In the week’s biggest TV and streaming news, we get a peek at The CW’s 2022-2023 plans, including an order for one Batman-tied series and the cancellation of seven series reportedly in advance of a rumored sale of the network by its parent companies Warner Bros. Television and CBS Studios. Plus, Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa is the new Doctor in Doctor Who for 2023; new trailers drop for Westworld season 4, the Netflix live-action Resident Evil series premiere, and Physical season 2; Norm McDonald’s final comedy special gets a date; and more.
(Photo by Katie Yu / ©The CW Network / courtesy Everett Collection)
What even is a TV season anymore, with the year-round influx of viewing options viewers have now? We’re about to get a reminder, as the broadcast TV networks are set to announce their annual programming changes at next week’s Upfront presentations for advertisers and media in New York. The CW, which formally presents its new line-up on Thursday, May 19 at New York City Centre Theater, has announced its major moves early, as the network is rumored to be in the process of possibly being sold.
The good news: new series that involve the Batman universe and spin-offs of fan-favorite series Supernatural (pictured above), and Walker. The bad news, for fans of some of the net’s other favorite series: The CW canceled seven series this week, including Roswell, New Mexico, In the Dark, Legacies, Charmed, 4400, Naomi, and Dynasty. That brings the youth-oriented network’s total number of cancellations for the year to nine, including earlier ousts of Batwoman and Legends of Tomorrow.
Why these series? With the rumored sale of the network looming, speculation is that The CW wants to clean its schedule of shows that never really took off — like freshman drama 4400 (which earned a 25% average Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes) — and longer-running shows that may not be wowing viewers anymore, like Dynasty, the remake of the classic 1981-89 primetime soap opera. The CW’s reboot ran for five seasons. The reboot’s ratings had dropped from its first season, when it averaged a million viewers an episode, to nearly half of that an episode by season 3.
As for the rest of The CW schedule for next season, it will include earlier announced renewals for scripted dramas All American and All American: Homecoming, The Flash, Kung Fu, Nancy Drew, Riverdale, Superman & Lois, and Walker, as well as reality series Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Masters of Illusion, and World’s Funniest Animals.
And more about those new series:
LOGLINE: In the wake of Bruce Wayne’s murder, his rebellious adopted son (Oscar Morgan) forges an unlikely alliance with the children of Batman’s enemies when they are all framed for killing the Caped Crusader. And as the city’s most wanted criminals, this renegade band of misfits must fight to clear their names. But in a Gotham with no Dark Knight to protect it, the city descends into the most dangerous it’s ever been. However, hope comes from the most unexpected of places as this team of mismatched fugitives will become its next generation of saviors known as the Gotham Knights.
LOGLINE: A Walker origin story set in the late 1800s that follows Abby Walker (Katherine McNamara), an affluent Bostonian whose husband is murdered before her eyes while on their journey out West. On her quest for revenge, Abby crosses paths with Hoyt Rawlins (Matt Barr), a lovable rogue in search of purpose. Abby and Hoyt’s journey takes them to Independence, Texas, where they encounter diverse, eclectic residents running from their own troubled pasts and chasing their dreams. Our newfound family will struggle with the changing world around them, while becoming agents of change themselves in a town where nothing is what it seems.
LOGLINE: Before Sam and Dean, there was John and Mary. Told from the perspective of narrator Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), The Winchesters is the epic, untold love story of how John (Drake Rodger) met Mary (Meg Donnelly) and how they put it all on the line to not only save their love, but the entire world. Prequel to the long-running hit series Supernatural.
