Director, writer, and producer Patty Jenkins is the latest to sign with streaming giant Netflix. Speaking of… Ryan Murphy unveils a slew of Netflix projects he’s developing. Plus, the streamer announces Kevin James’ new comedy, and the 25th anniversary of Friends is giving fans around the world a chance to celebrate.
(Photo by Clay Enos/©Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection (Patty Jenkins with 'Wonder Woman' star Gal Gadot on set))
“I’m so excited to embark on a great journey of making the new world of television with a company and group of people I admire as much as Ted, Cindy, Channing, Peter and the team at Netflix,” Jenkins said in a statement. “I look forward to digging in to some great work together soon.”
Jenkins is currently working on Wonder Woman 1984, the sequel to her $820-million grossing 2017 superhero film.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Patty Jenkins to Netflix. Her trailblazing work has pushed boundaries and she confidently tells stories that leave an unforgettable mark. We look forward to fostering her many ideas and helping them come to life,” Netflix Vice President of Original Series Channing Dungey said in a statement.
The deal is valued at $10 million over three years, Variety reported.
(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME)
In addition to the already announced One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest prequel Ratched, starring Sarah Paulson, and The Politician premiering September 27, Ryan Murphy told Time Magazine about seven more streaming shows he is producing for Netflix.
Murphy is adapting two Broadway musicals: A Chorus Line as a 10-episode series and The Prom as a feature starring Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman. Ewan McGregor is set to star as fashion designer Halston in a Murphy miniseries, while Patti Lupone and Holland Taylor are slated for the sex industry drama Hollywood.
“Jessica Lange and I are working on a piece about Marlene Dietrich in Vegas in the early ’60s,” he told Time. “But I’m so booked. When am I going to do it? I don’t know.”
He’s also developing documentaries, including a 10-part Andy Warhol series and the film A Secret Love about an octogenarian couple coming out as lesbians.
WarnerMedia announced it would present a Snowpiercer panel at New York Comic Con, promising an exclusive sneak peek at the series starring Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs and based on the 2014 film of the same name. Impractical Jokers, Tacoma FD, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and All Elite Wrestling are also coming to NYCC.
CBS will bring Star Treks Picard and Discovery, as well as Evil and Tell Me a Story, and The CW’s Nancy Drew and Charmed, according to Deadline.
Netflix announced it will preview season 3 of Big Mouth with Nick Kroll and season 2 of Lost in Space with the cast, plus the world premiere of their new series Daybreak.
Hulu, meanwhile, will present world premiere screenings and panels on Marvel’s Runaways season 3, J.J. Abrams and Stephen King’s Castle Rock season 2, and Reprisal’s first season.
Castle Rock is produced by Warner Bros. Television, which announced that it will also present Watchmen and Batwoman screenings with Q&As; Riverdale, Manifest, and Roswell, New Mexico video presentations with Q&As; a Harley Quinn screening; and the premiere of new footage from Black Lightning, Katy Keene, Legacies, Prodigal Son and Titans.
(Photo by Warner Bros. Productions)
The sofa from Central Perk on Friends is going on a world tour to celebrate the landmark sitcom’s 25th anniversary. Wherever you are, the sofa will be there for you to take selfies with up to two of your closest friends, maybe four if you skooch together.
Complete tour dates here but some of the major destinations include the Grand Canyon; Empire State Building; London’s Tower Bridge, London Eye and Abby Road; Burj Khalifa in Dubai (the one Tom Cruise climbed in Mission: Impossible); Comic-Con Africa; and the Tribeca TV, Toronto and Venice Film Festivals.
The sofa appears in multiple places simultaneously, so is it possible some of those are not the actual screen- used sofa? Or can the Friends sofa fold space and time? It is magical, you know.
(Photo by CBS)
You can’t keep Kevin James off TV for too long. Kevin Can Wait ended in its third season last spring, so it only took James about a year to line up a new show. This time it’s for Netflix, for which he starred in True Memoirs of an International Assassin.
The Crew stars James as the crew chief in a NASCAR garage. It will still feel familiar to King of Queens fans because it will be a multi-camera situation comedy, James will face off against millennials who think technology can fix everything. NASCAR has two executive producers on the series too.
The Masked Singer released a promo revealing Thingamajig and Butterfly ahead of their sneak peek September 15 and season 2 premiere September 25. Thingamajic belts out Kacey Musgraves from inside that big green fur, and Butterfly rocks out to Jessie J/Ariana Grande/Nicki Minaj without letting those wings get in the way.
(Photo by Freeform/Alfonso Bresciani)
Freeform announced its first Thanksgiving movie. Turkey Drop will star Olivia Holt of Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger. She’ll play Lucy Jacobs, a college freshman returning home worried her high school boyfriend is going to turkey drop her, dumped over the holidays.
Freeform’s press release promises Lucy’s efforts to keep her boyfriend will push her out of her comfort zone and teach her to put herself first. Adventures in Babysitting remake writer Tiffany Paulsen writes. Schitt’s Creek director Jerry Ciccoritti directs. You can see Turkey Drop during Freeform’s November “Kickoff to Christmas,”
The trailer for season 4 of This Is Us shows a glimpse at the expanding word of the Pearson family. Jennifer Morrison appears both in and out of military fatigues, and montages show glimpses of a host of new characters. Favorite guest stars Ron Cephas Jones and Phylicia Rashad also make appearances in the trailer.
FXX released the trailer for season 14 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The gang plays laser tag, goes to the zoo, solves a black and white Sin City mystery, and experiments with flatlining and revival. Charlie (Charlie Day) pees on Mac (Rob McElhenney) and Frank (Danny DeVito) is very protective of his melon.
You can also check out the following new trailers:
– A Walking Dead season 10 teaser with no new footage.
– A full trailer for The Deuce’s third and final season.
– A first look at season 2 of USA’s The Purge.
– The trailer for Fox’s newest animated comedy Bless the Hearts.
– A trailer for Cake, FXX’s short-form live-action and animation showcase Cake.
– The trailer for Criminal on Netflix featuring Hayley Atwell and David Tennant.
– The trailer for Netflix’s mystery series The I-Land inspired by the trailer for the Fyre documentary.
– A trailer for season 3 of Young Sheldon.
– The trailer for Into the Dark’s September horror movie Pure.
(Photo by Amazon Prime Video)
Julia Roberts is not returning to the second season of Amazon’s Homecoming, which will tell a new story not based on the podcast. Chris Cooper will star in season 2, according to Deadline, which also reports that Glynn Turman has joined the cast of Fargo season 4 in a recurring role.
Al Pacino and Ellen Burstyn will help Ovation relaunch Inside the Actors Studio on Sunday, October 13 at 10 p.m., the network announced.
Rebel Wilson will host the Australian pet competition show Pooch Perfect for Australia’s Network Seven, according to Deadline, while John Stamos, Tony Revolori and Georgia King will recur on Quibi’s Darren Criss/Kether Donohue songwriter comedy Royalties.
Paramount Network announced its cast for its Army medic dramedy 68 Whisky. Sam Keeley, Gage Golightly, Cristina Rodlo, Jeremy Tardy and Nicholas Coombe star. The show will premiere in early 2020.
