This week in TV:
Sonia Braga joins Luke Cage; Sesame Street premiere date; FX renews Fargo; Matt Weiner to direct Orange is the New Black episode; The CW orders more iZombie and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend; Taboo goes into production; The Originals and Vampire Diaries move to Friday nights; and the first Degrassi: Next Class trailer.
Marvel has cast Sonia Braga as Claire Temple's mother in the upcoming Luke Cage series.
The Emmy-nominated actress will be playing Soledad Temple, the mother of Rosario Dawson's Claire Temple. Details about her role in the series are being kept secret for now as production gets under way. Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel Television, had the following to say about the actress and new character:
"A character as strong as Claire needs an equally powerful mother, and with Sonia we found the perfect actress to deliver the stellar performance we needed. In 'Marvel's Luke Cage,' fans will now get a chance to see where Claire got the fire we love her for."
Braga got her start in 1975, starring in the telenovela Gabriela in Brazil. Ten years later, she starred in Kiss of the Spider Woman, a role that earned her international acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination.
Luke Cage is set to premiere on Netflix in 2016.
HBO has set the release date for the 46th season of Sesame Street: January 16th, 2016.
The season will kick off with two 30-minute episodes, beginning at 9 a.m. Season 46 will have a number of celebrity guest stars, as is tradition, including Gwen Stefani, Pharrell, and Ne-Yo. The next season will also introduce Nina, a new character who is bilingual and Hispanic, played by theater actress Suki Lopez.
The series' format has changed from hourlong episode to 30 minutes, a move that HBO feels will allow younger children engage in the episodes and different storylines. The iconic set has also been updated, with new homes for all of the characters. While the show does premiere on HBO, the series will also air on PBS Kids in the fall of 2016.
Sesame Street premieres on Saturday, January 16th, 2016.
FX has renewed Fargo for season 3.
The Emmy, Golden Globe, AFI, and Peabody Award-winning miniseries will be returning to FX for a third installment from series creator Noah Hawley. The series has proven to be an astounding success, with the first season earning universal acclaim and a number of awards. The second (currently-airing) season is following a similar trajectory and is currently the highest-ranked series of this fall on review aggregator Metacritic.
FX announced that in addition to Hawley, the Coen brothers, Warren Littlefield, and John Cameron will all return as executive producers on season 3. The anthology series has three episodes left in its second season.
Fargo is currently airing on Mondays at 10:00 p.m. EST on FX.
Mad Men creator Matt Weiner will be directing an episode of season 4 of Orange is the New Black.
This marks the Emmy-award winning writer/producer's first job since Mad Men ended earlier this year. It's also the first time that Weiner is directing a project that he didn't write himself, previously directing nine episodes of Mad Men and the 2013 feature Are You Here. Weiner joins a number of guest directors for season 4, including Jodie Foster and Allison Anders -- who have both previously directed for the series.
Orange is the New Black actress Laura Prepon revealed that she has already filmed a scene with Weiner at the helm.
"We filmed a huge day on Sunday and a lot of directors might have been overwhelmed by that, but he wasn't and he knew exactly what he wanted to do. With a huge cast like ours, when you have a director who knows exactly what they want, it makes everything go a lot smoother. I love Matt - he's awesome."
The season 4 of Orange is the New Black is expected to air on Netflix in 2016.
iZombie will be airing six additional episodes, bringing the season 2 total up to 19. The series was created by Rob Thomas, creator of Veronica Mars. Based on the Vertigo comic of the same name, the series follows Liv, a zombified med student who now solves crimes by eating the brains of the victims.
The CW has ordered 5 additional episodes of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, bringing the total up to 18. The freshman musical-comedy stars Rachel Bloom as the titular ex-girlfriend, a lawyer who gives up her successful career to move to California after bumping into an old flame. The series was originally set to air on Showtime but the network opted out after the pilot was produced. The CW eventually saved the show and have increased the number of episodes twice since the pilot was produced, jumping from 8 to 18.
iZombie airs on Tuesdays at 9pm EST and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend airs on Mondays at 8pm EST on The CW.
Taboo, the new miniseries from BBC One and FX, began filming this week.
The eight-episode event stars Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road) as James Keziah Delaney, who returns to London after a ten-year absence in 1814. The circumstances around his father's death lead Delaney to wage a personal war against the East India Company, while also escalating the ongoing war between Great Britain and the United States of America.
Taboo is based on an original story by Tom Hardy and his father, Chip Hardy, who is also a consulting producer on the series. The series was adapted for television by Stephen Knight (Peaky Blinders) and is directed by Kristoffer Nyholm (The Danish series The Killing). Ridley Scott is also on board as executive producer.
Taboo is expected to air in 2016.
Source: FX/BBC One
Starting on January 29th, 2016, The Vampire Diaries and The Originals will air on Fridays at 8pm and 9pm respectively. The shows will be taking over the time slots currently occupied by America's Next Top Model, which is ending in December, and season 3 of Reign, which is scheduled for a winter break starting in January.
The Friday night time slot from 8pm to 11pm is often called the "Friday night death slot." Shows that are moved to Friday nights are expected to be canceled by the end of their current season. Ratings have recently flagged for season 7 of The Vampire Diaries, so it's possible the show will quietly come to an end next year.
The Vampire Diaries and The Originals currently air on the CW on Thursday nights.
Netflix has released the first trailer for their upcoming series Degrassi: Next Class.
A new class is entering Degrassi Community School, but there's already plenty of drama brewing. The trailer shows brief clips of everything one would expect from the long-running series -- love, lust, fights, drama, and heartbreak.
The newest iteration of the series sees the return of a number of familiar faces: Amanda Arcuri, Reiya Downs, Ana Golja, Nikki Gould, Ricardo Hoyos, Ehren Kassam, Andre Kim, Lyle Lettau, and Richard Walters. Unfortunately, there's no word yet on whether Drake, who played Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi: The Next Generation, will be making an appearance. Joining the returning cast are new students Yael Baron (Jamie Bloch), Esme Song (Chelsea Clark), Vijay Maraj (Dante Scott), Goldi Nahir (Soma Bhatia), and Baaz Nahir (Amir Bageria).
Degrassi: Next Class arrives on Netflix in January 2016.