Resident Evil is Netflix’s thriller adaptation of the dame and movie zombie franchise. Could we have the next Walking Dead on our hands, or at least, a warm-up for HBO’s upcoming The Last of Us? Premieres July 14. (Netflix)
More trailers and teasers released this week:
• This Father of the Bride remake features a new twist none of the other films have features: while the family daughter is getting married, her parents are getting a divorce. Stars Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan. Premieres June 16. (HBO Max)
• Love, Death + Robots Volume 3: Terror, imagination and beauty combine in nine new episodes which stretch from uncovering an ancient evil to a comedic apocalypse, telling startling short stories of fantasy, horror and science-fiction with trademark wit and visual invention. Premieres May 20. (Netflix)
• God’s Favorite Idiot revolves around tech support employee Clark Thompson (Ben Falcone), who falls in love with co-worker Amily (Melissa McCarthy) at exactly the same time he becomes the unwitting messenger of God, and must prevent an impending apocalypse. Also stars Leslie Bibb and Yanic Truesdale. Premieres June 15. (Netflix)
• Chad, one of our favorite new comedies of last season, returns for season 2 with Nasim Pedrad once again charming us with her painfully awkward teen. Premieres July 11. (TBS)
• Hustle is a movie about NBA scout Stanley Sugerman (Adam Sandler) who wants to be a coach, but is stuck on the road until he finds Spanish streetball whiz Bo (NBA player Juancho Hernangómez) and the two bond over their love of the game and their desire to forge their success on the court and off. Also stars Queen Latifah, Ben Foster, Kenny Smith, Anthony Edwards, Jordan Hull, Raul Castillo, Jaleel White, Heidi Gardner, and Robert Duvall. Premieres June 8. (Netflix)
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(Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Ncuti Gatwa will become the first Black actor to steer the TARDIS, as he replaces Jodie Whittaker, who has one season left to air, as the new lead of BBC’s long-running sci-fi classic Doctor Who. “There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling. A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared … Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show,” Gatwa said in a statement. Showrunner Russell T. Davies added: “The future is here and it’s Ncuti! Sometimes talent walks through the door and it’s so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars. Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds. It’s an honour to work with him, and a hoot, I can’t wait to get started. I’m sure you’re dying to know more, but we’re rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie’s epic finale yet to come. But I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!”
Kerry Washington and Delroy Lindo are starring in a new Hulu comedy Unprisoned. The eight-episode series is inspired by the life of creator Tracy McMillan, and tells the story of a messy but perfectionist relationship therapist and single mom whose life is turned right-side-up when her dad gets out of prison and moves in with her and her teenage son. Washington, Lindo, McMillan, and showrunner Yvette Lee Bowser (Living Single) are executive producers on the project.
Greek and Limitless star Jake McDorman has joined previously announced Betty Gilpin in Peacock’s drama series Mrs. Davis, from Damon Lindelof and Tara Hernandez. Details about the series are scant, but Peacock says the series is “an exploration of faith versus technology — an epic battle of biblical and binary proportions.” Gilpin will play a nun who goes to battle against an all-powerful Artificial Intelligence, and McDorman will play her rebellious ex, who has a personal vendetta against “the Algorithm.”
Martin Starr (Silicon Valley) and Garrett Hedlund have joined the cast of the Paramount+ Sylvester Stallone mob drama Tulsa King. Starr will play Bodhi, who runs a marijuana dispensary, while Hedlund (Mosaic) will play a former bull rider who had to retire after he became addicted to pain meds he used to treat his injuries. Veep alum Andrea Savage has also joined the cast, playing an ATF agent who transfers from New York to Oklahoma to follow the operations of militia groups, The Wrap reports.
Devon Sawa will return for the second season of Chucky, playing a new character. (EW)
(Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Netflix)
John Cho and Ken Jeong have joined the season 2 cast of the Apple TV+ murder mystery comedy The Afterparty, along with previously announced cast Elizabeth Perkins, Zach Woods, Paul Walter Hauser, Poppy Liu, Anna Konkle, Jack Whitehall, and Vivian Wu, as well as returning stars Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, and Zoë Chao. (Deadline)
Amazon’s Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series is likely to end after season 4, which is currently being filmed with star John Krasinski, Deadline reports. But Amazon may have a spin-off series in the works, with Michael Peña starring as another Clancy character, Domingo “Ding” Chavez.
