In the week’s biggest news in TV and streaming, Keanu Reeves’ first U.S. TV series role, an Alien series update, an Andor revelation, and more news that came out of the Television Critics Association’s Summer Press Tour. Plus, Breaking Bad’s Walter White and Jesse Pinkman will reappear in the final season of Better Call Saul, trailers for Archer season 13 and The Good Fight’s final season, and more.
Devil in the White City: Keanu Reeves to Star in His First U.S. TV Series
(Photo by courtesy of Brian Bowen Smith)
Hulu has announced it has given a limited series order to an adaptation of author Erik Larson’s bestselling book Devil in the White City, and even better news: Keanu Reeves will star in the project, making his TV debut in a major U.S. series. He will also serve as an executive producer.
The series gets even more all-star: Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are producing the story, which revolves around Dr. H. H. Holmes, a serial killer and the man behind the “Murder Castle” at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and Daniel H. Burnham, a demanding, but brilliant architect who races to make his mark on the world.
The series, tentatively scheduled for its eight-episode premiere in 2024, will begin production next year. Sam Shaw will write and serve as showrunner and executive producer, while Todd Field will direct and executive produce. DiCaprio bought the rights to Larson’s book in 2010, and originally set it up as a feature film at Paramount, before Hulu grabbed the rights to turn it into an elaborate miniseries in 2019.
Devil in the White City is not the only highlight of Hulu’s upcoming slate, which the streaming network showcased in its Television Critics Association presentation this week. Among Hulu’s other TCA announcements:
• Hulu announced a series order for The Other Black Girl, an adaptation of author Zakiya Dalila Harris’s critically-acclaimed debut novel about Nella, an editorial assistant who is tired of being the only black girl at her company, so she’s excited when Hazel is hired. But as Hazel’s star begins to rise, Nella spirals out and discovers something sinister is going on at the company. Harris and Rashida Jones are among the series’ executive producers.
• Planet Sex with Cara Delevigne, a reality series that explores the world of human sexuality with LGBTQ+ icon Cara Delevingne as host, will premiere on November 18, with all episodes released at once.
• About Hulu’s Mike, the autobiographical series about longtime controversial champion boxer Mike Tyson – played by Moonlight’s Trevante Rhodes in the four-part series – series creator Steve Rogers answered one reporter’s question about whether or not another look at the boxer was needed, especially since Tyson did not participate at all in the series, and in fact spoke out against it. “We never wanted to say he was a hero or the villain,” Rogers said. “We really just wanted to say: Take a look at this really polarizing, interesting, unique story, and then you decide how you feel about it.” Tyson did participate in an upcoming biographical movie in which he’s portrayed by Oscar winner Jamie Foxx.
TCA Summer 2022: FX Chairman John Landgraf Shares Updates on Noah Hawley’s Alien and Fargo, Shogun, and His Prediction on Peak Streaming
(Photo by TM and copyright © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved./ Courtesy Everett Collection)
Fans of the Alien franchise have been awaiting an update on the state of Noah Hawley’s series adaptation of the sci-fi classic, and FX head John Landgraf dropped good news on that front: The series will begin shooting next year, now that Hawley has delivered all the scripts for the first season. Landgraf also confirmed Hawley’s fifth season of Fargo will begin production this fall, with stars Juno Temple, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Jon Hamm.
Landgraf also said the network had wrapped physical production on the limited series remake of Shogun in June, and though a long period of post-production is still ahead, he called the project “by far our biggest and most ambitious production ever,” and also said it “looks fantastic” and is likely to debut late next year.
Finally, the popular executive updated critics on one of his most famous statements from a past TCA session, his 2015 prediction about “peak TV,” which became oft-quoted, especially with the continued growth of streaming TV during the pandemic. But Landgraf said he’s making yet another prediction now, based on the data his own network’s “laborious hand count.”
“Due to the pandemic, getting a true read on where scripted series output might hit its top has been hard. My original prediction that we would see the maximum in 2018 or ’19 was obviously way, way off,” Landgraf said. “This year, we’ve seen a tidal wave of scripted programming thanks to the bottleneck of Covid-delayed production finally clearing up. From January 1st through the end of June, the number of scripted series has set a record for the first half of the year.
“This is a laborious hand count done by FX Research, so it’s an estimate, and your mileage may vary slightly, but 357 scripted series across broadcast, cable, and streaming have launched through the month of June. That is up 16 percent from this time last year, when the final count of 559 scripted shows established a new all-time high. I think it’s obvious that this year will bring a new record, but the most fun I have these days is sticking my neck out, so I’m going to foolishly make another prediction, which is that 2022 will be the high-water mark, in other words, that it will mark the peak of the peak TV era.
