This Week in TV:
Ronald D. Moore's Outlander series finds its Jamie Fraser in Scottish actor Sam Heughan; Game of Thrones brings back director Neil Marshall to helm episode 9 of season 4; NBC announces a sequel to the History Channel's popular The Bible miniseries; and the Science Channel greenlights two Survivorman specials.
Ronald D. Moore's Outlander adaptation with the Starz network has cast Sam Heughan (Doctors) to play one of its two main characters.
Virtually unknown to U.S. audiences, the Scotland-native Heughan has appeared in several BBC shows and series, but has never led his own. In Outlander, he will play Jamie Fraser, an 18th century Scottish warrior and clan leader, who has a love affair with a World War II nurse who has traveled back in time.
Although the series hasn't cast the other lead character yet, Moore was relieved to find the perfect actor for the part of Jamie Fraser. Said Moore:
"From the very beginning, I knew the part of Jamie Fraser would be difficult to cast. I had no one in mind for the part. I knew that someone would just come into the audition and be Jamie Fraser. And that's what Sam did."
The casting is definitely a big stride for the show, which was just greenlit for a 16-episode first season by Starz last month. Based on Diana Gabaldon's novel of the same name, Outlander is expected to start filming later this fall with a premiere sometime in 2014.
English film and television director Neil Marshall (The Descent) is set to return to Game of Thrones to helm episode 9 of season 4.
Last week, we heard a rumor that Marshall may be returning to direct the season 4 finale, and though that ended up not being the case, fans will still be thrilled to hear he will be directing the second-to-last episode of the season - which is typically the climactic episode of each season.
Known to many for his horror film The Descent, GOT fans know Marshall best for directing the popular season 2 episode "Blackwater," which gave him the opportunity to show off his flair for action sequences during the epic battle for King's Landing.
With Marshall being hired for a late-season episode, fans can certainly expect another action-packed entry into the series and possibly some big reveals when season 4 approaches its finale.
Check out Game of Thrones season 4 when it premieres on HBO in 2014.
NBC has announced a partnership with super-producer Mark Burnett (Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice) that will bring a sequel to History Channel's The Bible miniseries to its network.
The planned follow-up series, titled A.D.: Beyond the Bible, will tell the story of the aftermath of Christ's crucifixion and the subsequent birth of Christianity, beginning with the days following Jesus' death.
Producers are excited to tell more of the story and the network will be thrilled to secure what appears to be a sure-hit. The original The Bible series quickly became the #1 cable series of 2013 after debuting on History Channel and went on to become the top-selling TV series on DVD and Blu-ray in the past five years. If NBC can achieve even a portion of that success with the sequel, we may see more projects from NBC under the Burnett banner.
There is no premiere date set for A.D.: Beyond The Bible, but we'll pass along updates on the project as it develops.
Science Channel is bringing Survivorman back to cable TV with two brand new specials.
The network has greenlit two specials titled Survivorman & Son and Survivorman Stalking Sasquatch, which - like the series that ran three seasons from 2005-2008 - will feature survival expert Les Stroud out in the elements using only his skills and knowledge of the terrain to stay alive.
Survivorman & Son will also feature Stroud's 15-year-old son, whom Stroud will teach how to survive for five days in the wilderness without food, heat, shelter or water. And in Survivorman Stalking Sasquatch, Stroud will venture deep into the supposed territory of the legendary Bigfoot, as he tries to uncover the truth behind the infamous beast while battling harsh conditions.
Although we're not sure how long these specials will be or how often they may run on Science Channel, Survivorman fans will certainly be thrilled to see more of Stroud's amazing journeys.
Both Survivorman specials will premiere in early 2014 on Science Channel.