TV Talk

Quentin Tarantino in Talks to Direct Episodes of FX Limited Series Justified: City Primeval

Plus, Sacha Baron Cohen is in talks to join Cate Blanchett and Kevin Kline in Disclaimer, Evil and Midnight Mass lead the Critics Choice Super Choice Awards nominations, and more top news of the week in TV and streaming.

by | February 25, 2022 | Comments

The Justified revival just got that much more exciting for fans with talk that Quentin Tarantino may sign on to direct episodes, Evil’s Mike Colter and Katja Herbers are among those nominated for top Critics Choice Super Choice awards, and Showtime unleashes the stars of The First Lady. Plus, new trailers and more of the biggest news in TV and streaming this week.


Quentin Tarantino May Direct Timothy Olyphant’s Return to FX in the Elmore Leonard Limited Series Justified: City Primeval

Quentin Tarantino and JUSTIFIED star Timothy Olyphant

(Photo by Rocco Spaziani/Archivio Spaziani/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images; Prashant Gupta / © FX Network / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

It just keeps getting better: not only is one of FX’s all-time greatest dramas returning to the network soon, but the limited series return of Justified: City Primeval may now included episodes directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Deadline reports the Oscar winner is in early talks to direct one or two episodes in the series that brings Timothy Olyphant back to his signature role as badass U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. Olyphant worked with Tarantino on his most recent film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Tarantino is famously an Elmore Leonard fan (his Jackie Brown was an adaptation of Leonard’s novel Rum Punch).

The Justified limited series is an adaption of another Leonard novel, 1980’s City Primeval: High Noon, which will send the now Miami-based Givens to Detroit where he, of course, tangles with some baddies.

TCA Winter 2022: Viola Davis Very Concerned About What Michelle Obama Will Think About Her Portrayal of the First Lady in Showtime’s Anthology Series The First Lady

Yep, even Oscar winner Viola Davis gets nervous about her performances — especially when she’s portraying a real-life “character,” and especially when that real-life character is iconic former First Lady Michelle Obama.

“It keeps you up at night,” Davis said during Showtime’s virtual Television Critics Association session this week. Obama is one of three First Ladies who will be featured in the first season of the anthology series – along with Eleanor Roosevelt (played by Gillian Anderson) and Betty Ford (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) – but Davis is the only series star portraying a living subject, upping the pressure knowing her subject might see her performance.

“You don’t want to insult them by your portrayal,” Davis said.  “And here’s the thing … It’s a famous quote – I think it’s Thoreau who says, ‘To be known is to be misunderstood.’ As much as we feel like we know Michelle Obama, and I did everything I possibly could to research, I mean everything, but still, in those private moments, there is some level of … creative decision‑making that you have to take. I don’t know how she lays in bed with Barack. I don’t know how she would discipline her children. There’s just small minutiae that I can take creative license with and hope that I’m not insulting her with it, and that’s what you have to navigate as an artist.

“It’s something I always say even to my husband; ‘Listen, if someone were to do a bio of my life 70 years from now, and they spoke to everyone that possibly came into contact with me, you’d only know 40 percent of me.’ So, yes, a huge amount of fear, huge, but that’s what we live for as artists. It’s a huge exercise in letting go, and it’s a huge exercise in transformation, yeah, but to answer your question: terrifying.”

In other Showtime TCA news:

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who’s playing a real-life character – former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick – in Showtime’s anthology series Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, has also thought about what his subject might think about his portrayal of him, and even what might happen if he crossed paths with Kalanick in real life. He’s not worried about what the reaction might be he said during the Super Pumped TCA session.

“I was really intent on not reducing Travis to his headlines,” Gordon-Levitt said. “I really wanted to show a whole and multifaceted human being. I actually think, I hope, he’ll actually like it a lot. I think it’s probably a lot more flattering a portrayal than a lot of the press around him, because the press doesn’t focus on him as a whole human being … the press more focuses on the particular decisions that he made and actions that he took as the leader of this company because that’s really more the place of journalism and nonfiction, whereas the place of a dramatization is to dive into the humanity of him. I would hope that he finds it refreshing to have a big piece about him that really does dive into him as a whole human.”.

