TV Talk

The Boys: Amazon Launches 'Vought News' Digital Series To Bridge Seasons

Plus, Comic-Con@Home panels announced, Blade Runner: Black Lotus cast revealed, and more top TV and streaming news.

by | July 8, 2021 | Comments

Vought News Network is 100 percent fake news; it’s the fictional Seven superhero propaganda machine set in the world of Amazon series The Boys. Comic-Con@Home panels announced, Adult Swim’s Blade Runner: Black Lotus has announced its cast, Michelle Yeoh has scored an animated role in the Witcher universe, Universal Pictures makes several deals, and more of the week’s biggest news in TV and streaming.


TOP STORY

The Boys: Got Questions Ahead of Season 3? New Digital Series Intends To Answer Them

We’ve got a bad news/good news situation here: Amazon’s superhero satire is not returning for its third season until next year. But the streaming network and the show’s producers feel our pain, so they’ve launched “Vought News Network” (“VNN”), a digital series that will share segments from the fake news network about the series.

VNN videos will also be a bit of a preview of season 3 of The Boys. One segment, the very Fox News–like “Seven on 7 with Cameron Coleman,” is hosted by an anchor (played by Matthew Edison) who will be a part of the season 3 story.

“Since the very start of The Boys, we’ve seen Vought’s propaganda arm — I mean, news channel — VNN,” showrunner Eric Kripke said in a statement. “We’ll be digging deeper into those fair and balanced patriots next season, so as a teaser, we’re introducing Seven on 7 with VNN’s biggest star Cameron Coleman. The episodes are in-world canon, serving up brand-new information that bridges the story gap between season 2 and 3. So enjoy the hot takes and catheter commercials, just like your parents do!”


The Boys Season 3 - Jensen Ackles as Soldier Boy

(Photo by Amazon Studios)

For example, Coleman provides a spoilery tidbit in one clip, revealing that Congresswoman Neuman (Claudia Doumit), who we learned is a secret (murderous) supe at the end of season 2, is now getting heat for hiring Hughie (Jack Quaid) as a senior analyst because of his “sordid criminal past,” “known collusion with terrorists,” and “involvement in brutal attacks against the superhero community.” Less spoilery but equally clever: VNN’s spin on MyPillow’s Trump-loving founder and commercial star Mike Lindell, who is spoofed on VNN as “OurSheet” spokesman Mickey Londale.

Let this be an example to all our other favorite series — this is how to help viewers pass time between seasons. Amazon will drop a new VNN episode on the seventh of every month, and each will feature seven news segments and a commercial. Can we expect a Trumpy Bear ad spoof ahead?


Animated Cast for Adult Swim’s Blade Runner: Black Lotus Includes Jessica Henwick, Will Yun Lee, Brian Cox, and Josh Duhamel

Blade Runner: Black Lotus

(Photo by Adult Swim)

Adult Swim has announced the cast of Blade Runner: Black Lotus, the upcoming 13-episode animated series inspired by the Blade franchise of movies. The English and Japanese voice cast includes:

• Jessica Henwick and Arisa Shida as Elle, a female replicant created for a secret and unknown purpose
• Will Yun Lee and Shinshu Fuji as Joseph, a mysterious figure who owns a spare parts junkyard in Los Angeles
Samira Wiley and Takako Honda as Alani Davis, a new LAPD officer
• Brian Cox and Takaya Hashi as Niander Wallace Sr., founder and CEO of the Wallace Corporation
• Wes Bentley and Takehito Koyasu as Niander Wallace Jr., a brilliant scientist working for his father
• Josh Duhamel and Taiten Kusunoki as Marlowe, a deadly Blade Runner
• Peyton List and Yoshiko Sakakibara as Josephine Grant, the wife of the police chief
• Stephen Root and Hochu Otsuka as Earl Grant, police chief of the LAPD
• Barkhad Abdi and Takayuki Kinba as Doc Badger, a black market dealer
• Gregg Henry and Masane Tsukayama as Senator Bannister, a politician with strong feelings on replicant production
• Henry Czerny and Akio Nojima as Doctor M, a brilliant doctor and professor of medicine
• Jason Spisak and  Kazuki Yao as Hooper, a journalist in the pocket of the Wallace Corporation.

The series, set in 2032, will debut later this year.


