This Week in TV:
We get a sneak peek at the return of Outlander via an opening scene clip; Ian McShane (Deadwood) joins the cast of Ray Donovan for season 3; Rutina Wesley (True Blood) is cast in season 3 of Hannibal; NBC greenlights 10 episodes of dramedy Apocalypse with Rob Lowe and Megan Mullally; and TruTV orders a pilot called Shaq Inc. starring former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal.
Starz released an exclusive preview of Outlander's mid-season premiere. Watch the opening scene (with an introduction by executive producer and series creator Ronald D. Moore), below.
With the show still more than two months away from returning, the clip gives fans a little taste of what to expect from season 1's second half, as the perspective shifts from Claire (Caitriona Balfe) to Jamie (Sam Heughan). While the brief narrated scene adds little to the trailer we saw a couple of weeks back in terms of story, it does preview that shift and gives us a look into Jamie's world.
Outlander season 1 returns to Starz on April 4, 2015.
Golden Globe winner Ian McShane (Deadwood) has joined the cast of Showtime's Ray Donovan for season 3.
The veteran actor will guest star as a wealthy movie producer named Malcolm Finney, who hires Ray (Liev Schreiber) to help his family with a potentially catastrophic situation. It's unclear how many episodes McShane will appear in, but his story arc will last the entire season.
The role marks a return to television for McShane, who starred as Blackbeard in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stanger Tides, and has appeared in blockbuster films such as Hercules and Snow White and the Huntsman in recent years. Even with these multiple tentpole roles on his resume, he is still perhaps best known for his award-winning turn as power broker Al Swearenger on HBO's western drama Deadwood.
Ray Donovan season 3 doesn't have a premiere date yet, but production begins this week.
Source: The Wrap
In the highly-anticipated upcoming season of the dark drama (check out the trailer here), Wesley will play Reba McClane, a blind woman who catches the eye of Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage) - also known as the killer the "Tooth Fairy." Wesley's role was previously played by Emily Watson in Red Dragon (2002) and Joan Allen in Manhunter (1986).
Wesley is coming off her starring role as Tara Thornton on HBO's True Blood, where she was a main cast member for the entire run of the series. While the recurring part of McClane on Hannibal won't be as large a commitment for the young actress, it will likely be just as much of a dramatic challenge, considering what the character goes through in other iterations of the Tooth Fairy storyline.
Hannibal returns to NBC this summer.
Source: The Wrap
NBC ordered 10 episodes of a futuristic dramedy titled Apocalypse starring network veterans Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation), Jenna Fischer (The Office) and Megan Mullally (Will & Grace).
Filming will begin later this month on the series, described as a bold, action-packed hour long comedy/drama about the last days of mankind. Here is a more detailed synopsis of the upcoming show:
"Set against a backdrop of apocalyptic chaos, the story follows an extended family whose lives start to intersect in the most unexpected ways. Their renewed connections are triggered by the news that a comet is on an unavoidable collision course toward Earth."
While we're not sure who's playing who, characters will include a foul-mouthed priest, an unhinged white supremacist, a five-star general, a mild-mannered bank manager, and a germ-phobic cyber-terrorist.
The impending apocalypse premise has certainly been tackled a lot lately, but the cast - which also includes Matthew Baynton (The Wrong Mans), Patrick Joseph (The Leftovers) and Joel Fry (Game of Thrones) - makes this NBC show one to keep on our radar as production moves along.
We'll pass along updates on NBC's Apocalypse as they come in.
Source: NBC (via Zap2It)
TruTV issued a pilot order for a series tentatively titled Shaq Inc. starring retired NBA big man Shaquille O'Neal.
Described as a half-hour "workplace comedy loosely based on the wild and frenetic business empire of Shaquille O'Neal," the show will follow the basketball legend turned businessman and his team as they work to balance O'Neal's many business ventures. Other than O'Neal playing himself, no other cast members have been announced.
While O'Neal has recently appeared in a number of Adam Sandler comedies (and lent his voice to films like The Smurfs 2 and The LEGO Movie), his acting experience is still rather limited. Still, playing a version of himself should be something he can handle. Currently, the former NBA center can also be seen on TNT's Inside the NBA, where he is a basketball analyst.
We'll pass along more info on Shaq Inc. as it becomes available.
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