Christoph Waltz joins Liam Hemsworth in an untitled thriller for Quibi. Danielle Mone Truitt has joined the Fox cop drama Deputy as a new character, replacing one played by Siena Goines. Stephen Dorff still stars with Truitt. Martha Plimpton joins the cast of HBO Max’s original Generation. The Resident adds Kearran Giovanni, Geoffrey Cantor, Michael Paul Chan and Erinn Westbrook for recurring roles in season 3, according to Deadline.
Garcelle Beauvais joins The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for season 10, Bravo TV announced. She is the first African-American housewife on the show. Sutton Stracke also joins RHOBH. Ken Jeong, Nicki Glaser, Caroline Rhea, and Adam Carolla will perform at the Comedy Central Roast of Alec Baldwin.
(Photo by Hulu)
Hulu announced it was developing a series based on Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale sequel, The Testaments. Atwood’s book releases September 10, and Handmaid’s series creator Bruce Miller is in talks for the sequel series.
USA Network announced it has ordered limited series Evel, to star Milo Ventimiglia and based on the life of the 1970s daredevil Evel Knievel. Production is expected to begin in 2020.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt will star, write, and executive produce drama series Mr. Corman, about an L.A. elementary school teacher, for Apple TV+, Variety reports.
The Obamas’ choice of names for their production company is in dispute, according to THR. They wanted to call it Higher Ground Productions, but there is already a Higher Ground Enterprises.
Monk creator Andy Breckman and director Randy Zisk are adapting the German detective show Einstein for CBS, according to Deadline. Tyler Perry has formed a new production company with Tim Palen, Peachtree & Vine Productions, according to THR.
NBC is developing a drama about a billionaire who freezes 250 people cryogenically, THR reports. The drama begins when they each wake up at different times. The Peacock is also developing Brain Trust, Deadline reports, about grad students developing the technology to project one’s mind into someone else’s body.
Marco Polo creator John Fusco and action director Renny Harlin are developing a TV series about the Hong Kong Triads, according to Deadline. Fox is developing an animated western comedy aimed at adults called Saloon, Variety reports.
Gather ’round, witches and warlocks: Netflix has ordered 16 new episodes of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, in addition to the nine-episode Part Two that is set to premiere on April 5, 2019.
Said creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa in a statement announcing the news, “Praise Satan! I’m so grateful to my partners at Warner Brothers, Netflix, Berlanti Television, and Archie Productions for supporting this darker vision of the world’s most famous teen witch. And I’m thrilled to be continuing to tell Sabrina’s chilling adventures with our incredible cast and crew, led by the unstoppable Kiernan Shipka.”
The new episodes will air in two parts (Parts Three and Four), and will begin filming in 2019. The series’ holiday special, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale, debuted on Dec. 14.
Latest update (12/18): Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: parts 3 and 4 (Netflix) – Renewed; Ray Donovan: season 7 (Showtime) – Renewed; Van Helsing: season 4 (Syfy) – Renewed; Sorry for Your Loss: season 2 (Facebook) – Renewed; Tell Me a Story: season 2 (CBS All Access) – Renewed; Elementary: season 7 (CBS) – Cancelled (after final seventh season); Magic for Humans: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed; Five Points: season 2 (Facebook) – Renewed; Sacred Lies: season 2 (Facebook) – Renewed.
(Photo by The CW)
$100,000 Pyramid: season 3 (ABC) – Renewed
The 100: season 6 (The CW) – Renewed (pictured)
12 Monkeys: season 4 (SyFy) – Cancelled (after fourth season)
13 Reasons Why: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
2 Dope Queens: season 2 (HBO) – Renewed
48 Hours: season 32 (CBS) – Renewed
60 Minutes: season 51 (CBS) – Renewed
9-1-1: season 2 (Fox) – Renewed
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(Photo by Starz)
A Discovery of Witches: seasons 2 and 3 (Sundance Now) – Renewed (before season 1’s U.S. debut)
Absentia: season 2 (Prime Video) – Renewed
Adam Ruins Everything: season 3 (tru TV) – Renewed
Adventure Time: season 10 (Cartoon Network) – Cancelled (after final season)
The Affair: season 5 (Showtime) – Cancelled (after final season)
Aggretsuko: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
Alex Inc: Season 1 (ABC) – Cancelled
Alexa & Katie: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
The Alienist: season 2 (TNT) – Renewed
Alone: season 6 (History) – Renewed
Alone Together: season 2 (Freeform) – Cancelled
Altered Carbon: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
America’s Funniest Home Videos: season 29 (ABC) – Renewed
American Crime Story: season 3 (FX) – Renewed
American Dad: season 14 (TBS) – Renewed
American Gods: season 2 (Starz) – Renewed (pictured)
American Horror Story: season 10 (FX) – Renewed
American Housewife: season 3 (ABC) – Renewed
American Idol: season 17/season 2 (ABC) – Renewed (for second season on ABC, 17th overall)
American Vandal: season 2 (Netflix) – Cancelled
American Woman: season 1 (Paramount) – Cancelled
The Amazing Race: season 31 (CBS) – Renewed
The Americans: season 6 (FX) – Cancelled (after final sixth season)
Ancient Aliens: season 13 (History) – Renewed
Andi Mack: season 3 (Disney Channel) – Renewed
Angie Tribeca: season 4 (TBS) – Renewed
Animal Kingdom: season 3 (TNT) – Renewed
Animals: season 3 (HBO) – Cancelled
Anne With an E: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
Another Period: season 3 (Comedy Central) – Cancelled
A.P. Bio: season 2 (NBC) – Renewed
Archer: season 10 (FX) – Renewed
Arrested Development: season 5 (Netflix) – Renewed
Arrow: season 7 (The CW) – Renewed
Ash vs. Evil Dead: season 3 (Starz) – Cancelled
At Home With Amy Sedaris: season 2 (truTV) – Renewed
Atlanta: season 3 (FX) – Renewed
Atypical: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
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(Photo by HBO)
B: The Beginning: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
The Bachelor: season 23 (ABC) – Renewed
Ballers: season 5 (HBO) – Renewed
The Baroness Von Sketch Show: season 4 (IFC) – Renewed
Barry: season 2 (HBO) – Renewed (pictured)
Baskets: season 4 (FX) – Renewed
Beat Shazam: season 3 (Fox) – Renewed
Being Mary Jane: season 4 (BET) – Cancelled (after two-hour movie)
Below Deck Mediterranean: season 4 (Bravo) – Renewed
Berlin Station: season 3 (Epix) – Renewed
Better Things: season 3 (FX) – Renewed
The Big Bang Theory: season 12 (CBS) – Cancelled (after an “epic” final season)
Big Brother: season 20 (CBS) – Renewed
Big Little Lies: season 2 (HBO) – Renewed
Big Mouth: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
Billions: season 4 (Showtime) – Renewed