“It will take a year and a half to find out if I am right this time or will have to eat crow yet again,” Landgraf laughed.
In other FX TCA news:
• Atlanta creator, writer, and star Donald Glover said he thinks the upcoming fourth season, which premieres Sept. 15, is “probably the most grounded season … I think it explores people more than we have before, because I feel like, you know, we’re right now kind of living at a time where you just don’t give people the benefit of the doubt. So I felt like this is a good time to kind of explore that a little bit more,” he said of the series’ final season.
• Ahead of the presentation, FX announced that Elisabeth Moss will star in The Veil, a limited series thriller FX has ordered exclusively for Hulu. Steven Knight will executive produce alongside Moss, Nina Tassler, and Lindsey McManus. The story explores the surprising and fraught relationship between two women who play a deadly game of truth and lies on the road from Istanbul to Paris and London. One woman has a secret, the other a mission to reveal it before thousands of lives are lost.
• The Americans showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg are returning to FX with the tense new drama The Patient, starring Steve Carell as a therapist who is forced to try to help his patient, a serial killer, before he kills again — and possibly makes the therapist his victim. Weisberg and Fields were asked why they cast Carell, who is not Jewish, in the role, given that themes about Judaism and the culture factor in a big way into the storyline. “When we came up with the original idea, the character wasn’t originally Jewish, and we started, as you always do, looking for ways to add specificity and depth,” Weisberg said. “We came up with that idea and pretty quickly realized that it allowed us to tap into things from our own lives and our own past that added just certain dimensions.” Added Fields, “The Jewish themes are very personal and important to each of us. My dad was a rabbi, so I grew up in that world. Joe grew up with a Jewish family as well, so we were able to tap into something very personal for us. Ultimately, I think a big part of our belief as storytellers is that what we’re doing is trying to amplify our common humanity. And that’s something Steve does brilliantly in this part.” The Patient premieres on FX on Aug. 30.
• Landgraf announced FX is producing a “stunningly ambitious and cinematic” five-part docuseries Dead Mama, about Tupac Shakur and his mother, Afeni, directed by Allen Hughes (The Book of Eli).
Upcoming Star Wars Series Andor Will Last Only 2 Seasons
Andor showrunner Tony Gilroy said the latest Lucasfilm Star Wars story, a 12-episode Rogue One prequel series that explores a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy and focusing on Cassian Andor’s (Diego Luna) journey to discover the difference he can make, will end after the series’ second season, because the timeline slides right into Rogue One at that point. Gilroy also explained why Alan Tudyk’s Imperial droid K-2SO won’t show up in the series anytime soon.
“ It’s a story we are eager to tell. It’s difficult to carry an Imperial droid around with you and not draw all kinds of attention. It’s a difficult piece of luggage. When we do it, we’ll do it in a spectacular fashion as opposed to presenting it and ignoring it, or presenting it or hiding it, or the bad versions we would have been forced to do.”
Added Luna, “We have five years [before the events in Rogue One]. If (Cassian) knew K2 back then, there would be no journey to go through.”
The series also stars Genevieve O’Reilly, Stellan Skarsgård, Adria Arjona, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller, and Fiona Shaw, and premieres Sept. 21 on Disney+.
