the likes of Rob Schrab (The Lego Movie Sequel) and Robert Lopez (Book of Mormon). The guests will assist returning writer Paul Chaplin and creator Joel Hodgson.
The news came after the MST3K reboot’s Kickstarter campaign crossed $4.4 million earlier this week. The welcome revival of the longrunning series has attracted plenty of attention from fans, more than doubling its initial $2 million goal. The fully funded series will include a number of new actors as well, including Patton Oswalt and Felicia Day. New episodes are expected in 2016.
Sony has released the first trailer for season 2 of Powers.
Powers follows Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley) and Deena Pilgrim (Susan Heyward), two homicide detectives that investigate crimes involving people with superhuman abilities. These extraordinary people are known as “Powers.”
The series is an adaptation of the comic series of the same name, created by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. The second season looks to follow the first arc of the comics, investigating the death of the superhero Retro Girl. The trailer gives a glimpse at the violence against superheroes as the ordinary citizens rise up to fight, as well as the first look at Michael Madsen as Super-Shock, the most powerful hero in the series.
Powers season 2 returns exclusively to PlayStation in 2016.
FOX has renewed Wayward Pines for season 2.
The science-fiction thriller from M. Night Shyamalan was a hit this summer, scoring some of the best ratings of the season. The series follows Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) as he investigates the disappearance of two federal agents. His search takes him to the quiet town of Wayward Pines, where everything is not as it seems.
The season 2 will introduce a newcomer to the town of Wayward Pines, finding himself thrust into a rebellion as the residents struggle to find the best way to preserve the human race. The series is based on a bestselling trilogy of books by Blake Crouch and adapted for TV by Chad Hodge.
Wayward Pines returns in the summer of 2016.
The upcoming Dirty Dancing remake will air as a three-hour TV movie on ABC.
The remake stars Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens) as Baby, the character originally portrayed by Jennifer Grey. The role of Johnny Castle, played by the late Patrick Swayze, has not yet been cast.
The remake will be based solely on the film, with no influence from the stage musical Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story On Stage. Allison Shearmur and Eleanor Bergstein, the screenwriters of the original film, are on board with the project as executive producers. Scream Queens writer Jessica Sharzer will pen the new screenplay. Adam Anders and Peer Åström, who worked on a number of musical adaptations for the show Glee, will be composing the musical numbers.
Homeland stars Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, a CIA agent who suffers from bipolar disorder. The series is based on the Israeli series Prisoners of War and was adapted for American television by Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon. The Affair explores the fallout of an extramarital affair between Noah Solloway and Alison Lockhart (Dominic West and Ruth Wilson), utilizing their dual perspectives to tell the story.
The news comes as no surprise, as both Homeland and The Affair have topped the ratings charts this winter. The two shows air back-to-back on Sunday nights, with Homeland airing at 9:00 p.m. and The Affair at 10:00 p.m. Both series have two episodes left in their current seasons, with the finales airing on December 20th, 2015.