This Week in TV:
Orphan Black sneak peak; Penny Dreadful Season 3 Trailer; Terence Winter leaves Vinyl; Jack Thorne adapting His Dark Materials trilogy; MST3K Reunion; Joel McHale to play Chevy Chase; Lucifer and Rosewood renewed; Vital Signs casting update; Bella Heathcote joins The Man in the High Castle; and Grimm renewed.
Orphan Black Season 4 Sneak Peak
BBC America continues to tease the upcoming season of their hit drama Orphan Black, this time releasing the first four minutes of the season premiere. The fourth season will delve back into the past, bringing back the deceased clone Beth Childs (Tatiana Maslany) as the surviving clones continue to unravel the mysteries behind their creation. The preview introduces a new member of the Clone Club, named M.K. (Maslany), who was an associate of Childs and will play a big role in the new season.
The aim of the season is to provide some insight into Beth’s life and what led her to those train tracks in the series premiere. Orphan Black returns on a new night at a new time – Thursdays at 10:00 p.m. EST. Each episode will be immediately followed by a newly developed aftershow titled After the Black, featuring interviews with the cast as well as discussions centered on the events of the episode.
Orphan Black season 4 premieres April 14th, 2016.
Source: BBC America
Penny Dreadful Season 3 Trailer
Showtime has released another trailer for the upcoming third season of their gothic horror drama Penny Dreadful. The trailer promises that the world will “fall into darkness,” and gives a brief glimpse of what the world will come to if Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) doesn’t manage to stop the “end of days.” Further, it also reveals the existence of some creature that has been hunting Ives since the beginning of time.
The upcoming season will see the return of Tony Award-winner Patti LuPone to the series, who played the Cut-Wife in the previous season. This time around, as her character was burned at the stake, she will be portraying the new character Dr. Seward, an unconventional therapist treating Vanessa while she sits in her padded cell. Also joining as a series regular is Wes Studi (Avatar), playing Kaetenay, who becomes an ally to Timothy Dalton’s Sir Malcolm.
Penny Dreadful returns to Showtime on May 1st, 2016.
Terence Winter leaves Vinyl
HBO has confirmed that Vinyl showrunner Terence Winter has departed from the project, citing creative differences. Winter, who co-created the series with longtime collaborator Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, will be replaced by Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum) for the second season. Max Borenstein (Godzilla) has also been brought onboard as an executive producer. HBO released the following statement:
“As we head into the second season of ‘Vinyl,’ we have decided it is an appropriate time to make a change in the creative direction of the show. We have enjoyed a longtime partnership with Terry Winter at HBO on projects from ‘The Sopranos’ to ‘Boardwalk Empire’ to ‘Vinyl,’ and we look forward to our next collaboration with him. We are pleased to welcome Scott Z. Burns, executive producer and showrunner, and Max Borenstein, executive producer, as the new team helming the show.
Vinyl was quickly renewed by HBO, after airing only a single episode. Still, the show has struggled to draw in viewers since it began, earning only 764,000 viewers during its premiere and less since.
Vinyl airs Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. EST on HBO.
Jack Thorne Adapting His Dark Materials
Jack Thorne (Skins) has signed on to adapt Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy known collectively as His Dark Materials. The series includes three novels: Northern Lights (released as The Golden Compass in North America), The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. The series follows two children named Lyra and Will on a journey that takes them through multiple parallel universes and is described as an inversion of John Milton’s classic Paradise Lost. The series has been translated into over 40 languages and sold nearly 17.5 million copies to date. Thorne released the following statement about the adaptation:
“It is such an honor and a privilege to be given this opportunity to delve into Philip Pullman’s world. The ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy are vast and glorious books full of beautiful characters and I’m going to work as hard as I can to try and do justice to them.”
New Line Cinema will be producing the series for BBC One, marking the studios first foray into British television. New Line previously released a film adaptation of the first novel, but The Golden Compass didn’t live up to the high box office expectations. Thorne is a BAFTA-winning writer who has proven to have great range in his writing, crafting the hard-hitting teen drama Skins as well as the supernatural series The Fades. The writer was also previously attached to the long-gestating Sandman adaptation when Joseph Gordon-Levitt was still onboard as director.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 Reunion Show
The entire cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000 will be reuniting this June, celebrating the ten year anniversary of Rifftrax. The full cast includes Michael J. Nelson (Mike Nelson), Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo), Bill Corbett (Crow T. Robot), Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank), Trace Beaulieu (Dr. Clayton Forrester, Crow T. Robot), Mary Jo Pehl (Pearl Forrester), Bridget Nelson (Nuveena, Mr. B Natural) and Joel Hodgson (Joel Robinson). The cast will be joined by Jonah Ray, the host of the recently Kickstarted reboot series.
