What’s going on in the TV world?
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) January 3, 2018
A crossover event is on the horizon and it isn’t another one from The CW. This time Shondaland shows Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder will be crossing over after four years. Scandal’s Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and Murder‘s Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) will be guest starring on each other’s shows. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Scandal episode was written by Raamla Mohamed and directed by star Tony Goldwyn who plays Fitz on the show. The Murder episode was written by Morenike Balogun and Sarah L. Thompson and directed by Zetna Fuentes. An air date hasn’t been announced yet but Shonda tweeted out a picture of the script. It’s worth noting this is Scandal‘s final season, so this may be the only time this happens, unless Olivia appears on Murder after her show is over.
FX has just announced the premiere date of Atlanta. The second season entitled “Atlanta Robbin’ Season,” will premiere Thursday, March 1 at 10 pm. According to Variety, in “Atlanta Robbin’ Season,” two cousins (Donald Glover and Brian Tyree Henry) work through the Atlanta music scene in order to better their lives and the lives of their families. Donald Glover serves as executive producer, along with Paul Simms, Dianne McGunigle, and Stephen Glover. The critically acclaimed first season of Atlanta, which hails from FX Productions, won Emmy Awards for best comedy and best lead actor, two Golden Globes, among other major kudos. The season takes place during Christmas time. “Basically a bunch of crime happens in the city during that time. People just have more stuff and money, so it’s just the time where robberies go up,” Stephen Glover said about where Robbin’ Season came from. “It’s a very tense and desperate time, so we wanted to make that a backdrop to the season, and our characters are going through the same desperate transition from their old lives to where they are now.” As for the inspiration for season two, Donald Glover talked about it at the Television Critics Association’s press tour: “We talked a lot about ‘How I Spent My Summer Vacation,’ the Tiny Toons, which was a show we all really liked. That was the inspiration for season 2.”
The CW has really ramped up their promotion of Black Lightning in preparation for the premiere in two weeks. This week they dropped a new trailer. In addition to the usual super heroics, this trailer focuses on the family aspect of the show. The trailer is a mix of happy scenes between Jefferson Pierce aka Black Lightning and his daughters and scenes of them fighting. Black Lightning premieres on January 16. Also, check out the first image of Anissa Pierce (Nafessa Williams) suited up as Thunder.
X-Files star Gillian Anderson hinted at the possibility quitting the show at last year’s New York Comic Con. It seemed that Anderson hadn’t shared her plans with the network so the story gained little traction. Fox definitely hasn’t been promoting this season as Anderson’s last. Now she’s reiterated her desire to not return after season 11. In a Reddit AMA, show creator Chris Carter addressed the possibility of her leaving: “For me, the show has always been Mulder and Scully. So the idea of doing the show without her isn’t something I’ve ever had to consider.” Though no plans for a season 12 have been announced, Chris Carter has indicated that he wants to make more seasons. How this news will affect that is up in the air. Anderson has already decided to exit Starz’ American Gods in the wake of the show runner shake-up, in which Michael Green and Bryan Fuller departed the series based on the Neil Gaiman book series of the same name.
Last year Mahershala Ali was cast in the upcoming season of HBO’s True Detective. Now we know who will be playing his partner. Blade‘s Stephen Dorff was just cast in the role. He will be playing an Arkansas State Investigator named Roland West against Ali’s Wayne Hays. Set in the the Ozarks, this season is being described as a “macabre crime… and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.” The series will also star Selma‘s Carmen Ejogo as an Arkansas schoolteacher named Amelia Reardon with a connection to two missing children.
Good news for She’s Gotta Have It fans. Netflix has just renewed the series based on Spike Lee’s 1986 movie. Lee made the announcement on New Year’s day during an Instagram video. Season 1 of She’s Gotta Have It premiered on Nov. 23 with 10 episodes directed by Lee. DeWanda Wise stars as Nola Darling, an artist living in Brooklyn while trying to juggle her relationships with three men and one woman. You can read our coverage on it here. BGN also attended the world premiere.
