This Week in TV:
Penny Dreadful Trailer; Robert Eggers developing Rasputin miniseries; New House of Cards showrunners; Banshee season 4 teaser; Baskets renewed; Peyton List joins Frequency; Bones ending; Westworld delay; Jean-Claude Van Damme stars in Amazon original; Netflix orders Ozark; Michelle Hurd joins Ash Vs Evil Dead; and Mark Feuerstein joins Prison Break.
Penny Dreadful Season Three Trailer
Showtime has released their second trailer for the upcoming third season of Penny Dreadful. Set to Masquer’s cover of ‘You Don’t Own Me,’ the latest trailer for the horror series offers plenty of haunting imagery for fans anxiously awaiting its return. Season 3 will see Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) locked in a padded room, receiving questionable treatment from Dr. Seward (Patti LuPone) while Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) comes to term with his being a werewolf.
The trailer also offers a brief glimpse of newcomer Shazad Latif (Ordinary Lies) as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll, as well as Wes Studi (Avatar) as the mysterious new ally of Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton).
Penny Dreadful season 3 premieres on May 1st, 2016.
Robert Eggers developing Rasputin miniseries
Robert Eggers, director of the critically acclaimed horror film The Witch, is currently developing a television miniseries based on the life of Grigori Rasputin. Rasputin was a Russian mystic and faith healer who served as a trusted ally to Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia. He was embraced by the family as a healer and treated Tsarevich Alexei, the only son of the Tsar, who secretly suffered from hemophilia. As his political influence grew, Rasputin’s rivals tried several times to assassinate the man before finally succeeding in 1916.
Eggers will write and direct the six-to-eight episode miniseries, chronicling Rasputin’s origins and subsequent rise to power before detailing his eventual death. The historical figure’s legend has been the source of inspiration for numerous entries in pop culture, including Rasputin, an Image comic series by Alex Grecian and Riley Rossmo. Currently, Warner Bros. is also developing a film based on his life, with the aim of casting Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role.
House of Cards Announces New Showrunners
Ahead of the launch of its fourth season, Netflix previously announced House of Cards has already been renewed for season 5. Unfortunately, that same day brought along news that series creator Beau Willimon was stepping down as showrunner. After a few months’ wait, Netflix officially announced they’ve found their new showrunner(s) in senior writers Frank Pugliese and Melissa James Gibson. Both joined the series in season 3.
Pugliese’s body of work prior to House of Cards includes Borgia and Homicide: Life on the Street, the latter of which earned him a WGA Award. Gibson previously worked on the FX series The Americans, for which she was also nominated for a WGA Award. In a joint statement, the new showrunners stated they “look forward to the next chapter of the reign of Underwood.”
House of Cards season 4 hits Netflix in its entirety on March 4, 2016.
Banshee Season Four Teaser
Cinemax has released a teaser trailer for the highly anticipated final season of Banshee. Banshee follows an ex-con (Anthony Starr) who assumes the identity of Lucas Hood, a deceased sheriff in a small town. The final season will introduce Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse) as Veronica Dawson, an FBI profiler haunted by her own personal demons. Dawson and Hood will team up to track down a serial killer, though that alliance may not last through the end of the series. Check out the official poster for season 4 below:
The teaser doesn’t reveal much new information about the eight-episode fourth season, though it makes it pretty clear the series won’t have a happy ending. The final season was hit with an unexpected delay back in December, but the teaser confirms the series will finally return in April.
Banshee season 4 premieres on April 1st, 2016 on Cinemax.
Baskets renewed for Season 2
FX has renewed their comedy series Baskets for a second season. The series was co-created by Louis C.K., Zach Galifianakis, and Jonathan Krisel and stars Galifianakis in two roles: local rodeo clown Chip Baskets in Bakersfield California as well as his twin brother Dale Baskets. The series earned the distinction of being the most-watched basic cable primetime comedy of the season, averaging 1.5 million viewers in its first three episodes.
Eric Schrier, president of original programming at FX, released the following statement:
“‘Baskets’ is bold, brilliant and incredibly funny, and we could not be happier with the reception its received in its breakout first season. ‘Baskets’ brings together three of the most innovative comedic minds working today… and we thank them, the rest of the creative team and the entire cast for everything they’ve done for the series.”
Baskets airs Thursdays at 10:00 p.m. EST on FX.
Peyton List joins Frequency
Peyton List, who portrays Lisa Snart on The Flash, has been cast in the lead role in the upcoming CW pilot Frequency. The actress will play Raimy, a police detective in 2016 who realizes she can communicate with her deceased father via a ham radio. List stars opposite of Riley Smith (True Detective), who will play the role of her father Frank Sullivan.
