Here’s the latest TV casting news:
- Billy Crystal (When Harry Met Sally) is set to star in The Comedians, a new comedy pilot on FX from showrunners Larry Charles (Seinfeld), Matt Nix (Burn Notice) and Ben Wexler (Community, Arrested Development).
- Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus) will star in the Cinemax pilot, Quarry, based on the Max Allan Collins’ book about a Vietnam veteran.
- Emma Roberts (Aquamarine) will join the cast of the third season of FX’s horror anthology, American Horror Story: Coven.
Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.
Arrested Development returns this Sunday for a fourth season after a seven-year absence. Ever since the announcement of season four (and a possible movie), I’ve felt a mix of excitement and anxiety. Season 3 ends on a great note. It brings the series full-circle, and has Michael (Jason Bateman) realizing that there’s really no saving his family, and it’s time to start the Bluth legacy anew with the timid but good-hearted George Michael (Michael Cera). Will Season 4 find a way to reopen this story? Will it find a way to at least meet the thematic strength of the final episode? And most importantly, will it possess the same qualities that made the show such a hit? We know these characters, and we can all quote our favorite lines, but Arrested Development is so much more.
Hit the jump for six things we might expect from the upcoming season of Arrested Development, which will air all 15 episodes at once on Netflix starting at midnight on Sunday.
Nominations for the 2013 Critics’ Choice Television Awards have been announced, and along with plenty of welcome surprises there are a couple of snubs that are likely to have people talking. Here’s a brief rundown of some of the highlights:
- Best Drama Series nominees include Game of Thrones, Homeland, Breaking Bad, and FX’s excellent new series The Americans. Conspicuously absent is Mad Men, which only scored one nomination overall for Elisabeth Moss as Lead Actress.
- Best Comedy Series nominees include Louie, New Girl, Parks and Recreation, and Veep, with Emmy favorite Modern Family failing to land a nomination along with last year’s winner Community. Instead, ABC sitcom The Middle made the cut.
- Netflix’s House of Cards scored two nominations for Best Actor (Kevin Spacey) and a very deserved Best Supporting Actor nod for Corey Stoll.
- David Lynch landed a Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series nom for his excellent work in Louie, and Happy Endings alums Casey Wilson and Adam Pally were recognized in the supporting categories.
- The love it/loathe it HBO comedy Girls didn’t get a Best Comedy Series nod, but received acting nominations for Lena Dunham, Alex Karpovsky, and Patrick Wilson.
- FX’s American Horror Story and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory scored the most nominations with six each, topping all other programs.
Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominees, and sound off in the comments with your thoughts on the lineup. The awards will be handed out on June 10th.
Today marks the 79th anniversary of the death of notorious outlaw couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, and as such, History is releasing a few photos from their upcoming miniseries, Bonnie & Clyde, which will be simulcast on History, Lifetime and A&E later this year. The miniseries has been in production for years, with an incredible amount of starts and stops (and a lot of recasting — remember when Hillary Duff was set to play Bonnie? She was then replaced by Lindsay Pulsipher, who played the cat girl on True Blood …). History finally settled on a winning combination of Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild) and ethereal beauty Holliday Grainger (The Borgias) to play the infamous couple, who were iconically portrayed in the 1967 film by Faye Dunaway and Warren Beaty. Hit the jump for the images and more.
The first full trailer for the animated series Marvel’s Avengers Assemble has been released online. The show features Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and “the new guy” Falcon, and judging by this trailer it’s riding heavily on the success of Joss Whedon’s smash hit The Avengers. The series will feature the titular Avengers assembling in order to defeat the world’s most dangerous supervillains, as they face off against Red Skull in the series’ one-hour premiere episode.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The series features the voices of Adrian Pasdar, Fred Tatasciore, Roger Craig Smith, Travis Willingham, Troy Baker, Bumper Robinson, and Laura Bailey. Marvel’s Avengers Assemble premieres on Disney XD on July 7th, with a one-hour preview episode airing May 26th.
Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One today, and embedded in its bounty of announcements relating to the new console was the exciting news that Steven Spielberg is developing and will produce a live-action TV series based on the popular Halo franchise. Microsoft has been trying to get a big screen iteration of Halo off the ground for years, with Peter Jackson previously producing the feature film effort that Neill Blomkamp was poised to direct. Things went sour when Blomkamp’s vision for the film didn’t jibe with Microsoft’s strict rules regarding how the franchise was to be handled, but it worked out alright with Blomkamp instead making his directorial debut with the stellar 2009 sci-fi pic District 9.
Now it appears that Microsoft will go it alone with regards to a narrative Halo effort, and they’ve got Steven Spielberg on their side. Hit the jump for more.
Last week we saw a number of trailers and images for all of the networks’ new series that will debut this fall, but one was curiously left out: NBC’s Believe. The series’ trailer has now landed online, and the story centers on a wrongfully-imprisoned death row inmate who is broken out of jail in order to protect a young girl with powerful abilities. The pilot was written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron, who also executive produces the series alongside J.J. Abrams. Unsurprisingly this trailer makes Believe look very promising, and I’m really looking forward to seeing more from the show in the near future.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The series stars Johnny Sequoyah, Delroy Lindo, and Kyle MacLachlan. Believe will premiere on NBC midseason, so don’t expect it on the airwaves until sometime after the new year.
