TV Talk

There's An Alien TV Series in the Works at FX, Created by Fargo's Noah Hawley

Plus, all the big news out of Disney's Investor Day – details on Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar series, and confirmation of Hocus Pocus 2 – as well as HBO's True Blood reboot, a look at Cobra Kai season 3, and more TV and streaming news.

by | December 10, 2020 | Comments

Alien Covenant (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)

(Photo by © Twentieth Century Fox)

It was a huge news dump at Disney Investor Day this Thursday – the Mouse House’s big day to show off and drive up all that sweet, sweet cash – with plenty for the Star Wars and Marvel Studios fans. But there were also exciting reveals beyond those two mega franchises. Check out the biggest stories of the week in TV and streaming (with some non-Disney stuff thrown in for good measure).


TOP STORY

Fargo Creator Noah Hawley Will Spin Up FX’s Alien Series, With Ridley Scott in Talks to Executive Produce

Disney Investor Day dropped SO.MUCH.NEWS. from the company’s many brands (see below), but one of the projects we’re most excited about: FX’s series adaptation of the Alien franchise. (Remember, FX and Fox’s other brands all fall under the Disney umbrella since the acquisition.)

FX Chairman John Landgraf announced the series, which will find Fargo and Legion creator Noah Hawley developing the project, and original 1979 Alien movie director Ridley Scott is deep in talks to serve as executive producer on the series, the first one based on the movie franchise. Speculation is that Scott might also direct episodes of Alien, as he did with the recent HBO Max series he produced, Raised by Wolves.

Other TV news from Disney and related brands:

New Star Wars series coming to Disney+ include Obi-Wan Kenobi, starring Ewan McGregor with Hayden Christensen returning as Darth Vader, and two series set in The Mandalorian era from Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni: Rangers of the New Republic and Ahsoka, a series featuring the fan favorite character Ahsoka Tano. Also Andor, featuring the return of Diego Luna as Andor Cassian, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Star Wars: Visions, Lando, The Acolyte, and A Droid Story.

Movies on the way for Disney+: Hocus Pocus 2, reboots of Three Men and a Baby with Zac Efron and Cheaper by the Dozen with Kenya Barris and Gabrielle Union, and a new Sister Act movie starring Whoopi Goldberg, who will produce with Tyler Perry.

And more series projects for Disney+: Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers, a hybrid live action-animated film starring John Mulaney and Andy Samberg; Pinocchio, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks; Peter Pan & Wendy, starring Jude Law as Captain Hook and Yara Shahidi as Tinker Bell; Disenchanted, a sequel to Enchanted with Amy Adams returning as Giselle; live-action biographical films Greek Freak, about NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo, and projects about Keanon Lowe and Chris Paul; and new animated takes on Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, starring Simon Pegg, and Night at the Museum; plus animated series based on popular animated films, including Baymax, Zootopia+, Tiana, and Moana. Plus, Disney Animation Studios will release an original Africa-set animated series, Iwájú.

Pixar will produce its first-ever long-form animated series. Win or Lose for Disney+, plus other Pixar projects are heading to the streaming service, including Inside Pixar, Pixar Popcorn, Dug Days (featuring the beloved dog from UP), a Cars project, and the movie Soul and short Burrow, both debuting on Disney+ on Christmas Day 2020.

Marvel projects for Disney+ that were announced, or for which new details were shared, include the Samuel L. Jackson-starrer Secret Invasion; Ironheart with Dominique Thorne as a genius inventor; Armor Wars, starring Don Cheadle as James Rhodes; WandaVision; The Falcon and The Winter Soldier; Loki; the animated series What If…?; Ms. Marvel; Hawkeye; She-Hulk, starring Tatiana Maslany with co-stars Mark Ruffalo and Tim Roth (returning as Abomination); Moon Knight; a Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special; and a series of original shorts, I Am Groot.

Disney+ content coming from National Geographic includes Limitless With Chris Hemsworth; Welcome to Earth featuring Will Smith; season 4 of the anthology series Genius, which will profile Martin Luther King, Jr.; the documentary film Cousteau, as well as the documentary series Secrets of the Whales; plus A Real Bug’s Life and America The Beautiful.

