In today’s edition of TV Bits:
- HBO renews The Righteous Gemstones for season 2
- Christian Slater and Amanda Peet lead Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story
- Milo Ventimiglia will star in USA’s Evel Knievel limited series
- Awkwafina‘s Comedy Central show taps Natasha Lyonne as one of its many female directors
- And more!
The second season of Dirty John won’t be about its namesake con man anymore. The sophomore outing of the true crime anthology series will be changing networks and changing focus to another true tale of love gone wrong with Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story, which centers on the breakdown of a marriage across two decades that ended in double homicide. USA picks up season 2 of Dirty John, which was originally based on the breakout true crime podcast of the same name, but will be shifting gears to become a true crime anthology series about “twisted love,” according to series creator Alexandra Cunningham.
“The first season of ‘Dirty John’ was a story of twisted love and coercive control and both these insidious elements are also present in and integral to the story of Betty Broderick, whom I have wanted to write about since I became a writer.”
Amanda Peet and Christian Slater have been tapped to star in the second season, with Peet playing the titular character, described as a “perfect Southern California blonde wife and mother married to her handsome college boyfriend Dan (Slater).” But after years of sacrifice to support Dan through medical and law school, Betty finally gets to enjoy the fruits of their labors when he becomes a local San Diego legal superstar. Until he hires Linda, a “bright, beautiful young woman with whom he can happily forget the struggles of his past.”
Three weeks after its first season debuted, HBO is renewing its comedy series The Righteous Gemstones for season 2. Created by Danny McBride, the series stars John Goodman, Edi Patterson, and Adam Devine as a world-famous televangelist family with a history of greed and deviance.
“Danny [McBride], Jody [Hill] and David [Gordon Green] are among our favorite collaborators and we’re thrilled that their take on a family comedy has been met with such enthusiasm,” says Amy Gravitt, EVP of HBO Programming. “We cannot wait to share the next steps in the Gemstone family’s epic journey. Hallelujah!”
Say hello to your new Evel Knievel. USA has ordered the limited series Evel, based on the “larger-than-life” story of the titular ’70s daredevil. Milo Ventimiglia (This is Us) has been tapped to play the stunt performer as he prepares for his “greatest death-defying feat,” the legedary Snake River Canyon jump. Written by Etan Frankel (Animal Kingdom), Evel is described as an “exhilarating portrait of a complex man living the American dream, juggling meteoric celebrity and raising a family — and facing the very real probability that his next jump will kill him.”
Natasha Lyonne is one of the many female directors helming Awkwafina‘s new Comedy Central show, Awkwafina is Nora From Queens. The 10-episode scripted series tells the loosely autobiographical of the rapper-turned-actor’s life growing up in, you guessed it, Queens. Comedy Central has announced the episode directors slate which, like the all-women’s writers room that Awkwafina pushed for, is happily female-led. Natasha Lyonne, who created Netflix’s acclaimed Russian Doll, is one of the host of female directors, as well as Jamie Babbit (Silicon Valley), Lucia Aniello (Broad City), and Anu Valia (Lucia, Before and After). Directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan (Swiss Army Man) and Steven Tsuchida (Younger) round out the slate.
Game of Thrones‘ Richard Dormer is trading a flaming sword for a copper shield in BBC America’s Discworld adaptation The Watch. Dormer is leading the cast of the eight-episode fantasy police procedural series based on Sir Terry Pratchett’s beloved Discworld novels. Dormer stars as Sam Vimes, captain of The Watch, a band of misfit cops trying to save their city of Ankh-Morpork, where crime has been legalized, from descending into total anarchy.
Joining Dormer in the cast are Jo Eaton-Kent (The Romanoffs) as non-binary forensics expert Constable Cheery, Adam Hugill (Pennyworth) as idealistic young recruit Constable Carrot, Marama Corlette (Blood Drive) as the mysterious Corporal Angua, Lara Rossi (Robin Hood) as vigilante Lady Sybil Ramkin, and Sam Adewunmi (The Missing) as the vengeful Carcer Dun.
Emmy-winning Orange is the New Black actress Uzo Aduba is signing on for a lead role in the upcoming fourth installment of the FX anthology series Fargo. Aduba will be starring opposite Chris Rock, who is headlining the fourth season, which will be set in 1950 in Kansas City, MO. In Kansas City, which is “at the crossroads and collisions of two migrations,” two criminal syndicates — the Italian led by Donatello Fadda, the African-American led by Loy Cannon (Rock), have struck a temporary peace by trading their two youngest sons.
Here’s all you need to know about BET+, the forthcoming streaming service from Viacom and Tyler Perry. BET is not one to lose out on the mounting streaming platform wars, and is launching its own service: a joint venture with Perry that will officially launch Thursday, Sept. 19 and cost $9.99 per month. The ad-free service will feature more than 1,000 hours of content, including new originals, films, and TV, as well as Perry’s stage plays and acquired content.
Original content includes The First Wives Club, a nine-episode reboot of the 1996 feature from Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip), the Will Packer-produced comedy series Bigger about five thirty-somethings living in Atlanta, and the Paula Patton-starring law drama Sacrifice.
It’s “Elmo’s World,” we’re all just living in it. Fans of the Sesame Street segment featuring the red furry Muppet are in luck: Elmo is getting his own spin-off series for WarnerMedia’s upcoming HBO Max streaming service. A talk show is in development under the title The Not Too Late Show With Elmo, with Benjamin Lehmann, a director and executive producer on Sesame Street, set to direct the pilot and executive produce. Mindy Fila and Stephanie Longardo, who worked as coordinating producers and line producers on Sesame Street, respectively, are also set to executive produce. We’ll find out more about this spin-off when HBO Max launches in 2020.
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