TV Talk

TV Talk: Chris Hardwick to Host Doctor Who Specials

Plus, HBO orders a new miniseries from The Wire's David Simon

by | July 31, 2014 | Comments

This week’s TV news includes a live Doctor Who special with Talking Dead‘s Chris Hardwick, a new Peter Pan musical with Allison Williams, and a record-breaking night for Syfy with Sharknado 2. Also, HBO announced a David Simon miniseries and TV Land announced a Jim Gaffigan sitcom!

Chris Hardwick is hosting two Doctor Who specials.

There were lots of Doctor Who updates coming out of BBC America Thursday. First, the network announced that comedian and Doctor Who superfan Chris Hardwick, best known for The Nerdist and Talking Dead shows, will host two live TV specials to celebrate the premiere of Doctor Who: Series Eight, “Deep Breath.” On Saturday August 23, BBC America will air Doctor Who: Live Pre-Show at 7:30 p.m. ET, and Doctor Who: After Who Live at 11:00 p.m. ET, following the premiere of Intruders. BBC America also announced a series of theatrical events in select cities on August 23 and 25 at which fans can screen Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor in “Deep Breath,” along with 15 minutes of exclusive Doctor Who bonus content. Fathom Events will announce more info about the theatrical screenings on August 5 at www.fathomevents.com.

Girls‘ Allison Williams is the new Peter Pan.

Move over, Sandy Duncan! There’s a new Peter Pan in town! As reported by her own father, Brian Williams of the NBC Nightly News, Allison Williams has been cast as Peter Pan in NBC’s upcoming live special. Williams, who plays Marnie on the HBO comedy Girls, joins the Peter Pan cast with the already-announced Christopher Walken, who will play Captain Hook. “I have wanted to play Peter Pan since I was about three years old, so this is a dream come true,” said Williams, who is a classically trained singer (though you might not have guessed based on Marnie’s singing in Girls). “And besides,” added Williams, “what could go wrong in a live televised production with simultaneous flying, sword fighting and singing?” Peter Pan Live!, airing on NBC December 4, is a follow-up to the Carrie Underwood Sound of Music Live!
telecast, which delivered huge ratings for the network.

Sharknado 2 sets new TV records.

Sharknado 2: The Second One, which aired Wednesday night on Syfy, became the channel’s most watched original movie ever with 3.9 million total viewers. The sequel to last year’s so-bad-it’s-good Sharknado also delivered an estimated one billion Twitter impressions. According to Syfy, at one point on Wednesday night, Sharknado 2 held all top 10 trending topics in the United States, with more mentions of “#Sharknado” on Twitter than “#MileyCyrus” on the day of MTV’s 2013 VMAs, or “#kimye” on the day of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding. If you missed the premiere, you can catch the rebroadcast on Syfy this Saturday, August 2 at 7:00 p.m. or Sunday, August 3 at 9 p.m. Sharknado 2
is currently Rotten on the Tomatometer at 41 percent.

The Wire‘s David Simon gets a new HBO miniseries.

HBO officially ordered Show Me a Hero, a six-hour miniseries from The Wire co-creator David Simon. Oscar Isaac
(Inside Llewyn Davis
) and Catherine Keener
(The 40 Year Old Virgin) are set to star, with Paul Haggis
(Million Dollar Baby) on board to direct. Adapted from Lisa Belkin’s non-fiction book by the same name, the miniseries will be written by The Wire‘s William F. Zorzi, along with Simon. Show Me a Hero tells the story of a young mayor (Isaac) who is thrust into a racial controversy when a federal court orders him to build low-income housing in Yonkers, NY. This will be Simon’s third miniseries for HBO, not including the final season of Treme, which is currently nominated for an Emmy this year in the best miniseries category.

TV Land orders Jim Gaffigan comedy to series.

TV Land has picked up 10 episodes of The Gaffigan Show, created by Peter Tolan and comedian Jim Gaffigan. According to TV Land, the single-camera comedy is inspired by Gaffigan’s real life in New York City, as the self-proclaimed Hot Pockets connoisseur tries to balance between “fatherhood, stand-up comedy and an insatiable appetite.” The series will premiere in 2015 on TV Land, with Comedy Central airing episodes a week after they debut. The deal comes after CBS tried twice to develop the pilot. Gaffigan and company then retooled the show with Adam Goldberg, Michael Ian Black, and Ashley Williams in the cast. “I am thrilled that TV Land is giving us this opportunity to do this show that Peter [Tolan], Jeannie [Gaffigan] and I have been fine-tuning for three years,” Gaffigan said in a release. Meanwhile, TV Land said goodbye to Kirstie Alley, whose sitcom Kirstie was cancelled this week after one season.

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