Black-ish: season 5 (ABC) – Renewed
Black Lightning: season 2 (The CW) – Renewed
Black Mirror: season 5 (Netflix) – Renewed
Blindspot: season 4 (NBC) – Renewed
Blood Drive: season 1 (Syfy) – Cancelled
Blue Bloods: season 9 (CBS) – Renewed
Bojack Horseman: season 6 (Netflix) – Renewed
The Bold Type: season 2 (Freeform) – Renewed
Bosch: season 6 (Amazon) – Renewed
The Brave: season 1 (NBC) – Cancelled
The Break with Michelle Wolf: season 1 (Netflix) – Cancelled
Bridezillas: season 11 (We) – Renewed
Broad City: season 5 (Comedy Central) – Cancelled (after final fifth season)
Brockmire: season 4 (IFC) – Renewed
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 5 (Fox) – Cancelled by Fox; Renewed for Season 6 by NBC
Bull: season 3 (CBS) – Renewed
Burden of Truth: season 2 (The CW) – Renewed
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(Photo by YouTube Premium)
Castle Rock: season 2 (Hulu) – Renewed
Castlevania: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
Celebrity Family Feud: season 4 (ABC) – Renewed
Champions: season 1 (NBC) – Cancelled
Chance: season 2 (Hulu) – Cancelled
Channel Zero: season 4 (Syfy) – Renewed
Chelsea: season 2 (Netflix) – Cancelled
Chesapeake Shores: season 3 (Hallmark) – Renewed
The Chi: season 2 (Showtime) – Renewed
Chicago Fire: season 7 (NBC) – Renewed
Chicago Med: season 4 (NBC) – Renewed
Chicago P.D.: season 6 (NBC) – Renewed
Child Support: season 2 (ABC) – Renewed
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: parts 3 and 4 (Netflix) – Renewed
Chrisley Knows Best: season 7 (USA) – Renewed
The Circus: season 3 (Showtime) – Renewed
Class: season 1 (BBC America) – Cancelled
Claws: season 2 (TNT) – Renewed
Cloak & Dagger: season 2 (Freeform) – Renewed
Cobra Kai: season 2 (YouTube Premium) – Renewed (pictured)
Colony: season 3 (USA) – Renewed
Condor: season 2 (Audience) – Renewed
Corporate: season 2 (Comedy Central) – Renewed
Cosmos: season 2 (National Geographic/Fox) – Renewed
Counterpart: season 2 (Starz) – Renewed
Crashing: season 3 (HBO) – Renewed
Craig of the Creek: season 2 (Cartoon Network) – Renewed
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: season 4 (The CW) – Renewed (for final season)
The Crossing: season 1 (ABC) – Cancelled
The Crown: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
Curb Your Enthusiasm: season 10 (HBO) – Renewed
The Curse of Oak Island: season 6 (History) – Renewed
The Curse of Civil War Gold: season 2 (History) – Renewed
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(Photo by ABC)
Damnation: season 1 (SyFy) – Cancelled
Dancing With the Stars: season 27 (ABC) – Renewed
Dark: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
Dark Matter: season 3 (SyFy) – Cancelled
Daytime Divas: season 1 (VH1) – Cancelled
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: season 4 (The CW) – Renewed
Dear White People: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
Designated Survivor: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed (pictured)
Deception: season 1 (ABC) – Cancelled
The Detour: season 4 (TBS) – Renewed
Detroiters: season 2 (Comedy Central) – Cancelled
The Deuce: season 3 (HBO) – Renewed (ending after third and final season)
Deutschland 83: season 2 (Sundance) – Renewed
Dice: season 2 (Showtime) – Cancelled
Dietland: season 1 (AMC) – Cancelled
Difficult People: season 4 (Hulu) – Cancelled
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: season 2 (BBC America) – Cancelled
Disenchantment: seasons 2 and 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
Disjointed: season 1 (Netflix) – Cancelled
Divorce: season 3 (HBO) – Renewed
Doc McStuffins: season 5 (Disney Junior) – Renewed
Doctor Who: season 12 (BBC America) – Renewed
Documentary Now: season 3 (IFC) – Renewed
Don’t Be Tardy: season 7 (Bravo) – Renewed
Drunk History: season 6 (Comedy Central) – Renewed
The Dude Perfect Show: season 3 (Nickelodeon) – Renewed
Dynasty: season 2 (The CW) – Renewed
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(Photo by Jason Bell/Syfy)
Elementary: season 7 (CBS) – Cancelled (after final seventh season)
Elite: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
Ellen’s Game of Games: season 2 (NBC) – Renewed
Empire: season 5 (Fox) – Renewed
The End of The F***ing World: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
Everything Sucks: season 1 (Netflix) – Cancelled
The Exorcist: season 2 (Fox) – Cancelled
The Expanse (pictured above): season 3 (SyFy) – Cancelled; season 4 (Amazon) – Renewed
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(Photo by The CW)
F is for Family: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
Falling Water: season 2 (USA) – Cancelled
Famous in Love: season 2 (Freeform) – Cancelled
Fargo: season 4 (FX) – Renewed
Feud: season 2 (FX) – Renewed
Final Space: season 2 (TBS) – Renewed
Five Points: season 2 (Facebook) – Renewed
The Flash: season 5 (The CW) – Renewed (pictured)
Fleabag: season 2 (Amazon) – Renewed
Flipping Out: season 11 (Bravo) – Renewed
Floribama Shore: season 2 (MTV) – Renewed
For the People: season 2 (ABC) – Renewed
The Fosters: season 5 (Freeform) – Cancelled (after three-part wrap-up)
The Four: season 2 (Fox) – Renewed
Fresh Off the Boat: season 5 (ABC) – Renewed
Friends from College: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
Frontier: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee: season 4 (TBS) – Renewed
Fuller House: season 4 (Netflix) – Renewed
Future Man: season 2 (Hulu) – Renewed
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(Photo by HBO)
Game of Thrones: season 8 (HBO) – Cancelled (after final eighth season) (pictured)
Genius: season 3 (National Geographic) – Renewed
The Get Down: season 1 (Netflix) – Cancelled
Get Shorty: season 3 (Epix) – Renewed
The Gifted: season 2 (Fox) – Renewed
Girlboss: season 1 (Netflix) – Cancelled
Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce: season 5 (Bravo) – Cancelled (after final fifth season)
GLOW: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
Goliath: season 3 (Amazon) – Renewed
The Gong Show: season 2 (ABC) – Renewed
Good Behavior: season 2 (TNT) – Cancelled
Good Girls: season 2 (NBC) – Renewed
The Good Cop: season 1 (Netflix) – Cancelled
The Good Doctor: season 2 (ABC) – Renewed
The Good Fight: season 3 (CBS All Access) – Renewed
The Good Place: season 4 (NBC) – Renewed
The Gorburger Show: season 1 (Comedy Central) – Cancelled
Gotham: season 5 (Fox) – Renewed (for one final season)
Grace and Frankie: season 5 (Netflix) – Renewed
Grantchester: season 4 (PBS) – Renewed
Graves: season 2 (Epix) – Cancelled
Great News: season 2 (NBC) – Cancelled
Greenleaf: season 4 (OWN) – Renewed
Grey’s Anatomy: season 15 (ABC) – Renewed
Growing Up Hip-Hop: Atlanta season 2 (We) – Renewed
Grown-ish: season 2 (Freeform) – Renewed
The Guest Book: season 2 (TBS) – Renewed
Gypsy: season 1 (Netflix) – Cancelled
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(Photo by Take Five/Hulu)
Halt and Catch Fire: season 4 (AMC) – Cancelled
