Amazon Studios is ready to run with Blade Runner 2099, a series that would be a sequel to the 2017 Denis Villeneuve film starring Ryan Gosling. And Super Bowl rings aren’t the only hand jewelry of interest this weekend because Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will release its first teaser trailer during the big game. Plus, Killing Eve’s final cut, Futurama returns (again), and new trailers for Courteney Cox’s Starz series Shining Vale, Pamela Adlon’s Better Things, and the third season of My Brilliant Friend in this busy week of TV news.
(Photo by Amazon Studios)
When it comes to sporting events, the Super Bowl battle between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals will steal some of the Winter Olympics’ thunder this weekend. But for fans of prestige television shows, all eyes will be on the commercials that air during the big game.
Prime Video has announced that its glossy, much-hyped, very expensive Lord of the Rings prequel series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will release its first teaser trailer during Super Bowl LVI.
The news comes after Vanity Fair released a splashy feature that went behind-the-scenes of the making of the show.
But this trailer isn’t the only non-football related event surrounding the Super Bowl. The star-studded halftime show will feature Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar. And NBC’s Lester Holt will interview with President Biden during the network’s Super Bowl Pregame Show.
LOTR also isn’t the only TV show that will be promoted during the game. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air remake Bel-Air, which premieres February 13 on NBC sister channel Peacock, also has a Super Bowl spot. It’s already online.
During its all-virtual winter Television Critics Association press day, AMC Networks announced that the Bob Odenkirk–starring Better Call Saul will have two parts to its final season: The first half will premiere Apr. 18 and the second on Jul. 11.
But that’s not the only thing to interest fans of this and other works within the Breaking Bad universe. In addition to the return of the Emmy-winning web series, Better Call Saul Employee Training Video series, there will also be two new web series: the animated series Slippin’ Jimmy and Cooper’s Bar, starring Saul’s Rhea Seehorn.
The new web series will premiere this spring on AMC’s digital platforms while the Employee Training Videos premiere there this summer.
More AMC Networks at TCA:
• In teasing the final season of her BBC America and AMC+ hit Killing Eve, actress Jodie Comer says of her reformed killer Villanelle: “What we really played around with this season was exploring this question of can she change? Can we change? … We see her trying. But I think throughout the whole series you really witness each character’s growth. … I think she’s so desperate to change at the beginning and I’m not sure that comes from a truthful place. However, when you see this season in its entirety, you really, truly see just how she’s done so.” Killing Eve season 4 premieres Mar. 6 on AMC+ and BBC America.
• The new Shudder series Queer for Fear is executive produced by Hannibal’s Bryan Fuller and looks at the influence of the LGBTQ community throughout the horror genre’s history. When asked what one of his early horror influences were, Fuller (ahem) deadpanned that “I definitely pinged off of Count Chocula and Frankenberry before being, you know, pre-sexual. And I just knew the way they clutched each other that they were probably f–ing.” On a more serious note, he says working with producer Steak House of media production company Steakhaus Productions because “she brought a unique perspective and was immediately expanding our view of what horror movies are. And starting the conversation about women in prison films and those types of stories that may not be immediately recognizable as horror, but are definitely stories that are horrifying for women.” The show will premiere later this year.
This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman and the majority of the main cast of the family drama joined journalists for NBC’s all-virtual TCA day. Conspicuously absent, however, were actors Chrissy Metz and Chris Sullivan whose characters Kate and Toby appear to be heading for divorce before the series ends.
As to how that will play out, Fogelman told the audience that ““if divorce is something that happens to 50-percent of marriages, I think you can assume that while divorce will be sad and ugly, we’ll also find some way to make it human and — in its own way — beautiful.”
He added that, as the show has conquered topics like race, adoption and losing parents, “we’ve always tried to just make the show about what happens to people. And divorce is something that happens almost as frequently as it doesn’t — and it hasn’t happened [yet] on this show.”
“The great majority of love stories start with wonderful love stories and marriages, and the ones that end in divorce often end in difficult and different situations,” he says. “We’ve been talking a lot in our writers room about how marriages and divorces are kind of like snowflakes, how no two are exactly the same, but there can be commonality.”
