TV News Wrap Up: Black Mirror, The Americans and More

Gugu Mbatha-Raw Belle

This week in TV:

Black Mirror adds to its season 3 cast; The Americans season 4 gets a new promo; Sean Penn will play Andrew Jackson in a new HBO miniseries; Kelsey Grammer will co-star in Amazon pilot The Last Tycoon; TNT cancels Legends, Public Morals and Agent X; Kiefer Sutherland returns to TV in ABC's Designated SurvivorOutlander adds Richard Rankin to season 2 cast; and Mystery Science Theater 3000 reboot sets Kickstarter record.


Black Mirror adds to its season 3 cast

Gugu Mbatha-Raw Belle

Mackenzie Davis and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are confirmed to star in an upcoming episode of Black Mirror on Netflix. The streaming service is developing 12 new episodes of the acclaimed anthology series, though details of the actresses' roles have not yet been disclosed, with Owen Harris returning to direct the episode.

Davis can currently be seen in Ridley Scott's hit drama The Martian and on television in AMC's Halt and Catch Fire. Meanwhile, Mbatha-Raw has delivered breakout performances in recent years, including Belle and Beyond the Lights. She will also be joining the cast of Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Source: The Wrap

The Americans season 4 gets a new promo

FX has released a cryptic new promo for the upcoming season 4 of its hit series The Americans. Whereas a previous teaser focused solely on Keri Russell's Elizabeth, this one expands to the larger family dynamic following the secrets revealed by Paige (Holly Taylor) and hints that the family's troubles are just beginning.

The network is clearly hoping to capitalize on the widespread critical appreciation for The Americans and build upon its compelling story, adding new dimension to an increasingly complex plot. Set in the 1980s, the series centers on a pair of Soviet spies secretly living on American soil. It returns for season 4 in March 2016.

Source: FX

Sean Penn will play Andrew Jackson in a new HBO miniseries

Sean Penn in The Gunman

Sean Penn will star as U.S. President Andrew Jackson in a new six-hour HBO miniseries titled American Lion. The project comes from Narcos creators Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard and is based on Jon Meacham‘s biography, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. The plot will reportedly follow Jackson's life from orphan to president.

Two-time Oscar winner Penn was most recently seen on the big screen in action film The Gunman. The actor will serve as a producer on the project, which will undoubtedly take a rich look at the complex legacy Jackson left behind following his time in the U.S. presidential seat.

Source: The Wrap

Kelsey Grammer will co-star in Amazon pilot The Last Tycoon

Kelsey Grammer will star alongside Matt Bomer in The Last Tycoon, Amazon’s drama pilot based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s unfinished novel. Bomer will star as movie mogul Monroe Stahr, a rising studio executive in the 1930s.

Meanwhile, Grammer will play Pat Brady, the studio head who faces off against Monroe during his ascent to power. Rosemarie DeWitt (United States of Tara) will also star in the show as Rose Brady, Pat’s wife, who may be secretly involved with Monroe.

Source: TVLine

TNT cancels Legends, Public Morals, and Agent X

TNT has announced the cancellation of three series. Legends, Public Morals and Sharon Stone’s Agent X have all been pulled from the schedule, with the Sean Bean-led Legends likely the most high-profile of the trio. Despite a re-imagined season 2, the show failed to garner strong enough ratings for the network.

Period police drama Public Morals -- created by and starring Edward Burns -- never managed to successfully follow-up its strong premiere, and Agent X didn't fare much better. Legends will conclude season 2 on December 28, with the Agent X finale airing December 27. TNT recently renewed The Librarians, Major Crimes, and Murder in the First.

Source: Variety

Kiefer Sutherland returns to TV in ABC's Designated Survivor

Kiefer Sutherland in 24

Kiefer Sutherland is set to return to television for the first time since his latest run as Jack Bauer in last year's 24: Live Another Day. In upcoming ABC conspiracy thriller Designated Survivor, Sutherland will play the president of the United States on the show, which was written on spec by David Guggenheim (Safe House) and has received a straight-to-series order.

When a tragic attack puts a lower-level United States Cabinet member (Sutherland) in the presidential seat, he finds himself suddenly in the position of dealing with the aftermath that has left everyone above him in the presidential line of succession dead. Creator Guggenheim executive produces alongside Simon Kinberg, who is also executive-producing two X-Men TV series for Fox.

Source: Deadline

Outlander adds Richard Rankin to season 2 cast

Richard Rankin in The Crimson Field

Richard Rankin has joined the cast of the Starz series Outlander in the pivotal role of Roger Wakefield. The character is the grown-up version of Reverend Wakefield’s adopted son, who was introduced in season 1. Roger plays a major role in Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling novels, as his story ties into the lives of Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan).

Rankin previously appeared in Bradley Cooper film Burnt, and has factored into a number of TV series, including The Syndicate, The Crimson Field and NBC’s American Odyssey. He will next be seen in the BBC drama miniseries ThirteenOutlander is due to return in spring 2016.

Source: Variety

Mystery Science Theater 3000 reboot sets Kickstarter record

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Kickstarter in the works

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 reboot has exceeded the crowdfunded benchmark set by the Veronica Mars movie, becoming the most successful online video project of all time. The project raised more than $6.3 million, including $5.7 million from Kickstarter and $600,000 from online merchandise sales, with over 47,000 people contributing.

Series creator Joel Hodgson will create a new 12-episode season of the show with a live online telethon held at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles. That initial plan has now been expanded to include a 14-episode season as well as a holiday special. Patton Oswalt and Felicia Day -- both of whom participated in the telethon -- will appear on the upcoming new season.

Source: The Wrap

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