TV Talk

M. Night Shyamalan Reveals Plot of Scary New Apple Series Servant

Plus: Which other Star Wars characters could appear in the Disney+ Obi Wan Kenobi series, how Fleabag season 3 could happen, and more of the week's biggest TV news.

by | October 4, 2019 | Comments

Watch trailers for Apple TV+’s newest series, check out two Supermen in action, find out how Saturday Night Live‘s musical guest danced on the ceiling, and more.


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M. Night Shyamalan and Servant Cast Provide New Details on Scary New Apple TV+ Series

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 03: R-L) M. Night Shyamalan, Lauren Ambrose, Rupert Grint, Nell Tiger Free, Toby Kebbell, Tony Basgallop and Ashwin Rajan attend Servant Panel during New York Comic Con at Hammerstein Ballroom on October 03, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for ReedPOP )
(Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for ReedPOP)

Apple TV+ has released teasers for its upcoming M. Night Shyamalan thriller series, Servant. The first two were unnerving in different ways: The first, “The Rocker,” features a baby rocking in front of a TV (happy enough, but set to some traditional horror movie sounds). The second, “Cricket,” features the sound of a ticking clock as a woman sees a cricket while brushing her teeth — “something bad [is] coming,” a voiceover warns. Apparently, it’s coming on November 28, when the series premieres on the streaming service.

A third teaser, “Solitude” (above), debuted at the series’ New York Comic-Con panel on Thursday night. It features a brightly lit, sterile-feeling shot of a suspiciously still newborn baby being changed. The spot features an unnerving aesthetic from Shyamalan, who announced the late November premiere date during the panel — just in time to terrify your family after eating way too much turkey at Thanksgiving dinner — and revealed the first real details about the series.

Servant follows a Philadelphia couple in mourning after an “unspeakable tragedy creates a rift in their marriage and opens the door for a mysterious force to enter their home,” according to the official description. Lauren Ambrose and Toby Kebbell play the well-off suburban Philadelphia couple at the center of the story, and creepy things start happening when they hire a new babysitter (Nell Tiger Free) to take care of their infant, according to a CBR.com report. Rupert Grint plays the “brash, outspoken, and blunt” brother of Ambrose’s character. The entire series will feature just those four characters and will take place in the couple’s home.

Shyamalan executive produces and directs two episodes of the series alongside creator and writer Tony Basgallop. Apple TV+ launches November 1.


Trailers: Mr. Robot’s Holiday Mayhem, For All Mankind and Snoopy Space Fantasies

Johnny Mathis’ “Silver Bells” has never sounded more sinister as it does in the new trailer for Mr. Robot’s fourth and final season.

Other TV trailers released this week include:


Here’s the Only Way We’ll Get a Fleabag Season 3

Phoebe Waller-Bridge has said on many occasions that she thinks her multi-Emmy winning series Fleabag is done after two seasons, but she told Seth Meyers on Late Night that she’s considered one other scenario in which she’d revisit the character: In 20 years or so, at 50 years old.

“I quite like the idea of coming back to her — well, me — when I’m 50 ’cause I feel like she would’ve had more life then, and God knows what she would’ve got up to,” she told the talk show host. “Actually, seeing a character like that in her later stage of life is exciting, but for now, she’s been through enough. We’ve got to let her go.”

Another place we’re expecting her to revisit the role: On Saturday, when she hosts SNL for the first time. Come on, don’t you think a filmed Fleabag skit is happening? Judging from her first promos for the episode, her Emmys are likely to cameo as well.


How Did That Trippy SNL Season Premiere Musical Performance Happen?

Saturday Night Live’s season premiere featured host Woody Harrelson and several celebrity cameos (Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris, and Liev Schreiber as himself), but one of the show’s most talked-about moments was when musical guest Billie Eilish literally walked on the ceiling during her performance. Check out the video above to find out how she and the SNL team built a replica of Studio 8H for the trippy performance of her song of the summer, “Bad Guy.”


