TV Talk

Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks Set Their First Post–Better Call Saul Roles

Plus, Harrison Ford joins a series, Mr. & Mrs. Smith series adaptation starring Donald Glover finds a new costar, Orphan Black spin-off and Bridgerton prequel are in the works, and more top TV and streaming news.

by | April 8, 2022 | Comments

Better Call Saul stars are already moving on, while we’re just getting started with season 6 (premiering Monday, April 18). Harrison Ford also lined up a series — and, no, he will not be playing a character named Han or Indiana. Robert Downey Jr. will executive produce two Sherlock Holmes series. PEN15 star Maya Erskine is taking over for Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the Mr. & Mrs. Smith series adaptation co-starring Donald Glover. Plus, Orphan Black and Killing Eve spin-offs, a Bridgerton prequel, and new trailers in our recap of the week’s biggest news in TV and streaming.


TOP STORY

Better Call Saul Stars Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks Book New Series

Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks in Better Call Saul, Season 5

(Photo by Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Tel)

Emmy winner Bob Odenkirk ends his run as Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman/Gene Takavic when Better Call Saul ends its six-season run this summer — that is, unless the genius storytellers who are Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould come up with another Breaking Bad Universe spin-off, and let us say, we are here for that! The end of BCS may be the end of Jimmy, but it’s not the end of Odenkirk’s time at AMC. The actor has signed on for Straight Man, an adaptation of Richard Russo’s novel of the same name, which AMC is developing quickly, with a planned 2023 premiere.

Straight Man revolves around William Henry Devereaux, Jr. (Odenkirk), the chairman of the English department at a badly underfunded university called Railton College in the rust belt of Pennsylvania. WHD Jr. is also nursing a case of the mid-life crisis.

Aaron Zelman (Damages) and Paul Lieberstein (The Office) are showrunners for the series, while Peter Farrelly (Dumb and Dumber) will direct. Zelman, Lieberstein, Farrelly, Odenkirk, Russo, Naomi Odenkirk, and Marc Provissiero will executive produce the project.

Odenkirk is not the only Saul star to line up his next gig before the final season of BCS even premieres; Jonathan Banks will star with Noomi Rapace in the Apple TV+ psychological thriller Constellation, about a woman who returns to Earth after a disaster in space — only to discover that key pieces of her life seem to be missing. The action-packed space adventure is an exploration of the dark edges of human psychology, and one woman’s desperate quest to expose the truth about the hidden history of space travel and for her to recover all that she has lost.

The series will also reunite Banks (who — Emmy voters, please! — should finally be rewarded for his stellar work across the Gilliganverse) with Michelle MacLaren, who directed such Breaking Bad classic episodes as “Gliding Over All” and “One Minute” (the one with Hank’s shootout with the Salamanca cousins) and who will direct Constellation.

Odenkirk, in addition to promoting his recent New York Times bestselling memoir Comedy Comedy Drama, has also signed on to reunite with his Mr. Show with Bob and David friend and co-star David Cross on the upcoming Paramount+ comedy Guru Nation.

The sixth and final season of Better Call Saul premieres April 18 with two episodes, and airs through May 23. After a short break, the second part of the season premieres on July 11 and airs through the series finale (hard words to write) on August 15.


NEW TRAILERS: Barry Season 3 Trailer Finds Our Favorite Hitman at a Crossroads

Barry returns to HBO for eight episodes of its eagerly awaited third season. The delightful Bill Hader in the title role continues to untangle his life as a hitman and figure out what made him choose life as a murderer for hire. Also stars Emmy-winner Henry Winkler, Stephen Root, and Anthony Carrigan.

More trailers and teasers released this week:

• Mayans M.C., season 4 … there’s chaos afoot, especially for EZ. Stars JD Pardo. Premieres April 19. (FX)
• Doctor Who: Legend of the Sea is just what the title suggests: a Doctor Who adventure that involves pirates. Stars Jodie Whittaker. Premieres April 17. (BBC America)
• The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes is a documentary based on previously unheard recordings that, it’s promised, will reveal new info on the final weeks of the icon star’s life. Premieres April 27. (Netflix)
The Flight Attendant season 2 sees Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco) living her best sober life in Los Angeles while moonlighting as a CIA asset in her spare time until an overseas assignment entangles her in another international intrigue. Premieres April 21. (HBO Max)
• Operation Mincemeat stars Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen in the extraordinary and true story of an idea that hoped to turn the tide for the Allies in World War II, taking impossibly high risks, defying logic, and testing the nerves of its creators to breaking point. Premieres May 6. (Netflix)
• The Wilds continues  in season 2 with the girls still stuck on the mysterious island and finally getting a glimpse at a key part of the experiment they’re a part of … it’s boys. Premieres May 6. (Prime Video)
• Captive Audience: A Real American Horror Story is a docuseries about the Stayner family, whose younger son was kidnapped and became a national cautionary tale, and whose older son became a national serial killer. Premieres April 21. (Hulu)
• Russian Doll Season 2 finds Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) and Alan (Charlie Barnett) embarking on another long, strange trip, this time via the New York City subway. Premieres April 20. (Netflix)
• The Garcias is the reboot of the beloved Nickelodeon series The Brothers Garcia, about the Latino family from San Antonio, Texas. John Leguizamo stars as the voice of Adult Larry. Premieres April 14. (HBO Max)