Related: Everything We Know About Andor, the Upcoming Star Wars Series
Read Also: She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Star Tatiana Maslany on 2-Body Comedy and How Charlie Cox’s Daredevil Fits Into the Show
NEW TRAILERS: Archer Season 13: Sterling and the Rest of the Agency Are Now Working for Fabian Kingsworth
In Archer season 13, Archer and The Agency have been acquired by Fabian Kingsworth and the spy conglomerate known as IIA (International Intelligence Agency). As the gang struggles to find their identity performing odd missions for Fabian, one question arises: will they be able to maintain independence, or will they succumb to their corporate overlords? Stars H. Jon Benjamin, with guest stars Kenan Thompson, Alison Pill, Christian Slater, Kayvan Novak and Stephen Tobolowsky. Premieres Aug. 24. (FX)
More trailers and teasers released this week:
• The Good Fight is up for its sixth and final season, and Diane (Christine Baranski) feels like she’s going crazy, struggling with an uneasy sense of déjà vu, with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, to voting rights, to Cold War aggressions returning. Meanwhile, the lawyers of Reddick & Associates wonder if the violence that they see all around them points to an impending civil war. Also stars Andre Braugher, John Slattery, Sarah Steele, Michael Boatman, Nyambi, Charmaine Bingwa, and Audra McDonald. Alan Cumming and Carrie Preston guest star. Premieres Sept. 8 (Paramount+)
• Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers is the 10-part series of the remarkable rise and unprecedented success of one of the most dominant and iconic franchises in professional sports. featuring exclusive access to the Buss family and probing, revealing interviews with players, coaches, and front office execs. Premieres Aug. 15. (Hulu)
• Tell Me Lies follows the eight-year drama between Lucy Albright (Grace Van Patten) and Stephen DeMarco (Jackson White), who meet at college when they are at that formative age when seemingly mundane choices lead the way to irrevocable consequences. Although their relationship begins like any typical campus romance, they quickly fall into an addictive entanglement that will permanently alter not only their lives, but the lives of everyone around them. Stars Grace Van Patten and Jackson White, produced by Emma Roberts, and based on the book of the same name by Carola Lovering. Premieres Sept. 7. (Hulu)
• I Came By is the drama about rebellious, young graffiti writers, Toby (George Mackay) and Jay (Percelle Ascott), who regularly target the homes of the U.K.’s wealthy elite and ruling class. When Toby breaks into the home of renowned former High Court Judge Sir Hector Blake (Hugh Bonneville) he discovers a shocking secret that leads him on a journey endangering himself and those closest to him. Premieres Aug. 31. (Netflix)
• Lost Ollie is the limited series epic adventure about a lost toy who braves the many dangers of childhood as he searches the countryside to reunite with the boy who lost him, and the story of the boy who lost more than a best friend. It’s inspired by the book Ollie’s Odyssey by renowned author and illustrator William Joyce. Stars Jonathan Groff, Mary J. Blige, Tim Blake Nelson, Gina Rodriguez, Jake Johnson, and Kesler Talbot. Premieres Aug. 24. (Netflix)
• Big Sky season 3 returns with a new story, some new cast members, and a new title; Big Sky: Deadly Trails, as David E. Kelley’s murder mystery welcomes new sheriff Beau (Jensen Ackles) and backcountry outfitter Sunny Barnes (Reba McEntire) to Montana, where they’ll become a part of the latest local deadly drama with pals Cassie (Kylie Bunbury) and Jenny (Katheryn Winnick). The series also moves to a new Wednesday night timeslot with its Sept. 21 premiere. (ABC)
• Love in the Villa revolves around Julie (Kat Graham), who takes a trip to romantic Verona, Italy, after a break up, only to find that the villa she reserved was double-booked, and she’ll have to share her vacation with a cynical and very good-looking British man named Charlie (Tom Hopper). Premieres Sept. 1 (Netflix)
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CASTING: Bob Odenkirk Says Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul Will Return Again in Better Call Saul as Walter White and Jesse Pinkman Before Series Ends
However you felt about that much-anticipated guest appearance by Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul on this week’s episode of Better Call Saul, Saul star Bob Odenkirk made a surprise revelation during his guest appearance on The View this week: Cranston and Paul will be back as their Breaking Bad characters Walt and Jesse in at least one of the remaining two episodes that will end the sixth and final season of Better Call Saul on Aug. 15.