The Handmaid’s Tale: season 3 (Hulu) – Renewed (pictured)
Hap & Leonard: season 3 (Sundance) – Cancelled
Happy!: season 2 (Syfy) – Renewed
Harlots: season 3 (Hulu) – Renewed
Haters Back Off: season 2 (Netflix) – Cancelled
Hawaii Five-0: season 9 (CBS) – Renewed
Heathers: season 1 (Paramount Network) – Cancelled, but shopping around
Hell’s Kitchen: season 18 (FOX) – Renewed
Henry Danger: season 5 (Nickelodeon) – Renewed
Here and Now: season 1 (HBO) – Cancelled
High Maintenance: season 3 (HBO) – Renewed
His Dark Materials: season 2 (BBC) – Renewed
Hit the Floor: season 4 (VH1) – Cancelled
Homeland: season 8 (Showtime) – Cancelled (after a final season)
House of Cards: season 6 (Netflix) – Cancelled (after upcoming sixth season)
How to Get Away With Murder: season 5 (ABC) – Renewed
Humans: season 3 (AMC) – Renewed
Hunter Street: season 3 (Nickelodeon) – Renewed
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(Photo by HBO)
I Love Dick: season 1 (Amazon) – Cancelled
I Love You, America: season 2 (Hulu) – Renewed
I’m Dying Up Here: season 2 (Showtime) – Cancelled
I’m Sorry: season 2 (TruTV) – Renewed
Imposters: season 3 (Bravo) – Renewed
Impulse: season 2 (YouTube Premium) – Renewed
Incorporated: season 1 (SyFy) – Cancelled
Insatiable: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
Insecure: season 4 (HBO) – Renewed (pictured)
iZombie: season 5 (The CW) – Renewed
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(Photo by The CW)
Jane The Virgin: season 5 (The CW) – Renewed (pictured)
Jean-Claude Van Johnson: season 2 (Amazon) – Cancelled
Jersey Shore Family Vacation: season 2 (MTV) – Renewed
The Jim Jefferies Show: season 2 (Comedy Central) – Renewed
The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale: season 1 (Netflix) – Cancelled
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(Photo by BBC America)
Kevin (Probably) Saves the World: season 1 (ABC) – Cancelled
Kidding: season 2 (Showtime) – Renewed
Killing Eve: season 2 (BBC America) – Renewed (pictured)
Killjoys: season 5 (SyFy) – Renewed
Knightfall: season 2 (History) – Renewed
Knight Squad: season 2 (Nickelodeon) – Renewed
Krypton: season 2 (SyFy) – Renewed
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(Photo by BBC America)
Lady Dynamite: season 2 (Netflix) – Cancelled
Last Chance U: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
Last Man on Earth: Season 3 (Fox) – Cancelled
Last Man Standing: season 7 (Fox) – Renewed (after being canceled by ABC in 2017)
The Last O.G.: season 2 (TBS) – Renewed
The Last Ship: season 5 (TNT) – Cancelled (after final fifth season)
The Last Tycoon: season 1 (Amazon) – Cancelled
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: season 7 (HBO) – Renewed
The Leftovers: season 3 (HBO) – Cancelled
Legion: season 3 (FX) – Renewed
Lethal Weapon: season 3 (Fox) – Renewed (Seann William Scott replaces Clayne Crawford)
Liar: season 2 (Sundance) – Renewed
The Librarians: season 4 (TNT) – Cancelled
Life Sentence: season 1 (The CW) – Cancelled
Lodge 49: season 2 (AMC) – Renewed
Lore: season 2 (Amazon) – Renewed
Lost in Space: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
Loudermilk: season 3 (AT&T) – Renewed
Love: season 3 (Netflix) – Cancelled
Lucifer: season 4 (Netflix) – Renewed (After being canceled by Fox)
Luther: season 5 (BBC America) – Renewed (pictured)
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(Photo by Netflix)
MacGyver: season 3 (CBS) – Renewed
Madam Secretary: season 5 (CBS) – Renewed
Magic for Humans: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
The Magicians: season 4 (Syfy) – Renewed
Major Crimes: season 6 (TNT) – Cancelled (after final sixth season)
Making a Murderer: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
Man at Arms: season 2 (El Rey) – Renewed
Man in the High Castle: season 4 (Amazon) – Renewed
Marcella: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
Marlon: season 2 (NBC) – Renewed
Married to Medicine: season 6 (Bravo) – Renewed
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: season 7 (ABC) – Renewed
Marvel’s Daredevil: season 3 (Netflix) – Cancelled
Marvel’s Inhumans: season 1 (ABC) – Cancelled
Marvel’s Iron Fist: season 2 (Netflix) – Cancelled
Marvel’s Jessica Jones: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
Marvel’s Luke Cage: season 2 (Netflix) – Cancelled
Marvel’s The Punisher: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed (pictured)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: seasons 2 and 3 (Amazon) – Renewed
MasterChef: season 10 (Fox) – Renewed
Masters of Illusion: season 7 (The CW) – Renewed
Match Game: season 3 (ABC) – Renewed
Mayans M.C.: season 2 (FX) – Renewed
The Mayor: season 1 (ABC) – Cancelled
Mercy Street: season 2 (PBS) – Cancelled
The Middle: season 9 (ABC) – Cancelled (after final ninth season)
The Mick: season 2 (Fox) – Cancelled
Midnight, Texas: season 2 (NBC) – Renewed
Mighty Magiswords: season 2 (Cartoon Network) – Renewed
Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles: season 11 (Bravo) – Renewed
Million Dollar Listing New York: season 7 (Bravo) – Renewed
Mindhunter: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
The Mindy Project: season 6 (Hulu) – Cancelled (after final sixth season)
The Mist: season 1 (Spike) – Cancelled
Modern Family: season 10 (ABC) – Renewed
Mom: season 6 (CBS) – Renewed
Mountain Men: season 8 (History) – Renewed
Mozart in the Jungle: season 4 (Amazon) – Cancelled
Mr. Inbetween: season 2 (FX) – Renewed
Mr. Mercedes: season 3 (Audience) – Renewed
Mr. Robot: season 4 (USA Network) – Cancelled (after its final season)
My Brilliant Friend: season 2 (HBO) – Renewed
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(Photo by Carlos Somonte/Netflix)
The OA: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
Odd Mom Out: season 3 (Bravo) – Cancelled
On My Block: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
Once Upon a Time: season 7 (ABC) – Cancelled
One Dollar: season 1 (CBS All Access) – Cancelled
One Mississippi: season 2 (Amazon) – Cancelled
Orange Is the New Black: season 7 (Netflix) – Cancelled (after final seventh season)
The Originals: season 5 (CW) – Cancelled (after final fifth season)
Orphan Black: season 5 (BBC America) – Cancelled
The Orville: season 2 (Fox) – Renewed
Outcast: season 2 (Cinemax) – Cancelled
Outlander: season 5 and 6 (Starz) – Renewed (pictured)
The Outpost: season 2 (The CW) – Renewed
Ozark: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
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(Photo by Alfonso Bresciani/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)
Paradise PD: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
The Path: season 3 (Hulu) – Cancelled
Patriot: season 2 (Amazon) – Renewed
Penn & Teller: Fool Us: season 6 (The CW) – Renewed
People of Earth: season 3 (TBS) – Cancelled
Playing House: season 3 (USA) – Cancelled
Please Like Me: season 4 (Hulu) – Cancelled
Poldark: season 5 (BBC1) – Cancelled (after fifth and final season)
Portlandia: season 8 (IFC) – Cancelled
