This week in TV news, Starz announces a big deal with a beloved book title. Plus, Ashton Kutcher and Winona Ryder come to Netflix, David Simon movies into Times Square, and Jessica Lange welcomes Lady Gaga to American Horror Story!
Based on the Hugo Award-winning novel by Neil Gaiman (Stardust), Starz has ordered American Gods with Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Gaiman as co-showrunners. Gaiman and Fuller have both worked together before on NBC’s Heroes. The premise of American Gods centers on the idea that gods and mythological creatures exist because people believe that they do, and that immigrants brought spirits and gods with them to the U.S. — although now their powers are beginning to wane. Fuller is no stranger to magical realism (see his previous shows Dead Like Me, Wonder Falls and Pushing Daisies). And judging by from the concept art revealed earlier this week, audiences are in for a visual treat. Production is expected to begin in 2015, with the show premiering sometime in 2016.
Jessica Lange said goodbye to American Horror Story (and hello to one last Emmys campaign), she spoke about her four years on the anthology series with the Daily Beast. She likened her experience on the show to working with a repertory theater and, although she loved every season, Freak Show (Certified Fresh at 87 percent) was her favorite (and her suggestion to creator Ryan Murphy). Lange also touched on how Murphy kept pushing her as an actress — including having her sing songs by David Bowie and Lana Del Rey. Although we won’t be seeing Lange in the next iteration of American Horror Story, she hopes to work with Murphy again in the future, and thinks Lady Gaga will do just fine. “I have no idea if she’s an actor or not, but I’m sure it will all work out,” Lange said. “She’s going to have good writing and she’s going to have great actors to work with. It’s a good start.”
Netflix announced two new original series this week, one starring Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson, and the other with Winona Ryder. In The Ranch, Kutcher will play a semi-pro football player who returns to Colorado to help his brother (Masterson) run the family business. The multi-camera sitcom will reunite Kutcher with his former That ’70s Show co-star, and also with Two And a Half Men co-showruners Don Reo and Jim Patterson. Deadline also reports that The Ranch will roll out with a new model for Netflix: 20 episodes, released in two batches, premiering 10 episodes at a time, twice a year. Another show coming to Netflix is an untitled series (formerly known as Montauk), which will star Winona Ryder and David Harbour. Set in Long Island in the 1980s, the series will chronicle the search for a young boy. Both series are expected to debut on Netlifx in 2016.
After scoring with TV shows set in Baltimore (The Wire) and New Orleans (Treme), David Simon now has his sights set on Times Square. According to AV Club, Simon started developing the series tentatively titled The Deuce after a location manager on Treme turned him and collaborator George Pelecanos onto the story of a man who worked at a 42nd St. mob front in the 1970s. The Deuce is set to the follow the porn industry in NYC through the mid-80s (“The Golden Age Of Porn”), and Simon hopes to tell “a story about people and… about markets — about the moment where something became legal and profitable and what happens to people in that environment when markets prevail.”