Meredith Grey will be extra busy on the next season – season 19 – of Grey’s Anatomy; in fact, she’ll be so busy as the interim Chief of Surgery at the hospital, that viewers may see less of her on screen. OK, it’s really because Meredith portrayer Ellen Pompeo is cutting her working hours on the ABC drama. Pompeo will appear in just eight episodes on screen, while continuing her duties as narrator and executive producer for the entire season. The change in schedule comes as Pompeo jumps into another role, in Hulu’s Orphan limited series, inspired by the true story of Natalia Grace, the Ukranian-born woman whose U.S. adoptive parents claimed she was a sociopath, an adult who has pretended to be a child. (Deadline)
Valorie Curry and Susan Hayward are joining the fourth season of The Boys as new superheroes: Curry (The Lost Symbol) will play Firecracker, and Hayward will play Sister Sage, characters who are not in The Boys comics, so they are new to fans. Also in the new season, star Cameron Crovetti, who plays Ryan, the son of Homelander, will be promoted to series regular status, suggesting Ryan will become an even more important part of the storyline ahead. (Variety)
Cyndi Lauper will have a recurring guest role in the Prime Video series The Horror of Dolores Roach. Lauper will star opposite previously announced cast Justina Machado, Marc Maron, Judy Reyes, Alejandro Hernandez, Kita Updike, K. Todd Freeman, Jean Yoon, and Jeffery Self. The series, based on the podcast of the same name and given an eight-episode order in February, tells the story of the titular Roach (Machado), who is released from prison after 16 years with nothing but $200 and the clothes she’s wearing to her gentrified Washington Heights home. Her family’s gone and her boyfriend is missing, and she’s forced to go to extremes to survive after an old friend gives her a place to stay and work. Lauper reportedly will play Ruthie, a theater usher and PI who causes trouble for Dolores. (Variety)
New Girl alum Hannah Simone has joined the cast of the new ABC comedy Not Dead Yet, starring with Gina Rodriguez in a story based on author Alexandra Potter’s 2020 book Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up. Rodriguez plays Nell, who left her career as a journalist behind a decade ago to help her boyfriend launch his restaurant. When they break-up, the only career-related job she can get is writing obituaries. Simone plays Sam, the former wild child, now organized mom who is the lifestyle editor of the newspaper where Nell works. (Deadline)
The cast of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Road House movie “reimagining,” has expanded. Billy Magnussen, Daniela Melchior, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Lukas Gage, Hannah Love Lanier, Travis Van Winkle, B.K. Cannon, Arturo Castro, Dominique Columbus, Beau Knapp, and Bob Menery have been added to Prime Video film directed by Doug Liman.
Recurring stars Merle Dandridge, Josh Randall, and Pat Healy have been upped to series regulars for season 6 on ABC’s Station 19.
The Netflix limited series A Man in Full, starring Jeff Daniels and Diane Lane, has added William Jackson Harper, Aml Ameen, Tom Pelphrey, Sarah Jones, Jon Michael Hill, and Chanté Adams to the cast. Based on the Tom Wolfe novel of the same name, the series will be produced by David E. Kelley, produced and directed by Regina King, and follows an Atlanta real estate mogul who goes bankrupt, as his rivals try to take advantage of his misfortune. Harper plays the mayor of Atlanta, while Pelphrey plays a loan officer whose desperate lifestyle is about to lead to chaos. (Variety)
Obi-Wan Kenobi Emmy nominee Moses Ingram has joined the cast of the Apple TV+ limited series The Big Cigar. Based on a Playboy article by Joshua Bearman, the six-episode series will tell the story of how Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton (André Holland) relied on his best friend, Easy Rider producer Bert Schneider (Alessandro Nivola), to go on the lam from cops and the FBI and escape to Cuba and skip a national manhunt. Ingram will play a former phone operator turned Black Panther member, Teresa Dixon, who was also a close friend to Newton. (Deadline)
Skeet Ulrich has joined the Giancarlo Esposito AMC drama The Driver, a remake of the British drama of the same name about Vince, a taxi driver (Esposito) whose life is interrupted when he agrees to drive a New Orleans–based gangster infamous for exploiting undocumented immigrants at U.S. ports. Ulrich will play Colin, an old friend of Vince. Ray Donovan alum Paula Malcomson also stars. (Deadline)
RuPaul’s Drag Race star Shea Couleé has joined the cast of Disney+’s Marvel series Ironheart. She will be a series regular on the series, but her role has not been confirmed. The series will be based on the comic book of the same name, about Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), an inventor who creates a suit of armor that’s as cool as Iron Man’s. (EW)
Idris Elba and Deadpool 2 director David Leitch are teaming up for a Netflix movie adaptation of the comic book series Bang! with Elba playing a super spy who is tasked with stopping a terrorist cult trying to start the apocalypse using a series of books meant to brainwash readers. (THR)
PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT: Outlander Prequel Series Gets a Title
(Photo by Starz)
Starz has announced it’s given a title to its highly-anticipated Outlander prequel series: Outlander: Blood of My Blood. The writers room for the new series is open, and the story will revolve around the love story of Jamie Fraser’s parents. Outlander showrunner Matthew B. Roberts is writing the prequel series and will also serve as the Blood of My Blood showrunner.