MST3K ended in 1999, finishing with 197 episodes. Rifftrax was launched by Nelson, Murphy, and Corbett in 2006, offering downloadable audio tracks to accompany feature films in the vein of what MST3K did for B-movies. The Rifftrax anniversary will be broadcast in theaters nationwide on June 28th, 2016 and feature a live riff of an unannounced film.
Tickets for the MST3K reunion go on sale April 15th, 2016
Joel McHale to play Chevy Chase
Joel McHale (Community) is in final negotiations to play Chevy Chase in the upcoming Netflix biopic A Futile and Stupid Gesture, telling the tragic story of National Lampoon co-founder Douglas Kenney. Kenney will be portrayed by Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) with Domnhall Gleeson (Star Wars: Episode VII) set to play his fellow co-founder Henry Beard. Kenney’s magazine National Lampoon became a huge comedy brand in the 1970s, but the success of the brand ultimately led its creator to a life of drug and alcohol abuse before his death in 1980. The film will be directed by The State alum David Wain and is based on a 2006 biography written by Josh Karp.
McHale is no stranger to Chevy Chase, as the two co-starred in Dan Harmon’s comedy series Community for multiple seasons. The actor is currently starring in the CBS Pilot The Great Indoors, set to shoot later this month.
Fox renews Lucifer and Rosewood
Fox has announced that freshman dramas Lucifer and Rosewood have both been renewed for a second season. Lucifer stars Tom Ellis (The Strain) as Lucifer Morningstar, previously the Lord of Hell and new owner of the piano bar Lux in Los Angeles. He uses his abilities to help LAPD Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) solve crimes and punish criminals. The series has been a big success for the network, particularly when taking into account delayed viewing which bumps the series to 10.5 million total viewers across all platforms. Lucifer is currently the network’s second-highest rated new series among adults age 18-49.
Rosewood stars Morris Chestnut (Nurse Jackie) as Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr., a private pathologist working in Miami, Florida. Rosewood assists the police department with difficult cases, though through scientific means rather than supernatural. The series enjoys a strong following, averaging a total of 7.8 million viewers across all platforms. As with Lucifer, the series is one of the top ten highest rated new dramas airing this season.
Lucifer airs Mondays at 9:00 p.m. EST and Rosewood airs Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. EST on FOX.
Vital Signs Casting Update
Vital Signs, an upcoming, Apple-backed TV project starring Dr. Dre, has expanded its cast. The series is described as a dark, semi-autobiographical drama. Alongside Dr. Dre, the series will star Sam Rockwell (Poltergeist), Ian McShane (Ray Donovan) and Michael K. Williams (Boardwalk Empire) as different aspects of Dre’s personality. Rockwell portrays Ego, McShane is Vengeance, and Williams plays Negativity. A fourth character called Prodigy will also appear, though no actor has been revealed for the part.
Bella Heathcote joins The Man in the High Castle
Australian actress Bella Heathcote (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) has joined the cast of Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle. Heathcote will be a series regular through the second season, playing Nicole Becker. Becker is a young filmmaker from Berlin who crosses paths with Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank) after he parts ways with Juliana Crain (Alexa Davalos).
The series is based on the 1962 Philip K. Dick alternate history novel of the same name. In this fictional world, the Axis powers won the second World War and America was divided up between Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. Those familiar with the source material know that the series is diverging from the events of the novel, as is evidenced by the introduction of the character Nicole Becker, an original creation for the show.
The Man in the High Castle season 2 premieres sometime in 2016.
Grimm renewed for Season 6
NBC has officially renewed supernatural crime series Grimm for a sixth season. Produced by Sean Hayes (The Millers) and Tom Milliner (Crowded), the genre drama has outlasted a number of other Friday night dramas on the network, including the short lived Dracula and Bryan Fuller’s acclaimed series Hannibal. NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke released the following statement:
“We absolutely love what our producers and cast have accomplished over the past five seasons. They have created a whole new world of creatures and have a truly devoted fan base. We can’t wait to see what comes next.”
Grimm airs Friday nights at 9:00 p.m. EST on NBC.