This Week in TV:
The series finale of Sons of Anarchy is the show's most-watched episode ever; we get a first look at The Americans season 3 with a trailer; The Last Ship season 2 adds three recurring cast members; MTV's Shannara adaptation casts Austin Butler (The Carrie Diaries, Arrow); and USA renews the comedy Playing House for season 2.
As cable's top performer of the night, the SOA finale drew in 6.4 million total viewers, with 4.2 million of those coming in the coveted 18-49 demo. Those numbers narrowly - but still impressively - clipped the 6.2 and 4.1 million viewers the season 7 premiere scored in those respective categories back on September 9.
Although a collector's companion book that included finale spoilers was released by a few outlets before the final episode had aired, the numbers make it clear that loyal SOA fans were still dying to see how creator Kurt Sutter intended to conclude his ultra-violent Shakespearean biker gang story (read our review of the series finale). Considering the series finale was also watched by a million more viewers than the dramatic final episode of season 6, it's also safe to say fans who had been on a SAMCRO hiatus came back for the grand finale. It's also assured that new viewers - including many fans who climbed on board after discovering the series on Netflix - contributed to the episode's final tally as well.
While the series will be missed by FX and its followers, Sons of Anarchy will certainly be remembered for its dramatic story twists and uncompromising darkness, as well as some disturbing moments (check out our list of 15) some of us may actually like to forget.
FX released a debut trailer for The Americans season 3, giving us a first look at the upcoming season. Take a peek at the clip below.
With season 3 of the series picking up after the death of Soviet Union leader Leonid Brezhnev, Soviet spies Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell) appear to have their hands full in juggling their facade as a perfect American family with the challenge of keeping their cover as the heat on them intensifies. In the trailer, we also see the couple struggle with revealing their secret to their teenage daughter.
While we don't get too many specific story beats from this first look, the clip does manage to build excitement by packing in quite a bit of action backed by a chilling tone, which is aided by The Police's "Every Breath You Take".
The Americans season 3 premieres on January 28, 2015 on FX.
Source: FX Networks
The trio of actors will take on major recurring roles in the show's sophomore season; Moses (pictured above) as a high-ranking government official trying to protect citizens from the plague; and O'Byrne and Court as a pair of British brothers whose own plans have an impact of the mission of the USS Nathan James.
While the show's rookie season certainly had its highs and lows in terms of quality, those who stuck with the drama were rewarded with a dramatic finale that continued to flesh out some interesting supporting characters and storylines worth following in season 2. These latest castings add a few more important players to the mix, which should give fans even more incentive to return to the Nathan James next year.
Look for The Last Ship season 2 to hit TNT in 2015.
Best known to younger audiences for his role as the bad-boy heartthrob Sebastian on The CW's short-lived Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries, Butler will play half-elf Wil Ohmsford in the new show set centuries after nuclear war destroys Earth's current civilization. After learning he is the last in the bloodline of the magical Shannara family, Wil decides to set out to find the Druid who holds the key to his future.
Butler joins previously cast female lead Poppy Drayton (Downton Abbey) as elven princess Amberle Elessedil - whom Wil travels with on his quest - and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles director Jonathan Liebesman, who will helm the show's first two episodes.
While Brooks' book series has often drawn comparisons to The Lord of the Rings, MTV seems confident that the property will have some fresh appeal to its teen audience, based on the network's straight-to-series order of a 10-episode first season.
We'll pass along the latest on MTV's Shannara as it comes in.
USA Networks has renewed its comedy Playing House for season 2.
Despite generating fairly low ratings and a general lack of buzz, the comedy from producers/writers/stars Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham earned a second chance from USA, which waited six months following the finale of Playing House's 10-episode freshman season to make a decision on the show's future. Ultimately, the show's stronger performance with on-demand viewership - along with favorable reviews - may have been what earned it a second season, which will consist of eight episodes.
There is no premiere date set yet for Playing House season 2, but we should expect to see the comedy return to USA in 2015.