This Is Us returns Feb. 22.
More from NBC at TCA:
• Law & Order, the benchmark for crime procedural TV, returns after over a decade for a 20th season. Creator Dick Wolf, who couldn’t attend the show’s TCA panel, said in a statement that “In 1990, Brandon Tartikoff had a belief in the viability of Law & Order. When Sam Waterston joined the show in 1994, the ratings grew and the show earned the Emmy Award in 1997. For the next 16 years, Sam was the face of the show. As you know, we were abruptly cancelled in 2010 and for 11 years it was my dream that one day the show would return and break the 20-season tie with Gunsmoke. The talks with Universal and NBC, which were ongoing for the past seven years, heated up in 2020. My first call was to Sam, who graciously agreed to return, and I called Rick Eid, who has a long history with me and is the ideal showrunner. So not only did my dream come true, I have my dream cast [in new and returning actors]: Sam, Anthony [Anderson], Hugh [Dancy], Jeffrey [Donovan], Camryn [Manheim], and Odelya [Halevi]. As always, we will be ripping crimes from the headlines while also reflecting the zeitgeist of present-day America.” The series returns Feb. 24.
• NBC also has another ripped-from-the-headlines project in the limited series The Thing About Pam. Renee Zellweger stars in the series, which is based on Dateline TV and podcast reporting, as Pam Hupp, a small-town busybody whose best friend mysteriously winds up dead. It regularly took two hours of prosthetics and added padding for the Oscar winner to look like her subject. When asked why the producers didn’t cast a plus-size actress to play the role, executive producer Chris McCumber dodged the question by saying “when a two-time Oscar winner calls and says, ‘I’m obsessed with this story, and I want to play Pam and I want to produce, you say, ‘Yes, yes, yes, yes.’ And our job at that point is to provide Renee and the rest of the cast with all the tools they need to embody these characters.” The limited series premieres Mar. 8.
In her new Hulu comedy, Life & Beth, Amy Schumer plays a character named Beth (the comedian’s actual middle name) who has a younger sister (as she does) and a dad who went bankrupt (also true to life). But are Beth and Amy one in the same?
“I think that Beth’s definitely based on a side of me and I think one of the things that surprised people is that I actually am an introvert,” Schumer says at Hulu’s TCA press days. “And I think so many of us have these conflicting sides of ourselves. And I, as myself, feel supremely confident and also I do consider myself as someone with really low self esteem.”
She jokes that “the other day someone was like, ‘What’s one word you’d use to describe yourself?’ And I was like, ‘Hypocrite.'”
Life & Beth premieres Mar. 18.
More Hulu at TCA:
• In The Dropout, Amanda Seyfried portrays Elizabeth Holmes, the Theranos CEO who claimed to create a revolutionary new medical technology for testing blood (a claim that turned out to be completely unfounded). Given all that’s going on in the world, health-wise, is this a good time to tell a story about a medical hoax? “I feel like this show is actually showing how important science is and how important the facts are, and the truth is,” says executive producer Elizabeth Meriwether. The limited series premieres Mar. 3.
• Hulu is also making a limited series based on Conversations with Friends, another book from Normal People writer Sally Rooney. While that series and book explored the conflict of never giving up your first love, this story explores the concept of relationships and being solely with one person. “I mean, I think people can do whatever they want that makes them happy,” co-star Joe Alwyn says of how this story confronts traditional relationship views. Alwyn, who is a long-term relationship with Taylor Swift, adds that “I’m obviously happy in a monogamous relationship, but I think one of the interesting things about Sally’s writing and what she’s talking about is she’s exploring the ideas of happiness and love and desire and intimacy outside of those constructs that we create for ourselves, whether that’s friendships or families or relationship.” The limited series premieres this May.
You’d think someone whose best-known film work is a horror movie franchise would know not to buy a haunted house. But, in the upcoming series Shining Vale, Courteney Cox plays a Brooklyn writer who moves to the suburbs with her husband (Greg Kinnear) and kids. Their new home may have some inhabitants who don’t want to leave. The series comes from Sharon Horgan and Jeff Astrof and premieres Mar. 6. (Starz)
More trailers and teasers released this week:
• The fifth, and final, season of Better Things , Pamela Adlon’s dramedy about an actress raising three kids on her own. It also stars Mikey Madison, Hannah Alligood, Olivia Edward and Celia Imrie — and a slew of other known talent who pop in from time to time. Premieres Feb. 28. (FX).
