Alicia Silverstone has landed the lead role in American Woman, TV Land's pilot about the youth of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Kyle Richards, THR reports. Silverstone will play a character inspired by Richards's mother, a single mom raising two daughters "amid the sexual revolution and the rise of feminism" in the 1970s. Despite the turbulence of the time, Silverstone's character is expected to teach her daughters that in Beverly Hills you can be anything, but it's most important to be yourself.
Halt and Catch Fire's season-three system patch contains a fix for the AMC drama's previous lack of Matthew Lillard, Entertainment Weekly reports. The Scooby-Doo star will play Ken Diebold, a "a slickly dressed, self-assuredly confident, undeniably cool" Silicon Valley bigwig who crosses paths with Lee Pace's Joe MacMillan. The third season of Halt and Catch Fire will take place in spring 1986, which is only a few months after the Lillard-starring SLC Punk! was set. Matthew Lillard: playing every '80s archetype.
Freeform wants to be where the millennials are. It wants them to be dancing ... screaming? The network formerly known as ABC Family has picked up a pilot for The Deep, a drama about the coastal town of Bristol Cove, which just happens to be the mythic home of some mermaids. "The battle between man and sea takes a very vicious turn," in the pilot, "as these predatory beings return to reclaim their right to the ocean." Eric Wald and Dean White wrote the script, while Emily Whitesell (Finding Carter) will serve as the showrunner. In retaliation, the CW is considering a show about sexy selkies.
Nineties nostalgia is coming back with a snarky vengeance. Months after successfully hitting a $2 million Kickstarter goal in six days to revive the series, Mystery Science Theater 3000 announced at Comic-Con yesterday that the revival would be exclusively streaming on Netflix in the "not-too-distant future." (The Kickstarter campaign ended up raising an astounding $5.7 million, which will render a 14-episode season.) But that's not all the good news: During the panel, it was also announced that series creator Joel Hodgson will be involved in writing and assisting in "all facets" of the revival's production, with Mary Jo Pehl (Pearl Forrester), Bill Corbett (Observer), and Kevin Murphy (Professor Bobo) from the original cast reprising their roles.
According to Billboard, Brandy has refiled her lawsuit against record label Chameleon Entertainment, which claims that the company has been blocking the release of her new music. The singer originally launched the suit in California in March, only to see it thrown out on a technicality; her contract mandated that all disputes be settled in New York or federal court. (The new lawsuit has been filed in New York.) The lawsuit claims that Chameleon has "effectively drained the lifeblood from Plaintiff's recording career" by refusing to fund or release Brandy's new music until she signs an "onerous" contract with Epic Records, which coincidentally employs Chameleon CEO Breyon Prescott. Brandy is seeking an official release from her Chameleon contract, as well as more than $250,000 in damages. In a statement to Billboard, Chameleon calls Brandy's accusations "fictitious."
Katey Sagal and Jack McBrayer will join the cast of The Big Bang Theory this season as Penny's mother and brother, respectively, the show's producers announced at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday. This will be the second time Sagal has played Kaley Cuoco's mother on a sitcom; the pair previously co-starred on ABC's 8 Simple Rules from 2002 to 2005. In fact, if you imagine that Amy Davidson grew up to look exactly like Jack McBrayer — a bit of a stretch, yes, but just go with it — why don't we pretend this entire season of BBT is just an 8 Simple Rules reboot? [Sweet guitar lick plays.]
Ryan Murphy has a type: Scream Queens on Friday announced that Arrow's Colton Haynes will guest star in the horror-anthology series' second season, joining a cast that also includes John Stamos, Taylor Lautner, and Glee's James Earl. Scream Queens' second season will take place in a hospital, though season one cast members like Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, and Lea Michele will also reprise their roles. Haynes's role is unknown — will he be a hunky doctor who gets killed, or a hunky patient who gets killed?
In the beginning, there was season one. And season one was with form and without void; and Morgan Freeman starred in it and was also an executive producer. And the ratings were better than expected, making it National Geographic Channel's most-watched series over its six-episode season. And so Nat Geo said, "Let there be season two." And there was season two. Season two of the "event series" will continue Morgan Freeman's grand quest to understand God (and himself, though those two might not be separate) with topics such as "Is there a Chosen One?" and whether it's possible to find proof of a single deity. The three additional episodes will premiere in early 2017. And, lo, they will be good.
