TV Talk

Catherine Zeta-Jones Says Prodigal Son Season 2 Intrigue Includes Her Character's 'Admiration' for a Serial Killer

"Why is she in the Claremont Psychiatric facility?," Zeta-Jones asks for everyone watching. Plus, game changes for The Masked Singer season 5 and more Fox series news.

by | March 3, 2021 | Comments

The Fox serial-killer procedural drama, Prodigal Son, already had one Welsh actor headlining is cast: Michael Sheen plays Martin Whitly, a former skilled doctor who is now imprisoned at the Claremont Psychiatric Hospital because he was also skilled as a repeat murderer (his nickname was, of course, “The Surgeon”).

The show just welcomed another Welsh talent when Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago) joined the cast as a series regular with the March 2 episode. Zeta-Jones, whose credits also include playing Olivia de Havilland in FX’s Feud: Bette and Joan, explained her interest in the part during the first of Fox’s two winter Television Critics Association press days.

The all-virtual press days also included panels for The Moodys, The Great North, and The Masked Singer.


Prodigal Son’s Catherine Zeta-Jones on Questioning Her Character’s Motives

(Photo by Phil Caruso/FOX)

Zeta-Jones plays Dr. Vivian Capshaw, a doctor at the medical facility that houses Martin, whose son, Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne), is a criminal profiler who consults for the NYPD and taps into his father’s unique perspective to help solve crimes.

The actress told journalists that she signed on to be a series regular on Prodigal Son the same day that she watched Whoopi Goldberg praise the Fox drama on The View. She said she was particularly interested in her character’s motivations.

“I knew that there was a fundamental interest [and] intrigue,” Zeta-Jones said, explaining that the question became “Why is she in the Claremont Psychiatric Facility?”

“What got her there? She should have surely known who The Surgeon was [and] admired him from afar … and now she’s sequestered in the bowels of this facility with that very person. And it was intriguing to me,” she said.

The series is one of several new and returning shows that deal with serial killers, be it Showtime’s revival of Dexter or CBS’s Clarice — and not to mention all the true-crime documentaries and podcasts about murder. So what makes people interested in something so gruesome?

Co-creator Chris Fedak told journalists that “I think that it speaks to the age we live in. We live in dark and seemingly scary times.”

He added that, “I think, for our show, the way we come at it is we look at it as a family show. We also have a sense of humor. We have this incredible cast that’s really charming and fun, and so, deep down, it’s also a comedy. So, in some ways, it’s a bunch of different things coming together.”

Prodigal Son airs Tuesdays on Fox.

The Game Has Changed in The Masked Singer Season 5

(Photo by Michael Becker/FOX)

Fox’s smash-hit The Masked Singer returns for a fifth season on March 10. And, in the name of keeping things fresh, there will be some changes to the celebrity-studded singing competition.

For one, this season will introduce “wild card” performers, who will appear at the end of an episode on the chance that they might take a current contestant’s place. Executive producer Craig Plestis told journalists that, like other competitors, these new entrants will come with story packages and clues as to who they really are.

“It just adds freshness to the whole show and it just grooms a whole new life to the series,” Plestis said. “So, we are really excited by it. And I think, honestly, the viewer is going to connect with some of them, and it’s really just an amazing format.”

Another change? Niecy Nash will be temporarily taking over hosting duties from Nick Cannon, with Cannon returning toward the end of the season.

All the judges praised Nash’s dedication during the TCA panel, with Nicole Scherzinger saying “Niecy is the boss. She’s a queen. She’s so fast but fun, relatable.”

The Masked Singer season 5 premieres March 10 on Fox.

The Great North Casting Is Not Ironic

(Photo by FOX)

The Great North, the new animated Fox series from sisters and Bob’s Burgers executive producers Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin and Wendy Molyneux, focuses on a single dad (Nick Offerman’s Beef Tobin) and his offspring living it up in the Alaskan wilderness.

It also happens to star musician Alanis Morissette as herself — well, a version of herself who is the imaginary friend of Jenny Slate’s teen-aged Judy and who appears to her via the Aurora Borealis.

“Alanis was always our dream for Judy’s friend. We wrote her in in the hopes that she would do it. I think, from our end, we’d hope she would be into it,” Molyneux-Logelin said while her sister joked that there is no backup plan and “you can’t send it to Jeremy Irons.”

The show is also striving for authenticity when it comes to depicting people indigenous to the area.

“Our casting department reached out to Alaskan community; Alaskan Native actors living in Alaska,” when the started the project, said Molyneux.

Dulcé Sloan, who plays Honeybee Shaw — the fiancé of eldest son Wolf (Will Forte) — added that the producers seek out her input for how her character should react and look situations (such as the fact that her character would have a head scarf on while she was in bed).

“I think sometimes when you’re a person of color that’s in a predominantly white show or white area, I think sometimes white people try to make you comfortable by acknowledging your race all the time,” Sloan said. “Honeybee’s not there because she’s Black. She’s there because her and Wolf love each other. I do like that they do acknowledge her family and they do talk about her family. But at the end of the day, she’s in love and she’s getting married.”

Plus, she added, her character “met somebody on the Internet and it worked and she didn’t get murdered.”

And, much like Bob’s, the series is very family-centric.

“It’s a very wholesome and kind show,” said co-star Paul Rust, who voices middle son Ham. “And the other benefit is that there are no celebrity pot-shot lines. So I don’t have to worry about, like, bumping into Ray Liotta and having him be mad at me.”

The Great North airs Sundays on Fox.

The Moodys Shows You Don’t Have to Just Go Home for the Holidays

The Moodys was a 2019 holiday-centric limited series about arguing adult children staying with their equally enraged parents. But good news for those who still haven’t taken down their tinsel and lights: A second season was ordered and it begets more bickering when it premieres April 1.

“Anybody who has adult children [knows] you do have a lot of love and anger and stories and experiences to build on, especially after dealing with them as adults,” Denis Leary, who plays patriarch Sean Moody Sr. to Elizabeth Perkins’ matriarch Ann, told the TCA audience.

Co-showrunner Bob Fisher clarified that “we’re not saying we’ll never do the holidays, but we wanted to be able to just do different kinds of stories throughout the year.”

The cast also includes Francois Arnaud, Chelsea Frei, and Jay Baruchel.

The Moodys returns April 1 on Fox.

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