Pose: season 2 (FX) – Renewed
Power: season 5 (Starz) – Renewed
Preacher: season 4 (AMC) – Renewed (pictured)
Pretty Little Liars: season 7 (Freeform) – Cancelled
Project Runway: season 18 (Bravo) – Renewed
Pure: season 2 (WGN America) – Renewed
The Purge: season 2 (USA) – Renewed
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(Photo by Netflix)
The Quad: season 2 (BET) – Cancelled
Quantico: season 3 (ABC) – Cancelled
Quarry: season 1 (Cinemax) – Cancelled
Queen of the South: season 4 (USA) – Renewed
Queer Eye: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed (pictured)
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(Photo by Art Streiber/The CW)
The Rain: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
The Ranch: season 4 (Netflix) – Renewed
Random Acts of Flyness: season 2 (HBO) – Renewed
Raven’s Home: season 3 (Disney Channel) – Renewed
Ray Donovan: season 7 (Showtime) – Renewed
The Real Housewives of Atlanta: season 11 (Bravo) – Renewed
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: season 9 (Bravo) – Renewed
The Real Housewives of Dallas: season 3 (Bravo) – Renewed
The Real Housewives of New Jersey: season 9 (Bravo) – Renewed
The Real Housewives of New York City: season 11 (Bravo) – Renewed
The Real Housewives of Orange County: season 13 (Bravo) – Renewed
The Real Housewives of Potomac: season 4 (Bravo) – Renewed
Red Oaks: season 3 (Amazon) – Cancelled
The Resident: season 2 (Fox) – Renewed
Reverie: season 1 (NBC) – Cancelled
Rick and Morty: 70 episodes (Adult Swim) – Renewed
Rise: season 1 (NBC) – Cancelled
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: season 2 (Nickelodeon) – Renewed
Riverdale: season 3 (The CW) – Renewed (pictured)
Riviera: season 2 (Sundance Now) – Renewed
Room 104: season 2 (HBO) – Renewed
Roseanne: season 10 (ABC) – Renewed then Cancelled
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars: season 4 (VH1) – Renewed
Marvel’s Runaways: season 2 (Hulu) – Renewed
Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes On Television: season 2 (YouTube) – Renewed
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(Photo by CBS All Access)
Sacred Lies: season 2 (Facebook) – Renewed
Salvation: season 2 (CBS) – Cancelled
Santa Clarita Diet: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
Scandal: season 7 (ABC) – Cancelled (after final seventh season)
Schitt’s Creek: season 5 (Pop) – Renewed
Scream: season 3 (MTV) – Renewed
SEAL Team: season 2 (CBS) – Renewed
Search Party: season 3 (TBS) – Renewed
Sense8: season 2 (Netflix) – Cancelled (after wrap-up TV movie)
A Series of Unfortunate Events: season 3 (Netflix) – Cancelled (after third and final season)
Seven Seconds: season 1 (Netflix) – Cancelled
Shades of Blue: season 3 (NBC) – Cancelled (after third and final season)
Shadowhunters: season 3 (Freeform) – Cancelled (with a two hour finale in 2019)
Shahs of Sunset: season 7 (Bravo) – Renewed
Shameless: season 9 (Showtime) – Renewed
The Shannara Chronicles: season 2 (Spike) – Cancelled
She’s Gotta Have It: season 2 (Netflix) – Renewed
Shooter: season 3 (USA) – Cancelled
Shut Eye: season 2 (Hulu) – Cancelled
Silicon Valley: season 6 (HBO) – Renewed
The Simpsons: season 30 (FOX) – Renewed
The Sinner: season 2 (USA) – Renewed
Siren: season 2 (Freeform) – Renewed
Six: season 2 (History) – Cancelled
SMILF: season 2 (Showtime) – Renewed
Snowfall: season 3 (FX) – Renewed
The Son: season 2 (AMC) – Renewed
Sorry for Your Loss: season 2 (Facebook) – Renewed
South Park: season 23 (Comedy Central) – Renewed
Southern Charm: season 6 (Bravo) – Renewed
Southern Charm Savannah: season 2 (Bravo) – Renewed
Speechless: season 3 (ABC) – Renewed
Splitting Up Together: season 2 (ABC) – Renewed
Stan Against Evil: season 3 (IFC) – Renewed
Star: season 3 (Fox) – Renewed
Star Trek: Discovery: season 2 (CBS All Access) – Renewed (pictured)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7 (Disney Streaming) – Renewed
Star Wars: Rebels: season 4 (DXD) – Cancelled
StartUp: season 3 (Crackle) – Renewed
Station 19: season 2 (ABC) – Renewed
Step Up: High Water: season 2 (YouTube Premium) – Renewed
Still the King: season 2 (CMT) – Cancelled
The Strain: season 4 (FX) – Cancelled
Stranger Things: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
Strange Angel: season 2 (CBS All Access) – Renewed
Strike Back: season 6 (Cinemax) – Renewed
Succession: season 2 (HBO) – Renewed
Suits: season 8 (USA) – Renewed
Supergirl: season 4 (The CW) – Renewed
Supernatural: season 14 (The CW) – Renewed
Superstore: season 4 (NBC) – Renewed
Survivor: season 37 (CBS) – Renewed
Survivor’s Remorse: season 4 (Starz) – Cancelled
Swamp People: season 10 (History) – Renewed
SWAT: season 2 (CBS) – Renewed
Sweetbitter: season 2 (Starz) – Renewed
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(Photo by FX)
Taboo: season 2 (FX) – Renewed (pictured)
Take Two: season 1 (ABC) – Cancelled
Taken: season 2 (NBC) – Cancelled
Tangled: season 2 (Disney) – Renewed
Teachers: season 3 (TV Land) – Cancelled
Teen Wolf: season 6 (MTV) – Cancelled
Tell Me a Story: season 2 (CBS All Access) – Renewed
Ten Days in the Valley: season 1 (ABC) – Cancelled
The Terror: season 2 (AMC) – Renewed
This Close: season 2 (Sundance) – Renewed
This Is Us: season 3 (NBC) – Renewed
The Tick: season 2 (Amazon) – Renewed
Titans: season 2 (DC Universe) – Renewed
Timeless: season 2 (NBC) – Cancelled (following two-part finale)
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan: season 2 (Amazon) – Renewed
Top Chef: season 16 (Bravo) – Renewed
Tosh.0: season 12 (Comedy Central) – Renewed
Transparent: season 5 (Amazon)- Cancelled (after final fifth season)
Travelers: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
Trial & Error: season 2 (NBC) – Renewed
Trollhunters: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
Truck Night in America: season 2 (History) – Renewed
Turn: season 4 (AMC) – Cancelled
Twisted Sisters: season 2 (Investigation Discovery) – Renewed
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(Photo by Eric Liebowitz / Netflix)
Ultimate Beastmaster: season 3 (Netflix) – Renewed
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: season 4 (Netflix) – Cancelled (after final fourth season) (pictured)
Underground: season 2 (WGN America) – Cancelled
UnREAL: season 4 (Lifetime) – Renewed
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(Photo by HBO)
Valor: season 1 (The CW) – Cancelled
Van Helsing: season 4 (Syfy) – Renewed
Vanderpump Rules: season 7 (Bravo) – Renewed
Veep: season 7 (HBO) – Cancelled (after final seventh season) (pictured)
Veronica Mars: season 4 (Hulu) – Renewed
Versailles: season 3 (Ovation) – Cancelled
Vida: season 2 (Starz) – Renewed
The Voice: season 15 (NBC) – Renewed
Voltron:Legendary Defender season 8 (Netflix) – Cancelled
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(Photo by Jackson Lee Davis/AMC)
The Walking Dead: season 9 (AMC) – Renewed (pictured)
The Wall: season 3 (NBC) – Renewed
Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen: season 16 (Bravo) – Renewed
