History has a scored a few big ratings hits this season, and though its first scripted drama Vikings has not even finished its inaugural run, the cable network has already renewed it for a 10-episode second season. According to the network, Vikings has been the #1 new cable series in 2013 in terms of viewership, even in its competitive Sunday night slot, averaging around five million viewers. I reviewed the series as it first aired and found it compelling, especially in the weeks before another gritty period drama, Game of Thrones, returned — although Vikings certainly has its own merits. Hit the jump for more.
HISTORY has announced their cast for the scripted series, Vikings. Hoping to bank on the success of HBO’s Game of Thrones, writer Michael Hirst (The Tudors) created the series based on real life figures of Scandanavian history. The story follows the family saga and rise to power of Ragnar Lothbrok, a great hero who pushed the limits of exploration and rose to become King of the Viking tribes. Gabriel Byrne and George Blagden are joined by Travis Fimmel, Jessalyn Gilsig, Gustaf Skarsgard, Clive Standen and Katheryn Winnick. Hit the jump for the full press release.
For his directorial debut, producer George Isaac (Adulthood) has landed some top-notch actors to head up the London-based crime thriller, All Things to All Men. Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment), Rufus Sewell (The Tourist) and Toby Stephens (Die Another Day) have joined the cast in addition to supporting members Elsa Pataky, Leo Gregory, Julian Sands and James Frain.
In All Things to All Men, a criminal named Riley (Stephens) is caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse between Parker, a London police boss (Sewell) and the crime lord, Joseph Corso (Byrne). Principal photography is currently underway in London. [Casting news via THR.]
Julie Andrews, Gemma Arterton, Matthew Goode, and Gabriel Byrne have signed on to star in an adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel Crooked House. In the murder mystery is set against “the backdrop of three generations of a family that lives together in a large and seemingly crooked house.” Every member of the eccentric family has motive to have killed the multimillionaire patriarch, Aristide Leonide. Neil LaBute (Death at a Funeral) will direct from a script by Julian Fellowes (The Tourist) and Tim Rose Price (The Serpent’s Kiss). The $20 million production is scheduled to shoot this summer in the U.K. The story calls for a large ensemble, so expect more casting notices in the near future. Andrews, Goode, and Byrne — and sure, let’s throw in the lovely Arterton — is a very good start.
Read a quote from LaBute and the full book synopsis after the jump.
Though most network and cable shows are kicking later this month, October always sees the return of some series a little later in the fall season and this year is no exception. First up, via press release, HBO announced their drama series In Treatment will return to the air on Monday, October 25th with two back-to-back episodes kicking off the third season. Then Tuesday, October 26th will see two more back-to-back episodes as well. Gabriel Byrne will reprise his role as Dr. Paul Weston with new cast members like Debra Winger (Rachel Getting Married) and Amy Ryan (The Office, Gone Baby Gone) being tossed into the mix.
Details on SyFy’s returning series after the jump.
The Wire alum Amy Ryan will return to HBO this year in the psychotherapy drama In Treatment. Based on a popular Israeli series, In Treatment centers around Gabriel Byrne’s Dr. Paul Weston and his weekly sessions with patients. Deadline reports that Ryan will play Weston’s new therapist since Dianne Wiest, who played Weston’s old therapist, is departing the show. Ryan joins Debra Winger as a new addition to the season three cast.
The series has a flexible shooting schedule, and so will hopefully not preclude a return to The Office for Ryan that was teased at the end of season six. Plus, In Treatment excels at providing actors with award-worthy material, so Ryan has a good shot at a Emmy nomination to go with her Oscar kudos for Gone Baby Gone.