It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, it’s Superman…and Superman

We already know that The CW’s massive “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover is going to be epic. But check out just HOW epic in the photo above, which includes not one but two Men of Steel — Tyler Hoechlin, who plays Superman on Supergirl, and Brandon Routh, who stars on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, but also famously played Clark Kent and his alter-ego in 2006’s Superman Returns. Check out another shot of Routh as Clark Kent:

Also in the crossover: the DC Comics character Harbinger, who will be played on screen by Arrow’s Audrey Marie Anderson. Check her super-suit out below.


Another Star Wars Character Could Join Obi Wan in Disney+ Series

The upcoming Obi Wan Kenobi Disney+ series could see another face familiar to the Star Wars universe: Joel Edgerton. When asked whether he could reprise his role as Owen Lars, the adoptive father of baby Luke Skywalker first introduced in Attack of the Clones and who was entrusted with baby Luke after Padme’s death in Revenge of the Sith, Egerton was “coy.”

“Evasiveness definitely feels like a confirmation by default, or at least a hint that Edgerton has at least been in talks with Lucasfilm and Disney,” /Film speculated. But, as the site also reminded eager fans, the news is far from official: “Take all that with a grain of salt, of course.”


DC Universe Wants Your Reality Show Ideas

Metropolis, Swamp Thing, Titans title and Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson (aka Robin), Harley Quinn title, Young Justice title (DC Entertainment; Steve Wilkie / 2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
(Photo by DC Entertainment; Steve Wilkie / 2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

The newest show on DC Universe could come from none other than — you! The streaming service’s DCYou Unscripted project is seeking entries from now until November 18. If you’re over 18 and a U.S. resident, apply to the Ideas Unlisted network to submit your unscripted or reality video series ideas — game shows, game play, hot food, and hot takes are all fair game, according to the official rules. The top 10 entrants will be flown to Los Angeles to “spend a day with industry professionals to refine their concepts and have the chance to pitch…in-person to a panel of DC executives and entertainment luminaries.”

The top three ideas will be turned into unscripted pilots, and the winning idea will be turned into a DC Universe unscripted series.

“The DC Universe mission is to create a place for fans to dive deeper and express their fandom and this is a continuation of that aim,” DC Universe SVP and General Manager Sam Ades said in a statement. “As we head into our second year we’re excited about this new initiative – empowering fans to bring their unique and diverse voices to DC Universe in this very ambitious way.”


How to Get to Sesame Street? On HBO Max

Sesame Street (HBO)
(Photo by HBO)

Beginning in 2020, Sesame Street will have another new home. The legendary children’s series will debut on HBO Max before eventually airing for free on PBS Kids. While the series will continue to air on HBO through its 50th season, five new 35-episode seasons, plus annual specials and spin-offs will debut on the yet-to-launch streaming service. HBO Max will also house selected episodes from Sesame Workshop’s historic 50-year library.


RELATED: Everything We Know About HBO Max Streaming Service


Casting News: National Geographic’s Queen of Soul

Eli Winston/Everett Collection
(Photo by Eli Winston/Everett Collection)

Cynthia Erivo is headlining the third season of National Geographic’s anthology Genius. The Emmy-, Grammy-, and Tony-winning actress will play Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin in the series, which will begin filming this fall and premiere in the spring of 2020. The first two seasons focused on Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso, respectively.

Starring alongside Alexander Skarsgård in CBS All Access’ Stephen King adaptation The Stand is Nat Wolff, who will play petty criminal Lloyd Henreid, who “becomes fiercely loyal” to Skarsgård’s Dark Man, per Deadline.

Winston Duke will star in the Apple TV+ basketball drama Swagger as a former star player and current youth basketball coach. It’s based on the youth basketball experiences of NBA champion Kevin Durant, who also serves as an executive producer on the series.

Rachel Maddow let the bat out of the bag: She’s DC Comics character Vesper Fairchild, a radio and TV commentator (and former Batman flame) in The CW’s new series Batwoman, starring Ruby Rose. The role is voice only — for now.

