The first television outing for Skyfall duo Sam Mendes and John Logan has roped in even more prestige talent. The Impossible director Juan Antonio Bayona has been tapped to direct the first two episodes of the new Showtime series Penny Dreadful, which was created, written, and executive produced by Skyfall scribe John Logan and has Sam Mendes onboard as an executive producer. The incredibly promising “psychosexual horror series” takes place in Victorian London and weaves together the classic origin stories of horror icons like Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Grey, and several characters from the novel Dracula. Hit the jump for more.
Showtime has made the first episode of the new drama series Ray Donovan available online in its entirety, for zero monies. The show stars Liev Schreiber as a “fixer” for the rich and famous in Los Angeles whose life is complicated when his powerful father—whom he may or may not have framed—is unexpectedly released from prison. The series’ extended trailer looked quite promising, and the show should make a strong summer companion series for Dexter, which returns for its final season later this month as well.
Hit the jump to watch the entire first episode of Ray Donovan, which is unfortunately only available for viewers in the US, and look out for Allison’s review on the site later this month. The series premieres on Showtime Sunday, June 30th at 9pm ET/PT.
Showtime’s rich, complicated Renaissance drama The Borgias will be coming to an end earlier than expected. The third season finale on June 16th will also serve as a series finale, as Showtime has also scrapped plans for a two-hour wrap-up movie. Though The Borgias held steady in the ratings this year, its production costs were deemed too high to continue. Additionally, creator Neil Jordan wasn’t sure he had enough material in mind for a full fourth season, but had still hoped to be able to wrap things up for Pope Alexander (Jeremy Irons), Cesare (François Arnaud) and Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) with a film.
The series’ complexity and intense drama has kept it on critics’ radars throughout its run (and included a Golden Globe nomination for Irons and 10 Emmys for the series so far), but unfortunately it never gained the exposure or interest of a period drama series like HBO’s Game of Thrones (and admittedly was never as engaging, though still made for great TV). Hit the jump for more on what Jordan had to say about the finale, and the way he had hoped to end the series in a movie.
Showtime has released a full trailer for the upcoming eighth and final season of the drama series Dexter. The trailer shows how the events of last season’s finale will reverberate throughout this new batch of episodes, and we’re also introduced to a new character that could finally spell the end for Michael C. Hall’s Dexter and his secret-keeping. There are some promising bits to be found in this new trailer, but I’m a little apprehensive about how Jennifer Carpenter’s Deb is handled. It looks like Deb’s arc could get really repeptetive really quickly, not to mention being a tad grating. Nevertheless, I’m interested to see how the producers pave the wave for the conclusion of the long-running series.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, which includes spoilers for season (obviously). Season eight of Dexter premieres on Showtime Sunday, June 30th at 9pm ET/PT.
It’s officially official, folks: Dexter has run its course. While producers of the wildly popular Showtime series had previously stated that they began season seven with the intention that the show would come to an end at the conclusion of season eight, the network had yet to publicly confirm an end date. Now Showtime has confirmed that the upcoming eighth season of Dexter will in fact be its last. The Michael C. Hall-fronted series continues to be a ratings draw for the pay cable network, but its quality has been a bit of a roller coaster over the past few seasons.
The first teaser trailer for season eight hinted at the titular character hitting a breaking point this year, and it’ll be interesting to see what kind of endgame the producers have in mind given the events that transpired last season. Yvonne Strahovski, who appeared in a multi-episode arc last year, is confirmed to be returning for this final season, so might Dex get a semi-happy ending after all? We’ll find out for sure this summer when season eight of Dexter premieres on Sunday, June 30th. Hit the jump to watch a sneak peek clip from the final season.
A couple of new trailers have been released for two new pay cable drama series. Showtime has unveiled an extended look at its new series Ray Donovan, which stars Liev Schreiber as a “fixer” for the rich and famous in Los Angeles whose life is complicated when his powerful father—whom he may or may not have framed—is unexpectedly released from prison. Despite the bland title, the show actually looks like a fairly interesting character drama with a pair of strong performances by Schreiber and Jon Voight. The series premieres on Showtime on Sunday, June 30th.
Additionally, Starz has unveiled a new look at its period series Da Vinci’s Demons. From executive producer David S. Goyer (Batman Begins), the show stars Tom Riley as the titular artist/inventor/swordsman/idealist living in Renaissance Florence, struggling to exist within the confines of his own reality and time as he begins to not only see the future, but invent it. The series premieres on Starz on Friday, April 12th. Hit the jump to watch the trailers for Ray Donovan and Da Vinci’s Demons.
Some renewals for some popular cable television programs have been ordered. Briefly:
- Showtime has ordered new seasons of Shameless, House of Lies, and Californication to air in 2014.
- Cinemax has renewed True Blood creator Alan Ball’s new series Banshee for a second season that will debut in 2014.
- BBC America has ordered an 8-episode second season of the mystery series Ripper Street to air in 2014.
Hit the jump to read the press releases.
Showtime has announced the premiere dates for its 2013 original series. Here’s a brief look at the schedule:
Hit the jump for more details on all of the aforementioned series.