Landgraf also announced It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has been renewed through season 18, which will make the series the longest-running live-action sitcom in TV history. Elsewhere, The Handmaid’s Tale has been renewed for a fifth season on Hulu.

FX is also in talks for a two-season drama series about The Rolling Stones, and is remaking the 1980 miniseries Shōgun, based on James Clavell’s 1975 novel of the same name.

It was also announced that s of Dec. 2, Disney’s portfolio of direct-to-consumer services has exceeded a total of 137 million global paid subscriptions, including 11.5 million ESPN+ subscribers, 38.8 million Hulu subscribers, and 86.8 million Disney+ subscribers.

So yeah, this Disney+ thing seems to be working out for them.


A Recipe for Seduction: The Lifetime Movie That’s Finger-Lickin’ Weird

KFC has already made chicken-themed Crocs. If you want to look like a bucket of the eatery’s famous fried birds, there’s a tracksuit that will help you along. And if you want your whole house to smell like the 11 herbs and spices in the brand’s secret recipe, there’s a fireplace log for that.

But if KFC’s 2017 bodice-ripping book Tender Wings of Desire (a real thing, we swear) didn’t prove just how serious the company is about love, they’ve got a Colonel Sanders Lifetime movie to erase all doubts.

On Dec. 13 (noon ET), Lifetime will premiere A Recipe for Seduction, a 15-minute movie (read: commercial) that stars Mario Lopez as the famed Col. Harlan Sanders, a man looking to give his heart, and his crispy friend chicken, to a very special woman.

“As the holidays near, an heiress contends with the affections of a suitor handpicked by her mother,” as per the project’s official description. “When the handsome chef arrives with his secret recipe and a dream, he sets in motion a series of events that unravel the mother’s plans.”

If you just can’t wait for the movie to unfold, check out the trailer aboe, featuring a murder plot, secret kisses, and Lopez in the Colonel’s trademark Fred-from-Scooby Doo kerchief.


NEW TRAILERS: Cobra Kai Season 3 Promises More Johnny and Daniel Matchups, Fights, and An Actual Cobra

Cobra Kai, season 3, looks set to start the new year off right with the reveal of what happened to Miguel after that brutal fall at the end of season 2, lots more karate and rivalries, and … Johnny Lawrence in a dinner jacket?! Stars Billy Zabka and Ralph Macchio. Premieres Jan. 8 (Netflix)

More trailers and teasers released this week:

• Nicolas Cage’s History of Swear Words, season 1, will find the Oscar winner getting cheeky about the place of cussin’ in our culture. Premieres Jan. 5 (Netflix)
• Batwoman, season 2, finds new star Javicia Leslie donning the new suit and telling herself it’s “time to be powerful” against her foes. Premieres Jan. 17 (The CW).
• A Creepshow Holiday Special finds guest stars Adam Pally and Anna Camp battling some very bad Santas. Premieres Dec. 18 (Shudder)
• Sylvie’s Love is a movie about the love story between an aspiring producer and a jazz musician who meet when she’s working at her father’s record store in 1950s Harlem. Starring Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha. Premieres Dec. 23 (Amazon Video)
Riverdale, season 5: Veronica finds out something happened between Betty and Archie, and other typically bonkers stuff happens. Premieres Jan. 20 (The CW)
• Call Me Kat, season 1, stars Mayim Bialik as a woman who quits her job and opens a cat cafe. Premieres Jan. 3 (Fox)
• Clarice, season 1, is a series sequel to Silence of the Lambs, picking up nine year after the events of the movie. Starring Rebecca Breeds, Michael Cudlitz, Kal Penn, and Nick Sandow. Premieres Feb. 11 (CBS)
• Sweet Home, season 1, is a South Korean thriller about a young man who moves into an apartment after the accidental death of his family, only to have monsters start to attack he and his neighbors. Premieres Dec. 18 (Netflix)
• Run the World, season 1, is a comedy from Living Single creator Yvette Lee Bowser and Leigh Davenport about four black women juggling careers, friendships, and love in Harlem. Stars Amber Stevens West, Andrea Bordeaux, Bresha Webb, and Corbin Reid. Premieres 2021 (Starz)
• The Minimalists: Less Is Now is a documentary about how we all may think we want more stuff, but we might all be way happier by getting rid of some of the stuff we already have. Premieres just in time for the new year, Jan. 1 (Netflix)

