This Week in TV:
Orphan Black Season 4 Trailer; Emily Browning joins American Gods; Prison Break revival update; Justin Cornwell joins Training Day; Heathers anthology series in development; Vikings Renewed; Lethal Weapon casting update; Catastrophe season two trailer; Jennifer Beals joins Taken; Chris Noth joins Tyrant; Santa Clarita Diet greenlit; Aasif Mandvi joins Mr. Robot and A Series of Unfortunate Events; Beerfest digital series; and Freeform renews Shadowhunters.
Orphan Black Season 4 Trailer
BBC America has released the latest trailer for Orphan Black season 4. The series stars the Emmy-nominated actress Tatiana Maslany as a group of clones linked together in a massive conspiracy. Led by Sarah Manning, the sisters continue to investigate the reason for their creation and the shadowy forces seeking to control their lives.
The third season saw the clones pursued by a number of antagonists, including a militaristic group of male clones. While they believe they’ve escaped and are free to resume a normal life, season 4 will see Sarah dragged back into the conspiracy and forced to continue her investigation. Examining their pasts will be imperative to securing their future.
Orphan Black returns on Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 10pm.
Source: BBC America
Emily Browning Joins American Gods
Emily Browning (Legend) has joined the cast of Bryan Fuller’s upcoming adaptation of American Gods. Browning will play Laura Moon, the wife of convict and recently employed bodyguard Shadow (Ricky Whittle). Moon plays an important, spoiler-filled role in Shadow’s past and future. American Gods is an adaptation of the novel by Neil Gaiman, winner of the 2002 Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Bram Stoker awards for best novel. Gaiman released the following statement regarding Browning’s casting:
“I’ve been fascinated by Emily Browning since ‘ A Series of Unfortunate Events.’ She has a challenge ahead of her: Laura is a tricky character, and the Laura on the screen is even trickier and more dangerous than the one on the page. She’s going to have a wonderful time bringing Laura to life.”
Filming of American Gods is scheduled to begin in April. Casting is currently underway, with Ian McShane (Deadwood) recently cast as the series’ second most prominent character, Mr. Wednesday.
American Gods is set to premiere on Starz sometime in 2017.
Prison Break Cast Update
Prison Break, Paul Scheuring’s hit drama, is returning to FOX after nearly seven years off the air and bringing back a number of the series’ stars. FOX recently announced that Robert Knepper, Rockmond Dunbar, and Amaury Nolasco will also return for the revival event series, starring as Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell, Benjamin Miles “C-Note” Franklin, and Fernando Sucre, respectively. The three join Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, and Sarah Wayne Callies as returning cast.
The plot revolves around the possibility that Michael Scofield (Miller), who everyone believes to be dead, might still be alive somewhere. His brother Lincoln (Purcell) joins with Dr. Sara Tancredi (Callies) to engineer the biggest escape of the series. The plan ends up pulling T-Bag, C-Note and Fernando back into the fold. Scheuring returns to the series as well, serving as showrunner and writer, joined by returning producers Neal Moritz (Furious 7), Marty Adelstein (Last Man Standing) and Dawn Olmstead (The Whispers).
Prison Break returns to FOX sometime in 2016.
Justin Cornwell Joins Training Day
CBS has found their second lead for the upcoming Training Day pilot — Chicago actor Justin Cornwell. Cornwell will star opposite of Bill Paxton as Kyle Craig, a young police officer appointed to an elite squad of the LAPD. Craig is described as bright and idealistic, charged with going undercover and investigating the rouge detective Frank Rourke (Paxton).
The Training Day series is a re-imagining of Antoine Fuqua’s 2001 film, which starred Ethan Hawke and Denzel Washington. The pilot episode was written by Will Beall (Gangster Squad) and will be directed by Danny Cannon (Gotham), with Fuqua on board as an executive producer. Cornwell’s credits include guest roles on Empire and Chicago P.D.
Heathers Anthology Series
TV Land has ordered a pilot script for a new anthology series based on the 1988 cult hit Heathers. Set in the present day, the story will follow Veronica Sawyer, the character originally played by Winona Ryder. Sawyer has to deal with a very different group of Heathers than the original film, but they’re described as equally malicious. In the classic dark comedy, Sawyer and her murderer boyfriend J.D. (Christian Slater) begin to kill the popular kids at school, staging their deaths to look like suicides.
The script is being written by Jason Micallef (Butter). Tom Rosenberg (Million Dollar Baby) and Gary Lucchesi (Underworld: Awakening) will produce the pilot for Lakeshore Entertainment. This project marks the third attempt to bring Heathers to television. The previous two for FOX and Bravo were ultimately scrapped, though there was a successful off-Broadway musical adaption produced in 2014.
The History Channel has renewed their hit drama series Vikings for a 20-episode fifth season. Created by Michael Hirst (The Tudors), the series follows a family of raiders and explorers as they rise to become rulers of Denmark. The series has proven to be a massive success for the network, ranking as the number one series airing on Thursday nights across all key demographics.
Season 5 will add Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Dracula) to the cast in a secret role. This will help to fill out the cast with the impending departure of Clive Standen, who plays Rollo in the series, after he landed the lead role in NBC’s Taken prequel series. His character is not expected to be killed off, leaving room for a potential cameo in season 5. Filming is scheduled to begin this summer.
Vikings airs Thursday nights at 10pm on History.
