Dexter fans got a first look at Michael C. Hall as the returning serial killer this week. HBO Max conjures up a new pricing tier that doesn’t include the big theatrical premieres of the summer, but does include ads. Updates on the John Wick, Saw, and American Psycho TV series, and more of the week’s biggest news in TV and streaming.
Dexter fans got their first look at America’s favorite revived serial killer in a teaser video for the series’ return released by Showtime. Michael C. Hall revisits his famous role for a new season set for fall. The series ran for eight seasons, concluding in 2013 with a much-maligned final season (it has a 33% score on the Tomatometer, compared to the show’s Certified Fresh 96% first season). Many see this revival as a chance at redemption for the character and the series, which also starred Jennifer Carpenter, C.S. Lee, David Zayas, James Remar, Luna Lauren Velez, Desmond Harrington, and Julie Benz.
(Photo by Jessica Miglio/©Warner Bros. Entertainment)
The good news: if that $14.99 per month fee has stopped you from signing up for HBO Max and all The Sopranos and Big Bang Theory episodes your heart desires, the streaming service’s new, ad-supported option, which will cost $9.99 when it launches in June, may make for a more classic TV-packed summer. Even better: though the ads will be sprinkled through the HBO Max specific programming, the service isn’t going to add them to programming that originated on HBO, i.e. Game of Thrones, Sex and the City, The Wire, etc.
Now to temper your excitement a bit: that cheaper, ad-supported option of an HBO Max subscription will not include the streamer’s same-day release of theatrical movies. Meaning, when The Suicide Squad hits theaters and $14.99 ad-free HBO Max on August 6, the $9.99/month subscribers will be seeing … well, not The Suicide Squad. Not on that day, anyway.
WarnerMedia hasn’t announced specifics of how long subscribers to the ad-supported version of HBO Max will have to wait to see new theatrical releases on the service, but in the meantime, you’ll have all those episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Rick and Morty to keep you entertained.
(Photo by Lionsgate)
Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs, in an interview with Deadline, talked about the company’s future plans, which includes the John Wick spin-off series The Continental at Starz, which will be a prequel about how the hotel for assassins came to be.
He describes the first season as unfolding like three 90-minute events, sort of like a limited series. Ian McShane, the movie’s Continental founder, Winston, won’t appear on screen, though McShane has suggested he might be doing voiceover for the series, which will revolve around a 1970s version of Winston. Keanu Reeves, Beggs says, may sign on as an executive producer of The Continental.
Meanwhile, Beggs also confirmed an American Psycho series is in development, and that there are conversations happening about the possibilities of a Saw TV series.
Jean Smart stars Hacks as Deborah Vance, a legendary Las Vegas comedian whose manager pairs her with an entitled twentysomething comedy writer (Hannah Einbinder) when Vance’s place on the Strip is threatened by a plan to bring in younger-skewing audiences. Also stars Kaitlin Olson, Christopher McDonald, and Rose Abdoo. Premieres May 13. (HBO Max)
More trailers and teasers released this week:
• Power Book III: Raising Kanan is the second Power spin-off, this one a prequel unfolding the backstory of 50 Cent’s Kanan character. Stars Mekhi Curtis, Omar Epps, and Patina Miller. Premieres July 18. (Starz)
• Nine Perfect Strangers is a miniseries starring Nicole Kidman as the director of a wellness retreat that seems to be making its stress-relief seekers, well, more stressed. The drama is based on the book of the same name by Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty, and also stars Melissa McCarthy, Michael Shannon, Samara Weaving, Regina Hall, Luke Evans, and Bobby Cannavale. Premieres later this year. (Hulu)
• Master of None season 3, subtitled Moments in Love, focuses on Denise (Lena Waithe) and her partner Alicia (Naomi Ackie), and the ups and downs of marriage and their struggles with fertility. Series creator Aziz Ansari directs. Premieres May 23. (Netflix)
• Domina is the eight-episode miniseries, filmed in Rome, that follows the extraordinary rise of Emperor Augustus Caesar’s third wife, Livia Drusilla (Kasia Smutniak), and all the exploits, affairs, and battles for political clout that surrounded the power couple who sat at the heart of the Roman Empire. Also stars Matthew McNulty, Tom Glynn-Carney, Claire Forlani, and Isabella Rossellini. Premieres June 6. (EPIX)
• Physical is the new 10-episode dramedy starring Rose Byrne as a quietly desperate 1980s housewife who finds empowerment in teaching aerobics. Premieres June 18. (Apple TV+)
• In Who Killed Sara? season 2, Alex is forced to learn the truth about his sister while making sure the buried corpse in his patio doesn’t send him back to prison. Stars Manolo Cardona and Carolina Miranda. Premieres May 19. (Netflix)
• Oslo is the Steven Spielberg–produced movie, based on the Tony-winning play, about the secret negotiations in the development of the 1990s Oslo Peace Accords between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Stars Ruth Wilson and Andrew Scott. Premieres May 29. (HBO)
• Luca is the Disney and Pixar original film that showcases one incredible summer in the Italian seaside town of Portorosso, as seen through the eyes of a young sea monster named Luca. Voice cast includes Jacob Tremblay, Maya Rudolph, Jim Gaffigan, Sandy Martin, and Jack Dylan Grazer. Premieres June 18. (Disney+)
• From Cradle to Stage is the docuseries, from Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and his mom Virginia, about the relationships between rock stars and their moms. Stars Grohl, Brandi Carlile, Miranda Lambert, Geddy Lee, Tom Morello, Dan Reynolds, and Pharrell Williams. Premieres May 6. (Paramount+)
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(Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images)
Devious Maids star Roselyn Sanchez has been cast as the lead in Fox’s upcoming Fantasy Island reboot. She’ll play Elena Roarke, a relative of Mr. Roarke, the main character played by Ricardo Montalban in the original 1977-84 Fantasy Island series. The new series, which also takes place at a luxury resort where any fantasy can be fulfilled – even though the results often turn out much differently than the wish seekers planned – will premiere on Fox on August 10.
