This Week in TV:
Jaimie Alexander is cast as a lead in the NBC drama pilot Blindspot; Cinemax renews Banshee for season 4; Jason Biggs says his Orange Is the New Black character will not appear in season 3; HBO orders a pilot for New World from Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan; and Comedy Central renews The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail for season 2.
Thor star Jaimie Alexander has signed on to play the female lead in the NBC drama pilot Blindspot.
In the potential series, Alexander will star as Jane Doe, a beautiful woman who finds herself at the center of an FBI investigation after climbing out of a duffel bag in the middle of Times Square in New York City with her memory wiped and strange tattoos on her body. As the investigation continues, the FBI begins to discover the tattoos may be a road map to a larger conspiracy, which could also reveal the truth of Jane Doe's identity.
Best known for her role as the warrior Lady Sif in the Thor franchise and on Marvel's Agent's of S.H.I.E.L.D., Alexander has been a highly sought-after talent this pilot season, receiving several broadcast network offers. While many comic book fans and moviegoers may have preferred to see Alexander take on the role of Wonder Woman in the expanding Warner Bros. D.C. movie universe, they will likely be interested to see what she can do in her first major starring role on TV.
We'll pass along the latest on NBC's Blindspot as it comes in.
Cinemax announced a season 4 renewal for its crime drama Banshee.
With three episodes remaining in the show's third season, the series continues to impress critics - including our own Kevin Yeoman (read his review of this week's episode) - with well-played story twists and a compelling visual style. Unfortunately, the acclaim hasn't resulted in big viewership numbers, but Banshee's devout cult following has helped keep the show alive - although, season 4 will come with a reduced eight-episode order, compared to each of the previous three seasons, which featured 10 episodes.
Banshee season 3 continues with "All the Wisdom I Got Left" on February 27 on Cinemax. Season 4 will air in 2016.
Orange Is the New Black star Jason Biggs announced that his character will not be featured in the show's third season.
For the show's first two seasons, Biggs was a series regular, playing Piper's (Taylor Schilling) ex-fiance Larry Bloom. While Biggs isn't officially leaving the show, he confirmed that the narrative arc of season 3 didn't leave room for Larry, which allowed the actor to pursue an opportunity on Broadway in The Heidi Chronicles, which debuts this week.
Biggs told the New York Daily News:
“They’re not focusing on Larry at the moment. Larry will not be in season 3. But there’s always a possibility he can come back.”
Look for Orange Is the New Black season 3 to hit Netflix this June.
HBO ordered a pilot for period drama New World from Orange Is the New Black and Weeds creator Jenji Kohan.
The project - which is believed to be inspired by the events surrounding the 17th century Salem Witch Trials - is described as "a provocative period drama that explores the circumstances around one of the most compelling chapters in American history where intolerance and repression set neighbor against neighbor and led a town to mass hysteria." Kohan will co-write the show alongside Bruce Miller (Alphas) and Tracy Miller, and Oscar-winning director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting) will helm the pilot.
At this point, the network hasn't released any other information about the project, which has reportedly been in the works for quite some time. However, with the talent behind the camera so far, we expect that the pilot will attract some high-caliber performers as well.
Casting is currently underway, so we should have some updates on HBO's New World soon.
Comedy Central renewed its stand-up series The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail for season 2.
The documentary-style show - which is shot in the Nerdist Showroom at the back of Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles - boasted just eight episodes in its freshman season last summer, but was a hit with stand-up comedy fans. Led by the humorous musings of comics Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley), the first season was also bolstered by guest appearances from stand-up comedy heavyweights such as Jim Gaffigan and Marc Maron.
Currently, there is no season 2 premiere date set for The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, but we expect to see it on Comedy Central sometime later this year.