Frank also works as a detective, but the strain of the job shatters any possible relationship between father and daughter. Luckily, he earns a second shot at building a relationship with Raimy when she begins communicating with him from the future. The series is based on Toby Emmerich’s sci-fi film of the same name. The television reboot is being written by Supernatural showrunner Jeremy Carver.
Bones comes to an end
FOX has renewed their long-running procedural drama Bones for a twelfth and final season. The 12-episode season aims to bring the stories of forensic anthropologist Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and FBI Agent Booth (David Boreanaz) to a satisfying conclusion. Impressively, the final 12 episodes will give the series a total of 246 episodes, the longest running FOX series to date.
Series creator Hart Hanson had the following to say:
“In times like these, marked by instability and doubt, it’s comforting to know the world can count on at least one dependable beacon of stability. Apparently, that beacon is ‘Bones.’ It just shows what you can do with an amalgam of genius cast, amazing crew, cunning writers, stalwart studio, sweat, a tough economy, a mercurial network, determination, luck, magic, miracles and the most loyal audience in the world.”
Bones returns for its season 11 spring premiere on April 14, 2016.
Westworld possibly delayed to 2017
After halting production on the science fiction series Westworld in December, HBO may be forced to push back the drama until 2017. The series, which was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015, currently has several episodes shot but all are reported to be in need of additional work. Rumors about the cause of the delay indicate there may have been several clashes between the network and series creator Jonathan Nolan.
Production is now scheduled to resume in March, with new producers and writers joining Nolan on the project. Nolan released the following statement regarding the delays in production:
“Westworld is wildly ambitious – on the page and on set. In broadcast TV, it’s been routine for us to write and shoot at the same time. This is a completely different animal. As we got closer to the final episodes, we realized we needed to take a break from shooting to catch up on writing. HBO and WBTV have been incredibly supportive throughout the process. It would have been literally impossible to make this show anywhere else.”
Westworld is based the film of the same name, written and directed by novelist Michael Crichton. The new series has attracted plenty of high-caliber talent, including Anthony Hopkins (Thor) and Ed Harris (Snowpiercer). J.J. Abrams is on board as a producer. Officially, the series is still targeting a 2016 release date, but whether or not that is feasible given the delays remains to be seen.
Jean-Claude Van Damme to star in Amazon original series
Jean-Claude Van Damme has signed on to star in Jean-Claude Van Johnson, an action-comedy series for Amazon’s streaming service. Van Damme will be playing a version of himself — a gifted martial-arts professional/actor who also happens to be a private contractor for an undercover agency. In the show, Van Damme comes out of retirement to star in an action movie take on the classic Huckleberry Finn, but that role places him in great, unknown danger.
The series comes from The Expendables writer David Callaham, who will also serve as executive producer on the series alongside Ridley Scott. Comedy veteran Peter Atencio (Keanu) will direct the series. Production on the series is expected to start this summer.
Netflix orders Ozark Starring Jason Bateman
Netflix has officially ordered Ozark, a new drama directed by and starring Arrested Development‘s Jason Bateman. The series is set in the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, where the series gets its name. Little is known about the plot at this time, but the story centers on the drug trade — specifically the money laundering aspect.
The series was created by Bill Dubuque (The Judge), who will produce alongside Bateman. Criminal Minds producer Chris Mundy is on board as the showrunner. Production on the series is expected to begin in the spring.
Michelle Hurd joins Ash Vs Evil Dead
Michelle Hurd (The Glades) has officially joined Ash Vs Evil Dead for season 2. Hurd will be playing the high school sweetheart of lead protagonist Ashley Williams (Bruce Campbell). The actress joins fellow newcomers Lee Majors and Ted Raimi in the upcoming season, which also features the return of Lucy Lawless as Ruby and Ray Santiago as Pablo Simon Bolivar.
Hurd’s previous credits include recurring roles on Law and Order: SVU and Leap Year. She also made a brief appearance in Marvel’s Jessica Jones as D.A. Samantha Reyes.
Ash Vs Evil Dead is expected to return sometime in 2016.
Mark Feuerstein joins Prison Break
Mark Feuerstein (Royal Pains) has joined FOX’s upcoming Prison Break event series. Feuerstein will be playing Scott Ness, the husband of Dr. Sara Tancredi (Sarah Wayne Callies). Ness is a Professor of Economics at Cornell, at first appearing suspicious of the government and prone to outbreaks of anxiety. However, it has been indicated that the character has significant fight in him should the need arise.
FOX’s new Prison Break event is a followup to the cult hit series that ran for four seasons on the network. The series starred Wentworth Miller as Michael, a man determined to prove the innocence of his incarcerated brother Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) and save him from death row. Miller and Purcell are confirmed to be returning, but negotiations are ongoing for Callies to reprise her role as Sara. Series creator Paul Scheuring returns for the revival series as well, writing and producing all nine episodes.