NEW TRAILERS: Succession Season 3: It’s All-Out War in the Roy Family


Succession season 3 will waste no time delving right into the Roy family’s battle for control of their media empire, after Kendall (Jeremy Strong) declared war on his father at the end of last season. Logan’s (Brian Cox) response: He promises to grind Kendall’s bones to make his bread. Fall, when the season will premiere, has never seemed so far away. Also stars Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, Nicholas Braun, Matthew Macfayden, Alan Ruck, J. Smith-Cameron, Hiam Abbass, and new cast members Adrien Brody and Alexander Skarsgård. (HBO)

More trailers and teasers released this week:
The Walking Dead dropped four more teasers in the countdown to the series’ final season, which starts in August: “Survivor,” “Outnumbered,” “Guarded,” and “Threatened.”  (AMC)
• Transformers: War for Cybertron: Kingdom is the third and final chapter of the series as the Autobots and Decepticons have crashed onto Earth and are confronted by two rival Cybertronian factions from a future that their conflict has inadvertently created. Premieres July 29. (Netflix)
• Yellowstone season 4 will return in the fall, with revenge in the air and new cast members Jacki Weaver and Piper Perabo. Stars Kevin Costner. (Paramount Network)
• Masters of the Universe: Revelation, developed by Kevin Smith, is the culmination of the war for Eternia after a cataclysmic battle between He-Man and Skeletor leaves Teela to reunite the broken band of heroes, and solve the mystery of the missing Sword of Power in a race against time to restore Eternia and prevent the end of the universe. Stars Dennis Haysbert, Mark Hamill, Lena Headey, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Stephen Root, Alicia Silverstone, Diedrich Bader, Kevin Conroy, and Kevin Michael Richardson. Premieres July 23. (Netflix)



• American Horror Stories, the American Horror Story anthology spin-off, has added more cast members, including Matt Bomer, Danny Trejo, and celebrity offspring Paris Jackson and Kaia Gerber. Premieres July 15 with back-to-back episodes. (FX on Hulu)
• The L Word: Generation Q returns for season 2 with the aftermath of Sophie’s (Rosanny Zayas) decision at the airport as she, Dani (Arienne Mandi), and Finley (Jacqueline Toboni) are all left to pick up the pieces, while Bette’s (Jennifer Beals) personal and professional pursuits force her to reexamine her roots. Also stars Katherine Moennig. Rosie O’Donnell, Griffin Dunne, Donald Faison, and Vanessa Williams. Premieres Aug. 8. (Showtime)
• McCartney’s 3, 2, 1 is the six-part docuseries in which Paul McCartney sits down for a rare, in-depth, discussion with legendary producer Rick Rubin to discuss his groundbreaking work with The Beatles, the emblematic ’70s arena rock of Wings and his 50 years and counting as a solo artist. Many previously unknown stories will be told, much music will be played and sung. Premieres July 16. (Hulu)
• Star Wars: Visions is the anime series, featuring the work of seven Japanese anime studios, of Star Wars-themed shorts. Premieres Sept. 22. (Disney+)

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CASTING: The Witcher: Blood Origin Casts Michelle Yeoh as Sword-Elf Scian

Michelle Yeoh

(Photo by courtesy of Netflix)

Netflix has announced that Michelle Yeoh (Star Trek: Discovery) has been cast in the role of Scían in The Witcher: Blood Origin, the upcoming six-episode, live action prequel series set 1,200 years before the events of The Witcher. Scían is the last of her nomadic tribe of sword-elves, and when a chance presents itself to retrieve a stolen sacred sword, she launches herself into a deadly quest for it. Blood Origin has also cast Sophia Brown (The Capture) as Éile, an elite warrior who left her clan and position as Queen’s guardian to follow her heart as a nomadic musician, but, after a grand reckoning on the Continent, is forced to return to the way of the blade in her quest for vengeance and redemption.

Kiefer Sutherland will portray President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Showtime’s The First Lady anthology series.

Michael Stuhlbarg, most recently seen in Showtime’s Your Honor, will play accused wife killer Michael Peterson’s defense attorney in the HBO Max limited series inspired by the true crime documentary series The Staircase. Colin Firth plays Peterson, and Toni Collette, Juliette Binoche, Parker Posey, Rosemarie DeWitt, Sophie Turner, Odessa Young, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Dane DeHaan, and Olivia DeJonge co-star. (Deadline) 

Parks and Recreation alum Nick Offerman will channel Tom Hanks as he joins the cast of Amazon Prime’s series adaptation of A League of Their Own. Offerman will play Casey “Dove” Porter, a former baseball pitcher hired to coach the Rockford Peaches women’s team. Why “Dove”? Because during his days as a Cubs pitcher, he threw a ball that killed a dove. The series also stars Melanie Field, D’Arcy Carden, and Abbi Jacobson, who’s also a co-creator on the series, the second TV adaptation of the 1992 movie, after a flopped CBS series that lasted three episodes in 1993.