Evil and Midnight Mass Lead Critics Choice Super Awards Nominations

Mike Colter and Katja Herbers in Evil

(Photo by Elizabeth Fisher/CBS)

The Critics Choice Association announced the television nominees for its second annual Super Choice Awards, honoring the most popular, fan-obsessed genres, including Superhero, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Horror, and Action. Winners will be revealed on Thursday, March 17. Nominees, led by Paramount+ supernatural drama Evil and Netflix supernatural/horror limited series Midnight Mass:


Cobra Kai
Kung Fu
Squid Game


Mike Faist – Panic
Lee Jung-jae – Squid Game
Alexander Ludwig – Heels
Ralph Macchio – Cobra Kai
Omar Sy – Lupin
William Zabka – Cobra Kai


Angela Bassett – 9-1-1
Kim Joo-ryoung – Squid Game
HoYeon Jung – Squid Game
Queen Latifah – The Equalizer
Olivia Liang – Kung Fu
Mary McCormack – Heels


Doom Patrol
Superman & Lois


Paul Bettany – WandaVision
Tom Ellis – Lucifer
Brendan Fraser – Doom Patrol
Tom Hiddleston – Loki
Tyler Hoechlin – Superman & Lois
Anthony Mackie – The Falcon and the Winter Soldier


Sophia Di Martino – Loki
Kathryn Hahn – WandaVision
Javicia Leslie – Batwoman
Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Loki
Elizabeth Olsen – WandaVision
Hailee Steinfeld – Hawkeye


Dr. Death
Midnight Mass


Adrien Brody – Chapelwaite
Mike Colter – Evil
Zach Gilford – Midnight Mass
Rupert Grint – Servant
Hamish Linklater – Midnight Mass
Aasif Mandvi – Evil


Lauren Ambrose – Servant
Katja Herbers – Evil
Christine Lahti – Evil
Melanie Lynskey – Yellowjackets
Kate Siegel – Midnight Mass
Samantha Sloyan – Midnight Mass


Resident Alien
Star Trek: Discovery
Station Eleven
The Witcher


Henry Cavill – The Witcher
Daveed Diggs – Snowpiercer
Matthew Goode – A Discovery of Witches
Jared Harris – Foundation
Lee Pace – Foundation
Alan Tudyk – Resident Alien


Mackenzie Davis – Station Eleven
Laura Donnelly – The Nevers
Sonequa Martin-Green – Star Trek: Discovery
Teresa Palmer – A Discovery of Witches
Jodie Whittaker – Doctor Who
Alison Wright – Snowpiercer


Vincent D’Onofrio – Hawkeye
Michael Emerson – Evil
Kathryn Hahn – WandaVision
Joshua Jackson – Dr. Death
Jonathan Majors – Loki
Samantha Sloyan – Midnight Mass

NEW TRAILERS: Under the Banner of Heaven Stars Andrew Garfield as an LDS Detective Whose Faith Is Tested by the Murder of a Young Mormon Woman

Under the Banner of Heaven is inspired by journalist Jon Krakauer’s true crime book about a devout detective (Andrew Garfield) whose faith is tested as he investigates a brutal murder that seems to be connected to an esteemed Utah family’s spiral into LDS fundamentalism and their distrust in the government. Also stars Daisy Edgar-Jones, Sam Worthington, Wyatt Russell, Adelaide Clemens, and Rory Culkin. Produced by Oscar winners Dustin Lance, Black, Ron Howard, and Brian Glazer. Premieres soon (FX on Hulu)