• That Dirty Black Bag, a romantic spaghetti western series starring Travis Fimmel, Aidan Gillen, and Dominic Cooper. Premieres Mar. 10. (AMC+)
• Vikings: Valhalla, the sequel to Vikings and set 100 years after that series, it focuses on the clash of religious beliefs between the Vikings and the Christian church and stars Sam Corlett as Leif Erikson and Frida Gustavsson as Freydís Eiríksdóttir. Premieres Feb. 25. (Netflix)
• The Girl From Plainville, the limited series about the death of Conrad Roy, the teen who killed himself after his girlfriend Michelle Carter encouraged him to do so over text. Stars Elle Fanning, Colton Ryan and Chloë Sevigny. Premieres Mar. 29. (Hulu)
• Snowdrop, a South Korean limited series about a couple who find love during the June 1987 Democracy Movement. Jung Hae-in and Jisoo star. Premiered Feb, 9. (Disney+)
• My Brilliant Friend: Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, the third installment in the adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s book series. Premieres Feb. 28. (HBO)
For all the latest TV and streaming trailers, subscribe to the Rotten Tomatoes TV YouTube channel.
(Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images)
Ray Stevenson, of HBO’s Rome and Marvel’s Thor movies, will play a villain in Star Wars series Ahsoka. The series centers on Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano, a popular Star Wars animated character here played in live-action by Rosario Dawson, who has already appeared as the character in both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. Stevenson’s character is reported to be an Admiral, though not Grand Admiral Thrawn, a former commander in the Empire who Ahsoka is hunting throughout the galaxy in the series. (THR)
This year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards is a family affair, with married couple Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman tapped as hosts. “We are sincerely excited to be hosting the 2022 Film Independent Spirit Awards. We hope to get a little rowdy, but it’ll mainly be legitimate cinematic discourse. Although, with the two of us involved, it’s more likely to be intercourse. Either way it’ll be legit,” shared hosts Mullally and Offerman. The ceremony will air starting at 5 p.m. ET Mar. 6 on IFC and AMC+.
In the Heights star Anthony Ramos has joined Marvel’s Ironheart, although details about his role are not released. (Variety)
Theo James, Meghann Fahy, Will Sharpe and Leo Woodall are joining the second season of HBO’s resort series The White Lotus. (THR)
Eric McCormack will star in a spin-off of Shudder’s Slasher series entitled Slasher: Ripper. Set in the late 19th century, this series is a killer known as The Widow. Instead of going after the downtrodden like Jack the Ripper, she seeks out the rich and powerful. Not so great news for McCormack’s character. He plays Basil Garvey, a charismatic tycoon whose success is only rivaled by his ruthlessness. He oversees a city on the cusp of a new century — and a social upheaval that will see its streets run red with blood.
Catherine Zeta Jones joins Disney+’s series adaptation of the National Treasure movies. She’ll play Billie. According to the releases, the character is a “badass billionaire, black-market antiquities expert, and treasure hunter who lives by her own code.” The series stars Lisette Alexis as Jess, “a brilliant and resourceful DREAMer who embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to uncover the truth about her family’s mysterious past and save a lost Pan-American treasure.”
(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for the Critics Choice Association)
Niecy Nash will star in a potential spin-off of ABC’s The Rookie, this time set at Los Angeles’ FBI headquarters. Nash will also guest-star in two upcoming episodes of The Rookie, playing Simone Clark, a tour de force and the oldest rookie at the FBI Academy. (EW)
Michelle Yeoh, Ben Wang, Yeo Yann Yann, Chin Han, Daniel Wu, Ke Huy Quan, Jim Liu and Sydney Taylor are among the stars of Disney+’s adaptation of Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel American Born Chinese. According to the release, the story focuses on “Jin Wang, an average teenager juggling his high school social life with his home life. When he meets a new foreign student on the first day of the school year, even more worlds collide as Jin is unwittingly entangled in a battle of Chinese mythological gods.”