Westworld: season 3 (HBO) – Renewed
White Famous: season 1 (Showtime) – Cancelled
Whose Line Is It Anyway?: season 15 (The CW) – Renewed
Will: season 1 (TNT) – Cancelled
Will & Grace: season 11 (NBC) – Renewed
World of Dance: season 3 (NBC) – Renewed
Wrecked: season 3 (TBS) – Renewed
Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas: season 2 (HBO) – Renewed
Wynonna Earp: season 3 (Syfy) – Renewed
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(Photo by CBS)
Young & Hungry: season 5 (Freeform) – Canceled (after final fifth season and movie)
Young Sheldon: season 2 (CBS) – Renewed
You’re the Worst: season 5 (FXX) – Canceled (after final fifth season)
You: season 2 (Lifetime) – Renewed
You Me Her: season 4 and 5 (Audience) – Renewed
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(Photo by Amazon)
This week in TV news, we take a look at the Emmy nominations that were announced this morning!
Emmy nominations are out! And Game of Thrones is leading the pack with 23 nominations. The 6th season of the acclaimed fantasy drama is joined by a slew of other worthy competitors in the Outstanding Drama category. In fact, this year we finally see the acclaimed series The Americans break through with series and first-ever Emmy actor and actress noms, along with a first-time series and actor nod for breakout hit Mr. Robot. Many favorites also return with a splash and round out the Outstanding Drama category, including series noms for Downton Abbey‘s final season, Better Call Saul, House of Cards, and Homeland.
Veep nabs the office of Comedy Nominee-in-Chief with a commanding 17 nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series, and Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series for the show’s star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Silicon Valley and Transparent are also on the ticket, with 11 and 10 nominations respectively. Surprises in the Comedy category included the announcement of a bonus seventh nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category, and the perceived snubs of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and its lead, Rachel Bloom, in their respective categories.
The People v. O.J. Simpson (22 nominations) and Fargo (18 nominations) not only received the most nominations for limited series, but came in second and third, respectively, behind Game of Thrones overall. Also nominated in the category are Roots, American Crime, and The Night Manager. On the TV movie side, the nominees are A Very Murray Christmas, All the Way, Confirmation, Luther, and Sherlock: The Abominable Bride. In the performance categories, other TV films and limited series to get nominations are American Horror Story (Kathy Bates and Sarah Paulson) and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (Audra McDonald).
The Variety/Talk Series Emmy category is looking a little different these days. For the first time in a long time, The Daily Show has not been nominated. Actually, it’s the first time since 2000 that Comedy Central has not had at least one show in the running for this category. Daily Show alum John Oliver made the cut with a nomination for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. He joins fellow late show nominees The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Real Time with Bill Maher and first time nominees The Late Late Show with James Corden, and Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Critical darling Full Frontal with Samantha Bee didn’t receive a nomination.
Check out the full list of Emmy nominees here.
In April, Rotten Tomatoes traveled to Alberta, Canada, to visit the set of Fargo’s second season — which was not only a journey to the outskirts of Calgary, but also a step back in time to Luverne, Minnesota, 1979.
As any Fargo fan would expect, touring the season two set was a lesson in details. Every object in every frame is deliberately placed, each physical set is built with specific thematic needs in mind, and all of the details serve the show — and the Coen brothers universe.
Here’s everything we learned from touring the set with producer Kim Todd, and how we made sense of it all by watching this season of Fargo.
There are no accidental choices in the set design of Fargo. Each object that you see on the screen is carefully chosen and placed by the set decorators to add depth and texture to the story — and to find those objects, the crew sources a number of items (housewares, tchotchkes, needlepoint, afghans, toys, electronics) from eBay, Etsy, and local thrift shops with their characters in mind.
“Everyone’s aware, as we go along, of the world Noah [Hawley] has built for us,” explained Todd, who led the press on a tour of the Fargo soundstage, “and he’ll come to [set designer] Darlene Lewis and say, ‘That was a great touch,’ because she’s picked up on a thread and put something in the background.”
To see this theory in practice, one simply has to freeze the frame of pretty much any Fargo homestead and look at the props within. A still of the Solversons’ living room reveals a number of objects that tell us about the family. Toys strewn about the floor let us know that there’s a young child in the home (who we later figure out is season one’s Molly Solverson at four years old), wood paneling and a Sears oil painting above the sofa mark the furnishings of a 1970s middle-class home, and the messiness of the room indicates that the homemaker is not operating at 100 percent, which will come into focus once the viewer realizes that Betsy has a grave illness.
“When you look at a frame, there can be two characters and one ashtray, but you don’t forget the ashtray,” Todd said about the deliberateness of Fargo‘s set decoration. “It was so carefully chosen.”
The sets themselves — not just the objects within — are also carefully conceived in Fargo. A set usually originates from a simple line in the script (for example, “They go to a cabin”) and then the location department searches for an exterior of a structure, which then requires approval from the showrunner, designer, and director. Once an exterior location is confirmed, set designer Warren Young draws up a plan for the interior, which must logically match the outside of the house or building for continuity’s sake (such as, being an appropriate size or lining up the windows) and also augment the drama of the story.
In the Solverson’s house, for example, Molly’s room is adjacent to her parents’, which allows side-by-side narratives to take place within the same frame (not unlike the use of the split-screen device in many of Fargo‘s other scenes), while also being part of a perfectly normal floor plan within a split-level home. By building these two rooms next to each other, we’re able to see the a happy story involving Lou and Molly on the left and a sad vignette with Betsy on the right concurrently. It’s choices like these that allow the set to serve not only a logistical function, but a thematic one as well.
