CBS and Showtime shared a day of panels for the Television Critics Association on Monday. This means double the news on their upcoming programming, and panels devoted to the return of Twin Peaks and The Good Wife spin-off The Good Fight.
Here’s the news Rotten Tomatoes learned from the CBS-Showtime TCA sessions.
Showtime announced Twin Peaks would air May 21 with a two-hour premiere at 9 p.m.. Showtime Anytime and On Demand users can watch episodes three and four before they air the following weeks. “The core of it is Agent Cooper’s odyssey back to Twin Peaks,” Showtime President David Nevins said. He also called it “the pure-heroin version of David Lynch.”
Showtime’s Twin Peaks panel was scheduled as only cast, but creator David Lynch made a surprise appearance to take 20 minutes of questions. He chuckled at his own ambiguity, saying, for example, that the town of Twin Peaks is both the same and different 25 years later. The most concrete answer Lynch gave was confirming 18 episodes for the series. Whether they all clock in under 60 minutes remains to be seen.
Lynch wouldn’t discuss his previous stepping away and return to the reboot, but indicated that he is currently happy with Showtime. On hiring non actors for some roles, Lynch said he reviewed pictures and videotapes and considered everyone. “You try to get the right person for the part,” Lynch said.
Lynch did confirm that the events of the movie Fire Walk With Me remain important to Twin Peaks: “It’s the story of Laura Palmer’s last seven days — very much important for this.”
The cast, however, was instructed to talk about nothing but their history with the show and the experience of working on it.
On a panel for The Good Fight (their The Good Wife spin-off), creators Michelle and Robert King said the new show could use adult language and nudity on the CBS All Access streaming platform. They actually filmed Christine Baranki saying “motherf*****” knowing they would simply use the single F-bomb.
The panel also revealed there could be three or four Good Wife cameos per Good Fight episode, including returning guests Matthew Perry, Jane Alexander, Denis O’Hare, Carrie Preston, John Benjamin Hickey, Michael Boatman, and Rita Wilson.
The story finds Diane (Baranski) working for an all African-American firm, which tries police brutality cases. The firm also depends on government contracts, which could be vulnerable under the Trump administration.
The Good Fight premieres February 19 simultaneously on CBS and CBS All Access, but All Access subscribers can see two episodes. Look for Rotten Tomatoes’ interviews with Baranski and the Kings in February.
Showtime announced an eighth for Shameless and a fourth season of The Affair, which will see its third season finale filmed in Paris.
Showtime confirmed pickups for two previously announced new series: Master of None’s Lena Waithe created The Chi based on her experience growing up in Chicago. Common also produces and Straight Outta Compton’s Jason Mitchell will star. White Famous stars Jay Pharoah, from creators Jamie Foxx and Californication’s Tom Kapinos. Foxx will guest star.
Upcoming series I’m Dying Up Here will premiere June 4, and the limited series Guerrilla on April 16. Ray Donovan and Dice return this summer and Episodes’ fifth season will be its final one.
Reports in December said Shameless season 8 was held up as Emmy Rossum fought for equal pay to William H. Macy. It turns out Nevins agreed and advocated for her to receive it. “It felt like parity was very justified in this case, and we were advocating for it from the beginning,” Nevins said. “It worked out great for her, great for us.”
Nevins said Showtime is close to announcing a premiere date for a Whitney Houston documentary, for which they have cleared 10-11 of her songs.
The Training Day TV series introduces new main characters played by Bill Paxton and Justin Cornwell. Other characters from the movie do appear, however: Noel Gugliemi reprises his role of Moreno in the pilot. Tom Berenger and the “Three Wise Men” will appear in the show. Series creator Will Beall described the wise men (who Denzel Washington’s character visited in the movie) as the witches from Macbeth. The series creators have not discussed an Ethan Hawke appearance yet, nor have they ruled it out. Training Day premieres February 2.
Jerry Bruckheimer was on the Training Day panel as a producer. After the panel, he confirmed that a script has been delivered for a pilot for an Enemy of the State TV series, based on the Will Smith–starrer Bruckheimer produced. Bruckheimer also confirmed Enemy would be a serialized show as opposed to the procedural CSIs he also produced.
This weekend Warren Littlefield told Rotten Tomatoes that he’s just received a new script for a modern day In the Heat of the Night project. Though MGM originally set the series up at Showtime, today David Nevins revealed that he’d passed on it prior to the latest draft, so MGM and Littlefield will be taking it elsewhere.
When the season premiere of Homeland launched early on Showtime Anytime and On Demand, fans saw the incoming female president-elect. Though the season was written before the election, when a Clinton presidency was still possible, she was never intended to be a Clinton avatar, Nevins said. He added that Homeland’s president vacillates between Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul-esque policies.
John Ridley, creator of American Crime and screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave, created Guerilla. The fictional series portrays a British couple (Freida Pinto and Babou Ceesay) who become militant activists against Scotland Yard’s Black Power Desk, who really were assigned to target and repress Civil Rights activities. Idris Elba produces and costars. Ridley said his intention was to illustrate the systems of oppression rather than expose any individual misdeeds, because individuals may be transitory figures, but systems need to be changed long term.
Carpool Karaoke became James Corden’s signature sketch, as videos with Adele, Madonna, and other major stars went viral. Apple Music is launching a Carpool Karaoke series. Highlights include John Legend and Alicia Keys (with Taraji P. Henson hitching a ride in the back), Metallica and Billy Eichner with James Hetfield driving (the whole car headbanging to “Enter Sandman”), Seth MacFarlane driving Ariana Grande singing “Suddenly Seymour” (and MacFarlane hits the “yes you can” high note!), Chelsea Handler driving Blake Shelton singing “Uptown Girl,” and James Corden driving Will Smith. They park as a marching band plays “Getting Jiggy With It.”
Corden said they are just starting on Tuesday to prepare for his Grammy hosting gig. He considers it different from hosting the Tonys because the Grammys are more about the artists performing. He wants to bring joy and enthusiasm to the Grammys. Naturally — he’s James Corden!
Sagal plays Vivian Pressman in the ABC Dirty Dancing musical, the character who seduces Robbie. In this version, Sagal said she sings “Fever” and dances. Dirty Dancing will air on ABC in the spring. Sagal also said she would like to return to This Is Us, and expects her full-time gig on the CBS sitcom Superior Donuts will allow her to.
Carrey executive produces I’m Dying Up Here, based on William Knoedelseder’s book about The Comedy Store. The show features fictional characters and a fictional club, but Carrey shared real stories that made it into the show. These include a morning show DJ getting caught stealing comedians’ jokes, comics going on Let’s Make a Deal and waking up to a roommate’s girlfriend making bacon with no pants on.
Katey Sagal shared how she and co-star Judd Hirsch were filming a Big Bang Theory episode as Leonard and Penny’s parents respectively. Sagal had just received the Superior Donuts script. Hirsch had already been cast so he encouraged her to do it. Superior Donuts premieres February 2 on CBS.
Showtime confirmed that the fourth season of Masters of Sex was the series finale. Nevins said it was clear by the middle of the season they’d come to an end point, but didn’t want to announce it before the season finale.