More trailers and teasers released this week:
• WeCrashed is the limited series about disgraced WeWork founder and one-time CEO Adam Neumann (Jared Leto) and his wife and WeWork colleague Rebekah Neumann (Anne Hathaway). Premieres March 18 (Apple TV+)
• Hustle is a movie starring Adam Sandler as a down on his luck basketball scout who, after discovering a once-in-a-lifetime player with a rocky past abroad, brings the player to the States without his team’s approval. Against the odds, the star has one final shot to prove he has what it takes to make it in the NBA. Also stars Queen Latifah, Ben Foster, Kenny Smith, and Robert Duval. Premieres June 10 (Netflix)
• The Andy Warhol Diaries, from producer Ryan Murphy and director Andrew Rossi, is a breathtakingly expansive, six-part portrait of a legend, chronicling the remarkable life of Andy Warhol from the intimate vantage point offered by the artist’s own posthumously published diaries. Premieres March 9 (Netflix)
• The final batch of Ozark Season 4 arrive on April 29 … will Marty and Wendy make it out of the Ozarks? Alive? Starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, and Julia Garner (Netflix)
• The Man Who Fell to Earth – a series inspired by Walter Tevis’ novel of the same name and David Bowie’s iconic movie – follows a new alien character (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution and must confront his own past to determine our future. Naomie Harris plays Justin Falls, a brilliant scientist and engineer who must conquer her own demons in the race to save two worlds. Also stars Jimmi Simpson, Rob Delaney, Sonya Cassidy, Joana Ribeiro, Annelle Olaleye, Kate Mulgrew, Clarke Peters and Bill Nighy. Premieres April 24 (Showtime)
• The Snoopy Show Season 2 finds the beloved Peanuts beagle taking the audience on more clever, delightful adventures, including fishing, party planning, playing football, and using Linus’ blanket (and Snoopy’s endless imagination) to fly the friendly skies. Premieres March 11 (Apple TV+)
• The Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder is the live-action spin-off set years after the original Nickelodeon original animated series and follows Vivian – Timmy’s cousin – who’s maneuvering her new life with her new stepbrother, Roy, and their fairy godparents, Cosmo and Wanda. Premieres March 31 (Paramount+)
• Upload Season 2 is the return of Greg Daniels’ comedy about AI life, and one of the major upgrades in the digital world this season: “prototykes.” Stars Robbie Amell. Premieres March 11 (Prime Video)
• Pachinko is the sweeping, generation-spanning drama about a Korean family, adapted from Min Jin Lee’s bestselling novel of the same name. Stars Minari Oscar  winner Youn Yuh-jung. Premieres March 25 (Apple TV+)

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CASTING: Sacha Baron Cohen in Talks to Star in Alfonso Cuarón Apple TV+ Drama Disclaimer

Sacha Baron Cohen

(Photo by Rick Rycroft-Pool/Getty Images)

Sacha Baron Cohen is in talks to join Cate Blanchett and Kevin Kline in Disclaimer, Alfonso Cuarón’s Apple TV+ adaptation of the Renee Knight novel of the same name that Oscar winner Cuarón is writing, directing, and executive producing. Baron Cohen’s role is being kept under wraps, but Blanchett plays a documentary journalist with a reputation for exposing the misdeeds of respected institutions. When a novel written by a widower (Kline) appears in her home, she realizes it exposes her own deep darkest secret. (Deadline)

Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens has joined the cast of Immigrant, the Hulu limited series story about the founding on Chippendales, playing a hustler named Paul Snider, who partners with Steve Banerjee (Kumail Nanjiani) to lunch the male stripping show. Snider later became better known as the husband of Playboy model Dorothy Stratten, who he murdered in 1980, then killed himself. (Deadline)

Law & Order alum Angie Harmon will star in and executive produce the Lifetime movie series Buried in Barstow, about a single mom and former hit woman who now owns a diner, but can’t escape her dangerous past. Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful director Howard Deutch will direct the first movie, which premieres on June 4.

Homecoming alum Stephan James will play artist Jean-Paul Basquiat in an untitled limited series that’s being shopped around. The project will be set in the 1980s New York, when the graffiti artist and painter becomes a darling of the art world and a close friend of fellow art superstar Andy Warhol. (THR)

Emmy winner Michael Chiklis will star in the first episode of Fox’s crime anthology series Accused, which tells crime stories from the defendant’s point of view, “how an ordinary person gets caught up in an extraordinary situation, ultimately revealing how one wrong turn leads to another, until it’s too late to turn back,” according to Deadline. Chiklis will play a brain surgeon with a seemingly happy family, until he finds out his son may be planning a violent attack at his school.

Justified and The Righteous Gemstones star Walt Goggins will star in Amazon’s videogame adaptation Fallout, about a world where “the future envisioned by Americans post-World War II explodes upon itself through nuclear war in 2077.” Variety reports Goggins would play a character based on the game’s Ghouls, humans who are disfigured because of radiation, but who also are mostly immune to radiation as a result. (Variety)

SEAL Team star Max Thieriot will star in the CBS drama pilot, Cal Fire, which he also co-wrote, about prison inmates who are regularly used to help fight the wildfires that frequent northern California. Thieriot has yet to sign on to the sixth season of SEAL Team, but Deadline reports it’s possible that id Cal Fire is picked up to series, the actor could do both shows.

