This Week in TV:
BET announces a revamped version of the prank show Punk'd; Evan Peters checks into American Horror Story: Hotel; AMC's Preacher casts W. Earl Brown (Deadwood) as Sheriff Hugo Root; Mitch Pileggi confirms his return as Walter Skinner for the X-Files revival miniseries; and Netflix orders a new comedy from Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation).
At its upfront presentation this week, BET unveiled plans to bring back Ashton Kutcher's celebrity prank show Punk'd and revamp it for its own audience.
Apparently, those plans do not include the original MTV host Kutcher, although a new host has not yet been announced. Here are the details that were revealed by the MTV sister network at the presentation:
'Punk'd' - A reboot of the popular hidden camera series tailored for the BET audience. For the first time, audiences will be taken behind the scenes as the pranks are conceptualized and carried through. Stakes are high as our viewers follow the ticking clock on the journey of pranking their favorite celebrities. Produced by Katalyst Media and from executive producer Jason Goldberg.
The original series was a huge hit for MTV, running for nine seasons and 74 episodes (2003-2012), while also adding the term of "being punk'd" to the pop culture lexicon. We'll see if there's anything new BET's version can bring to the concept and if it create the same type of anxiety in celebrities that the original show did.
We'll pass along the latest on BET's version of Punk'd' once we learn more.
Evan Peters joined the cast of American Horror Story: Hotel, marking the actor's fifth go-round with the anthology series.
With the casting, Peters also joins co-star Sarah Paulson as the only two performers to appear on all five seasons of Ryan Murphy's FX series. Details on his new character haven't been released yet, but AHS fans know Peters is quite capable in just about any role - as they've seen him play a serial killer, a reincarnated monster, and a circus performer in past seasons.
So far, the AHS: Hotel cast also includes Matt Bomer (White Collar), Wes Bentley (American Beauty), Chloe Sevigny (Boys Don't Cry), Lady Gaga (Machete Kills) and series veteran Kathy Bates. However, with filming on the new season scheduled to begin this summer, we expect a few more casting announcements to come soon.
American Horror Story: Hotel is expected to make an October 2015 premiere on FX.
AMC's Preacher adaptation continued to round out its cast this week, adding W. Earl Brown (Deadwood) as Sheriff Hugo Root.
In the show from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg - based on the Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon comic book of the same name - Brown's character not only acts as the cold-hearted sheriff to the small Texas town where the story is set, but he is also the father of Eugene Root (played by previously cast Ian Colletti), also known as the horribly disfigured Arseface. If the project is ordered to series, Brown is set to become a regular player in the story that revolves around a local preacher named Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) who becomes empowered with the ability to control those around him and then sets out on a journey to literally discover God alongside his ex-girlfriend (Ruth Negga) and an Irish vampire (Joseph Gilgun).
Known for his role as Dan Dority on Deadwood, Brown will also be seen in the upcoming second season of HBO's True Detective.
We'll continue to pass along the latest casting news on AMC's Preacher as the pilot fills out the remainder of its roster.
Here's the official announcement from Pileggi himself:
Very happy to announce that Walter Skinner will once again be getting all grumpy and bitchy with his two wayward kids. Very happy.
— Mitch Pileggi (@MitchPileggi1) April 20, 2015
It's currently unclear how large a role Pileggi will have in the six-episode event miniseries, but considering his character - an FBI supervisor and superior to Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully - was a series regular in the show's final season and appeared in the film X-Files: I Want to Believe, he could have an important role to play in the continuation of the story.
Along with Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, Pileggi will join returning cast member William B. Davis (The Smoking Man) for the Chris Carter-written miniseries.
The X-Files limited series is set to begin filming this summer. We expect to see it premiere on FOX in 2016.
Source: Mitch Pileggi
Netflix has ordered a new comedy series from Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari and Parks writer Alan Yang.
The order is for a 10-episode first season that will film in New York. Although plot details haven't been released, we do know Ansari will star alongside H. Jon Benjamin (Archer) and Eric Wareheim (Tim and Eric's Awesome Show). Joining them in the cast will also be Noel Wells (Saturday Night Live), Lena Waithe (The Comeback), and Kelvin Yu (Popular). The currently untitled half-hour comedy will be co-executive produced by Ansari, Yang and Parks and Rec co-creator Mike Schur.
Reportedly, the project had been in the works at Netflix for some time, while Ansari and those involved kept things under wraps. However, fans of Ansari's stand up comedy and of Parks and Rec will likely be on board regardless of what the premise is, considering the show's content will almost assuredly be heavily influenced by his specific comedic sensibility.
We'll pass along more details on the untitled Netflix comedy from Aziz Ansari as they come in.