TV Talk

Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories, Julian Fellowes' Belgravia Get Premiere Dates

Apple TV+ releases a first look at the reimagining of Spielberg's anthology series. Plus, Hank Azaria no longer voicing Apu on The Simpsons, Central Park creator Loren Bouchard addresses casting concerns, and more top TV news.

by | January 19, 2020 | Comments

The final day of the winter Television Critics Association press day was devoted to new streaming service Apple TV+, where critics got an premiere date and official first-look image of the revamped Amazing Stories, as well as details about new shows like animated musical series Central Park, featuring the voices of Josh Gad and Kristen Bell.



Amazing Stories (Apple TV+)
(Photo by Apple TV+)

Apple TV+ has announced that its eagerly-anticipated reimagining of Steven Spielberg anthology series Amazing Stories will premiere March 6 on the streaming platform. The news series, from showrunners Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, will premiere with five episodes, starting with “The Rift” (pictured), which is directed by Mark Mylod and stars Kerry Lynn Bishe, Whitney Coleman, Trisha Mashburn, Austin Stowell, Edward Burns, and Juliana Canfield.

Episode directors include Chris Long (The Americans), Mark Mylod (Succession), Michael Dinner (Unbelievable), Susanna Fogel (Utopia), and Sylvain White (Stomp The Yard).

Apple TV+ also announced dates for comedy Trying, which launches May 1, dramedy “Dear…,” out June 5, and crime drama Defending Jacob, which stars Chris Evans and Michelle Dockery and premieres April 24.

On Saturday, Epix announced that period drama Belgravia from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes will premiere April 12, while Oxygen announced docu-series Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project will premiere April 5.


(Photo by APPLE TV+)

Bob’s Burgers creator Loren Bouchard’s new Apple TV+ show Central Park, due this summer, is animated musical TV series that follows the Tillerman family. Dad Owen is the park’s manager and mom Paige is his journalist wife, who is not respected at work. Meanwhile, the villainess heiress Bitsy Brandenham, along with her put-upon assistant Helen, wants to destroy the park and turn it into condos. The cast includes Josh Gad — who executive produces along with Bouchard and Nora Smith — Leslie Odom Jr., Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Tituss Burgess, Daveed Diggs and Stanley Tucci.

During the show’s panel, journalists noted that Diggs and Tucci voice female characters. Bouchard, who has dealt with this issue before as John Roberts and Dan Mintz play female characters on Bob’s Burgers, attempted to address the topic at TCA.

“Animation just makes you want to take this voice and have it come out of this face. It’s so delicious that I just can’t stop myself,” Bouchard told journalists. “Daveed playing Helen, we knew it early on it was gonna be so fun to do it. So we couldn’t look away once we imagined that. And the same for Stanley Tucci, playing this tiny lady with white hair. It’s like Margaret Thatcher glued onto a little dog. It’s this strange character that with his voice came together for us. Once you think of that, it is impossible not to get excited about it. Here I am, yet again taking away two roles from women. It’s something that I have on my mind all the time, trying to keep balancing things out.”

There’s also the fact that Bell plays Owen and Paige’s biracial daughter, Molly.

“We’re always trying to both honor the urge to fool around and have fun with animation and also just balance that s— out,” Bouchard added. “Get women of color in the cast, in the writers room, so that you feel at least that you’re always giving into the urge because you think there’s something there, some spark. She’s gonna honor that character. Kristen needed to be Molly. We couldn’t not make her Molly. But then we couldn’t make Molly white, and we couldn’t make Kristen mixed race, so we just had to go forward. So then you arrive there and say, ‘Well, we gotta just keep doing as best we can to balance, to turn around and give somebody an opportunity who wasn’t getting it.’”

Outside of this discussion, the panel also offered the revelation that Bell’s love of musicals started early — in part thanks to the musical CatsThe Good Place star confessed she hasn’t seen the movie version yet, but she says she plans to see it twice, once with her kids and once, she informed the audience as she mimed smoking a joint, “with my adult friends.”


THE SIMPSONS. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. TM and Copyright © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.
(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

In related news, actor Hank Azaria confirmed Friday that will no longer voice the The Simpsons character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon after years of accusations that the depiction of Homer Simpson’s confidant at the neighborhood Kwik-E-Mart is racist — particularly as it’s voiced by a white actor.

“All we know there is I won’t be doing the voice anymore, unless there’s some way to transition it or something,” Azaria told Slashfilm on Friday at TCA, while he was there to promote his IFC series Brockmire.

The depiction of Apu has been a source of animosity for many, hitting a fever pitch in 2017 with the release of comedian Hari Kondabolu’s truTV documentary The Problem with Apu.

When asked about the film and the character at the winter 2018 TCA panel for Brockmire, Azaria said “the idea that anybody, young or old, past or present, was bullied or teased or worse based on the character of Apu on The Simpsons, the voice or any other tropes of the character is distressing. And especially in post-9/11 America, the idea that anybody was marginalized based on it or had a hard time was very upsetting to me personally and professionally.

“As far as what is going to happen with the character going forward,” he added, “it’s really not just up to me. I think it’s really important when people express themselves about racial issues, what they feel is unfair or upsetting or distressing or makes them angry, upset, hurt, the most important thing to do is listen, try to understand, try to sympathize, which is what I’m doing. I know that The Simpsons guys are doing that too.”

The Simpsons’ official response to the film seemed to come with the April 2018 episode, “No Good Read Goes Unpunished.” The episode involves Marge Simpson re-exploring a classic novel from her childhood with her daughter, Lisa, and realizing that it’s subject now reads as problematic. “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive, is now politically incorrect. What can you do?” Lisa responded.