Oscar-winning screenwriters Bobby Moresco (Crash) and Nick Vallelonga (Green Book) are teaming up with Midnight Run screenwriter George Gallo and John Gotti Jr. for the limited series Betrayal: John Gotti and the Fall of La Cosa Nostra. There’s no network or streaming service attached yet, but the project will differ from other Gotti projects in that, instead of focusing on the more flamboyant aspects of the ‘80s and ‘90s infamous New York mobster, Betrayal will focus on the last years of Gotti’s life, when he was incarcerated in Ohio and was trying to run his mob business from prison, via communication with his son, John Jr. (Deadline)
AMC Networks is developing a reboot of the signature ’80 series Max Headroom, with original series star, Matt Frewer returning for his role as the world’s first AI TV personality. Halt and Catch Fire co-creator Christopher Cantwell will write and serve as showrunner of the series, with Elijah Wood producing. Headroom, a snarky, quippy “TV host” was introduced in a British TV movie, before becoming a pop-culture sensation, advertising star, magazine cover figure, and the star of 1987-88’s Max Headroom on ABC. His cult-fave status has included more recent mentions or appearances on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., BoJack Horseman, and Selena Gomez’s video for the song “Love You Like a Love Song.” (Deadline)
Showtime has ordered a comedy pilot called Mason, created by and starring Joe Pera Talks to You star Nathan Min in the autobiographical project about “a quiet man named Nathan, often misheard as ‘Mason,’ seeking connection in a loud world.” Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan (Everything Everywhere All at Once) will direct and executive produce the project, along with Min and Nope and The Walking Dead star Steven Yeun.
WOW, the Women of Wrestling, the all-female sports entertainment entity, will premiere in syndication across the country the weekend of Sept. 17. The only global all-female wrestling organization is owned by Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss.
Chris Rock’s Everybody Hates Chris is making a comeback, as an animated comedy called Everybody Still Hates Chris, which will run on Paramount+ and Comedy Central. Rock will return as narrator of the series, which focuses on his teenage years growing up in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn in the 1980s. (Deadline)
Only Murders in the Building star Selena Gomez is in talks with 20th Century to produce a series remake of the studio’s classic Melanie Griffith movie Working Girl. The Best Picture Oscar nominee, which also earned Oscar nods for Griffith, Joan Cusack, and Sigourney Weaver (and won the Best Original Song Oscar for Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run”), was adapted into a short-lived series on NBC in 1990, with Sandra Bullock starring as titular working girl Tess McGill. (Deadline)
Days of Our Lives, one of only four daytime soap operas remaining on network television, is moving to a new home: Peacock on Sept. 12. DOOL, which has aired on NBC for 57 years, will move to streaming-only. The spot will be filled by NBC News Daily when Days moves to Peacock, and means only ABC, with General Hospital, and CBS, with The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful, continue airing daytime soaps on network TV.
CBS has announced it will unite the “NCIS-iverse” with a crossover event on Sept. 19 that will unite the 20th season premiere episode of the original NCIS series with the season 2 premiere episode of NCIS: Hawaii: during a suspenseful two hours, the hunt for a dangerous suspect unveils a complex network and a larger sinister plan that will take the D.C. team to Hawaii in a race to thwart the next large-scale attack.
IRL Experiences: Kit Harington Will Lead Cast Reunion at First Official Game of Thrones Fan Convention
(Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)
The first official Game of Thrones fan convention will happen in December in Los Angeles, and will feature a cast reunion that, so far, will include Kit Harington, Alfie Allen, Jack Gleeson, Kristofer Hivju, Kristian Nairn, Daniel Portman, Gemma Whelan, and Isaac Hempstead-Wright. Tickets for the Dec. 9-11 Los Angeles Convention Center event are on sale now.
An official, Netflix-approved immersive Squid Game experience will launch in New York City in September.
And, for those Better Call Saul fans with some extra cash laying around and in the need of a way to soothe yourself about that impending series finale, a charity auction of authentic Saul props might be just the trick. A portion of the proceeds from more than 250 original props, costumes, and set decoration items will be donated to two local Albuquerque charities: Assistance League of Albuquerque and ABQ Mutual Aid. Among the goodies up for auction: Hector Salamanca’s back-up bell (estimated at $3K-5K); Jimmy McGill’s University of American Samoa sweatshirt (est. $2K-3K); Marco Salamanca’s skull tip boots ($1.5K-2.5K); Gustavo Fring’s Los Pollos Hermanos uniform ($1.5K-2.5K); Mike Ehrmantraut’s parking lot attendant uniform ($1K-1.5K); and Chuck McGill’s space blanket ($600-800). Bidders can participate globally from Aug. 18-Sept. 1 via www.propstore.com/bettercallsaul.
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