One of the reasons HBO’s anthology series True Detective is so good (and it is so good) is that all eight episodes were written and directed by the same two people (Nic Pizzolatto and Cary Fukunaga, respectively), bringing a degree of consistency to each episode that serves one overall vision with a definitive end point. This same model is being utilized for Showtime’s upcoming drama series The Knick, which lured filmmaker Steven Soderbergh out of his self-imposed “retirement” to take the helm of all 10 episodes. Cinemax has debuted an incredibly effective teaser trailer for the show, which takes place in New York in 1900 and stars Clive Owen as a surgeon at Knickerbocker Hospital during an era in which antibiotics did not exist, medical procedures were extremely dangerous, and the mortality rates were insanely high. This teaser is much more sinister than I was expecting, promising that The Knick will be quite darker than your typical TV medical drama. Then again,”typical” is the last word I’d use to describe Soderbergh’s work, so we’re surely in for something wholly unique.
Hit the jump to watch the teaser. The Knick will debut on Cinemax this summer.
After a stellar start to its second season, Cinemax has renewed its Alan Ball-created drama Banshee for a third, which will air next year. Though Banshee has only received one Emmy (for Special Visual Effects), buzz for the show has been positive among critics, and fan numbers appear to be growing.
Banshee is a beautifully filmed, though violent series about an ex-con jewel thief who returns to Banshee, PA, to seek out his former partner (and lover). Both have assumed new identities, and while Banshee plays off of these themes throughout the series, it also expands its world by including a number of characters from criminal networks, as well as the local Amish and Native American populations. Hit the jump for more on the show.
The Walking Dead is not only the most successful show on cable right now (by a mile), but it’s also one of the most successful shows on all of television period. AMC is already in the midst of developing a “companion” series to capitalize on the zombie drama’s popularity, and now it looks like comic book creator/TV show executive producer Robert Kirkman is adding yet another potential television series to his roster. Kirkman currently acts as an executive producer on The Walking Dead and will fill the same role on the companion series, and now a TV show adaptation of his upcoming Image/Skyboud comic Outcast has just landed at Cinemax. Hit the jump for more.
So much for retirement. Much has been made over the past year or so about the fact that filmmaker Steven Soderbergh would be taking a self-imposed hiatus from directing after the release of his Liberace film Behind the Candelabra. While Candelabra premieres on HBO this Sunday, it appears that Soderbergh is already coming out of “retirement” to direct a new TV series for Cinemax. The filmmaker will helm 10 episodes of a period series called The Knick, which will star Clive Owen and takes place in New York in 1900. Hit the jump for more.
The Cinemax action series Banshee tells the story of Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, PA. It’s the perfect cover for him to try to win back the love of his life (Ivana Milicevic) and hide out from the dangerous gangster (Ben Cross) that they both betrayed years earlier, while attempting not to get into too much more trouble.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Matt Servitto (who plays Brock Lotus, the Banshee sheriff’s department longest serving deputy, that resents Lucas Hood for taking the job he wanted) talked about how he came to be a part of Banshee, that he loved the twist on what could have been a very generic character on another show, how putting on the uniform really helps inform the character and the way he carries himself, that Season 2 starts shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina on April 8th, how the action and fight scenes will be ramped up next season, how he’s hoping to get a lot more ensemble scenes to do, what he’d like to learn about his character, and how surprised he is about the show’s strong female following. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
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.
The Cinemax action series Banshee tells the story of Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, PA. It’s the perfect cover for him to try to win back the love of his life (Ivana Milicevic) and hide out from the dangerous gangster that they both betrayed years earlier, while attempting not to get in too much more trouble.
During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, show star Antony Starr talked about how he came to be a part of the show, what attracted him to Banshee, the role violence plays in the series, that the star-crossed lovers aspect is really the anchor of the story, the unusual friendship between Lucas Hood and Job (Hoon Lee), who his allies are, the various criminal elements that surround this small town, and whether he thinks his character would do things differently, if he knew just how much trouble it would get him into. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
There are rare occasions when a new television show establishes itself so well and gives such a sense of purpose that you feel you’ve been with it all along. Showtime’s Homeland was a fine example, with one of the best drama pilots I’ve ever come across. But Banshee, the new drama from Cinemax, is a close contender. It also has the surprising distinction, so far, of possibly being a contemporary heir-apparent to Deadwood.
The series comes from Alan Ball, who lest we forget, gave us American Beauty and Six Feet Under before he lost his way with True Blood. Banshee is a callback, thankfully, to his earlier work, focusing on that familiar territory of the underbelly of a sleepy, small town. The series’ title comes from the name of the town where the show is set, deep in rural Pennsylvania, in Amish country (or close to it). But despite the rural setting, there is plenty going on. Hit the jump for the specifics and more reasons to give this one a shot.
True Blood creator Alan Ball is gearing up to pull double-duty. While Ball is currently in the midst of filming the fifth season of the hit HBO supernatural series True Blood, the cable channel’s sister network Cinemax has commissioned as series order for Banshee on which Ball is the executive producer. The action drama centers on an “ex-convict and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, PA, where he continues his criminal activities even as he’s being hunted by the shadowy gangsters he had betrayed years earlier.” Deadline reports that Cinemax has given a 10-episode order to the series, and Emmy-winning director Greg Yaitanes (House) will helm the pilot.
I found the first few seasons of True Blood to be incredibly engaging, but the show has delved too deep into soap opera territory as of late for my taste. Ball is also developing a medical drama called Witchita at HBO, so it’ll be interesting to see how involved he becomes in Banshee and if/when he departs the showrunner position on True Blood.
Last December we learned that a major broadcast partner was teaming with Luc Besson to bring a TV series adaptation of The Transporter film franchise to life. Now Deadline reports the pay channel Cinemax will be behind the series. The series will follow Frank Martin, the same character played by Jason Statham in the films as he transports anything, anywhere, anytime and by any means necessary. But he has three rules: Never change the deal, no names and never open the package. The series order stands at 12 episodes with a budget of $48 million, so this should be quite an upscale adaptation. The question is who will step into Statham’s shoes to get into the action.