This Week in TV:
Tina Fey agrees to host Saturday Night Live‘s season 39 premiere; Icelandic band Sigur Rós is cast in a guest role in Game of Thrones season 4; NBC secures a CIA drama with Katherine Heigl attached; and Almost Human co-showrunner Naren Shankar departs the series before its fall premiere.
After the departures of Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen, we’re bound to see some new faces on Saturday Night Live this season, but one very familiar one will host its upcoming premiere as Tina Fey has secured the prestigious gig.
The season 39 premiere on September 28 will mark the fourth time Fey has hosted the show since leaving the cast herself in 2006. Although she is still one hosting appearance shy of joining the exclusive “Five-Timers Club,” considering her status as a fan-favorite former cast member, it probably won’t take her much longer to see her name on the exclusive list of five-time hosts that includes Alec Baldwin, Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Christopher Walken, Drew Barrymore and 10 others.
Also making their fourth appearance will be the Grammy-winning band Arcade Fire as the premiere’s musical guest. While some regular SNL viewers would probably like to see some different acts and more unconventional hosts, Lorne Michaels and the show’s producers may be playing things a little safer as they ease new cast members into the mix.
The season 39 premiere of Saturday Night Live airs on NBC on September 28, 2013.
Source: NBC (via The Futon Critic)
HBO’s Game of Thrones continued its recent trend of using musicians as guest stars, casting Icelandic indie art-pop band Sigur Rós for a season 4 appearance.
The exact nature and extent of the band’s appearance is still unknown, but we do known that the group is currently filming its scene(s) in Croatia instead of in their native home of Iceland – which Game of Thrones is also using as a shooting location for season 4.
In past seasons, Thrones fans have been treated to guest appearances by members of popular music groups Coldplay and Snow Patrol, as well as songs by The National and The Hold Steady based on lyrics by “A Song of Ice and Fire” author George R.R. Martin. We’ll have to wait and see if Sigur Rós contributes any music to the program, or if the band simply participates in a cameo role.
Game of Thrones season 4 premieres in Spring 2014 on HBO.
NBC has secured a new untitled CIA drama with Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy) attached to play the lead.
Heigl left Grey’s Anatomy in 2010 to pursue other opportunities and this new drama is certainly a big one – if the show ends up getting picked up. Heigl will star as a CIA officer who is selected to become the president’s daily briefer – a job that requires her to help assess America’s most critical threats. She is also set to co-executive produce the show.
The show itself is described as Scandal meets The West Wing, a combination that Heigl believes will create a fantastic original series. Said Heigl:
“The story is not only compelling and intelligent but a look behind the curtain at the CIA we haven’t seen before in film or television. I am thrilled and honored to have been asked to be a part of developing these stories and this character and bringing it all to life.”
We’ll pass along more information on Heigl’s new project as it comes in.
Almost Human co-showrunner Naren Shankar (CSI) has exited the show before its much-anticipated fall premiere.
Shankar’s departure leaves J.H. Wyman in control as lone showrunner and there don’t appear to be any plans to bring in another creative hand. Wyman, who served as a producer on FOX’s Fringe, originally brought Shankar on board to help craft the police procedural aspect of the show – considering his experience with producing shows such as CSI and Grimm – but apparently, the two realized things weren’t going to work out.
With star Karl Urban leading an intriguing premise – which has been described as an “action-packed police drama set 35 years in the future, when cops are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids” - Almost Human is a show many fans of both sci-fi and cop shows are looking forward to, but Shankar’s early exit could be a sign that not all is well behind the scenes. However, reports indicate that Shankar and Wyman got along personally, which tells us that the Shankar’s decision to leave was likely over creative differences.
We’ll see how everything turns out when Almost Human premieres on November 4, 2013 on FOX.