This Week in TV:
The Americans season 3 casts Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon); NBC orders pilots for an American version of The IT Crowd and a Marley & Me sequel series; Hannibal casts Tao Okamoto (The Wolverine) in a season 3 guest-starring role; and FOX begins work on a reboot of The Courtship of Eddie's Father.
Already known for having a stellar cast, FX's The Americans has added Academy Award nominee and three-time Tony winner Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon) to its season 3 roster.
Langella will recur in the upcoming season of the acclaimed Cold War-set drama as Gabriel, Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth's (Keri Russell) former KGB handler who comes out of retirement to oversee the operatives, taking over from previous handler Claudia (Margo Martindale).
In an Emmy-nominated role, Martindale undoubtedly provided the series with one of its finest performances, but even with the actress leaving the main cast (she now stars on the CBS sitcom The Millers), producers are confident that Langella will bring his own signature take to the role as the Jennings' supervisor.
Regarding the casting, Americans exec producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields said:
"We've been huge fans of Frank's work for a long time, and it's been such a pleasure getting to know Frank himself in the beginning stages of working together on the character of Gabriel. We look forward to a great season together, and to what we're sure will be a phenomenal creative collaboration."
The Americans season 3 will premiere on FX in January 2015.
After outbidding some competitors, NBC landed an Americanized multi-camera version of the British hit series The IT Crowd with a pilot order.
The project hails from producer Bill Lawrence and writers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan, all of whom previously worked on the NBC comedy Scrubs. Like the original series that ran for four seasons on Channel 4, their U.S. version is a workplace comedy centering on two anti-social IT nerds stuck working in the basement of a major corporation, and their new ambitious female manager who knows nothing about computers.
This is actually the second time the network has attempted to introduce The IT Crowd to U.S. audiences. During the 2006-07 TV season, NBC ordered a U.S. version starring Joel McHale to series, but the project never aired after some upper-management changes at the network. NBC ended up casting McHale as the lead of Community instead.
While the newest incarnation of the show hasn't announced any cast members, it's safe to say the success of the potential series will hinge on the network being able to assemble a gang of gifted comedic actors, much like the original did with Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson.
We'll pass along more info on the American version of The IT Crowd as it comes in.
Along with putting in a pilot order for The IT Crowd, NBC has also committed to producing a pilot for a Marley & Me sequel series.
Written and executive produced by Jenny Bicks (Sex and the City), the single-camera comedy revisits the Grogan family as they move back to Florida so that John (played by Owen Wilson in the 2008 film) can take up writing his newspaper column once again. While back in the Sunshine State, they meet a stray puppy that reminds them of their beloved Marley and have no choice but to adopt her. The Grogans then come to find that their new dog (also named Marley as the family reuses the old Marley's tags and leash) not only helps them through their own growing pains, but also sheds some light on the lives of their new neighbors and fellow dog-owners.
While the potential series doesn't seem to be offering anything new in terms of story, it is most definitely an attempt to capture some of the success of the film - which grossed nearly $250 million in theaters worldwide - and to tap into a new and very large viewership of families and dog-lovers who would likely come together during the week for a lighter show centered around an adorable pup. We'll just have to wait and see if NBC thinks the pilot is worth pursuing to series.
We'll continue to pass along the latest on NBC's Marley & Me sequel.
Source: The Wrap
Hannibal season 3 has added up-and-comer Tao Okamoto (The Wolverine) in a guest-starring role.
She didn't make creator Bryan Fuller's season 3 dream cast a few months back, but he and Hannibal producers apparently like what they see in her now. It was originally reported that Okamoto has been cast as the dark and mysterious Lady Murasaki - a character Fuller has confirmed will first appear in episode eight of the upcoming season - but at Paleyfest 2014 (via Collider) Fuller confirmed that Okamoto is actually playing Murasaki's attendant, Chiyo.
In Thomas Harris' novel Hannibal Rising, Lady Murasaki is Hannibal Lecter's Japanese aunt, whom he lives with during part of his adolescence. While under her roof, he commits his first murder, a murder he escapes investigation from after Lady Murasaki intervenes. However, Fuller has said that in the series the relationship between Hannibal and Lady Murasaki will be "more damaged and different."
While the part marks Okamoto's first recurring role on television, she's already making a splash on the film side of the industry after being cast as Mercy Graves in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Hannibal season 3 will premiere on NBC in 2015.
FOX has announced it is developing a reboot of The Courtship of Eddie's Father.
Based on the TV series that ran for three seasons on ABC (1969-1972), the single-camera comedy will follow widowed father Tom Corbett and the unique relationship with his son, who also serves as his matchmaker. Originally a novel and then a 1963 film, the newest incarnation of the story will be penned by Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett (Nim's Island), with Willie Garson (White Collar) co-starring as Tom Corbett's friend, Norman Tinker.
In 2004, the WB took a shot at rebooting the series with Ken Marino (Marry Me) as Tom and Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) as the son Eddie, but the project never made it past the pilot stage. We'll see if this version of The Courtship of Eddie's Father fares any better.