American Horror Story star Lily Rabe has joined the cast of HBO Max’s Love and Death, the limited series about Texas housewife Candy Montgomery (Elizabeth Olsen), who murdered her friend and romantic rival with an axe. Rabe plays the victim, Betty Gore, while Jesse Plemons plays Gore’s husband, with whom Montgomery was having an affair. (Deadline)

Kyle MacLachlan will play Howard Baskin, husband of big cat lady Carole Baskin (Kate McKinnon) in Peacock’s limited series Joe Exotic. The story focuses on Carole and her war with fellow animal, uh, enthusiast, Joe (John Cameron Mitchell), as told most famously, so far, in Netflix’s pandemic hit Tiger King. Meanwhile, Dennis Quaid had a scheduling conflict that forced him to drop out from his role as producer Rick Kirkham, and Mom alum William Fichtner has taken over. Other cast members include Dean Winters, Brian Van Holt, and Joel Marsh Garland.


Milly Alcock

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images for AFI)

Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon has cast Milly Alcock (pictured) and Emily Carey as the younger versions of the king’s first-born child Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and the daughter of Hand of the King Alicent Hightower, respectively. Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke play the adult versions of the characters.

Comedian Joel Kim Booster (Shrill) will play Nicholas, the loyal assistant of Maya Rudolph’s Molly in her untitled Apple TV+ comedy about a woman (Rudolph), whose world is turned upside down when her husband leaves her with nothing … except 97 million dollars. Pose alum Mj Rodriguez also stars. Booster will also co-star with Saturday Night Live’s Bowen Yang in the Hulu romantic comedy movie Fire Island, a modern take on Pride and Prejudice. The two play BFFs on a week-long vacay to the famous titular summertime destination. (Variety)

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier star Anthony Mackie will host the ESPYs sports awards on ABC on July 10, live from New York City.

Joy Bryant (Parenthood and For Life) and Henry Simmons (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and NYPD Blue) will star in season 2 of Ava DuVernay’s OWN anthology series Cherish the Day. The series chronicles the relationship of one couple, with each episode covering one day in their lives. Season 2 revolves around former basketball star and single dad Ellis (Simmons) and celebrity vegan chef Sunday (Bryant), former high school sweethearts who reconnect years later in New Orleans.

Robin Givens has joined the third season of Batwoman on the CW, where she’ll play Jada Jet, the powerful CEO of Jet Industries. “Jada is a woman with a good heart, but (who) will do whatever it takes to protect her family,” Deadline reports, and that family includes her  “impetuous” son.


PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT: Peacock To Debut Universal Titles No Later Than Four Months After Their 2022 Theatrical Premiere

Jurassic World Dominion first image

(Photo by Universal Pictures)

Streaming service Peacock has signed a multi-year deal with Universal Filmed Entertainment Group that will have Peacock debuting Universal titles exclusively no more than four months after their theatrical releases in 2022. Among the films included on Universal’s 2022 slate: Jurassic World: Dominion, a new movie from Oscar-winner Jordan Peele, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, and Minions: The Rise of Gru. Additionally, beginning in 2022, original films developed and produced exclusively for Peacock by Universal Pictures will also premiere on the service.  (Note: Rotten Tomatoes is a division of NBCUniversal, like Peacock and Universal Filmed Entertainment.) In related news, Prime Video and IMDb TV have signed a multi-year licensing deal with Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. Prime Video will have an exclusive pay-one window for UFEG’s slate of live-action films in the U.S. starting with the 2022 release slate and will also receive rights to a package of UFEG’s library movies. IMDb TV, Amazon’s premium free streaming service, has also secured an exclusive network-window for films from UFEG’s 2020-2021 theatrical slate and rights to a package of animated titles.

Meanwhile, Peacock also announced a new original series, Pride & Prejudice: An Experiment in Romance, a reality dating series obviously inspired by the success of Netflix’s Bridgerton, in which “a heroine looking for her duke” and a group of dudes will be “transported to a Regency-style England” and housed in a castle in the countryside, where “the heroine and suitors will experience that with which dreams are made of. From carriage rides and boat rides on the lake to archery and handwritten letters to communicate, they will be immersed in a time-traveling quest for love. In the end, our heroine and her suitors will discover if the ultimate romantic experience will find them true love.” Wannabe contestants, er, “heroines and suitors,” can apply to be on the series in this lengthy document.

