This Week in TV:
Legends of Tomorrow season 2 update; Elisabeth Moss to star in The Handmaid's Tale; FX orders Feud; El Chapo series in development; Dear White People TV Series; Hulu Renewals; Amazon adds Doctor Thorne; Blues Brothers animated series; and UnReal season 2 Promo.
Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Update
With the first season of DC's Legends of Tomorrow coming to a close, the team behind the series have already begun looking toward the future. The resolution of the Vandal Savage storyline will see Rip Hunter's (Arthur Darvill) team thrust into a new mission, one inspired by the arrival of a mysterious new hero (Patrick J. Adams). Showrunner Phil Klemmer teased the changes to the upcoming season:
"[The finale] is not just hitting the reset button, it really is modifying their mission. Season 2 isn't going to be about saving the world and stopping a singular entity from doing evil. We wanted to change the stakes and dynamics to make it an entirely new show - not just with new characters but with a new dramatic engine."
With the new mission, the team will be acquiring some potential new members. Casting is currently underway for a Han Solo-like character. Described as the grandson of a World War II-era hero, this character hid his feelings of insecurity behind the roguish facade until he developed superpowers of his own. One possible character fitting the description is Nathan Heywood, a.k.a. Citizen Steel, the grandson of WWII hero Commander Steel.
Another character currently being cast is described as a female member of an elite paramilitary organization in the 1940s. An African-American, she faces scrutiny for both her gender and race and has worked hard to ensure she is the perfect soldier. She also had repressed feelings for a team member and aims to avenge their untimely death. The Blackhawks, a team of ace fighter pilots in the era , fit the description, and the character in question could potentially be Zinda Blake, a.k.a. Lady Blackhawk. The character is eventually brought forward to the present day in the comics, making her a prime candidate for a series centered on time travel.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. EST on The CW.
Elisabeth Moss to star in The Handmaid's Tale
Golden Globe-winner Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) is set to star in the upcoming adaptation of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. The story takes place in Gilead, a theocratic military dictatorship that formed after most of the United States Congress was killed in a terrorist attack. A movement known as the "Sons of Jacob" suspend the Constitution, claiming to be restoring order, and quickly strip women of their rights. With a plunging birth rate and rampant infertility, those capable of bearing children are forced to work as concubines known as Handmaids for the ruling class. The story is presented from the point of view of a Handmaid known as Offred (Moss) as she tries to survive her role in society and find the daughter that was taken from her.
Hulu handed the 10-episode project a straight-to-series order, with production expected to begin later this year. Bruce Miller (The 100) wrote the script for the series and will executive produce alongside Daniel Wilson, who worked on the 1990 film adaptation of the novel. Atwood is also attached to the project, serving as a consulting producer.
The Handmaid's Tale premieres sometime in 2017.
FX orders Feud from Ryan Murphy
FX has issued a straight-to-series order for Feud, the third anthology project for the network from creator Ryan Murphy. The series will explore famous feuds throughout history, starting with the rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. The two actresses came together in 1962 to work on What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, a film that earned five Academy Award nominations. Though the film was by all accounts a hit, it's perhaps best known for spawning one of Hollywood's most notorious feuds.
Jessica Lange (American Horror Story) and Susan Sarandon (Cloud Atlas) will star in the series as Crawford and Davis respectively. The script for the pilot is partially based on the script Best Actress by Jaffe Cohen and Michael Zam, which Murphy previously acquired. Murphy will direct several installments of the 8-episode first season and will executive produce alongside Brad Pitt (Fury) and Dede Gardner (World War Z).
El Chapo TV Series in Development
History has begun development on #Cartel, a new drama series from Narcos co-creator Chris Brancato chronicling the story of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. The series will explore the global drug wars through the lens of Guzman and is described as "a story of power, money, sex and the human cost of the drug wars." The drama will chronicle Guzman's rise to power and his 25-year reign over the Mexican drug trafficking cartel as well as the drug lord's international connections in the music and entertainment industries.
Brancato released the following statement:
"The show is a metaphor for the lives we present on the internet, the secret selves we reveal in supposedly private communication, and the risks of not-so-humble-bragging on social media."
#Cartel is not based on any specific source materials, but rather on historical research. Brancato is handling scripting duties on the series.