For all the latest TV and streaming trailers, subscribe to the Rotten Tomatoes TV YouTube channel.


CASTING: Mahershala Ali and Jon Hamm Join Steven Yeun and J.K. Simmons in Voice Cast of Robert Kirkman’s Animated Series Invincible

(Photo by © Well Go USA / courtesy Everett Collection)

The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman has lined up an all-star voice cast for his Amazon animated series Invincible, including Mahershala Ali, Jon Hamm, Nicole Byer, Djimon Hounsou, Jeffrey Donovan, Jonathan Groff, Clancy Brown, and Ezra Miller. Based on the comic of the same name, the series revolves around teen Mark (Steven Yeun), the son of the most powerful superhero in the world (J.K. Simmons).

Fargo season 4 star, Emmy winner Glynn Turman, will play Mose Wright in ABC’s six-episode series Women of the Movement. Wright was Emmett Till’s great uncle, a sharecropper and minister who testified in the trial to convict the white men who lynched his 14-year-old nephew in 1955, a key moment during the Civil Rights movement. (Deadline)

Queen Latifah will lead the Netflix movie thriller End of the Road, playing a recent widow who loses her job and drives her family across the country to start over. But when they get to the desert in New Mexico, where they are isolated from anyone who can help, they find themselves in the crosshairs of a killer. Latifah will also executive produce the movie.

Photo by Jim Spellman/FilmMagic/Courtesy of Getty Images

(Photo by Jim Spellman/FilmMagic/Courtesy of Getty Images)

Katherine Heigl will play the titular star of the limited series Woodhull, about Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President of the United States, in 1872. The series about the feminist icon is still being shopped to networks and streaming services; Heigl will also produce. (Deadline)

George Lopez is starring in Once Upon a Time in Aztlan, a drama in development at Amazon about a Chicano family living in a Los Angeles suburb. The series is the first dramatic TV role for the comedian, who will also be an executive producer. (Variety)

Rosie O’Donnell, Donald Faison, and Griffin Dunne will guest star on the second season of Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q. Jordan Hull, who plays Angie, the daughter of Bette (Jennifer Beals) and Tina (Laurel Holloman), has been promoted to series regular. O’Donnell will play Carrie, a brash and kindhearted public defender who gets under Bette’s skin; Faison plays Tom, a self-deprecating editor who works with Alice; and Dunne plays Isaac, an international art mega-dealer who comes into Bette’s orbit.

Schitt's Creek

(Photo by ©CBC / courtesy Everett Collection)

Schitt’s Creek’s Noah Reid has joined the cast of Amazon’s Outer Range, the rancher drama starring Josh Brolin. Reid will play the youngest son (who, like his Schitt’s character, will be a singer) of the Tillerson family, rivals of the Abbotts, the family headed by Brolin’s Royal Abbott.

American Vandal alum Tyler Alvarez has joined the cast of season 2 of Never Have I Ever for a recurring role as Malcolm, a former classmate of Devi’s who’s returning to school after starring on a Disney Channel show. (Deadline)

Peabody Award-winning OWN drama David Makes Man has added Tony Plana, Brittany S. Hall, Erica Luttrell, Zsane’ Jhe’, Bobbi Baker, Patrice Arenas, Trinity Cidel, Brandi Huzzie, Rodney Gardiner, and Janmarco Santiago to its recurring cast for season 2, while Kiel Adrian Scott and Erica Watson will direct episodes.

