This week in TV news includes a new gig for a Game of Thrones vet, HBO loses a driving force, a major TV reboot, and a flurry of new trailers.
The chief executive of HBO, Richard Plepler abruptly stepped down on Thursday, the New York Times reported. The move comes mere months after AT&T acquired the network’s corporate parent Time Warner. “Mr. Plepler found he had less autonomy after the merger, according to two people familiar with his thinking,” the Times wrote. HBO has won over 160 Emmys while Plepler oversaw the cable network giant that is home to Game of Thrones, Veep, Big Little Lies, The Sopranos, Deadwood, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Succession, and more.
(Photo by Steven Ferdman/Everett Collection)
Margaery Tyrell has a new gig: Natalie Dormer will anchor the cast of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful continuation series, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels. The series takes place in 1938 Los Angeles, where Detective Tiago Vega (Daniel Zovatto) investigates a grisly murder and becomes embroiled in what the network describes as “an epic story that reflects the rich history of Los Angeles: from the building of the city’s first freeways and its deep traditions of Mexican-American folklore to the dangerous espionage actions of the Third Reich and the rise of radio evangelism.”
Dormer will play Magda, “a supernatural demon who can take the appearance of anyone she chooses and manifests in a number of guises throughout the story. Charismatic, clever and chameleonic, Magda is a dangerous enemy and an invaluable ally.”
Nathan Lane has also joined the cast as Lewis Michener, a veteran LAPD officer who partners with and mentors Vega and is “wise to the ways of the world and ruthless in pursuit of his goals.”
If there’s one thing that’s true about Arrested Development, it’s that there’s always money in the banana stand. Another fact: the Bluths will have a party every single time someone in their family is released from prison. The Bluths say as much in the trailer for the second half of the series’ revived fifth season, which hits Netflix on March 15 below. Check out the first trailer above.
And the winner is…T-Pain? The famously autotuned singer surprised the Fox reality hit’s judging panel of Robin Thicke, Nicole Scherzinger, Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, and guest judge Kenan Thompson when he was revealed as the celebrity in the Monster costume, who wowed the judges with his powerful vocals all season. He beat Gladys Knight and Donny Osmond in the finals to take the crown. Yes, T-Pain beat Gladys Knight in a singing competition.
The ’90s nostalgia is real for Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green, and Tori Spelling — a.k.a. six of the original stars of classic teen soap Beverly Hills, 90210. The group is reuniting for a meta six-episode event series on the network that will see the six actors playing “heightened versions of themselves in a brand-new serialized drama — with a healthy dose of irreverence — that is inspired by their real lives and relationships.” According to Fox, the reboot will see the group reunite when one of them suggests it’s time to reboot their series, “but getting it going may make for an even more delicious soap than the reboot itself. What will happen when first loves, old romances, friends, and frenemies come back together, as this iconic cast — whom the whole world (born before 2000 anyway) watched grow up together — attempts to continue from where they left off?”
(Photo by Warner Bros.)
Netflix is developing an original live-action dramedy based on the bestselling book series The Baby-Sitters Club. The 10-episode contemporary series will follow the friendship and babysitting adventures of five BFFs — Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacey, and Dawn — in Stoneybrook, Connecticut, and is being shepherded by GLOW’s Rachel Shukert and Broad City’s Lucia Aniello.
The upcoming Disney+ streaming service is tapping into its massive well of characters for a new series, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Book of Enchantment will put the spotlight on famous Disney villains, and is based on author Serena Valentino’s book series that focuses on villainous characters including the Beast, Ursula, and the witch from Snow White.
Streaming service WarnerMedia is planning its own series based on properties it owns: an animated Gremlins series. According to Variety, it would be a period piece that follows Mr. Wing, “the Chinese grandfather played in the films by Keye Luke, as a young man as he goes on adventures with the friendly Mogwai Gizmo.”
(Photo by DC Universe)
Superboy is headed to Titans for season 2. The DC Universe streaming series has cast Joshua Orpin as Conner Kent. The Australian actor will play the “angsty teenager of steel,” who was glimpsed only in silhouette form in a bonus scene from the series’ season 1 finale. In other DC Universe news, Amy Smart has signed on to play the mother of the titular character in Stargirl. Now that she’s the mother of a high-schooler, Barbara Whitmore is jumping back into the workforce and trying to be a great mom for her daughter, new husband, and new stepson. Neil Jackson and Hunter Sansone will each play an “undisclosed DC character” in the series.
This Is Us star Chrissy Metz is taking a quick trip to Superstore when she guest stars as a Cloud 9 human resources representative who is sent to St. Louis to investigate a flurry of publicly embarrassing tweets. Her episode will air in May. Real-life married couple Adam Brody and Leighton Meester will play on-screen loves in the season finale of Meester’s ABC sitcom Single Parents. Brody will play Maggie’s ex, Derek, the musician father of her 7-year-old son Graham.
Finally, Netflix announced new cast members joining season 2 of its sprawling sci-fi series Altered Carbon. Joining returning cast members Renee Elise Goldsberry and Chris Conner and the already-announced Anthony Mackie are Luke Cage’s Simone Missick, Dina Shihabi, Torben Liebrecht, and James Saito.