Where’s the Berf? FX CEO Landgraf confirmed that Hulu’s Emmy darling (and the internet’s favorite thirst trap) The Bear will air its third season in June. This follows in the tradition of the dramedy’s first two seasons, which were also summer sensations.
Both previous seasons had a stellar roster of guest stars. Sometimes they’re stealthily placed, such as Molly Ringwald spearheading an Al-Anon meeting in Season 1. Other times, like the second season’s Christmas-set episode “Fishes,” was more overt. That one that featured guest appearances from Jamie Lee Curtis, Bob Odenkirk, John Mulaney, Sarah Paulson, and more. Unfortunately, Landgraf couldn’t comment on how (or if) this tradition will continue.
“I can tell you, given the way The Bear is made, that I was surprised as you when the Christmas episode came through the door,” he said. “I experienced that cast they put together with the surprise and freshness of the audience, which you don’t get to do very often in a network job.”
However, he added that he had “no doubt” that the new season will, like the previous seasons, be released as a binge release (as opposed to a week-to-week roll out).
“It wasn’t lost on me, or anyone else who worked on the show, that it was anxiety-inducing,” he said of the first season. “You know, ‘anxiety inducing’ are not the adjectives you typically associated with hit television shows. And, so, we made a decision that we would drop the whole thing as a binge because … it was a really beautiful, very uplifting ending.”
He said they continued this strategy into the second season because “even though the episodes are separate, there’s a whole vibe every season.”
The Bear 99% premieres its third season in June on Hulu.
American Sports Story, the latest chapter in Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk‘s American Story franchise (see also: American Crime Story, is set to premiere later this year. Its first installment will be based on the Boston Globe podcast, Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc., about the rise (and violent and tragic fall) of the New England Patriots tight end.
Josh Andrés Rivera (The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes) plays Hernandez and Patrick Schwarzenegger plays fellow football star Tim Tebow. Other cast members include Lindsay Mendez, Tony Yazbeck and Jake Cannavale.
There has been talk about other parts of the American Story empire, such as an American Crime Story set around the events at New York City nightclub Studio 54 and a facet called American Love Story (whose first chapter would concentrate on John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bessette).
Landgraf put the onus to share details about these projects on Murphy.
“All of these questions sort of sit in Ryan’s world,” he said. “Obviously he has his own methodology for communicating when he wants to communicate … I can tell you, he’s working on a whole bunch of new things for us right now that I’m really excited about and that we’ll be announcing relatively soon. And there’s always a lot of ideas circulating about potential new seasons of American Crime Story or American Sports Story or Love Story.”
Ready to rock? The four-part docu-series Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story will premiere Apr. 26 on Hulu. Directed by Gotham Chopra, the series is described as “40-year odyssey of rock and roll idolatry on the precipice as a vocal injury threatens to bring everything to a screeching halt.”
As lead singer Jon Bon Jovi described it to journalists at TCA, “I wanted to document what had happened in my past with a vision on what is the future.”
“One thing we agreed upon on Day One was this was not going to be a VH1 puff piece,” he said. “That, if anything, I wasn’t going to stamp my feet and say, ‘I have final say.’ Gotham was the director. This had to tell the truth and have all the warts to go with it in order to tell a real truth. So I’m proud of the film.”
In creator Steven Knight‘s new FX drama The Veil, Elisabeth Moss and Yumna Marwan star as two women going on the most intense road trip ever. Moss plays Imogen Salter, an MI6 agent tasked with getting the truth out of Marwan’s Adilah El Idrissi, a possible ISIL agent. It’s a story of trust and deception. But don’t overthink the casting. It’s not a plot point that Moss is an American actor playing a Brit.
“We don’t really worry about that stuff that much anymore; look how many British or Australian actresses have played an American,” said executive producer Denise Di Novi. “Why not have an American actress play British? I think we knew that Elisabeth Moss had the skill level to be very adept at accents, and it was important. She’s playing an MI6 agent. So, she’s got to be British … I think it’s kind of a compliment when you’re saying, like, ‘oh, is it part of one of her characters or part of the deception’ or whatever? I think that’s great because it means you’re getting the character from the get-go. But yeah, she is actually a British character.”
Moss said that “as far as the accent, I worked on it probably harder than I’ve ever worked on anything because I tend to not do too much research or work too hard sometimes beforehand. But this, I did about six months. I started in September, and we started shooting in February because I really wanted — you know, there’s a fair amount of pressure when it comes to that kind of thing.”
Moss also confirmed that her other prestige drama, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Moss confirmed that that Emmy-winning program is currently prepping its final season and will go into production this summer.
The Veil premieres Apr. 30 on Hulu.
James Clavell’s 1975 historical and sprawling war novel, Shogun was already adapted into a hit, Emmyw-wining NBC miniseries. But that was in 1980 and technology, casting and other forms of storytelling have drastically increased since then.
“Not just why do we need to tell this story, but what new things should be told?,” Marks said. “And one of the things, in looking to the book, that we felt was a really under-appreciated aspect of James Clavell’s work was that actually it did an incredible job of telling a story from a variety of points of view and using now, I think, a different audience standard that we can do this show in the language of the country where it is set, that we can have this in Japanese and that we can be subtitling it, and using subtitles not as a device to hold us further apart from another culture in another language, and the people who speak it, but to bring us closer to their inner thoughts, and who they are, and what they feel, meant that we could tell a story that was a lot more layered maybe than anything that could have been done before.”
He added that the “hardest part” of making the show was “how do we tell this story in a way that brings us closer to our Japanese partners who worked on the show with us … How do we reflect this experience authentically in a way that feels like it is speaking with something new to say?”
Set in feudal Japan before the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, the story follows the rise of daimyō (or Japanese lords) through the eyes of a shipwrecked English sailor named John Blackthorne (portrayed in this series by Cosmo Jarvis). Helping him are Hiroyuki Sanada‘s Lord Yoshii Toranaga, a powerful lord at odds with his rivals, and Anna Sawai‘s Toda Mariko, a woman from a disgraced family but who is keenly intelligent and knows how to play the game.
The show is cold and wet and, oftentimes, quite violent.
Kondo said she’d recently spoken with someone about the way the violence is portrayed and that the person told her that these scenes “felt true.”
“We’re not going to shy away from the fact that it exists, and it happens much too often,” she said. “But it’s never going to be something that we celebrate, it’s never going to be something that we –- our first instinct in that we go to it as a means of telling story. But it’s going to flow from story, and from the truth that we’re after in that story.”
Marks said that he and Kondo “never felt any ceiling imposed by the network” as to how much violence to show. But he also used a surprising adjective to describe the source material: comedy.
“We felt, reading the book as a writers’ room on this show, that it was really rich with comedy,” he said. “And we wanted to reflect that, and maybe in a more modern and cynical way. I mean, Clavell had a great modern and cynical worldview at the time. But these misunderstandings that occur across the language barrier, we saw as some real opportunities for humor.”