Lethal Weapon casting update
Keesha Sharp (American Crime: The People vs. OJ Simpson) has been cast in a co-starring role in the upcoming Lethal Weapon pilot. The television adaptation of the hit films stars Damon Wayans Sr. (My Wife and Kids) as Roger Murtaugh, a LAPD detective who recently suffered a heart attack and is ordered to avoid stress. He’s soon partnered with Texas cop Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford), who becomes a big source of stress in Murtaugh’s life.
Sharp will play Trish Murtaugh, Roger’s loving and perceptive wife who isn’t pleased with Murtaugh’s new partner’s methods. Sharp replaces Golden Brooks (Girlfriends), who was initially cast in the recurring role. Also joining in the series in a potential recurring role is Dante Brown (Mr. Robinson), who will play Roger Murtaugh Jr. – a.k.a. RJ. RJ is described as a good kid with a slight rebellious streak, toying with the idea of joining the military rather than attending college.
Catastrophe Season 2 Trailer
Amazon has released a new trailer for the upcoming second season of Catastrophe, a romantic comedy series starring Rob Delaney (Life After Beth) and Sharon Horgan (The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret). Where season 1 revolved around an accidental pregnancy, season 2 will jump into the future as Rob and Sharon’s marriage progresses and their family grows. Carrie Fisher, who played Rob’s mother via Skype in the first season, makes a real-life appearance in the trailer as well.
The Amazon original series previously aired its second season in the UK and was well received by British audiences. Delaney and Horgan also serve as writers on the series, with Ben Taylor (Cuckoo) directing every episode. Workaholics producers Richard Allen-Turner and Jon Thoday executive produce the show.
Catastrophe returns to Amazon on April 8, 2016.
Jennifer Beals joins Taken
NBC has announced that Jennifer Beals (Proof) will star as the female lead in their straight-to-series Taken television prequel series. She will star opposite of Clive Standen (Vikings) who plays a younger version of the film series’ protagonist Bryan Mills. Beals’ character is Christina Hart, the Special Deputy Director of National Intelligence. Described as cultured, experienced and powerful, Hart takes Mills under her wing and helps him to develop his particular set of skills.
Chris Noth joins Tyrant
Chris Noth (The Good Wife) has joined the cast of the FX political drama Tyrant. Noth will play General William Cogswell, a new series regular premiering in the upcoming third season. Cogswell is a US military leader who was once stationed in the fictional country of Abbudin. He returns as a representative of the United States in support of new president Barry Al-Fayeed (Adam Rayner). The events of the season 2 finale saw Barry taking power after the attempted murder of his brother Jamal (Ashraf Barhorn).
Noth is presently starring in the final season of The Good Wife as Peter Florrick. The critically acclaimed series was announced to be ending with season 7 with an ad during the 2016 Super Bowl. Noth’s previous work includes Mr. Big on Sex and the City and Detective Mike Logan on Law and Order.
Tyrant season three is expected to air sometime in June 2016.
Santa Clarita Diet Greenlit
Netflix has greenlit Santa Clarita Diet, a new single-camera comedy from Victor Fresco (My Name is Earl). The series stars Timothy Olyphant (Justified) and Drew Barrymore (Blended) as Joel and Sheila, a married couple who work as real estate agents in the LA suburb of Santa Clarita. The two feel discontent, until Sheila goes through a dramatic change that brings death and destruction to their lives, but in a good way. Fresco released the following statement:
“The genius of casting Timothy and Drew, combined with my comedic… oh wait, that’s Cindy’s quote. I agree with what Cindy is about to say.”
Netflix’s Cindy Holland said, “The genius of casting Timothy and Drew combined with Victor’s unique comedic sensibility will delight, and definitely surprise, our members around the world.”
Santa Clarita Diet is expected to premiere on Netflix in 2017.
Aasif Mandvi joins Mr. Robot and A Series of Unfortunate Events
Aasif Mandvi (The Brink) has landed recurring roles in both USA’s Mr. Robot and Netflix’s upcoming adaptation A Series of Unfortunate Events. In Mr. Robot, Mandvi will play the role of a special agent named Jesse who is described as “a bit of a dog.” In A Series of Unfortunate Events, he will play Uncle Monty, who the Baudelaire children are sent to live with. The role was originally played by Billy Connolly (Brave) in the 2004 film version.
Beerfest Digital Series
CW Seed, in conjunction with Blue Ribbon Content, is developing a new digital series based on the 2006 film Beerfest. The Broken Lizard feature comedy was directed by Jay Chandrasekhar and told the story of two brothers (Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske) traveling to Germany for Oktoberfest. After arriving, the two discover an age-old, secret competition involving beer games.
Billy Gerber, who served as a producer on the original film will serve as executive producer on the series. The ideal release window for the series would be sometime in 2016, aligning with the 10th anniversary of the film.
Freeform has renewed Shadowhunters, a drama series based on Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments novels, for season 2. The series follows Clary Fray (Katherine McNamara) as she enrolls in the Brooklyn Academy of Arts on her 18th birthday. She soon discovers that she is a Shadowhunter, a human born with angelic blood, and it is her duty to protect humans from demons. She is then thrust into a new world, one filled with demons, werewolves, faeries, warlocks, and more.
Shadowhunters turned out to be a big hit for Freeform, the network formally known as ABC Family. The series premiere was the second most-watched on the network and the viewer numbers are second on the network only to Pretty Little Liars. The series also boasts a devoted fanbase, claiming to have recorded over 17.7 million social media engagements to date.
Shadowhunters airs Monday nights at 9:00 p.m. EST on Freeform.