Another video game is getting the star showrunner treatment, Mahershala Ali returns to HBO – and a familiar role – and ’90s faves Beavis and Butt-Head are set for a comeback in the biggest TV stories of the week.
Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, creators of HBO’s Westworld, are developing a series adaptation of best-selling, award-winning video game franchise Fallout for Amazon Studios. From Bethesda Game Studios, Fallout presents the future, as envisioned by Americans of the 1940s, as ravaged by nuclear war.
“Fallout is one of the greatest game series of all time. Each chapter of this insanely imaginative story has cost us countless hours we could have spent with family and friends. So we’re incredibly excited to partner with Todd Howard and the rest of the brilliant lunatics at Bethesda to bring this massive, subversive, and darkly funny universe to life with Amazon Studios,” Joy and Nolan said in a statement on behalf of their production company Kilter Films.
Double Oscar winner Mahershala Ali is heading back to HBO, but it’s not for another season of True Detective. Instead, he’ll star as boxing champion Jack Johnson in Unruly, a six-episode miniseries based on the Ken Burns PBS documentary Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson and author Geoffrey C. Ward’s companion book. Telling the story of the first Black heavyweight champion, Unruly is a “bold exploration depict(ing) the champion’s rise to athletic greatness and the costs he paid for his skin and defiance, which created a blueprint for Black resistance in every justice movement for generations to come.”
Ali, who starred in the second season of Hulu’s dramedy Ramy, has played Johnson before, in a 2000 revival of the stage play The Great White Hope. He will executive produce the series with his wife, Amatus Karim Ali.
Playwright Dominique Morisseau will write the series, and Tom Hanks’ Playtone production company and House of Cards creator Beau Willimon will also produce. (Deadline)
Emmy-winning When They See Us filmmaker Ava DuVernay is collaborating with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for a six-episode limited Netflix series about Kaepernick’s teen years. Colin in Black & White will unfold the story of the future NFL star and activist while he was growing up in a white adopted family.
Kaepernick will narrate the series himself, while an actor will play the younger version of him in the series.
The former San Francisco 49er QB became known for his activism after protesting racial injustice and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem before a 49ers game in 2016.
Well, they’ll make as much sense as anything has in this surreal year: Comedy Central has signed a deal with Emmy winner Mike Judge to create two seasons of the classic Generation X animated comedy Beavis and Butt-Head.
Judge will write, produce, and voice the titular slackers, who also provide sometimes deceptively insightful observations, as the series enters “a whole new Gen Z world … with meta-themes relatable to both new and old fans – Gen X parents and their Gen Z kids.”
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Harley Quinn scene stealer Tony Hale will star in the remake of the 1985 movie D.A.R.Y.L. that TBS is developing. Hale will play the titular role of a 10-year-old human weapon who grows up to be a 44-year-old guy who doesn’t know what to do with himself. (THR)
Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr., his wife Nicolette Robinson, Tommy Dorfman, Rainey Qualley, Rya Kihlstedt. L. Scott Caldwell, and Gil Bellows and his daughter Ava Bellows will star in Freeform’s remotely shot, four-episode limited series remake of Love in the Time of Corona. (TVLine)
In an auction that Deadline reports had 17 bidders, HBO emerged as the network that will adapt author Brit Bennett’s New York Times bestseller The Vanishing Half as a limited series. The cable network will pay seven figures and Bennett will be an executive producer on the show. The book tells the story of twin sisters who grow up in a small Black community in the South, and run away together at age 16. A decade later, one twin has returned to her hometown, and the other lives with her husband, who thinks she is white. The 2020 novel follows the siblings through their own stories, into the time when their daughters’ lives begin to intersect.
Sometimes we have to wait years to hear if Larry David will return for another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm at HBO. This time around, just a few months. On the heels of the March Season 10 finale, HBO announced this week that David will return for Season 11. “Believe me, I’m as upset about this as you are,” David joked. “One day I can only hope that HBO will come to their senses and grant me the cancellation I so richly deserve.”
Since Mike Henry has quit the role of voicing Cleveland on The Cleveland Show, Wendell Pierce has a great idea for taking over the role: himself. Two big thumbs up on that idea.
The latest acquisitions for the Peacock streaming service, which launches on July 15: Ray Donovan, The Affair, Everybody Hates Chris, The Game, The Real Husbands of Hollywood, Charmed, and Undercover Boss, and on the movie side, the Godfather movies, Catch Me If You Can, Seabiscuit, and Old School.
Tubi, the free streaming service, is offering the ultimate in comfort TV with 30 seasons of The Joy of Painting, featuring the soothing voice of Bob Ross, while another free streaming service, IMDB TV, is adding Mad Men to its lineup (along with a viewer warning about the blackface worn by John Slattery in the Season 3 episode “My Old Kentucky Home”). Both series will included on the streamers by the end of July.
The late, great Carl Reiner will be the subject of televised tributes by CBS and TCM. On July 3, CBS will air The Dick Van Dyke Show – Now in Living Color! A Special Tribute to Carl Reiner, which includes two episodes of the classic 1961-66 series for which Reiner won five Emmys. And on July 28, TCM will air five Reiner movies, including Enter Laughing, All of Me, The Comic, Where’s Poppa?, and Oh, God!. Reiner, who died on June 29 at age 98, won nine Emmys, a Grammy, and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
With his 80th birthday right around the corner, Star Trek star Patrick Stewart has announced he is writing his memoir, which will, of course, be heavy on the Capt. Jean-Luc Picard-ness of it all. Stewart, who’s currently starring in the spin-off series Star Trek: Picard, turns 80 on July 13. There is no release date yet for the book.
From Trek to Wars: before Season 2 of The Mandalorian debuts on Disney+ in October, two novelizations of the series, as well as art books and children’s books based on the show, will be released. (StarWars.com)
You loved/hated the song, and now Baby Shark is going to be an animated series for preschoolers. Baby Shark’s Big Show will debut with a holiday special in December, after drawing more than five billion views on YouTube.
NBC has greenlit Connecting, Blindspot creator Martin Gero’s comedy set during coronavirus times. The scripted comedy revolves around a group of friends who try to star close to each other while forced to quarantine, via video chats. (THR)