Supergirl star Melissa Benoist may reunite with Supergirl co-creator Greg Berlanti on the HBO Max series The Girls on the Bus, an adaptation of Amy Chozick’s bestselling book Chasing Hillary, about the New York Times reporter’s front-row seat covering Hillary Clinton’s campaigns to become POTUS. (Deadline)

Snowpiercer star Sakina Jaffrey has joined the cast of Billions, where she’ll play a defense attorney who who goes up against Chuck (Paul Giamatti) … unless they find a common enemy in Mike Prince (Corey Stoll). (Deadline)

Ashley Reyes (American Gods) is joining the cast of Walker, playing Cassie Perez, the new partner of Jared Padalecki’s titular Texas Ranger. (Deadline)

Mean Girls star Lacey Chabert has signed a deal with Hallmark Channel parent company Crown Media Family Networks to star in several movies and develop other content for Hallmark Channel and the network’s other platforms for the next two years.

Emmy Rossum has joined Amanda Seyfried and Tom Holland in The Crowded Room, an Apple TV+ drama series written and executive produced by Akiva Goldsman. The seasonal anthology will “explore inspirational stories of those who have struggled, and learned to successfully live with mental illness.”  The first season is a thriller, based in part of Goldman’s life and the Daniel Keyes nonfictional book The Minds of Billy Milligan, about a man with 24 personalities, the first one to be acquitted of a series of crimes by reason of insanity. Holland, also an EP, will play a man named Danny Sullivan, while Rossum will play Sullivan’s mother, who always focuses on finding a man to save her. Seyfried plays a psychologist dealing with the most challenging case of her career while also juggling being a single mom.

PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT: Hungry: James Burrows Will Direct the Pilot for Demi Lovato’s NBC Sitcom

Demi Lovato

(Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for OBB Media)

Legendary sitcom director James Burrow will direct the sitcom for Hungry, Demi Lovato’s NBC sitcom pilot that revolves friends who belong to a support group for people who have food issues, The series, from Sean Hayes and Todd Millner’s Hazy Mills Productions, is written and executive produced by Suzanne Martin (Hot in Cleveland, Frazier). In addition to Lovato, the series will also star comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias as Danny, a big-hearted guy and the life of the party, while Chuck alum Ryan McPartlin will play Justin, the group leader. (Deadline)

CBS has ordered pilots for two sitcoms from producer Jorma Taccone (Lonely Island): Sober Companion is a multi-cam comedy that revolves around an alcoholic bar owner who’s trying to pull her life together; and The Hug Machine, a single-cam comedy  about a dad who gets a chance to save his marriage when his band becomes a success in the world of chidlren’s music.

Wendy Williams’ health problems have led to the end of The Wendy Williams  Show after 14 seasons, and for former The View co-host (and sometimes Wendy Williams Show guest host) Sherri Shepherd to take over the syndicated daytime talk show slot with her own talk show beginning in the fall.

Will this help or hinder you enjoyment of the Oscars telecast: Eight (out of 23) statues will be awarded before the March 27 telecast, and the pre-taped segments will be shown in an edited version during the telecast? The categories not shown live: film editing, documentary short, live action short, sound, makeup/hairstyling, original score, production design, and animated short, which is supposed to make the show more entertaining for the television audience, though there is strife amongst Academy members about whether or not the new format is a good idea.

BET+ is taping a special to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Martin Lawrence Fox sitcom Martin, which premiered in August 1992 and ran for five seasons until Tisha Campbell sued Lawrence and the producers of the show for sexual harassment and battery. The two stars have since made up, and, along with co-stars Tichina Arnold and Carl Anthony Payne II, will reunite for the special. Fellow star Thomas Mikal Ford died in 2016. The reunion will air later this year on BET+.

Despite the LGBTQ controversy last year  with his The Closer comedy special, Dave Chappelle is reteaming with Netflix to host Chappelle’s Home Team, a series of four specials in which Chappelle will introduce his favorite comedians who he’s worked with years for their own specials. First up: Earthquake and Donnell Rawlings.

Beginning with the fourth season, reality series Love Island will move from CBS to the Peacock streaming service. Season 4 of the American version of the hit British series is scheduled to premiere this summer.

LL Cool J will host the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 22, which will hand out the Icon Award to Jennifer Lopez. The awards air live on Fox.

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