When Mr. Robot aired its season-one finale last September, USA Network execs were understandably happy about the show’s solid ratings, amazing buzz, and clear brand-changing potential. The launch was nothing short of a triumph, particularly in an era when grabbing viewers’ attention sometimes seems next to impossible. Until recently, USA might have been content to simply bask in that success for a few months, shifting its focus to other series until the time came to begin hyping last week’s season-two premiere. But that’s not how it works in the age of on-demand viewership: With audiences trained to consume shows however (and whenever) they want, networks are now promoting their biggest titles year-round, particularly when such series are in their infancy. Indeed, as soon as Robot season one ended, USA was already actively pushing audiences who’d heard the buzz about Robot to binge the show online, while figuring out ways to keep those already hooked thinking about the series up until its return. “You can never stop messaging your franchise,” says Alexandra Shapiro*, executive VP of marketing and digital for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Networks group. “The moment you stop is the moment the fans stop paying attention.”
Everything’s coming up Margot! As the Australian actress does the final press rounds for Suicide Squad, which opens August 5, she will have a little more to talk about now that she’s set to star in and produce an adaptation of Matt Ruff’s 2007 book Bad Monkeys. Robbie will play the role of Jane Charlotte, a woman who gets tossed into the psychiatric wing of a jail after being arrested for murder and telling the police she’s actually part of an evil-quashing organization called the Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons. For short, they go by “Bad Monkeys.” The cops don’t buy Jane’s yarn, and the story becomes a psychological thriller that forces viewers to sort out whether she’s lying, crazy, or executing some kind of greater plan from behind bars. This is just the most recent film brought under the banner of Robbie’s production company, LuckyChap Entertainment, which is also developing I, Tonya, the story of disgraced Olympic ice skater Tonya Harding, and the noir thriller Terminal. Robbie is set to star in both — just as God intended.
Breathe easy, Pokémon Go fans, because Legendary Entertainment has just acquired the film rights to develop your current all-consuming obsession into a big-screen spectacle centered around a new character called "Detective Pikachu". And even though the augmented-reality game only recently exploded into the American consciousness, Legendary Entertainment, which is actually a division of the Chinese company Dalian Wanda Group, has reportedly been in talks with the Pokémon Co. for months, trying to land the property in a “top-secret auction.” Companies like Sony, Netflix, and Warner Bros. were also said to be aggressively pursuing Pokémon (just like the rest of us), but the studio that brought us Godzilla and Warcraft won out in the end. And because fads don't last forever, Legendary is said to be fast-tracking production to start next year. Since the studio is already working on Godzilla vs. Kong, maybe one day we can look forward to Charmander vs. Mothra.
Remember how the Divergent film series debuted in 2014 right as the YA movie craze was dying out, and you were like, “Really? Now?” And how each successive film in the franchise has performed worse than the one before it both critically and financially? And how Miles Teller told W Magazine two years ago that he “took the movie for business reasons,” and that he felt “dead inside” while filming the first installment and called his agent to say, “this sucks” because he "didn't have an interesting part"? And finally, do you remember thinking, “Why are they doing a fourth movie?” after Allegiant came out in March and no one saw it or cared? Well it looks like Lionsgate remembers all those things, too, because Variety is reporting that the final film in the series, Ascendant, will be moved from a theatrical to a small-screen release and spun off into a TV series on an unknown network with an unknown cast. Somewhere in the hills of Hollywood, Shailene Woodley is covered in clay and homemade toothpaste, thanking mother Gaia for breaking these contractual chains. Aloha, Shai Shai.
After winning a Tony and leaving Hamilton, what will Daveed Diggs do for an encore? A lot of things, but now, also, Black-ish. Variety reports that Diggs will play Johan, brother of Tracee Ellis Ross's Rainbow, in the ABC family sitcom in what is apparently "a major season three arc." In the words of creator Kenya Barris, Diggs's character is "sort of a hipster, entitled kid who gets on Dre's nerves. He's constantly on a search for the best conditioner for his hair." Aside from Black-ish, Diggs has also booked roles in the Julia Roberts-Jacob Tremblay film Wonder and Andy Samberg's Lance Armstrong parody Tour de Pharmacy. It is unclear if his characters in those projects will have any hair-related traits.
Melancholy blonde idol Kirsten Dunst is directing an adaptation of the most melancholy book of all: The Bell Jar. Per Deadline, fellow melancholy blonde Dakota Fanning will play Esther Greenwood in Dunst's take on Sylvia Plath's semi-autobiographical novel. (Plath was a brunette; no word on whether Fanning will dye her hair.) Dunst, who has previously directed two short films but no features, co-wrote the Bell Jar screenplay with Nellie Kim. Her future acting roles include Woodstock, Hidden Figures, and Sofia Coppola's The Beguiled, where she'll star opposite Elle Fanning. Good luck telling those Fannings apart, Kiki.