Home Before Dark (Apple TV+)
(Photo by Apple TV+)

Apple TV+ has given an early second-season renewal to Home Before Dark, a series based on a child journalist who uncovers a cover up in her small town and stars The Florida Project’s Brooklynn Prince and premieres April 3. The streaming network has also released a first-look image of the show, which is featured above.

Apple TV+ has also renewed Little America and Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet. (Although Mythic Quest star and co-creator Rob McElhenney did have this to say in regards to his long-running FXX comedy, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: “We’ll keep doing it forever.”)

In other news, Facebook Watch canceled Sorry for Your Loss and Limetown on Friday.

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

comic Calendar cancelled television Year in Review Western Turner disaster Reality Funimation singing competition Creative Arts Emmys robots universal monsters natural history Adult Swim teaser Cannes Family Video Games festivals Sneak Peek Star Trek based on movie golden globes cancelled TV shows quibi Apple TV+ Esquire CBS All Access E3 werewolf Logo Opinion Fox News Infographic American Society of Cinematographers Holidays movie Horror TV renewals Trailer television Academy Awards Lionsgate what to watch Food Network Stephen King Columbia Pictures MCU Captain marvel TBS Spring TV ITV cops latino Tubi Sundance Now Fantasy ABC Family screenings USA Network Summer Hallmark FX Sundance TV anime Disney streaming service Star Wars TCA 2017 Mary poppins Masterpiece Marathons cartoon Epix Britbox Pixar directors Crunchyroll E! facebook Amazon Prime Video SXSW Television Academy TIFF TruTV adventure Comic Book CW Seed independent historical drama Avengers Ghostbusters reboot Cosplay dogs Premiere Dates Interview History YouTube Paramount Network spy thriller Acorn TV Amazon theme song Shudder Bravo YouTube Red Winter TV comics blaxploitation 007 rotten movies we love crime drama free movies game of thrones anthology space discovery Netflix ratings Starz Binge Guide Amazon Prime El Rey Rom-Com Disney+ Disney Plus cooking adaptation HBO Set visit Superheroe TV christmas movies National Geographic Sony Pictures spinoff Martial Arts canceled TV shows justice league Box Office Shondaland Musical MTV Film Festival Endgame name the review Baby Yoda RT History breaking bad romance cults Chernobyl Country FOX Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Rocketman children's TV DC Comics Trivia Disney Channel FXX TCA Winter 2020 Countdown Paramount SDCC science fiction 21st Century Fox Emmys X-Men Red Carpet First Reviews Emmy Nominations TCA Film Awards Pop romantic comedy Comics on TV franchise crime thriller PaleyFest batman Nominations WGN Apple TV Plus NYCC Brie Larson Walt Disney Pictures elevated horror Pirates USA Heroines CNN talk show New York Comic Con GoT canceled A24 stand-up comedy Black Mirror Arrowverse series GIFs foreign APB YouTube Premium TNT scary movies Netflix Christmas movies Tumblr Christmas Mary Tyler Moore The Witch streaming politics composers IFC Grammys strong female leads book jamie lee curtis war Toys 24 frames medical drama unscripted Character Guide kids social media Universal zero dark thirty Vudu Oscars dceu political drama The CW See It Skip It Extras south america zombie Pride Month spider-man Women's History Month zombies sequel BBC America Lifetime revenge Kids & Family psycho finale Hallmark Christmas movies transformers Ellie Kemper dc sag awards 45 doctor who Amazon Studios 2018 Ovation dramedy Mystery CBS indie cancelled Trophy Talk witnail Biopics Dark Horse Comics A&E miniseries Chilling Adventures of Sabrina DC streaming service Syfy psychological thriller spanish language police drama hispanic Spike crime blockbuster SundanceTV Certified Fresh CMT 2016 diversity spain Song of Ice and Fire ESPN Fall TV sitcom Mudbound BET nature Writers Guild of America Awards Tour game show hist HBO Max VH1 LGBTQ Musicals Comedy Central Marvel Television richard e. Grant tv talk Nickelodeon Freeform Elton John cats award winner Photos Schedule Disney Rock Travel Channel Mindy Kaling toy story Drama renewed TV shows green book Teen Nat Geo The Purge OWN Classic Film Lifetime Christmas movies Reality Competition Warner Bros. Tomatazos DC Universe Thanksgiving President Anna Paquin slashers Best and Worst Apple FX on Hulu 71st Emmy Awards 20th Century Fox Crackle First Look Podcast San Diego Comic-Con reviews travel joker Showtime TCM DGA Pop TV Spectrum Originals 2017 LGBT biography mutant Holiday NBC Cartoon Network Disney Plus The Arrangement Action Peacock technology supernatural cancelled TV series true crime docudrama WarnerMedia mockumentary binge MSNBC 2015 versus Marvel Superheroes Comedy Sci-Fi video Quiz YA Music movies Watching Series ABC documentary Black History Month crossover dragons Winners Super Bowl TLC Mary Poppins Returns IFC Films TV Land OneApp AMC cars serial killer Hulu screen actors guild VICE ghosts Discovery Channel boxoffice Pet Sematary thriller PBS aliens Lucasfilm GLAAD Sundance period drama DirecTV halloween cinemax harry potter RT21 casting vampires Valentine's Day Rocky sports Marvel Studios The Walking Dead Animation Election Tarantino 2020 Turner Classic Movies BBC animated comiccon 2019 Polls and Games