This Week in TV:
Keanu Reeves and director Roland Emmerich team for a sci-fi series called New Angeles; CBS orders a pilot for the Stephen King adaptation The Things They Left Behind; TNT begins development on a Shooter adaptation; Penny Dreadful season 2 casts Patti LuPone as a guest star; and The Simpsons reveals an upcoming crossover episode will feature the old version of the Simpsons from The Tracey Ullman Show.
Slingshot Global Media announced it is developing a sci-fi series, titled New Angeles, with Keanu Reeves attached to star and Roland Emmerich (White House Down) attached to direct and executive produce.
Slingshot will produce and distribute the series, which will be set in the future and center around "a young man (Reeves) who escapes the mundane reality of his life by entering an exciting virtual reality world called New Angeles." (sound familiar?) Once down the rabbit hole, the protagonist takes on a new identity, becoming the man he is destined to be, while also unlocking the keys to a mystery that has real world consequences for him and his family.
Emmerich, who has several large-scale projects already in development - including an Independence Day sequel and a Stargate reboot - will direct the pilot, which will be written by best-selling novelist Gregg Hurwitz.
The announcement is interesting on several levels, the biggest and most obvious being the show's premise is eerily similar to that of The Matrix, the film that Reeves is arguably best known for. Secondly, with a name director in Emmerich on board, the project seems to have more attention and drive behind it than Rain, another TV series Slingshot announced it was developing with Reeves as the star just three weeks ago.
For now, we can assume development on Rain will be put on hold, or perhaps Slingshot will push ahead with both projects and pick their favorite pilot to shop to networks? Either way, the company appears dead set on developing a vehicle for Reeves, who will look to launch a career as a TV star.
We'll pass along the latest on New Angeles as updates come in.
Source: Slingshot Global Media
After outbidding competitors, CBS ordered a put pilot for The Things They Left Behind, a supernatural procedural drama based on Stephen King's short story of the same name.
The show, which comes from Warner Bros. Television and creators Seth Grahame-Smith (Dark Shadows) and Greg Berlanti (The Flash), will "center on an unlikely pair of investigators carrying out the unfinished business of the dead." Grahame-Smith will pen the pilot, while his producing partner, David Kratzenberg, will co-executive produce along with Berlanti's studio Berlanti Prods.
After finding success with another King-based series in Under the Dome, CBS' interest in the burgeoning project is far from surprising. We'll just have to see if Grahame-Smith and producers can churn out an engaging drama worthy of its popular source material.
We'll let you know if The Things They Left Behind pilot gets the green light from CBS.
Paramount Television announced it has teamed with Mark Wahlberg for a Shooter TV series at TNT, based on the 2007 film of the same name.
John Hlavin (The Shield) will write the action series, while Wahlberg - the star of the original Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer) film - will executive produce alongside his frequent collaborator Stephen Levinson (Entourage). Like the film, the series will follow a former U.S. Marine sniper who goes on the run after being framed for murder.
While the 2007 film wasn't a massive hit or particularly memorable, Paramount and TNT are seeing potential for Shooter as a series. One would naturally assume that Wahlberg won't be reprising his role as Bob Lee Swagger for the cable show (considering he has a much bigger film career to attend to), but if the show finds a capable leading man, it could be worth checking out.
We'll update you on the progress as Shooter as the project develops.
LuPone is set to guest star on the hit supernatural drama as a mysterious character who is tied to the enigmatic Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) in an important way. However, we don't know exactly when LuPone's character when make her debut during the show's 10-episode sophomore season.
LuPone joins a slew of new cast members for season 2, including Douglas Hodge (Robin Hood), Sarah Greene (Vikings) and Jonny Beauchamp (How to Make it in America). Hodge will play a driven Scotland Yard detective on the hunt for whoever is responsible for the latest series of murders in London, while Greene will play the powerful daughter of Evelyn Poole (Helen McCrory). Like LuPone, we don't know much about Beauchamp's character, other than that he is a "young man with a singular past."
Although she may not be a household name with TV viewers, the two-time Grammy and Tony winner is certainly a welcome addition to the Penny Dreadful cast, which has already received a substantial amount of praise for its solid work on season 1.
Penny Dreadful season 2 doesn't have a premiere date yet, but expect to see it sometime in 2015.
It's been revealed that an upcoming episode of The Simpsons will feature the original Simpsons characters from The Tracey Ullman Show.
Homer and the gang are certainly no strangers to famous cameos and crossover events (season 26 will feature a Simpsons/Futurama crossover), but in the "Treehouse of Horror" episode on October 19, the family will stare down the more crudely drawn version of themselves that first appeared on FOX nearly 30 years ago in short skits as part of The Tracey Ullman Show. In the annual Halloween episode, the elder doppelgangers will haunt the family in a segment that parodies The Others.
Oddly enough, the Ullman-era Simpsons have made cameos on the show before, but the upcoming episode will mark their longest and largest on-screen Simpsons appearance since the late 1980s.
See The Simpsons meet the other Simpsons on the show's season 26 Halloween episode on October 19, 2014 on FOX.