This Week in TV:
Mythbusters fires stars Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara; The Blacklist season 2 adds Paul Reubens, the actor/comedian behind Pee-wee Herman, as a guest star; Donald Glover (Community) is tapped to voice alternate reality Spider-Man Miles Morales in the Disney XD cartoon, Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors; and MGM TV begins development on an In the Heat of the Night series.
Mythbusters hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman announced that their co-stars Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara have been dropped from the Discovery Channel series.
After being a part of the popular science program for most of its 13-season run, the trio was let go, not due to budgetary concerns, but rather to send the show into another direction – at least, according to Byron, who tweeted:
The show is taking a new direction. It was an amazing run. I learned so much about myself and the world. I love you all @MythBusters— Kari Byron (@KariByron) August 22, 2014
Hyneman and Savage, who started as the series’ lone hosts when the series premiered on Discovery in 2003, will conduct Mythbusters experiments on their own again following Byron, Belleci and Imahara’s final appearance on the show’s August 21st episode.
We’ll have to wait and see what new direction Mythbusters could be headed in when the show returns to the Discovery Channel with new episodes.
Source: Kari Byron
NBC’s hit drama, The Blacklist, added another notable guest star to its season 2 roster by casting Paul Reubens, known to most TV viewers as his character Pee-wee Herman.
Reubens will play Mr. Vargas, a dapper “muscle” in the criminal underworld who takes care of delicate situations. His character will start his two-episode arc in the third episode of season 2.
While Reubens is seldom seen outside his colorful Pee-wee persona, Blacklist producers saw an exciting opportunity for the show and the actor in casting Reubens.
Said Blacklist executive producer Jon Bokenkamp:
“We’re forgoing the bow tie and the bicycle, and it’s going to be something totally different, and it’s gonna be awesome. It can’t get strange enough for me. One of the most fun things is being able to write for actors who I’ve admired and think are interesting and try to play against expectations. I think this will be a fun one. I’d say he’s gonna shake things up a bit when he enters Red’s (James Spader) orbit.”
In its first two seasons casting, The Blacklist already has earned a reputation for featuring an eclectic mix of talented guest stars, including Peter Stormare (Prison Break) and other season 2 additions Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds), Lee Tergesen (Oz) and Krysten Ritter (Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23).
The Blacklist season 2 premieres September 22, 2014 on NBC.
While it’s unlikely that Donald Glover will return for Community season 6 on Yahoo! Screen, the actor, comedian and rapper landed a new gig on Disney XD’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors cartoon as the voice of alternate reality Spider-Man Miles Morales.
Glover’s character, a half-Latino, half-black 13-year-old, takes on the role of Spider-Man in an alternate dimension in the series. He will encounter the original Spider-Man, Peter Parker (voiced by Drake Bell), throughout the season as Parker hops across several dimensions.
Many of Glover’s fans know that he’s dreamed of playing Spider-Man for some time, and while voicing Morales doesn’t quite realize that dream, Glover is still excited to play an actual Marvel Comics character.
“I’m still holding out, though [to play Spider-Man onscreen]. I still have hopes to do something like that one day. I don’t look at this as second place. Spider-Man, he’s such an icon — you have to do something with him.”
It’s worth pointing out that Brian Michael Bendis was inspired to create Morales after Glover campaigned for the role of Spider-Man in Sony’s the Amazing Spider-Man reboot.
Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors premieres Sunday, August 31 @9pm on Disney XD.
Source: USA Today
MGM TV is developing a drama series based on the classic Oscar-winning 1967 film In the Heat of the Night.
With the project in the earliest stages of development, there are no details currently available, but we do know Tate Taylor and Warren Littlefield – who won an Emmy last week for their work on Fargo – are attached as executive producers.
During his time as a programming exec at NBC, Littlefield was involved with adapting In the Heat of the Night for a series that lasted for four seasons (1988-1992) on the peacock network, before moving to CBS for four additional seasons (1992-1995).
However, the new series – at least, at this point – is not being called a reboot, as it is drawing from the original film, which starred Rod Steiger as a Southern police chief and Sidney Poitier as a Philadelphia detective who reluctantly agrees to assist in a murder investigation in Mississippi.
Known for its stellar performances (Steiger won the Best Actor Oscar) and for tackling race relation issues in the South during the Civil Rights era, the film was a landmark achievement – especially at the time. However, with a compelling story and characters, there’s no reason to think it couldn’t still be successful and powerful on television today.
We’ll pass along the latest on the new In the Heat of the Night series as the project develops.
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