The astute viewer will notice many bold choices throughout the Fargo-verse — from the cinematography, to the music, and right down to the actors’ shoes — and some choices are riskier than others.
For instance, in Peggy’s living room, there is a bright orange carpet under a green sofa. Given how some colors don’t always translate so well through the camera (particularly with the use of filters), the orange shag would have been an awfully big job to fix in post-production if it didn’t work out. But, given Peggy’s personality and her character’s desire to reach for something more, the carpet color was a risk Peggy would have taken to make Ed’s family home her own — and, therefore, one that the set designers had to take too.
“For me,” Todd said of Peggy’s living room, “it’s an example of the strong choices Noah makes about who the characters are, and the rest of us are supposed to make — including the actors — about how to portray them. So, you don’t make the safe choices; you make the choices that are just on the edge.”
When Todd took the press through the Blomquists’ house six months before the season two premiere, little information was known about Peggy’s story arc — though the producer explained that Peggy had dreams of getting out of Luverne, Minnesota, and that she had been hoarding fashion and travel magazines as a result of wanting of something more. The basement, she said, was Peggy’s brain.
By episode eight, when you see Peggy sitting on her basement stairs, surrounded by stacks of magazine and hallucinating that Dodd (Jeffrey Donovan) is presumably the mentor from the LifeSpring seminar, you understand exactly what Todd meant during the set tour. The chaos and clutter of Peggy’s brain is clearly delineated in the craziness of the basement — and it also becomes clear that the hoarding seen upstairs in previous episodes is just the tip of Peggy’s crazy iceberg. When the viewer shares Peggy’s unreliable point of view in the basement scene, it is the culmination of a series of clues already laid out by the set design that this is a woman on the brink of a breakdown.
“This was one of the most interesting set-decorating exercises I have ever seen people have to do,” Todd said about the basement. “They had to figure out how to pile magazines this high and not have them fall over, which was one thing. [And then there was] just the level of stuff — and to not make it look like a thrift shop, but to make it look like a specific character’s hoardings of the last 10 years.”
Another important location this season is the Gerhardt homestead, which is both a working North Dakotan farm and also the headquarters for their crime syndicate. The best sets to juxtapose these two facets of the Gerhardt family are the large country kitchen, which looks like it could be the heart of any other farmhouse, and the parlor, where the family conducts business.
Within the parlor, a number of props give texture to the Gerhardts’ past, including photographs of young Hanzee, the Native American child who would grow up to be one of the family’s heavies (Zahn McClarnon), and the eldest Gerhardt, who died in the Korean War. Also visible in the parlor is the Gerhardts’ family logo which very deliberately evokes the Nazi party with its black symbol against a red background. “They wanted to look tough,” Todd said of the flag.
As with season one, animal imagery is everywhere this year, and the Gerhardt parlor is one of the places you’ll see it the most. Hunting and taxidermy usually symbolize predators and prey in the Coen brothers universe and the antlers and skins (not to mention Hanzee’s poor dead rabbit) this season reinforce the theme that the Gerhardts are both aggressors and prey.
Animal imagery isn’t the only motif from the Coen brothers movies that permeate the Fargo TV show. The sets are also designed with the Coens’ love of symmetrical composition in mind.
“Symmetry is something that the Coen brothers often use,” Todd said. “You’ll see a shot of three people on a couch, framed with a window behind [them], and you’ll notice that the sets are built that way too. In all our pursuits to create the series, we’re not copying the Coen brothers’ movies, but we’re mindful of the aesthetic that they created that’s unique to them, and so that balance and symmetry is in our design and in our shooting — the lenses we use and the composition of the frame is always important to us. And, again, that comes from Noah and filters down through all of us who make any decisions that have to do with what goes on onscreen.”
Fargo airs Monday nights on FX at 10 p.m. and stars Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson, Ted Danson, Jeffrey Donovan, Brad Garrett, Zahn McClarnon, Jean Smart, Nick Offerman, Jesse Plemons, Rachel Keller, and Cristin Milioti. Season two is currently Certified Fresh at 100 percent; read reviews here.
“Waiting for Dutch” was the name of this season’s Fargo premiere — and now the wait is over with tonight’s episode, “The Gift of the Magi,” when Bruce Campbell guest stars as Ronald Reagan in the FX anthology series. We meet a pre-POTUS Reagan on a campaign swing through tiny Luverne, Minnesota, where “Dutch” gives a stump speech for his 1980 presidential bid.
Groovy Bruce nails it as The Great Communicator. He’s got it all going on, from the charisma and palpable patriotism to the rosy cheeks and Brylcreem in his black pompadour. Not to mention Reagan’s velvet-smooth voice.
Campbell started working on that — just for fun — long before he landed the role.
“Everyone I knew imitated him,” Campbell said about the 40th president.
That includes Fargo executive producer John Cameron.
“We’re close friends. He’s the godfather of my son,” said Cameron, who beckoned his longtime pal to the Calgary set to shoot the fifth episode. “It was easy to pick up the phone and say, ‘You’re going to Canada.’”
Campbell and Cameron met in high school in suburban Detroit and worked together on The Evil Dead (1981) and several Coen brothers’ movies, including the 1996 Oscar-winning Fargo (Campbell made an unbilled cameo) that inspired Noah Hawley’s cable series of the same name.
“When the Reagan character became central to one of the episodes, it seemed obvious that Bruce had to play Reagan,” Cameron said, noting that it was Hawley’s idea. “He’s a fan of Bruce’s work.”
At the TV critics’ press tour this summer, Hawley talked about the Reagan storyline in season two, which began in Fargo’s typical offbeat fashion. The opening scene featured an outtake from a fake black-and-white 1951 movie titled Massacre at Sioux Falls. The actors, including a Native American in headdress and face paint, were killing time on the chilly set, waiting for the arrival of the film’s star: a young Ronald Reagan.
“The spectre of Ronald Reagan hangs over the movie because it also hangs over this time period, 1979, where post-Watergate, post-Vietnam, the American narrative becomes so complicated,” Hawley said. “These characters [in the opening] are standing around waiting for Reagan the way that America was.”
“Nobody knew if we could get out of this mess,” he added. “Then along came Reagan and said, ‘It’s not that complicated. We are Americans.’ And the country changed dramatically from the ’70s to the ’80s.”
Campbell filmed Fargo shortly before heading to New Zealand this spring to shoot Starz’s new series, Ash vs. Evil Dead.
“I had to grow my sideburns back after getting all trimmed up to play Reagan,” the actor said on the Southern Hemisphere set, rubbing his face with Ash’s prosthetic hand.
When we’re introduced to Campbell’s clean-shaven Reagan in Fargo, the future prez is humble-bragging about the many people he saved as a lifeguard in Illinois and wooing the crowd with lines from an actual 1979 speech announcing his candidacy.
Campbell fastidiously researches his roles, Cameron said, and the Reagan part was no exception.