Jesse Williams will play a wealthy Wall Street businessman in Hulu’s upcoming adaptation Little Fires Everywhere, starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

Sonoya Mizuno, who will next be seen in FX’s Alex Garland drama Devs, has booked another TV role: She’ll star opposite Kaley Cuoco in the HBO Max thriller series The Flight Attendant. When Cuoco’s Cassie wakes up win the wrong hotel in bed with a dead man, she has to figure out what’s happening to her. Mizuno will play “savvy and potentially dangerous businesswoman” Miranda, whom Cassie meets in Bangkok.

Netflix unveiled the cast of upcoming fantasy series Shadow and Bone, based on Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels and companion works: Westworld‘s Ben Barnes as General Kirigan — aka the Darkling — newcomer Jessie Mei Li as protagonist Alina Starkov, and Archie Renaux as Aline’s childhood friend Malyen Oretsev. Freddy Carter, Amita Suman, and Kit Young will play characters from the Shadow and Bone spin-off series Six of Crows: Kaz Brekker, Inej, and Jesper Fahey, respectively. Additionally, Sujaya Dasguptato will recur as Zoya Nazyalensky, as will Danielle Galligan as Nina Zenik, Daisy Head as Genya Safin, and Simon Sears as Ivan.


RELATED: Upcoming TV Fantasy Series That Could Be the Next Game of Thrones


Joel McHale is joining the final season of Will & Grace as Phil, a “handsome and charming” potential love interest for Karen when the series premieres in 2020.

The Affair star Julia Goldani Telles will lead the upcoming third season of Starz’ anthology series The Girlfriend Experience. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she’ll play a young neuroscientist in the London tech scene who gets wrapped up in the relationships she creates.

Short-form streaming service Quibi’s new horror anthology series, 50 States of Fright, will star Rachel Brosnahan, Travis Fimmel, Christina Ricci, Ming-Na Wen, Taissa Farmiga, Asa Butterfield, Jacob Batalon, John Marshall Jones, and Ron Livingston. The series explores stories based on urban legends.

Broadway veteran Bernadette Peters will play the mother figure to one of the main characters in Riverdale spin-off Katy Keene. Set to debut at midseason, the CW drama will follow the titular character, an aspiring fashion designer played by Lucy Hale, and her friends (including Riverdale’s Josie) as they try to make it in New York City. Peters will play Ms. Freesia, the “eccentrically elegant surrogate mother and mentor” of Katy’s pal Pepper Smith (Julia Chan).


Development Update: Starz Adapts an Indie, Cobra Kai Creators’ New Show

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Lena Headey attends The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Showtime’s Rita pilot has attached another big name: Lisa Cholodenko is set to executive produce and direct the first installment of the hour-long dramedy, which is an adaptation of the Danish series of the same name and will star Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey in her first post-Thrones project. The potential series follows a messy, unfiltered single mother and teacher.

Starz is working on an adaptation of the 2018 indie movie Blindspotting, written by original screenwriters and stars Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, and set to star original star Jasmine Cephas Jones. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “the potential series would a half-hour dramedy centered on Ashley (Jones), who was nipping at the heels of a middle-class life in Oakland, California, when Miles (Casal), her longtime partner and father of their son, was suddenly put in jail. The show would pick up with her navigating a chaotic and humorous existential crisis after moving in with Miles’ mother and half-sister.”

TBS has ordered Obliterated, a new one-hour show from the creators of Cobra Kai, straight to series. The 10-episode action dramedy focuses on “an elite special forces team who is tracking a deadly terrorist network” targeting Las Vegas. They deactivate a bomb and a debaucherous end-of-mission party ensues — only to then discover that the bomb was a decoy and their mission is far from over.

Schitt’s Creek has a new home: on Fox-owned television stations around the country — the half-hour sitcom will debut its sixth and final season on Pop TV in the spring, but starting in the fall, it’ll air in syndication in U.S. broadcast markets.

Netflix has ordered a six-episode sketch series from comedian Iliza Shlesinger called The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show, which will feature “absurd characters, insight into the female experience, and irreverent yet poignant social commentary,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. It’s scheduled to premiere in 2020.


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