Two men, lots of muscles. Both Dwayne Johnson and Arnold Schwarzenegger are developing TV shows about California muscle culture during the '80s. On Instagram, Johnson posted that he's developing Muscle Beach, a scripted drama about the bodybuilding scene in Venice Beach for USA. "The '80s was a crazy time in Venice Beach with many lost souls. A very crazy time," wrote Johnson in the caption. If that isn't enough to get your veins popping, seven-time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger is also developing a show with CBS TV Studios called Pump, which would draw from Schwarzenegger's personal experience in Venice Beach at the time. Variety reports that the show had originally been sold to Showtime in 2013, and then moved to Hulu, but that no network is attached yet. Hopefully, the two shows will compete against each other in teeny, tiny bikini briefs.
Though he entered the world of late-night with much hullabaloo, Stephen Colbert is still finding his way with The Late Show, which has the challenge of reintroducing the host to the world when he's playing himself, and not just a character with the same name. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Colbert spoke about some of the show's internal difficulties, which were partially brought to light with the recent hiring of Chris Licht as The Late Show's new showrunner. CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller conceded that The Late Show's performance has been "uneven," but emphasized that the show has a chance to show off its political chops during the conventions (see: Laura Benanti's recent appearance as Melania Trump, or Colbert's reteam with Jon Stewart).
Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos Are Producing a Totally Tame, Demure Reality Show Called Fire Island on LogoBy E. Alex Jung
Did you ever think that the Great Gay Migration every summer to Fire Island would make a good TV show? So do Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos! Their production company, Milojo, is making Fire Island, a "docuseries following a group of young, New York City professionals" and their "adventures and relationships of friends and lovers" as they spend their summer at the Pines on Fire Island. The network Logo stated that along with Lance Bass's upcoming gay Bachelor take, Finding Prince Charming, Fire Island "perfectly complements the stories our audience craves." Break out the poppers, boys, we're going to be on TV!
Hold onto your wigs and fasten your tucks, because there's another season of RuPaul's Drag Race coming your way. In a surprise only to the Westboro Baptist Church, Logo has renewed RuPaul's Drag Race for a ninth season (and that doesn't even include the All-Stars seasons!). RuPaul himself recently snagged his first Emmy nomination ever for Outstanding Host for a Reality Program, with the show getting another nod for Outstanding Costumes. “Season 9 of RuPaul's Drag Race will be bigger, better, and more twisted than ever,” RuPaul said in a statement. You heard that, girls? Better work on your French twists!
Intense pressure, sparkly outfits, teens — the sport of figure skating has all you need to make a good TV show, and finally, finally, we might just get one. Figure-skating and hat-wearing gold medalist Tara Lipinski has signed on to produce a figure-skating drama with producer Michael Shamberg and writer Jonathan Igla (Masters of Sex, Mad Men) for Hulu. The series will focus on the "women and men in their teens and twenties who sacrifice normal life for that sweepstakes shot at immortality," and yes, Lipinski promised that it'll bring all the drama: "To the average observer, figure skating appears to be an extremely elegant and undeniably beautiful sport — and for good reason ... But when you begin to peel back the layers of this world, a more complex, and even shocking, picture emerges." The series doesn't have a name yet, so for now we'll just call it Make It or Break It on Ice.
So you think you can make a reality-TV dance competition? Only if you're J. Lo: Jennifer Lopez, former (but truly forever) Fly Girl, has teamed up with NBC for World of Dance, a ten-episode dance show where elite dancers from around the world will compete for $1 million. (Lopez also currently stars on NBC's Shades of Blue.) Unlike So You Think You Can Dance, which only just embraced prodigies under 16, the show will be open to all ages. Dancers will battle each other America's Best Dance Crew–style, with solo dancers going up against duos and crews of various styles. They'll be grouped together in divisions based on age and group size that will duel each other until a panel of yet-to-be-named judges picks a winner from each division; those winners will then go on to compete in the finale for bragging rights and that big fat check. And speaking of SYTYCD, husband-and-wife choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha D'umo (a.k.a. Nappytabs!) will serve as consultants on the show. Because nothing says "dance battle" like NBC stepping on Fox's toes.
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