This Week in TV:
Frontier first look; Rob Benedict returns to Supernatural; HBO renews Vinyl; Amy Adams joins Sharp Objects; Djimon Hounsou joins Wayward Pines; Joel McHale joins The Great Indoors; John Lithgow to star in The Trail; The Missing season two; 24: Legacy casts Anna Diop; Lauren Ambrose joins The Interestings; Freddie Stroma joins Time After Time; and Philip Winchester joins Chicago P.D. spinoff.
First look at Netflix/Discovery drama Frontier
Netflix and Discovery have debuted the first images from their upcoming drama Frontier, starring Jason Mamoa (Game of Thrones). The six-episode drama details North America’s 18th Century fur trade. It’s a bloody time in history, where business is quick to turn violent and many traders dream of controlling the lucrative trade. Mamoa stars as Declan Harp, seen above with co-star Landon Liboiron (Hemlock Grove).
The series was created by Rob and Peter Blackie, and will be directed by San Andreas director Brad Peyton. The series is currently shooting in Canada and is expected to be released later this year.
Rob Benedict returns to Supernatural
God is coming back to Supernatural. Known to Sam and Dean as Chuck, Rob Benedict previously played appeared during the fourth and fifth seasons of the long-running CW drama. Chuck last made a surprise appearance in season ten, in celebration of the series’ 200th episode.
Benedict will return for the twentieth episode of the eleventh season. Though his role is currently unknown, the plot of the current season involves The Darkness — God’s older sister. After the demise of Death, The Darkness is the only being whose power can rival God’s. It’s possible this appearance will confirm once and for all if Chuck really is God. The eleventh season will also see the return of Jim Beaver and Steven Williams as hunters Bobby Rufus in a season five flashback episode.
Supernatural airs Wednesdays on The CW at 9:00 p.m. EST
HBO renews Vinyl for Second Season
After airing only one episode, HBO has renewed their musical drama Vinyl for season 2. The series premiere, a two-hour episode directed by Martin Scorsese, saw disappointing numbers on the night of its release, drawing only 764,000 viewers. There were a number of factors to explain the low numbers, including competition from ratings juggernaut The Walking Dead, but the premiere still drew less viewers than any HBO series premieres in recent memory. More surprising, Last Week Tonight, which aired after Vinyl, drew a million viewers.
As a premium cable network, HBO has less interest in viewer numbers than broadcast networks and is more interested in critical reception. Vinyl earned largely positive reviews and considering the talent behind the project, including Scorsese and Mick Jagger, it’s not a surprise the network is willing to give Vinyl time to grow its audience.
Vinyl airs Sunday nights on HBO at 9:00 p.m. EST.
Amy Adams to Star in Sharp Objects
Amy Adams (Man of Steel) is set to star in Sharp Objects, the upcoming television adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name. Adams will play Camille Preaker, a reporter recently released from a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital. Unfortunately, she faces a daunting new assignment: return to her home town to cover the murder of two preteen girls. She finds herself back with her family, hounded by their history while unraveling a mystery that feels eerily familiar.
The drama was originally optioned about five years ago, before Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl became a hit film. The adaptation is being penned by Marti Noxon (UnReal), with Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyer’s Club) on board to direct. The series will be produced by Blumhouse Productions and is currently being shopped around to cable and streaming services.
Djimon Hounsou joins Wayward Pines
FOX has announced Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy) will join the cast of Wayward Pines season 2. The two-time Academy Award-nominee will portray C.J. Mitchum, an original resident of Wayward Pines and historian of the town. Mitchum has extensive knowledge of the town and its origins and as such is one of the few people who can bridge the town and the previous world humans inhabited.
From producer M. Night Shyamalan (After Earth), the first season of Wayward Pines proved to be an unexpected success for FOX last summer, ranking as the number one scripted broadcast series. Originally intended to be an event series, FOX renewed the series for a second season in December.
Wayward Pines returns in summer of 2016.
Joel McHale joins The Great Indoors
CBS has cast the former Soup host Joel McHale in the leading role of their upcoming comedy pilot The Great Indoors. McHale will fittingly play Joel, an adventure reporter who finds himself injured and called back into his magazine’s main office. Unable to return to field work, he finds himself charge of a group of millenials and running the digital and social media departments.
The character is described as having a sardonic sense of humor, so it shouldn’t be hard for McHale to adapt to the role after six seasons of playing Jeff Winger in Community. The series comes from Tosh.0 writer Mike Gibbons, who wrote the pilot script and will serve as executive producer.
