This Week in TV:
The CW orders three new pilots, including a reboot of Tales From the Darkside; Showtime delays the season 2 premiere of Penny Dreadful by one week; NBC orders a comedy pilot from the Russo brothers (Captain America: The Winter Solider); Oprah Winfrey and Selma director Ava DuVernay reteam for a drama at OWN; and Archer gets a syndication deal at Comedy Central.
The CW picked up pilots for Tales From the Darkside, Dead People and Cordon.
Tales From the Darkside is a reboot of a 1980s anthology series that told stories adapted from some of the biggest horror and science fiction writers of the time, including macabre maestro Stephen King. Fittingly, King’s son, author Joe Hill, is set write the pilot and will executive produce alongside the renowned team of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. Seeing as Hill is involved, it’s likely audiences could see some of his and his father’s work played out on the small screen in what we expect will follow a similar format to that of the original George A. Romero series that ran for four seasons (1984-88).
Produced by Warner Bros. TV and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot comes another potentially dark show for The CW in Dead People, which centers on an alcoholic cab driver who gains the ability to see and talk with ghosts, including his late ex-wife. However, considering Californication creator Tom Kapinos is writing and executive producing, it’s also very possible the show could have a more sardonic tone, as opposed to downright dark.
The network’s third pilot order, Cordon, tells the story of a deadly viral outbreak in Atlanta and a group of people stuck outside of a large quarantine. It is based on the Belgian series of the same name, which began last year. Vampire Diaries showrunner Julie Plec will executive produce along with director David Nutter, who also helmed The Flash and Arrow pilots for the network.
We’ll let you know if any one of this trio makes it to series at The CW.
Showtime pushed the highly anticipated season 2 premiere of Penny Dreadful back one week, to May 3, 2015.
In its press release, the network didn’t offer a reason for the move, but the shift shouldn’t be a cause for alarm – even though some fans will likely be irked that they will have to endure another week without one of their favorite young series. Showtime is still giving the star-studded Gothic drama plenty of love, with some flashy promos – including a teaser and full trailer – to offer hungry viewers some tasty tidbits to snack on before season 2 finally does come to the table.
Of course, Showtime has also been pretty good at keeping most of the juicy season 2 details close to its vest.
Here’s what we do know about the upcoming season so far, courtesy of the network:
“‘Penny Dreadful’ returns with ten episodes and will find Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) and Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) forming a deeper bond as the group, including Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton), Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), and Sembene (Danny Sapani), unite to banish the evil forces that threaten to destroy them. Meanwhile, Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), the Creature (Rory Kinnear) and Brona (Billie Piper) are all waging battles of their own. Patti LuPone will guest star as a mysterious character of great importance in Vanessa’s past. Helen McCrory returns as Evelyn Poole (a.k.a. Madame Kali), the seductive spiritualist who will pose a unique threat to our protagonists this season, along with Simon Russell Beale, who is back as eccentric Egyptologist Ferdinand Lyle. Additional guest stars include Douglas Hodge as a Scotland Yard investigator; Sarah Greene as Poole’s powerful daughter, Hecate; and Jonny Beauchamp as a man with a singular past.”
Tune in to Showtime for the season 2 premiere of Penny Dreadful @10pm on May 3, 2015.
Source: Showtime (via TV by the Numbers)
NBC put in a pilot order for a currently untitled comedy from Capitan America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo.
While we don’t have a ton of details on the project at this point, it is described as a “politically incorrect office comedy” that follows two best friends named Dale and Georgie, whose relationship is altered once one of them begins dating the perfect woman.
Attached along with the Russos is executive producer and writer Aseem Batra, who last teamed with the producing and directing duo on the short-lived NBC comedy Animal Practice. Batra will write the pilot and executive produce, while the Russo brothers will exec produce under their own production banner.
We’ll pass along more info on the untitled NBC comedy from the Russo brothers as it becomes available.
Coming off their critically-acclaimed historical drama Selma, director Ava DuVernay and star Oprah Winfrey are reteaming for an untitled original drama at Oprah’s network OWN.
Adapted from Natalie Baszile’s novel Queen Sugar, the story will follow a spirited woman and her teenage daughter, the latter of whom leaves her posh L.A. lifestyle behind in favor of honoring her Southern roots by moving to an 800-acre sugar cane farm in Louisiana (which she inherited from her recently departed father). Winfrey is to appear in a recurring role, while DuVernay will write, direct and executive produce the drama.
Here’s what Winfrey said about the project:
“I loved this book and immediately saw it as a series for OWN. The story’s themes of reinventing your life, parenting alone, family connections and conflicts, and building new relationships are what I believe will connect our viewers to this show.”
The series marks DuVernay’s first venture into television and Winfrey’s acting debut on OWN. However, it isn’t the only project DuVernay is currently working on with a Selma star; she is also developing a film set during the events of Hurricane Katrina and is in talks with David Oyelowo to star.
We’ll keep you posted on the development of these projects as they move along.
Comedy Central finalized a deal for the off-network rights to the FX animated comedy Archer, and will bring the series to its network in May 2015.
The deal covers all five existing seasons of the comedy and all future seasons. Currently, the show is set to at least go through season 7, after FX Networks renewed the series for 26 additional episodes last year.
Considering Comedy Central made a similar syndication deal for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Archer‘s current standing as the second-highest rated basic cable comedy among adults 18-49, the news is far from surprising, and is actually quite comforting to fans, who now have another place – besides Netflix and FX – to find their favorite cartoon secret spy in action.
Archer season 6 continues next Thursday with “Sitting” on FX. Look for reruns of the series to hit Comedy Central in May.