Director Ridley Scott may be 75 years old, but he has no plans to slow down anytime soon. After making a welcome return to the sci-fi genre with Prometheus, Scott dove right into directing the Cormac McCarthy-scripted drama The Counselor. Now, before he settles on his next feature film, Scott is set to make his first foray into television. EW reports that Scott will direct the pilot for a new Showtime series called The Vatican. Written by Paul Attanasio (House), the show is described as “a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics – set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic church. The series will explore the relationships and rivalries as well as the mysteries and miracles behind one of the world’s most hidden institutions.”
Scott has experience producing on television through his Scott Free banner, but The Vatican will mark his first time directing in the medium. The order for the show is only for a pilot at this time, but it’s hard to imagine Showtime passing on a Ridley Scott-helmed project. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Monday’s TV ratings are in along with the cable ratings for Sunday’s programming. Here’s a brief look at the highlights:
- CBS’ veteran series How I Met Your Mother saw a rise, hitting a 3.3 rating in the 18-49 demo and 9 million viewers. That’s up 6% from last week’s 3.1 rating.
- 2 Broke Girls was once again the highest rated program of the night, garnering a 4.0 rating and 11.8 million viewers and a 3.9 rating and 11.5 million viewers for back-to-back new episodes. That’s up over last week’s 3.5 rating in the demo.
- Over at Showtime, the penultimate episode of Dexter‘s seventh season broke literally every Showtime record in existence, as the installment drew 2.6 million total viewers.
- Critical favorite Homeland also made records of its own, as the Showtime series’ penultimate episode of its second season was up 8 percent over last week’s series-high, netting another all-time high of 2.36 million viewers.
Hit the jump for the full ratings report for Monday, December 10th, including 90210, Hawaii Five-O, and more.
Since the release of the first film, the Twilight phenomenon has just continued to grow exponentially. With the highly anticipated final installment, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, hitting theaters on November 16th, fans will finally get to see the conclusion of the romantic epic that has entranced millions worldwide.
At the film’s L.A. press junket, actor Michael Sheen (who plays Volturi leader Aro) spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about how much fun it was to play the all-out crazy side of his character, how much they shot that was cut out of the film and that he hopes will make it on the DVD, finding the level of theatricality for his performance, how he thinks Aro might have been as a human, and what it’s been like to be a part of this worldwide phenomenon, especially having a daughter that gives him perspective on it. He also talked about what attracted him to the Showtime drama series Masters of Sex, about the pioneers of the science of human sexuality whose research touched off the sexual revolution, in which he’s playing Dr. William Masters. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
This week’s Homeland was mostly the payoff from last week’s emotionally explosive episode, where alliances seemed to genuinely change and create a new trajectory for the back half of the season. And then, orbiting out on its own, is Dana’s story, a terrible tragedy that has to be kept a secret. Dana, who has always seemed to share more with Brody than Jess (including his ability to lie) has found herself a little too close to things that Brody knows — like what it’s like to take an unexpected car trip and end up killing someone. Yes Finn was driving the car, but it was at Dana’s behest that they do something reckless. Ultimately the fault lies entirely with Finn, but Dana simply being there and witnessing and being able to do anything (or rather, choosing not to do anything because of other factors) weighs heavily upon her. Hit the jump for more on what went wrong in Gettysburg and elsewhere in Brody’s emotional Civil War (see what I did there?)
Good news for a couple of popular series. First up, hot off the network’s biggest ratings in years, The CW has picked up the superhero adaptation Arrow for a full season. Much like Smallville, the show puts a television spin on the Green Arrow comic book character and has been met with a relatively enthusiastic audience response. The series had an impressively strong hold from its premiere numbers of 4.02 million viewers and a 1.3 rating in the coveted 18-49 demo to the second episode, so the order was a no-brainer. The CW’s pick-up is for a full 22-episode season.
Hit the jump for renewal news concerning the best show on TV, Homeland.
Finally it was a quieter week on the Homeland front, which more or less equates to me having two or fewer strokes during the episode. “New Car Smell” was the payoff for this season’s biggest revelation (which I will discuss more after the spoiler jump). Aside from all of the Carrie and Brody action, we spent a lot of time this week with Dana, who is probably one of the most (if not the most) naturally portrayed teenager on TV today. Her circumstances can be extraordinary (like going up to the top of the Washington Monument at night because you’re flirting with the Vice President’s son), but her character somehow remains grounded. She’s sulky and petulant, but she’s also sincere and mature. Her relationship with Xander is, naturally, crumbling as she gets to know Finn better, and strangely that storyline remains interesting despite everything else going on. It also is a reminder that Brody is not disposable as a character, because we have too much invested in not only him but his family. For more on that and why this is not a booty call, hit the jump.
Those of you who just marathoned the first (and newly minted “Emmy award winning”) season of Showtime’s exceptional psychological thriller Homeland won’t need much of a refresher course since your mind is probably racing as fast as Carrie’s trying to connect the dots about who’s lying, who is working for the good guys versus the bad guys, who isn’t sure, and the biggest question of the season: does Morena Baccarin look better with chin-length hair or a pixie cut? Still, maybe it would be helpful to organize our thoughts into a rainbow chart of time anyway.
Hit the jump for a few reminders of the biggest points from the end of last season, and a few questions that may get answered in season 2 (spoilers abound!).