Showtime Networks has extended a deal with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners that will mean additional Amblin films will air across Showtime channels and streaming service. The upcoming Amblin movies included: Spielberg’s untitled film starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen; Distant, starring Anthony Ramos and Naomi Scott; Easter Sunday, starring comedian Jo Koy; and Last Voyage of the Demeter, starring Corey Hawkins.

50 Cent’s G-Unit Film & Television is developing Unrapped, an ABC reality series in which celebrity contestants are coached by iconic hip-hop mentors, and then compete in rap battles until a king or queen is crowned. (Deadline)


Writer/producer Greg Berlanti poses with Founders Award during the 46th International Emmy Awards

(Photo by Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

Greg Berlanti (pictured), who currently has 14 series produced by his company on the air, and Sarah Schechter, Berlanti Productions’ chairperson and partner, have formed Berlanti/Schechter Films, a collaboration that includes a first-look deal for feature films at Netflix. Among Berlanti’s current series include the Netflix drama You, soon to premiere its third season, and the recently concluded Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. (Deadline)

TBS will air Wipeout: The Suicide Squad Special on Aug. 1, with Suicide Squad director James Gunn and cast members  Nathan Fillion, Joel Kinnaman, David Dastmalchian, and Daniela Melchior joining their movie co-star, Wipeout co-host John Cena, in a special episode of the obstacle course series.

CNN’s new eight-episode History of the Sitcom series premieres July 11 with back-to-back episodes “A Family Matter,” which examines how sitcoms have evolved to reflect the changing face of American families, and “Sex & the Sitcom,” exploring the revolution of sex in sitcoms, including the integration of LGBTQ+ storylines in representing a more modern world.

Rupert Murdoch is launching Fox Weather, a 24-hour streaming weather network later this year, while the Weather Channel will also launch a streaming service, Weather Channel Plus. (The New York Times)

Robert and Michelle King (The Good Fight) have signed a new five-year overall producing deal with CBS under their King Size Productions banner, which gives the network exclusive rights to produce content created by the Kings across all platforms.


Comic-Con@Home To Feature The Wheel of Time, The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, Rick and Morty, and More Panels

Rick and Morty season 5

(Photo by Adult Swim)

Comic-Con International: San Diego will once again be virtual, and networks are beginning to announce details of their panels for the July 23-25 Comic-Con at Home. Some early highlights:

AMC: The Walking Dead’s final SDCC panel, moderated by Chris Hardwick, and featuring Scott M. Gimple, showrunner Angela Kang, and cast members Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Khary Payton, Christian Serratos, Josh McDermitt, Eleanor Matsuura, and Michael James Shaw. Hardiwck also hosts the panels for Fear The Walking Dead, with panelists Gimple, showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg, and cast members Lennie James, Alycia Debnam- Carey, Colman Domingo, Danay Garcia, Jenna Elfman, Karen David, Mo Collins, and Christine Evangelista; and The Walking Dead: World Beyond with panelists Gimple, showrunner Matt Negrete, and cast members  Aliyah Royale, Alexa Mansour, Nicolas Cantu, Hal Cumpston,  Nico Tortorella, Annet Mahendru,  Julia Ormond, Jelani Alladin, and Joe Holt. There will also be panels for BBC America’s Doctor Who, with 13th Doctor Jodie Whittaker on the panel; Shudder series V/H/S/94, Horror Noire, Creepshow, and Slasher: Flesh & Blood; and the AMC+ series Ultra City Smiths, with panelists Jimmi Simpson, Debra Winger, and Luiz Guzmán.


Amazon Prime Video and IMDb TV: The Wheel of Time, EVANGELION:3.0+1.01 THRICE UPON A TIME, Leverage: Redemption, and S.O.Z. Soldiers or Zombies, with Noah Wyle among the panelists for Leverage: Redemption.

Paramount+: panels for The Harper House, with panelists Rhea Seehorn and Jason Lee; Stephen Colbert Presents Tooning Out the News; panels for Star Trek animated series Star Trek: Prodigy, which will include voice cast stars Kate Mulgrew and Jason Mantzoukas, and Star Trek: Lower Decks.

HBO Max, Cartoon Network, and Adult Swim: will host panels for Adventure Time: Distant Lands, Looney Tunes Cartoons, the upcoming Yogi Bear ‘toon Jellystone!, and Craig of the Creek. Adult Swim will offer a first look at Blade Runner: Black Lotus during its panel for the series, and also host panels for Rick and Morty, Tuca & Bertie, and Teenage Enthusia.

Netflix: panels for Army of Thieves, Lucifer, The Last Mercenary, Fear Street Trilogy, and Masters of the Universe: Revelation.


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