This Week in TV:
Netflix's upcoming original period-drama Marco Polo gets a new full-length trailer; Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) is cast in U.K. series The Frankenstein Chronicles; True Detective season 2 casts two recurring roles; Robert Kirkman's Outcast pilot at Cinemax adds four supporting actors of its own; and All in the Family creator Norman Lear shoots down the idea of rebooting his classic 1970s sitcom.
Netflix unveiled a new full-length trailer for its upcoming original series Marco Polo. Check it out below.
For those who caught the show's debut trailer a couple of weeks back, there isn't a whole lot of new season 1 footage here, but the fresh bits - including some striking visuals of 13th century China - are certainly enthralling.
Although the series boasts a cast of mostly unknowns - with Italian actor Lorenzo Richelmy in the titular role as the historic explorer - it appears Netflix has spared no expense when it comes to set design or direction (Academy Award nominees and Pirates of the Caribbean 5 helmers Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg directed the first two episodes). Let's just hope Marco's story of adventure in Kublai Khan's court is as strong as the series' aesthetics.
Prepare to binge Marco Polo when Netflix releases its 10-episode first season on December 12, 2014.
Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) is set to star in The Frankenstein Chronicles from U.K. network ITV Encore and GOT producers Tracey Scoffield and Frank Doelger.
The network has already commissioned the six-part re-imagining of Mary Shelley's classic story, which is described as a period crime drama set in London in 1827. Bean will play Inspector John Marlott, who takes on a grisly murder case after the corpse of a child is discovered to be a ghastly and crude assembly of body parts. Scoffield and Doegler will executive produce the series co-created by Benjamin Ross (RKO 281), the latter of whom will also direct the show.
Ross said this about the series:
“Marlott’s investigation takes him into the dark corners of Regency London. He discovers an underworld of prostitution, drug smuggling, bodysnatching, and murder for profit. The rational evidence points first one-way and then another as he contemplates a frightening alternate scenario.”
While there are several U.S. Frankenstein-based series and films currently in the works - including Victor Frankenstein and a FOX sci-fi show from Homeland producer Howard Gordon - this adaptation is clearly striving to set itself apart.
Production on The Frankenstein Chronicles will begin in January 2015. More casting announcements are expected soon.
Known for playing authority figures on other crime-centric shows (Judge Sheffield on Franklin & Bash, Defense Attorney Julia Shinnear on Law & Order), Hyatt will play driven state attorney Katherine Davis in the anticipated sophomore season of True Detective. While we don't know much else about her character at this point, Hyatt's Katherine is said to have secrets that she is not afraid to keep in order to get her way. Meanwhile, Martinez is set to recur as Andrea, a Mexican-American immigrant who runs an inn.
Both actresses join a hotly-discussed cast that includes Colin Ferrell, Taylor Kitsch, Rachel McAdams, Kelly Reilly (Black Box) and Vince Vaughn. No matter what one may think of the casting decisions so far, many fans are expecting each actor - including Hyatt and Martinez - will have round, complex characters to play with, based on the strong writing and storytelling we saw from True Detective's freshman case.
True Detective season 2 will premiere on HBO in summer 2015.
Outcast, the new exorcism drama from Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman (based on his and artist Paul Azaceta's comic book series) and Cinemax, added four supporting players to its roster, casting Reg E. Cathey (St. Vincent), Julia Crockett, Wrenn Schmidt (Boardwalk Empire) and Kip Pardue (Ray Donovan).
In the show that follows a young man named Kyle Barnes (played by Patrick Fugit) who has been plagued by demonic possession since childhood, Cathey will play Giles, a police chief who begins to see some truth in stories about possession. Meanwhile, Crockett, Schmidt and Pardue will all play characters close to Kyle; Crockett as his hellish mother Sarah; Schmidt as his adopted sister Megan, who is also a child psychologist determined to fix him; and Pardue as his brother-in-law and Megan's husband Mark, a police officer with a hot temper that often gets him into trouble. Unlike Giles, Mark is supremely skeptical about the tangible existence of possession and demons. The four new cast members join previously-cast lead Fugit, along with Philip Glenister (Life on Mars) and Gabriel Bateman (Annabelle).
Although Outcast is still in the pilot stage, the project is certainly showing promise with the names it has attached so far. However, a series order will likely depend on the contributions of Kirkman - who penned the pilot - and whether he can successfully adapt his comic book story to the small screen.
We'll pass along the latest on Cinemax's Outcast as it comes in.
After being asked by Sony to consider rebooting his groundbreaking sitcom All in the Family, legendary TV producer Norman Lear nixed any possibility of redoing the series for a modern audience.
In a wide-ranging conversation with Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos at the Paley Center, Lear revealed that Sony had pitched him the idea of producing an "All in the Family kind of show" with new characters in 2015. Though Lear said he had considered it, he decided against it, saying:
“I’m not sure that there’s much that I would elect to do. After a while, with success comes the ability to say, 'We’re not doing this.'"
Although Lear said that today's network comedies lack the desire to tackle serious important issues and the type of social commentary that All in the Family become known for, he remained disinterested in bringing a show like All in the Family back to network TV himself. Of course, that doesn't mean someone else won't take on such a project.
Considering Lear's comments, we'll see if Sony is still interested in pursuing an All in the Family reboot at some point in the future.