This Week in TV:
FX renews Tyrant for season 2; Netflix orders two seasons of a new Judd Apatow comedy called Love; Justified adds Sam Elliot (Tombstone) and Garret Dillahunt (Raising Hope) to season 6 in recurring roles; and NBC begins development on a Problem Child (1990) adaptation.
Nearly a month after the conclusion of Tyrant season 1, FX gave the rookie political drama a season 2 renewal.
While many viewers - including our own Kevin Yeoman - were underwhelmed with where Tyrant's season 1 finale left things, the show performed surprisingly well for the network over its first 10 episodes, averaging 5.1 million viewers per week.
Said president of original programming for FX, Nick Grad:
“We’re so proud of ‘Tyrant’s’ performance throughout its first season. Howard Gordon is one of the best and most successful producers in this business. His ability to combine intelligent, edge-of-your-seat storytelling with events from the current geopolitical climate is truly groundbreaking. We look forward to seeing how 'Tyrant' grows in season two.”
The network was so pleased with season 1 of the new series that it increased its season 2 order to 13 hour-long episodes.
We'll see what twists and turns Tyrant takes when the drama returns to FX with season 2 in 2015.
Netflix has commissioned a two-season straight-to-series order for Love, a new sitcom from comedy movie mogul Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, This Is 40).
The series will star Paul Rust (I Love You, Beth Cooper) and Gillian Jacobs (Community) as a young couple navigating the exhilaration and humiliation of intimacy. Apatow co-created and wrote the show with Rust and Lesley Arfin (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), each of whom will also serve as executive producers.
While it's been over a decade since Apatow has worked in television in such a prominent role (he produces Girls), the type of adult relationship material he is working with on Love is clearly something he's become comfortable with and passionate about in recent years, as he's covered similar comedic territory in his last two films, Funny People and This is 40.
Those films may have had less wide appeal than some of his previous hits, but they were certainly more personal and grounded - qualities that may be more appreciated and accessible through a viewer-driven platform like Netflix, as opposed to broadcast network TV.
The 10-episode first season of Love will debut on Netflix in 2016, followed by a 12-episode season 2 in 2017.
Justified added two more veteran actors to its final season, casting Sam Elliott (Tombstone) and Garret Dillahunt (Deadwood) in recurring roles for season 6.
Elliot will play Markham, an infamous Kentucky gangster who returns from exile with a private army and plans to reclaim his empire and his lost love, Katherine Hale (Mary Steenburgen). Meanwhile, Dillahunt will play Walker, a Special Ops veteran who, after spending time as a soldier and private contractor, now handles security for a powerful businessman.
Both characters should add some excitement and intrigue to what is already a highly anticipated final season of Justified. And considering both actors have spent time on westerns, they should be able to blend seamlessly into the show's neo-western world.
Justified season 6 premieres in January 2015 on FX.
NBC announced it is developing a TV comedy adaptation of the hit 1990 film Problem Child.
The project hails from Universal Television, which has hired Scot Armstrong, a writer behind R-rated hits such as Old School and The Hangover Part II, to develop the PG-rated property into a single-camera sitcom. Armstrong will also executive produce along with Rachel Kaplan (Do No Harm).
The original film, which starred the late John Ritter, Amy Yasbeck and Michael Oliver, centered on a mischievous trouble-making orphan who takes great delight in punishing mean adults with humiliating pranks. The 1990 comedy was panned by critics, but achieved financial success, grossing $72 million on just a $10 million budget. That success led to two (significantly less successful) sequels.
We'll update you on the progress of the Problem Child TV reboot as more news comes in.