Jackée Harry is joining the cast of Days of Our Lives, where she’ll play a new character named Pauline, who has ties to the Carvers, longtime residents of Salem. (EW)

SuFisher Stevens, Justine Lupe, and David Rasche have been promoted to series regular status for season 3 of Succession. (Deadline)


PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT: Julia Roberts Returning to TV in a Limited Series Produced by Reese Witherspoon

Julia Roberts in Homecoming (Amazon Prime)

(Photo by Amazon Prime Video)

Julia Roberts will star in and executive produce the limited series The Last Thing He Told Me, at Apple TV+. Produced by Reese Witherspoon via her Hello Sunshine production company, the series will tell the story of a woman (Roberts) who bonds with her teenage stepdaughter while they’re trying to find out why Roberts’ character’s husband has mysteriously disappeared. The miniseries is an adaptation of author Laura Dave’s 2021 book of the same name. (Deadline)

Oscar winner Emma Stone will star in The Curse for Showtime. The comedy is created by and co-stars Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie, who also produce with Stone. Fielder also directs, and Benny Safdie’s brother Josh is also a producer. The series revolves around an alleged curse that disturbs the relationship of a newly married couple as they try to conceive a child while co-starring on their problematic new HGTV show.

Netflix has announced a limited drama series called True Story, starring Kevin Hart and Wesley Snipes. Hart plays a successful comedian who, after a lost night with his older brother (Snipes), is in danger of losing everything he’s worked so hard for. Hart will also be an executive producer on the series, which was written by Narcos showrunner Eric Newman, with Sons of Anarchy producer Charles Murray as showrunner and EP.

Wesley Snipes

(Photo by Rotten Tomatoes)

Margot Robbie has signed a first-look deal with Amazon to develop TV projects. Her LuckyChap Entertainment already produces the Hulu series Dollface and Netflix’s upcoming dramedy Maid, based on Stephanie Land’s bestselling book of the same name.

Robert Rodriguez and his sister Rebecca are developing a new Zorro series for NBC, with Zorro now a female named Sola Dominguez, an artist who fights against social injustice and angers local mobsters when she exposes their crimes. Modern Family alum Sofia Vergara will be an executive producer on the project. (Deadline)

Friends star Matthew Perry has released a limited time collection of Chandler Bing-themed t-shirts to raise money for the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 relief efforts. Mugs, hats, and hoodies are also available in the “Could this BE any more of a Matthew Perry merch store?” store.

Ava DuVernay and former Arrow writer and executive producer Jill Blankenship are developing a CW series based on the DC comic book heroine Naomi, a black teen girl in Oregon with superpowered abilities who finds out she us from another world and was sent to Earth by her parents, who wanted to protect her from a serial killer. The Naomi comic was created by David F. Walker and Brian Michael Bendis, and drawn by Jamal Campbell.

NBC is developing Hope Café, produced by Mayim Bialik and Damon Wayans Jr. The comedy is based on Sip of Hope, a Chicago coffee house where 100 percent of the proceeds support suicide prevention and mental health education. In the series, the titular shop is a community hangout where the baristas are also trained as mental health counselors.  (Deadline)

Anna Paquin and Alexander Skarsgard in True Blood (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

A True Blood reboot – so far, minus any of the original cast – is in early development at HBO, with original series creator Alan Ball attached as an executive producer and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Riverdale) and Jami O’Brien (NOS4A2) attached to write the script and executive produce. (Variety)

Another reboot on the way: iCarly, with original cast members Miranda Cosgrove, Jerry Trainor, and Nathan Kress to return. The series will stream at Paramount+ (still known as CBS All Access until next year). (TVLine)

Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Grant, Lisa Kudrow, Kumail Nanjiani, Tracey Ullman, Leslie Jones, and Cristin Milioti will guest star on Death to 2020, a documentary-style Netflix special from Black Mirror creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones, that pairs the celeb voices with real footage from the dumpster fire that has been 2020.

Jessica Simpson is teaming with Amazon to create an unscripted and a scripted series based on her New York Times bestselling 2020 memoir, Open Book.


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