A roundup of news Tuesday from the Television Critics Association summer meeting, at which TV networks and streaming services are presenting details on upcoming programs:
MORE `TWIN PEAKS’ MYSTERY
Mystery continues to surround Showtime’s revival of ”Twin Peaks.”
A few things seem certain: The much-anticipated reboot of the eerie 1990-91 ABC thriller will in fact be coming to Showtime, with both original co-creators, David Lynch and Mark Frost, onboard, despite Lynch’s tweet in April that he was exiting the project.
Lynch and Frost are indeed writing the new series, with Lynch slated to direct all the episodes, as previously announced.
And shooting will begin next month, Showtime Networks President David Nevins said.
”I never had any doubt we would bring him back,” Nevins said regarding the network’s temporary rift with Lynch.
One hitch, said Nevins, had been Lynch’s contention that the series called for more than its originally planned nine episodes. There now will be more than nine, Nevins confirmed. How many more? He didn’t say.
Nor was he forthcoming about the cast.
”There will be many of the people you expect, and other surprises,” he teased.
One other mystery: No airdate has yet been announced.
But other things were more explicit in the session. Showtime announced a pair of hour-long pilots: a Chicago-set drama from actor-rapper Common and ”I’m Dying Up Here,” a dark comedy set in the 1970s standup scene in Los Angeles produced by Jim Carrey.
The network also announced a miniseries based on the Patti Smith memoir, ”Just Kids.”
BRITNEY SPEARS, FAN
Britney Spears is getting ready to meet ”Jane the Virgin.”
The pop singer will guest star in an upcoming episode of the Golden Globe-nominated series, the CW network said.
The opportunity came about after ”Jane’s” executive producer, Jennie Snyder Urman, heard Spears was a big fan of the show.
Spears will play herself, who happens to be Jaime Camil’s character, Rogelio de la Vega’s, nemesis.
She will appear on the fifth episode of the second season which premieres Oct. 12 at 9 p.m. EDT on The CW.
`HOMELAND’ TAKES ON HEADLINES
When ”Homeland” returns for its fifth season Oct. 4 at 9 p.m. EDT on Showtime, it will face the threat of Muslim extremist group ISIS and the Charlie Hebdo massacre, its president, David Nevins, announced.
”It deals with ISIS,” Nevins said. ”I feel like this story is a very fresh story. Its themes, I think, will resonate with people. Charlie Hebdo. (Edward) Snowden. There’s interesting elements to this season, and it brings a lot of things together. And as long as they keep it fresh, it’s a show that’s never the same season after season, and those kinds of shows are the shows that can run.”
Season five picks up two years from the finale. Claire Danes’ Carrie Mathison has left the CIA and is in Berlin, where privacy laws are very strict.
”The first episode’s going to really deal with Russia, being right next to Russia, what’s Putin up to? What’s going on with this tricky relationship there?” Nevins said.
Don’t expect to boo the scheming hedge-fund king in Showtime’s new drama series ”Billions.”
Andrew Ross Sorkin, a financial journalist and author (”Too Big to Fail”), said that he’s aware of the negative perceptions surrounding high-flying moneymakers.
”I cover this world,” and getting to know its inhabitants shows them to be layered and complex, said Sorkin, a producer of the series that debuts Jan. 17.
They are competing as much for power and pride as the billions of dollars at stake, he said, adding, ”the money piece of it is really just the scorecard.”
Damian Lewis plays fund manager Bobby Axelrod opposite Paul Giamatti’s federal prosecutor Chuck Rhodes. The cast also includes Malin Akerman, David Costabile, Condola Rashad, Maggie Siff and Toby Leonard Moore.
Might viewers end up rooting for Axelrod, as they did for meth-maker Walter White in ”Breaking Bad,” a reporter asked the cast and producers and creators Sorkin, Brian Koppelman and David Levien.
”We’re not moralizing,” said Koppelman.
”Stay more open-minded, dude,” Lewis advised the questioner.
The British-born actor played another powerful figure, King Henry VIII, in ”Wolf Hall,” and acknowledged parallels between the two. But Axelrod was not born to wealth and influence in New York.
”Bobby is a blue-collar guy, nouveau riche, new money,” living by street rules that mean those who fail to demonstrate loyalty are ”ruthlessly dispatched,” Lewis said.
POINTS OF VIEW
Season two of Showtime’s Golden Globe-winning drama ”The Affair,” premiering Sunday, Oct. 4 at 10 p.m., will depict not just two points of view but four.
The show follows Dominic West and Ruth Wilson as Noah and Alison, who begin an affair while married to other people, Helen and Cole (played by Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson.)
Season one shifted back and forth between Noah and Alison’s perspectives but season two, which shows the fallout of the affair, will introduce their spouses’ versions as well.
Creator Sarah Treem said that each episode ”is still going to be two perspectives. The question is whose two perspectives?”
If viewers get confused by the differing versions, Treem says that’s the point.
”We’re not doing it to make sure that everybody understands it perfectly,” said Treem. ”The POVs are integral to the show. Neither side is right, neither side is wrong, but in the conversation between the two lies the truth.”
Jackson said even the actors get confused with the material.
”It puts the audience and frankly us actors in a crazy space all the time,” he said. ”We grapple with this literally every single day.”
Showtime also announced Tuesday that it has picked up ”The Affair” for a third season.
ENOUGH DC COMICS
Newcomer TV series ”Supergirl” landed not at CW, home to fellow DC Comics series ”Arrow” and ”The Flash,” but at CBS.
Why? Precisely because CW already has those two shows and is adding ”DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” at midseason, network president Mark Pedowitz said.
”I am still broadcasting. There is still a belief there’s more there,” Pedowitz said. He cited ”Jane the Virgin,” the Golden Globe- and Peabody Award-winning sitcom, as the kind of variety he’s seeking.
Another example is freshman ”Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” a musical comedy series about a successful young attorney (Rachel Bloom, ”Robot Chicken”) who leaves New York to pursue love in the California suburb of West Covina. The show, with several theater veterans in its cast, debuts Oct. 12.
In the case of ”Supergirl,” Pedowitz said that Warner Bros. studio had approached the network and then moved on when it was declined.
”I hope it’s a great success at CBS,” Pedowitz said. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp.
Asked whether there would be crossover episodes involving ”Supergirl” and his DC Comics shows, Pedowitz said he was open to the idea but had no intention of overriding Greg Berlanti, executive producer of CW’s series trio.
At a Television Critics Association session Monday, Berlanti said none is planned.
CONSTANTINE IS BACK
Matt Ryan is resuming his role on the short-lived NBC series ”Constantine,” for an upcoming episode of ”Arrow,” the CW network said.
Both series are a part of the DC Comics universe and were produced by Warner Bros. Television.
”Arrow” stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, who moonlights as a hooded hero who uses a bow and arrow to protect his city from villains.
Ryan plays John Constantine a former con man-turned supernatural detective.
A release from The CW said Constantine will ”provide critical support to Oliver when arrows aren’t enough.”
”Arrow” returns for its fourth season on The CW on Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. EDT.
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