A thriller, but make it fashion: Ben Mendelsohn and Juliette Binoche will play Christian Dior and Coco Chanel in Apple TV+’s The New Look. Written, executive produced and directed by Todd A. Kessler, it’s described as an “epic thriller set against the World War II Nazi Occupation of Paris when Coco Chanel’s reign as the world’s most famous fashion designer ends and Christian Dior rises helping return spirit and life to the world with his ground-breaking, iconic imprint of beauty and influence that will go on to define generations to come.”
Daniella Pineda is the latest star to sink her teeth in new Walking Dead spin-off, Tales of the Walking Dead. Out this summer on AMC and AMC+, it’s an anthology series that will feature new and returning characters from the TWD universe. (Variety)
Marg Helgenberger is returning to her role of Catherine Willows in CBS’ CSI: Vegas. (TVLine)
Norman Reedus is working with Henson TV on a primetime, family-friend adventure series that will, of course, include some interesting creatures. (Variety)
Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Johnno Wilson joins the cast of co-creator and star Vanessa Bayer’s Showtime comedy, I Love That For You. Previously titled I Love This For You, the series stars Bayer as Joanna Gold, a character who dreams of becoming a host at a home-shopping channel. Molly Shannon plays Jackie, the charismatic star of the network and Joanna’s idol. Wilson will play Perry, a beloved host on the network with a popular cooking show.
(Photo by ©20th Century Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection)
Hulu wants you to give it all its money and is reviving animated cult classic Futurama. Original cast members Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr and David Herman are back — however John DiMaggio, the actor who voiced Bender (a robot who bends things) is not currently set to return. The series will go into production in February, with a planned 2023 premiere.
Fox has bent over backward to get the rights to lovable, movable green guy Gumby. Partnering with the estate of Joseph Clokey, son of Grumby creator Art Clokey, to acquire the IP. Plans include a new animated series, live-action original content, NFTs, consumer products, licensing, and publishing.
Apple TV+ is developing the comedy series Mrs. American Pie, starring Kristen Wiig and executive produced by Laura Dern. The 10-episode comedy from creator Abe Sylvia is set during the 1970s and follows one woman’s attempt to secure her seat at America’s most exclusive table: Palm Beach high society.
Apple TV+ is also developing the dark comedy-drama Sunny. Created by Katie Robbins and starring Rashida Jones, it’s about “Suzie, an American woman living in Kyoto, Japan, whose life is upended when her husband and son disappear in a mysterious plane crash. As ‘consolation’ she’s given Sunny, one of a new class of domestic robots made by her husband’s electronics company. Though at first Suzie resents Sunny’s attempts to fill the void in her life, gradually they develop an unexpected friendship, as together they uncover the dark truth of what really happened to Suzie’s family, becoming dangerously enmeshed in a world Suzie never knew existed.”
(Photo by Laurie Sparham /© Walt Disney Pictures /courtesy Everett Collection)
Disney+ has done some thinking and decided to not move forward with its Beauty and the Beast prequel series about the egomaniacal Gaston (Luke Evans) and his loyal henchman LeFou (Josh Gad). The news came days after it was reported that Rita Ora was joining the show. (Variety)
Hulu is on the case of The Golden Spoon, a limited series created by Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s Aline Brosh McKenna and based on Jessica Olien’s murder mystery novel. (Deadline)
The latest adaptation of a Liane Moriarty novel will air on Peacock. The author of Big Little Lies and Nine Perfect Strangers has also authored Apples Never Fall. It centers on Delaneys, who seem like a perfect, successful family. Then the matriarch goes missing. (Variety)
Steve Yockey, who created HBO Max’s adaptation of The Flight Attendant, has gotten a script-to-series order at Fox for his dark comedy Cindy Show. It’s about a popular meteorologist who is not nice off screen. A head injury changes everything. (Variety)
HBO is working to develop Doomsday Machine, a series based on the book An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination. Said to be a “riveting human drama chronicling the political and social minefields Facebook has navigated on its relentless quest for growth,” it will star Claire Foy as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (a stand-in for Mark Zuckerberg has yet to be cast). (THR)