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CASTING: Harrison Ford to Star in His First Major TV Role, in Apple TV+’s Comedy Shrinking

Harrison Ford (Getty Images)

(Photo by Getty Images)

Indiana Jones himself, Oscar nominee Harrison Ford, will star in the first regular TV role of his career, co-starring with Jason Segel in the Apple TV+ comedy Shrinking. The 10-episode series, written by Segel with Ted Lasso co-creator Bill Lawrence and Lasso Emmy-winning star and writer Brett Goldstein, will revolve around a therapist (Segel) who, while grieving, begins to tell people exactly what he thinks of them and their lives, urging changes for them and himself. Ford will play a more blue-collar-minded, down-to-earth therapist and pioneer in Cognitive Therapy Behavior, who is making some changes of his own after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. (Deadline)

The upcoming third and final season of Paramount+’s Picard will feature cast members from Star Trek: The Next Generation, reuniting Patrick Stewart with LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, and Brent Spiner.

Peacock’s Girls5Eva comedy has announced a lineup of guest stars for season 2, including Amber Ruffin, Chad Coleman, Drew and Jonathan Scott (the Property Brothers), Heidi Gardner, Hoda Kotb, and Tim Meadows, as well as returning guest star Andrew Rannells.

Amazon Prime’s series adaptation of the Brad Pitt–Angelina Jolie movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith, which was originally set to star Donald Glover and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, has replaced Waller-Bridge with PEN15 co-star Maya Erskine. Waller-Bridge dropped out of the project last fall because of creative differences. (Interview Magazine)

Doctor Who alum Billie Piper in Netflix’s Coming Undone, an adaptation of a memoir of the same name from Terri White, a former editor of movie magazine Empire. White’s book details her painful childhood, spent in poverty and a victim of sexual and physical abuse from her mother’s boyfriends, as well as the adult trauma that led her to spend time in a psychiatric ward. (Deadline)

Motherland: Fort Salem alum Demetria McKinney has been added to the cast of Supernatural spin-off The Winchesters, playing a bookstore owner who has an interest in the supernatural world on the prequel series. (Deadline)

The upcoming fourth season of Netflix’s YOU, which will find Penn Badgley’s Joe Goldberg heading to London to find love (and new victims?), and he’ll be joined by plenty of new castmates. Niccy Lin, Aidan Cheng, Stephen Hagan, Ben Wiggins, Eve Austin, Ozioma Whenu, Dario Coates, Sean Pertwee, Brad Alexander, Alison Pargeter, and Adam James will play recurring roles for the season, while the previously announced Charlotte Ritchie and Lukas Gage will star with Badgley and fellow returning castmate Tati Gabrielle. (Variety)


Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury, Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton season 2

(Photo by Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Shonda Rhimes’ next drama at Netflix, the untitled Bridgerton spin-off focusing on young Queen Charlotte, Lady Danbury, and Violet Bridgerton, has announced its cast, including Golda Rosheuvel as Charlotte, India Amarteifio as young Charlotte, Michelle Fairley as Princess Augusta, Corey Mylchreest as young King George, Arsema Thomas as young Agatha Danbury, Sam Clemmett as young Brimsley, Richard Cunningham as Lord Bute, Tunji Kasim as Adolphus, Rob Maloney as the Royal Doctor, Cyril Nri as Lord Danbury, and Hugh Sachs as older Brimsley.