Dear White People TV Series in Development
Netflix has given a straight-to-series order for a new comedy series based on the 2014 film Dear White People. Like the film, the 10-episode series will follow a group of diverse students as they navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college. The series is described as a "send-up of post-racial America" and centers on the students forging their own unique paths through life.
Justin Simien, who wrote and directed the film, will be scripting the full series as well as directing the first episode. The project hails from Lionsgate TV and will be executive produced by Devon Shepard (House of Lies) along with Allain Bray and Julia Lebedev, who produced the film.
Simien released the following statement:
"During the film's release, I had the pleasure to speak with hundreds of students and faculty across a variety of college campuses dealing with these very issues in real time. I'm so grateful to have this platform - not only to give a voice to those too often unheard in our culture, but to also tell great stories from new points of views. From Day 1, Lionsgate has been remarkably supportive of the vision for the show, and working with Netflix is every bit as harmonious as I'd imagined it would be. Bringing this show to such a vibrant platform is an honor I don't take lightly."
Production on Dear White People will begin this year and the series is expected to be released sometime in 2017. At this time, it's unknown if any of the original cast will be returning for the series.
Hulu has announced renewals for both The Mindy Project and The Path. The Mindy Project, which was created by and stars comedian Mindy Kaling, will be returning to the streaming service for a fifth season. The series originally aired on FOX but was cancelled after three seasons in 2015. Hulu quickly picked up the series for a 26-episode fourth season and the series has proven to be a success for the service.
The Path is one of Hulu's newest original series, starring Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Michelle Monaghan (True Detective), and Hugh Dancy (Hannibal). The series follows a man (Paul) who is struggling with his place in a religious movement known as Meyerism as he copes with the cult-like followers and the effects they have on his family. The series was created by Jessica Goldberg (Parenthood).
Amazon adds Doctor Thorne
Amazon Prime will begin streaming Doctor Thorne, the newest series from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, later this month. The series is an adaptation of Anthony Trollope's novel of the same name and stars Tom Hollander (The Night Manager), Ian McShane (Deadwood), and Alison Brie (Community). The series previously debuted in the U.K. in March.
Roy Price, the vice president of Amazon Studios, released the following statement:
"Doctor Thorne's multilayered storytelling coupled with an outstanding ensemble cast is an exciting addition to our lineup. Prime members have loved having access to Downton Abbey, making each season a top streamed show on Prime Video since 2011, and we hope to make Prime Video the home for even more of Julian Fellowes' future projects."
Doctor Thorne premieres on Amazon Prime on May 20th, 2016.
Blues Brothers animated series
A new animated series is in the works based on The Blues Brothers, a blues band founded in 1976 by comedians Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. The comedians, in character as harmonica-playing Elwood Blues and lead vocalist "Joliet" Jake Blues respectively, first appeared in a sketch on Saturday Night Live before going on to record an album and star in a feature film. Belushi passed away in 1982, but the band has continued to perform and a second film titled Blues Brothers 2000 was released in 1998.
Now, Aykroyd, John Belushi's widow Judy Belushi, and SNL writer Anne Beatts are developing a primetime animated series based on the characters with Bento Box Entertainment, the studio behind Bob's Burgers. The trio will be producing the series, which chronicles the music and adventures of Jake and Elwood Blues as they tour the country and return to Chicago. Each episode will feature a score and soundtrack with hits performed by the original Blues Brothers as well as new performances recorded for the show.
Source: The Wrap
UnReal Season 2 Promo
Lifetime has released a new promo for the upcoming second season of UnReal. The first season of the scripted series offered a dark look behind the scenes of a reality dating show and the second season will continue the trend. The series follows Rachel (Shiri Appleby) and Quinn (Constance Zimmer), two ruthless producers working on Everlasting, a fictional, Bachelor-inspired reality show. Season 2 will include a new season of Everlasting, with B.J. Britt (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) set to play this year's eligible bachelor Darius Hill. Notably, the fictional show is crossing into uncharted territory by featuring a black bachelor, something that ABC's The Bachelor hasn't tried in 20 seasons.
The new trailer gives a first look at Britt, as well as fellow newcomer Michael Rady (Jane the Virgin) who will play a filmmaker in the new season. The series was created by Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro (The Bachelor) and was inspired by Shapiro's award-winning short film Sequin Raze.
UnReal season 2 will premiere on June 6th, 2016.
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