John Lithgow to star in The Trail
NBC has announced John Lithgow, who won three Emmys during his time on the network’s comedy 3rd Rock From The Sun, will be starring in the upcoming legal comedy pilot The Trail. Lithgow will play Larry Henderson, a man currently on trial. Larry is described as a smart but naive poetry professor at a South Carolina community college who stands accused of murdering his wife. While Larry treats the trial as an absurdity, the professor has some secrets in his past that may serve to derail his defense.
Also joining The Trail is former The View co-host Sherri Shepherd, who plays Anne, an enthusiastic office assistant at a makeshift law office in East Peck, South Carolina. Anne suffers from face blindness, along with a number of additional disorders that make her job more difficult. The Trail was created by Jeff Astrof and Matt Miller (Chuck) who are writing and producing the pilot.
Production begins on The Missing, David Morrissey Joins Cast
Production has begun on a season 2 of The Missing, a mystery drama from Starz and BBC One. The new season will star David Morrissey (The Walking Dead) and Keeley Hawes (The Bank Job) as Sam and Gemma, whose daughter Alice went missing in 2003. Eleven years later, a young British woman stumbles into her small German hometown. That woman turns out to be Alice Webster, the missing child. The series will feature dual timelines, both 2003 and 2014, and explore the emotional complexity of a long-missing child’s sudden return to her family.
Tchéky Karyo will reprise his role as French investigator Julien Baptiste. As with the first season, the series will be written Harry and Jack Williams, who will also produce the series. The eight-part series will be directed in its entirety by Ben Chanan (The Last Kingdom).
Anna Diop to co-star in 24: Legacy
FOX has announced Anna Diop (The Messengers) has been cast in 24: Legacy in a leading role. Diop will play Nicole Carter, the wife of military hero Eric Carter. Eric Carter returns to the U.S., but trouble follows him home, prompting him to ask the CTU for help saving his life. Together, they will try to prevent one of the largest terror attacks to be carried out on U.S. soil. Little is known about Nicole’s place in the story, but the role is reportedly substantial, similar to the role of Teri Bauer (Leslie Hope) in early seasons of 24.
Eric Carter will be played by Straight Outta Compton actor Corey Hawkins. Miranda Otto (Homeland) has also joined the cast as Rebecca Ingram, the former head of the CTU. The pilot episode will be written by 24 veterans Manny Coto and Evan Katz, with director Stephen Hopkins, who helmed the original 24 pilot, on board to direct.
Lauren Ambrose to star in The Interestings
Lauren Ambrose (The X-Files) has been cast as the female lead in upcoming Amazon drama pilot The Interestings. Ambrose will play Jules, shown in her mid-20s and mid-30s through the course of the series. Jules is determined to forge an acting career, but she finds herself as a struggling therapist with a young child and an out-of-work husband (Gabriel Ebert).
The Interestings is based on Meg Wolitzer’s novel of the same name. The series is described as character-driven drama based firmly in reality, focusing on a group of six friends who meet an an arts camp in 1974. The story chronicles the next three decades of their lives, where some go on to great success in their dream careers and others end up giving up their dreams for more practical lifestyles. The series will examine their relationships as well as contrasting youthful optimism with hardships they face in reality. The adaptation is being written by Lyne Greene and Richard Levine (Nip/Tuck).
Time After Time remake casts Freddie Stroma
Harry Potter alum Freddie Stroma has been cast in ABC’s Time After Time remake. Stroma will play a young H.G. Wells in the pilot episode. The series will be based on the Karl Alexander novel of the same name, as well as the prior film adaptation that starred Malcolm McDowell (Mozart in the Jungle) as Wells. The plot of the novel follows H.G. Wells after inventing a real time machine, using it to go back in time and find Jack the Ripper.
The pilot’s script is being written and produced by Kevin Williamson (The Following). Marcos Siega, who also worked with Williamson on The Following, will direct. Stroma can next be seen in the sixth season of Game of Thrones. He was most recently in Michael Bay’s film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of the Benghazi.
Philip Winchester joins Chicago P.D. spinoff
Philip Winchester (The Player) will play the lead in the latest entry of NBC’s Chicago series, a legal drama tentatively titled Chicago Law. As with all of Dick Wolf’s Chicago shows, of which there have been three so far, the characters and plot lines will see some overlap. The idea here is to introduce some Assistant District Attorneys in the current season of Chicago P.D. before spinning them off into their own show.
Winchester is the first actor to join the series, which is expected to air sometime in 2016. The actor previously starred on NBC’s The Player, but the show was ultimately cancelled after only nine episodes.