“On his own dime and on his own time, he went to a studio and filmed himself doing Reagan speeches and sent them to us for comment,” explained Cameron. “He wanted to know what we thought of his expression.”
He got Hawley’s vote.
“We had a long conversation about the accent and the mannerisms, and I think he did an amazing job,” the Fargo creator said. “It’s really awesome.”
“The Gift of the Magi,” starring Bruce Campbell, airs tonight on FX at 10 p.m. Read season two reviews here.
When people first learned of FX’s reboot of the acclaimed Coen Brothers film Fargo, many wondered why anyone would take such a sacred film and try to turn it into a TV show. Of course, the TV version of Fargo went on to become one of the best shows of 2014, winning a Peabody Award, a Golden Globe, a pile of Emmys, and also the Golden Tomato Award for the best-reviewed miniseries of the year.
This time around, as Fargo reboots for season two, there will probably be less skeptics. Again, showrunner Noah Hawley will use the Fargo universe to tell a new story, rewinding the clock back to 1979, where a group of Minnesotans struggle through a series of events instigated by one fateful night at the local Waffle Hut.
Rotten Tomatoes chatted with Hawley about season two — and why good people who do good things are inherently uninteresting. [Warning: Contains season one spoilers.]
Sarah Ricard for Rotten Tomatoes: When you see what’s in your mind’s eye come to life on those sets, what’s it like?
Hawley: It’s cool. I work those people to the bone. It’s hugely ambitious — this year especially with the sort of scope of the story and the compressed amount of time we have to accomplish it. You know, we don’t make a 42-and-a-half minute show, and yet we’re making it in the same box that one has to make a 42-and-a-half-minute show. So there is an incredible amount of economy that goes into it, but seeing it unfold — those scenes you write — there are moments. I’m sure any writer would say the same thing. And then there are some moments you didn’t [expect].
There is a scene where Patrick [Wilson] comes home and Cristin [Milioti] gives him an ashtray that the daughter made, and I liked that scene when I wrote it, you know? I thought it did a lot to establish that we like these people and we want to be with them, and then we started shooting it, and it was a very emotional moment for him in a way that I did not expect at all.
It was so precise and profound and really makes that episode for him, where you know you love this guy. He’s carrying a heavy burden, and he’s never going to complain about it — but you see that it’s hard for him.
That elevates it for me. What I like about the challenge of doing this show is that it’s not good versus evil with a capital G, you know? These are decent people who are probably in over their heads with the forces that they’re facing, and that makes them more heroic to me than the guy you know is going to win — because Jack Bauer wins every time.
Rotten Tomatoes: So is that what draws you to sympathetic characters who do bad things?
Hawley: I got to watch, last year, our ninth episode with a crowd at the Austin TV Festival and it’s the hour where Lester sends his wife into the insurance office to get the passports and she gets out of the car, and then he calls to her, and you think, ‘Oh, is he going to stop her? Has he changed his mind?’ And he gives her his coat. His iconic orange coat. And then he stops her again and he tells her to put the hood up.
It’s so awful and watching it with a crowd of people was so great because there are three groans. There’s like, ‘I can’t believe he just sent her out there,’ and then it’s like, ‘I can’t believe he just gave her his coat,’ and then the hood. Then, of course, she’s promptly murdered, right?
That stuff is really exciting to play with because, it’s so morally dark, and it’s that moment where you really realize with Lester, ‘No, he’s is the monster.’
Malvo was the scorpion when you met him, and he’s just being a scorpion, but Lester is worse somehow. You met him, he was wearing human clothes, and now he turns out to be this monstrous person.
It was the same with Bill Macy, right? Like, you met him and you just thought, ‘Well, here’s this half-bumbling, hapless guy who made a bad choice and is in over his head,’ but then, every opportunity he had to stop it and own up, he didn’t. And it just kept going — the desperation. He just would not admit anything, you know? When they finally arrest him, he’s making these animal noises; it’s really powerful. So, if we can find our way to those kinds of stories, I think it’s really compelling.
Rotten Tomatoes: I know you’re a novelist and you do what a lot of TV shows don’t do, which is tell a complete story.
Hawley: Well, that’s the beauty of the medium. My feeling is you have to know how it ends before you can start it in this concentrated form because every step that you take is a step toward the end. So you can make these really decisive choices and bold moves and pull the audience forward and do things that are unexpected, but are actually a move toward your final destination — because you know where you’re going.
It was purely an accident of the calendar [in season two] because I gave them a script in November and they wanted to make it and go straight to series, but there was no way we were going to be able to film it that winter. So we had to wait 10 months, which allowed me to write all of them, which allowed me to separate the writer from the production. That was such a good model that it was like, ‘Well, we can’t now turn it into a regular TV schedule.’ And then you go, ‘It went so well the first time, why would we do anything different?’
But it is really helpful. When people look at shows and they’re like, “This season wasn’t as good,” or “This one didn’t end as well,” it’s tough to be making it up as you go along. Inevitably, you have an idea in the room where you’re like, “That’s so great! If we were just able to go back and lay that all in, we could really tee it up.” So that’s, I think, the benefit that we have — we know where we’re going.
Rotten Tomatoes: When you decided to go with the year 1979, what was your association with that year?
Hawley: I was a kid, and I was growing up in New York City… There had been a blackout in ’77 and crime was way up, and it really felt like the country was about to fall apart completely. And so, originally when I put that story in the second episode of [season one] about Sioux Falls, it was just a way for Keith Carradine to be able to tell his daughter, ”You know, I’ve seen something like this before” and I had no sense that it would be a story I would want to tell.
But also, because I thought it was funny, I made Gus’ boss say,” Oh no, it’s Sioux Falls all over again,” and then the more I thought about it, the more I thought, “Well, that could be interesting if we do do another one to lay in a bit more in the last hour or two, and then audiences will say, ‘Oh, that would be cool to see that.'” Then I didn’t know, like, would we do that story right away? Or maybe we would come back to it after a year or something like that.
I didn’t really start thinking about the time period and what it meant for the story until we got into a room and really started to go, “How do we take the American experience at that moment and turn it into a crime story?” That was the challenge in itself.
Rotten Tomatoes: It’s interesting that you say you’re from New York City, because I think anyone who grows up in New York City is hyper-worldly at a really young age — and now you’re in this milieu that is really off the grid.
Hawley: I’ve lived for the last 10 years or so in Austin and it’s interesting because they’re different — Texas and Minnesota — but there is a sort of similarity to the under-spokeness, the sort of sense of humor of the place, and the fact that there’s a humility and a pride to it. I mean, my father-in-law [in Texas] is never going to complain a day in his life about anything, do you know what I mean? He’s just going to show up when you need him.
At the end of the day, I’m a populist and I want good things to happen to good people, but it’s a complicated world, and obviously, a story where good things happen to good people is not that interesting and there’s nothing really to learn from it.
You’ve got to put people through their paces and if they’re out of their league, it’s nerve-racking and it’s interesting. And if they win? That’s the best thing ever.
Season two of Fargo premieres this Monday, October 12, at 10 p.m. on FX. Read reviews here.