Run and Star Wars actor Domhnall Gleeson has joined the cast of The White House Plumbers, HBO’s limited series about how Richard Nixon’s closest advisors were largely responsible for his Watergate downfall. Gleeson will play John Dean, Nixon’s young White House Counsel who plotted the illegal cover-up of the break-in that destroyed Nixon. Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux are starring and executive producing, with Harrelson as E. Howard Hunt and Theroux as G. Gordon Liddy, the Nixon administration members who plotted the Watergate burglaries. (Deadline)
The Unicorn stars Walt Goggins and Omar Miller are among the new cast members of The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, the Apple TV+ series starring Samuel L. Jackson as the titular 91-year-old who regains his memory just long enough to solve the mystery of his nephew’s death and right some wrongs from his past. Based on Walter Mosley’s novel of the same name, the series also stars Marsha Stephanie Blake (When They See Us), Damon Gupton (Bates Motel), Cynthia Kaye McWilliams (Real Husbands of Hollywood), and Dominique Fishback (The Hateful Eight). (Variety)
IMDB TV, Amazon’s free streaming service, has ordered the new comedy Sprung, starring Garret Dillahunt as a recently released convict who bands together with fellow former convicts to redeem himself by righting some wrongs committed during the pandemic. The comedy will also star Illeana Douglas and Phillip Garcia.
Josh Hartnett will star in the Sky TV miniseries The Fear Index, based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Robert Harris, about a computer scientist whose AI system seems sure to make him wealthy by exploiting fear in the financial markets. Instead, he comes to fear for his life when he’s attacked at his home and comes to believe he’s being framed for a series of troubling occurrences. The four-part series is being produced by Left Bank Pictures, the production company behind The Crown.
Jamie McShane (Mank) and All Rise star Reggie Lee have been cast in Netflix’s TV adaptation of the Matthew McConaughey movie The Lincoln Lawyer, from producer David E. Kelley. McShane will play a cop with a contentious relationship with titular attorney Mickey Haller (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), while Lee will play the owner of a chain of nursing homes who is under investigation for illegal activity. (Deadline)
(Photo by Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Grammy winner John Mayer is in final talks to host Later With John Mayer, a Paramount+ late-night series in which he would perform with and interview musicians and other celebrities, in a setting designed to look like a nightclub. (Variety)
Mad Men alum Vincent Kartheiser is joining the third season of HBO Max’s Titans, where he’ll play Scarecrow/Jonathan Crane, who’s locked up at Arkham Asylum wreaking havoc on Gotham City’s citizenry.
Pulitzer winner Tracy Letts has joined the cast of HBO’s 1980s Los Angeles Lakers drama based on Jeff Pearlman’s book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s. Letts will play former Lakers coach Jack McKinney, who first created the team’s signature fast-paced style of gameplay. (Deadline)
Grammy-nominated musician Redman (a.k.a. Reggie Noble) will be reunited with his fellow rap legend collaborator Method Man (a.k.a. Clifford Smith Jr.) on the second season of the Starz drama Power Book II: Ghost. Redman will guest star as Theo Rollins, the older brother of successful defense attorney Davis MacLean played by Method Man.