Dave star Christine Ko has added two new roles to her resume, She’ll play Lily, a Gilead resident who’s now a resistance leader in Canada on season 5 of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. She will also co-star in the second season of Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building. (THR)

Kate Walsh will make her latest Grey’s Anatomy return as Addison in the ABC drama’s May 5 episode. (TVLine)

Mare of Easttown alum Angourie Rice to will star with Jennifer Garner in the Apple TV+ limited series The Last Thing He Told Me, an adaptation of author Laura Dave’s novel of the same name about a woman (Garner) who bonds with her stepdaughter when they both go looking for the missing husband and father they share. Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine company is producing the project. (Deadline)

Emmy and Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg will play Bird Woman, God of Birds in Amazon’s upcoming Neil Gaiman drama Ansari Boys. The six-episode series, currently filming in Scotland, stars Malachi Kirby in the leading roles of brothers Fat Charlie and Spider. The series is set throughout contemporary London and follows an exciting cast of characters in an epic story that stretches from the UK to Florida, the Caribbean, and the mythical World Before Time. Bird Woman is one of the series’ main antagonists. Other animal gods cast from the World Before Time: Hakeem Kae-Kazim as Tiger, Emmanuel Ighodaro as Lion, Cecilia Noble as Elephant, Ayanna Witter-Johnson as Snake, and Don Gilet as Monkey.

Laura Dern and Liam Hemsworth will star in the Netflix romantic drama movie Lonely Planet, from Susannah Grant (Unbelievable), who will write and direct the love story, which will be set in Morocco. (THR)


PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT: Robert Downey Jr. Will Executive Produce 2 Sherlock Holmes Series

Robert Downey Jr.

(Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

HBO Max is developing two scripted Sherlock Holmes series, and big-screen Sherlock Robert Downey Jr. will be an executive producer on both. No confirmation yet on whether or not he will also star in the dramas, after he played the character in the 2009 Guy Ritchie-directed Sherlock Holmes and its 2011 sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Netflix has ordered the comedy series Unstable, starring Rob Lowe and his son John Owen Lane, who created and will executive produce the series with Victor Fresco (Santa Clarita Diet). The series is set in a cutting-edge biotech research company, following an introverted, socially-challenged son who goes to work for his very successful, wildly eccentric father in order to save him from disaster. It is inspired by Rob and John Owen Lowe’s social media relationship, in which John Owen often humorously trolls his dad.

FX has ordered The Sterling Affairs, a limited series based on the ESPN 30 for 30 podcast about the downfall of disgraced former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The six-episode limited series will star Laurence Fishburne as former Clippers head coach Doc Rivers and Jacki Weaver will star as Sterling’s wife, Shelly Sterling.

Amazon has picked up the rights to Shotgun Wedding, a Lionsgate romantic action comedy starring Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel.


(Photo by BBC America)

AMC has greenlit the Orphan Black spin-off series Orphan Black: Echoes,  created, written, showrun, and executive produced by John Fawcett, the co-creator of the original series, Set in the near future, the new Orphan Black takes a deep dive into the exploration of the scientific manipulation of human existence. It follows a group of women as they weave their way into each other’s lives and embark on a thrilling journey, unravelling the mystery of their identity and uncovering a wrenching story of love and betrayal. No casting has yet been announced, but the series will premiere in 2023.

Recent Coda Oscar-winning streaming network Apple TV+ has landed The White Darkness, a limited series starring Tom Hiddleston, based on David Grann’s nonfiction book of the same name. The series is developed by Soo Hugh, who will also co-showrun and serve as executive producer alongside co-showrunner Mark Heyman. The story revolves around decorated British special forces officer Henry Worsley, who, in 2015, set out to walk across Antarctica alone, inspired by the life of adventurer Ernest Shackleton.

And more Apple TV+ programming on the way: The Big Cigar, a six-episode limited series about the true story of Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton’s escape to Cuba. NAACP Image Award-winner Janine Sherman Barrois will be the showrunner and produce the project. André Holland is in discussions to star, and Don Cheadle will  direct and executive produce the first two episodes.

BBC America and AMC are in early development on a possible Killing Eve spin-off that would focus on young MI6 spy Carolyn Martens, played by Fiona Shaw. The final two episodes of the original series of Killing Eve air on April 10 on BBC America. (The Sun)

Peacock has ordered the unscripted series The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, co-developed by Amy Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions. Based on the international bestselling book by Margareta Magnusson, the hour-long show is a transformation series featuring people who are at a major crossroads and need to get their houses and lives in order. A Swedish “death cleaner” will help organize and demystify homes, lives, and relationships, allowing us to prepare for death while we enjoy life.

The Television Academy has set the 74th annual Primetime Emmys for Sept. 12, a Monday, on NBC.

Goodbye, ABC … hello, Disney+: The streaming network will be the new home of Dancing With the Stars, beginning this fall, and for the next two seasons. The dancing competition series will be the first live series to exclusively debut on Disney+. DWTS has aired on ABC for 30 seasons.


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