Boardwalk Empire star Jack Huston will play Lasher in AMC’s Mayfair Witches drama based on Anne Rice’s Lives of the Mayfair Witches trilogy. Lasher is a powerful, mysterious character who has interacted with the Mayfair Witches for centuries. (Variety)
And another Oscar winner has joined TV land: Mo’Nique has joined season 2 of the Starz drama BMF, playing the recurring role of Goldie, a sophisticated Atlanta strip club owner with swagger and street smarts. She forms an alliance with the Flenory brothers which will help fuel their migration from Detroit to Atlanta. She’s a fierce protector of her dancers and the people in her world, so Goldie isn’t afraid to take care of business, no matter what the cost.
Previously announced to appear, Cara Delevingne will play the love interest of Selena Gomez’s character, Mabel, in season 2 of Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building. (Jezebel).
Hamish Linklater and Lili Taylor have been cast as Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln in Apple TV+’s limited series Manhunt, about the search for Abraham Lincoln’s assassin. Patton Oswalt , Brandon Flynn, Betty Gabriel, Will Harrison, and Damian O’Hare also joined the cast, which includes the previously announced Tobias Menzies, Anthony Boyle, Lovie Simone, and Matt Walsh.
Game of Thrones alum Maisie Williams will star in the Apple TV+ fashion drama series The New Look, co-starring with Ben Mendelsohn and Juliette Binoche, who play Christian Dior and Coco Chanel. Williams will play Dior’s sister, Catherine. (THR)
Natasha Lyonne will make her debut as a Saturday Night Live host on May 21, the season 47 finale, with musical guest Japanese Breakfast.
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The 2021 death of comedian Norm Macdonald was a shock to even some of his closest comedy cohorts, as the former Saturday Night Live star had kept his cancer diagnosis a secret for years. But to leave a bit of himself behind in case he didn’t survive the cancer battle, Macdonald filmed Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special, which he filmed in his living room, and which contained comedy material he was very proud of. The special premieres on Netflix May 30.
There’s no network attached yet, but the original cast of Married … with Children – Ed O’Neill, Katey Sagal, Christina Applegate, and David Faustino – are all scheduled to return to voice their characters in an animated remake of the 1987-97 comedy.
FX is adapting the 2005 Kazuo Ishiguro novel Never Let Me Go as a drama series. The story, which was made into a romantic tragedy movie starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, and Andrew Garfield in 2010, revolves around three students at a boarding school who reunite as adults.
HBO will adapt the 1973 Toni Morrison novel Sula as a limited series. Shannon M. Houston (Station Eleven) will write the series, about two Black heroines from a small neighborhood in Ohio who deal with their complicated bongs as they journey through to very different adult lives, (Deadline)
Barry Emmy winner Henry Winkler and son Max are collaborating on the HBO limited series King Rex, an adaptation of a 1980 Texas Monthly magazine article about a mobster and buried treasure in a small town. Henry Winkler would play the mobster, while max would write and direct the series. (Deadline)
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm director Jason Wolner was given a straight-to-series order for a comedy in the style of Borat: “a groundbreaking project that mixes fact and fiction to tell a bizarre and incredible tale.” Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will be executive producers on the project. Peacock calls the series “mind-bending” and says he “has been shooting for over a decade and (it is) a story that continues to pile on jaw-dropping new twists.”
South Park: The Streaming Wars, a new special which will find Cartman at war in a battle of wills with his mom and the town threatened by an “epic conflict,” will debut on Paramount+ on June 1.
Peacock is developing a series adaptation of the 1994 GenX movie classic Reality Bites, about four friends trying to navigate careers, romance, and family in their post-college life. The movie was written by Helen Childress, who will also write the series, directed by Ben Stiller, and starred Ethan Hawke, Winona Ryder, Janeane Garofalo, and Steve Zahn.