Michael Rapaport (Atypical) will star as shoe designer Steve Madden in an untitled series about Madden’s success, prison sentence after being involved with stock manipulation and securities fraud, and eventual comeback with his shoe company. The series, which is not attached to a network or streaming service yet, will be based on Madden’s 2020 memoir The Cobbler: How I Disrupted An Industry, Fell From Grace & Came Back Stronger Than Ever, which details the story of how he started his shoe company with just $1,000. (Deadline)
Josh Gad and Isla Fisher will star in Peacock’s “genre-bending romantic comedy” Wolf Like Me, about a single dad and a woman with “a secret she can’t bring herself to share with anyone” who find love. Gad and Fisher are also executive producers on the quirky series.
Supermarket Sweep host Leslie Jones will host the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards. Former Saturday Night Live star Jones is nominated for a Best Comedic Performance for her work in Coming 2 America. The awards, live from Los Angeles, will air in a two-night event on May 16 and 17. Fans can vote for their favorites at MTV.com.
Sarah Silverman, Nicole Byer, and Sam Richardson have joined the cast of Kill the Orange-Faced Bear, an upcoming TBS animated comedy about a guy who plots revenge against the bear who killed his girlfriend. Silverman will voice Brenda, the bear who ate Hanks’s (Damon Wayans Jr.) girlfriend Stacy … for personal reasons. When Stacy’s friends mistook a can of spray paint for bear mace, they turned Brenda’s face orange, which could make her an easy target for Hank’s revenge plan. Byer voices Pauline, a pretty, stylish bear who uses her feminine wiles to seduce Brenda’s husband, while Richardson voices Steve, the charming, but idiotic bear with a dangerous habit of breaking into cars to steal snacks and beer.
(Photo by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
Elizabeth Banks’ Brownstone Productions and Fox are developing Bedrock, a primetime adult animation comedy that’s a reboot of the animated comedy classic The Flintstones. Banks will voice Pebbles Flintstone, who is two decades older than she was in the original 1969-66 series. Now her dad, Fred, is getting ready to retire, and Pebbles is ready to embark on her own career, as she and her loved ones get with the new times: from Stone Age to the Bronze Age.
Paul Schrader said he and Taxi Driver and Raging Bull collaborator Martin Scorsese are planning a three-year series about the origins of Christianity, that they want to do with a streaming service. “It’s based on the Apostles and on the Apocrypha. It’s called The Apostles and Apocrypha,” Schrader told The New Yorker. “Because people sort of know the New Testament, but nobody knows the Apocrypha. And back in the first century, there was no New Testament, there’s just these stories. And some were true, and some weren’t, and some were forgeries.”
Power executive producer 50 Cent and star La La Anthony are developing The Case of Cyntoia Brown, a potential Starz limited series about Cyntoia Brown Long, a sex trafficking victim as a minor who was convicted of the murder of someone who paid to have sex with her. She was sentenced to life in prison, but her sentence was commuted in 2019 after she earned college degrees and served as a mentor to at-risk children, and with support from Anthony, LeBron James, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk will host the Mother’s Day Weekend edition of Saturday Night Live on May 8, with Miley Cyrus as the musical guest. Some of the cast members are less than thrilled about working with Musk.
ABC has passed on the untitled comedy that was set to star Emmy winners Alec Baldwin and Kelsey Grammer, and Alec Mapa, after seeing the finished pilot. The series had a straight-to-series order, and the pilot was directed by James Burrows, and would follow the three men who were roommates in their twenties. Squabbling broke them apart, but present day, they’re reunited and want to help each other take one last shot at living the lives they’ve wished for. Deadline reports the series is now being shopped to other networks and streaming services.
Fox has given a series order for next season to The Big Leap, a show-within-a-show dramedy about a group of underdogs, with no dance training, who try to change their lives by participating in a reality dance show that builds to a live production of Swan Lake. The series, based on a British reality TV format, stars Scott Foley, Teri Polo, and Piper Perabo.
Season 4 of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale will be paired with an aftershow, One Burning Question, that will follow each episode of the season. Journalist Stacey Wilson Hunt will host. (The Wrap)
Peacock has ordered the six-part cyber thriller series The Undeclared War from seven-time BAFTA winner Peter Kosminsky. Set in 2024 around the time of a British general election, the series follows a leading team of analysts in the national security branch who is secretly working to ward off a cyber-attack on the country’s electoral system. Oscar winner Mark Rylance and Simon Pegg will star.
Left/Right TV, the producers behind The New York Times Presents documentary Framing Britney Spears is working on a documentary that will revisit “Nipplegate,” the 2004 Super Bowl Halftime performance in which Janet Jackson was made to take the fall for the performance in which her nipple was briefly flashed on the screen during her duet with Justin Timberlake. It’s a safe bet the former boy bander isn’t going to come out looking so great after this one, either. (Page Six)
Gilmore Girls star Scott Patterson, who played Luke’s Diner owner Luke Danes on The WB/CW series, will watch the entire eight-season series for the first time, and recap the episodes on an iHeartRadio podcast called I Am All In. The show premieres on May 3. (People)
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