Bates Motel gave us an interesting and necessary finale to a great season of a (surprisingly?) great show. Though Bates has unfortunately been largely forgotten by most people in the deluge of great TV on at the moment, it’s uncrowded Monday night spot at least gave it the ratings to thankfully warrant a second season. The show has been a surprise and delight in the way it has woven its story in an open, intricate and twisty way, along with the quality of its cast (particularly, of course, Vera Farmiga), as well as its ability to create some compelling new characters (Dylan and Emma) as well as fascinating new situations (the secrets of White Pine Bay). Bates Motel has always had hints that will lead up to the film on which it was based, but it saved the biggest nod until the last scene in this finale, and rightfully so. Hit the jump for why “not in my town, you piece of shit!”
A couple of updates out of the camp of FX pilots. Unfortunately, it looks like Oscar-winning director Ang Lee will be tapping out of production on the drama pilot Tyrant, citing exhaustion from filming and promoting Life of Pi. The story centers on an unassuming American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle East nation; Tyrant’s pilot may be shooting in Morocco. The search for a replacement is currently underway.
For more on what Lee had to say about his departure from the project and for casting information on Guillermo del Toro’s FX pilot, The Strain, hit the jump.
Seth MacFarlane will not be returning to host the Oscars, at least not next year. While the Family Guy creator earned mixed reviews for his hosting duties earlier this year, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron nevertheless reached out to MacFarlane to see if he’d want to come back and host again in 2014. While the very busy MacFarlane seems like he was up to the task, scheduling issues have forced him to decline via a statement on his Twitter:
“Traumatized critics exhale: I’m unable to do the Oscars again. Tried to make it work schedule-wise, but I need sleep. However, I highly recommend the job, as Zadan and Meron are two of the most talented producers in the business. My suggestion for host is Joaquin Phoenix.”
MacFarlane is currently filming and starring in his second feature directorial effort, A Million Ways to Die in the West, and he’s expected to shoot the Ted sequel later this year, which would account for the scheduling difficulties. With MacFarlane now out, who do you think should be at the helm of next year’s Oscars? My vote is for Neil Patrick Harris or Hugh Jackman.
Soon after Disney acquired Lucasfilm, the axe was put to the popular animated TV series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The show was nixed because it was created before the acquisition, and aired on Cartoon Network as opposed to Disney’s kids channel, Disney XD. But we knew a replacement wouldn’t be far behind, and now the studio has announced that production is underway on the new animated series, Star Wars Rebels. Simon Kinberg (who also working on a Star Wars spin-off/standalone film) will executive produce and write the screenplay for the one-hour series premiere. Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and Greg Weisman (Young Justice) will also executive produce (i.e. these two will probably be the showrunners). The series will take place during the twenty years between Episode III and Episode IV, and shows “a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape.” If Admiral Ackbar is not a main character, then this entire series is pointless.
The series will premiere in fall 2014 on the Disney Channel before moving to Disney XD. Hit the jump for video of Pablo Hidalgo talking with Filoni about the series. We’ve also included the press release.
Currently wrapping up its first season and already given a second, the A&E drama series Bates Motel gives viewers an intimate portrayal of how Norman Bates’ (Freddie Highmore) psyche unravels through his teenage years. This contemporary prequel to the genre-defining film Psycho reveals the dark, twisted backstory and shows first-hand just how deep the relationship with his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), truly goes, as she helps forge the most famous serial killer of them all.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, co-stars Nicola Peltz (who plays Bradley, the beautiful teenager who Norman is in love with) and Olivia Cooke (who plays Emma, the quirky friend with a crush on Norman) talked about how they each came to the show, how familiar they’d been with Psycho, what they enjoy about their characters, how much input they have with their characters, and what made them each want to become actors. Check out what they had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner doesn’t like TV critics, and while most show runners probably have the same perspective, I don’t know why Weiner in particular has such a bee in his bonnet. Mad Men does get criticized and unravelled, and has for the last seven years, but it’s with genuine love and a desire to understand a complicated show. TV criticism is often, to me at least (and I’m biased, of course), a great form of flattery: if your show is worth talking about and dissecting, it’s because it’s a great show. That doesn’t mean it’s infallible, though. But back to my original point, I’m pretty sure that “The Crash” was created just to get TV critics weeping softly at having to review this episode so quickly, because it was so deep and layered. On the other hand, maybe it was created just to mess with all of us. Hit the jump to see which.
Game of Thrones is juggling a lot of stories, as it always has, but this year it feels different because for the first time I think that viewers are really clearly feeling the stakes. We know the major characters, we know the major trajectory. There are zombies to the north and dragons to the east, and a lot of political intrigue in between. What’s been nice about this season too is that we’ve gotten lots of great character moments, even in the midst of so many stories. The storytelling has often been fractured though, but what “Second Sons” did a great job with was actually giving us time to pause and really embrace the plots and characters this week — no Jon, no Robb, no Bran, no Jaime and Brienne and no Theon meant lots of time to spend with the others, especially because so many of them for once shared the same screen. Hit the jump for more on why your brother is now your father-in-law (it is known).
Bill Hader is leaving Saturday Night Live after eight wonderful seasons. In all those years, Hader’s signature recurring character Stefon somehow never grew tired. Hader and co-creator John Mulaney consistently kept the formula fresh, coming up with inspired club names, passwords, and characters for each new Weekend Update appearance.
In last night’s season finale—hosted by Ben Affleck, who also hosted when Stefon debuted—the writers of course had to bring back Stefon for a farewell appearance. It puts a nice button on the romantic tension between Stefon and Update host Seth Meyers, and in doing so, assembles all the crazy characters (most of them midgets) Stefon has mentioned in his guide to New York nightlife. Watch it after the jump.