This Week in TV:
Netflix renews Hemlock Grove for a third and final season; Netflix also buys the exclusive streaming rights to FOX's Gotham; a season 5 trailer for Downton Abbey is released; and Flight of the Conchords star Jermaine Clement clears up rumors about a possible new season on HBO.
Netflix announced a season 3 renewal for original horror series Hemlock Grove, but also revealed the next season will be the show's last.
Developed by Brian McGreevy (who wrote the novel from which the show is based) and executive produced by horror maestro Eli Roth, the series will return to Netflix for its 10-episode season 3 in 2015. Showrunner Charles “Chic” Eglee will also return to captain the show's final run.
After premiering to mixed reviews last spring, the series still managed to sustain a fairly loyal audience that followed the show into a much stronger season 2, which is why some may be surprised the Eli Roth product is only getting three seasons. Although the streaming service wouldn't elaborate on the reason for ending the series, it - like fans - is hoping for a satisfying conclusion.
Said Netflix VP of original programming Cindy Holland:
“We, along with the fans, are looking forward to visiting ‘Hemlock Grove’ one last time, and we know that Chic, Eli and the team will provide a riveting and mind-bending conclusion to complete the series.”
With so many other new original shows in the production pipeline, and with two awards darlings (House of Cards and Orange is the New Black), it's possible Netflix just didn't have the time or money to invest in more Hemlock Grove. Whatever the case may be, fans will eagerly await the series' final batch of episodes and hope producers wrap things up neatly (and perhaps with some panache).
Look for Hemlock Grove season 3 on Netflix in 2015.
Source: Netflix (via Variety)
Along with renewing Hemlock Grove, Netflix nabbed more major headlines this week after finalizing an unprecedented deal with Warner Bros. Television for the exclusive SVOD (Subscription Video-On-Demand) rights to FOX's upcoming Batman prequel series Gotham.
Reportedly, the deal is worth an astounding $1.75 million per episode and is believed to be the first SVOD deal for a a broadcast series made before the show's premiere. As part of the agreement, Netflix will offer each season of the series on its streaming service following the season's run on air. In the U.S., the company expects Gotham season 1 will be available to its members in September 2015.
While the deal may seem like somewhat of a gamble on Netflix's part, the company - like many at Comic-Con 2014 - was impressed with the pilot and probably feels it can bank on the popularity of comic-based shows and on Batman in particular.
It's also not the first time Netflix has opened its wallet wide for streaming rights to a series. Just last week, the online entertainment giant made a $2 million-per-episode deal for NBC's The Blacklist, and earlier this year secured rights to Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul - another show that has yet to debut.
We'll see what the general response is to Gotham when the highly anticipated series premieres on September 22, 2014 on FOX.
With Downton Abbey set to return later this month, ITV released a trailer teasing the acclaimed series' fifth season. Check it out below.
Based on the trailer, it appears viewers can expect season 5 to introduce some new scandalous relationships to shake up dynamics within the house, as well as a major tragedy or two to rock the entire Downton community.
While one could say this is pretty much in line with every season of Downton, the series will almost certainly have some surprises in store as times change at the fictional Yorkshire estate - something that butler Carson (Jim Carter) seems sincerely concerned about.
Downton Abbey season 5 premieres on September 21 on ITV, but won't come to American audiences until January 4, 2015.
With rumors swirling about a possible new four-episode season of Flight of the Conchords in development, half of the popular folk duo, Jemaine Clement, took to Twitter to clear things up for curious fans.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Clement let slip that he was working on a four-episode project with HBO, leading to many fans surmising that the project could be a shortened Flight of the Conchords reunion. However, Clement quickly dispelled the rumor, saying that he is working with HBO, but not on anything to do with New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo.
Before this rumour gets out of hand - we are not working on a 4 ep Conchords show for hbo... https://t.co/q1607H5vg8
— Jemaine Clement (@AJemaineClement) September 2, 2014
I am working on another idea with them though, hence the mix-up.
— Jemaine Clement (@AJemaineClement) September 2, 2014
Despite being a hit among comedy fans, Flight of the Conchords aired for just two seasons (2007-2009) on HBO after Clement and Bret McKenzie (the show's co-creators, stars, writers, executive producers and music composers) decided to leave the show due to its heavy work demands (mostly writing and recording all the show's music).
Five years later, the show, and the musical parody group of the same name, still have cult followings which have been craving more from the native New Zealanders. Considering Clement told The Guardian he "misses playing Conchords gigs," it's likely audiences will get a chance to see the Conchords take flight again, but perhaps not in the form of a new TV series.