In other renewal news, Fox’s The Gifted has been renewed for another season. The show takes place in the X-Men universe. After discovering their children are mutants, a family goes on the run from the government. They find shelter with an underground network of mutants. The show stars Stephen Moyer, Amy Acker, Natalie Alyn Lind, Percy Hynes White, Sean Teale, Jamie Chung, Emma Dumont, Blair Redford, and Coby Bell. You can read our coverage on the show here.
Sadly, we have to say goodbye to ABC’s The Mayor. The series starred Brandon Micheal Hall as a rapper who became the mayor of his hometown after running for publicity for his music career. Yvette Nicole Brown and Lea Michele were also part of the series. It premiered back in October and only aired seven of its thirteen episodes. ABC has replaced it with reruns of Modern Family. According to The Hollywood Reporter, ABC Studios will shop the freshman comedy elsewhere.
Octavia Spencer will be starring the thriller drama Are You Sleeping. The show is one of many that Apple has in the works for their streaming service. It’s being produced under Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine banner. Octavia Spencer will also serve as executive producer.
Black-ish creator Kenya Barris said a meme sparked the idea of her spinoff to the show, Grown-ish. Barris told Variety, “I saw a meme one day and it said, ‘Where would Zoey go to college?’ I was like, ‘This is a f—ing show.’ That was my lightbulb moment.” Grown-ish stars Yara Shahidi as the Johnsons’ eldest daughter as she navigates college and being away from home for the first time. The show promises to tackle contemporary issues affecting college students. “We wanted to make sure we gave as honest an experience of what this walk is as possible. This is a generation with a lot to say,” Barris said. Grown-ish airs on Freeform every Wednesday. You can check out our review of it here.
An Animaniacs reboot is in the works over at Hulu. In a partnership with Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation, Hulu plans on bringing the show to their streaming service in 2020. Steven Spielberg will return as executive producer. The new Animaniacs has received a two-season straight to series order. Another deal with Warner Bros. ensures that Hulu will be the exclusive streaming service of the original Animaniacs as well as all of Pinky and the Brain, Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain and Tiny Toon Adventures.
Finally, Netflix has found the lead for its series based on the Archie comic The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka will play Sabrina. The character is described as “an empowered young woman, half-human, half-witch, Sabrina is just beginning her dark education as a sorceress, even as she tries to maintain a normal life as a sophomore at Baxter High. Intelligent, compassionate and brave to the point of recklessness, Sabrina is all that stands between us and the forces of darkness that threaten our world.”
In Movie News…
DeWanda Wise, star of Netflix’s She’s Gotta Have It, was just cast in a major role in Marvel’s Captain Marvel movie. Brie Larson stars as the titular character with Jude Law as her mentor and Ben Mendelsohn as the villain. Samuel L. Jackson will reprise his role as Nick Fury. The film is set in the 1990s and will be directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Who Wise will play is still a mystery but there’s already fan speculation that she will be Monica Rambeau. Check out our coverage of it here.
To celebrate the New Year, Disney released a new TV spot and three new motion posters for A Wrinkle in Time. The adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s popular young adult novel is being directed by Ava DuVernay. The movie stars Storm Reid as the young heroine Meg Murry. The three motion posters feature the supernatural beings that help guide Meg on her journey: Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which, Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit, and Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who.
In a new Black Panther featurette, Kevin Feige, Stan Lee, Chadwick Boseman and Ryan Coogler discuss the comic book origins of the character as well as his introduction in Captain America: Civil War. They also go into what makes the character so special.
You can’t talk about the Black Panther trailers without also talking about the excellent use of music in them. Now the soundtrack is going to get some all-star backing. Kendrick Lamar and Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith will produce Black Panther: The Album. They will curate a list of songs inspired by the film. Kicking it off is “All The Stars,” a duet by SZA and Lamar. “I am honored to be working with such an incredible artist whose work has been so inspirational, and whose artistic themes align with those we explore in the film. I can’t wait for the world to hear what Kendrick and TDE have in store,” said director Ryan Coogler. Check out the single below:
Lakeith Stanfield, star of FX’s Atlanta, has just joined the cast of Sony’s The Girl in the Spider’s Web. The film is an adaptation of the Swedish novel. It’s part of the Millenium series that began with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The Crown’s Claire Foy will star as Lisbeth Salander with Sylvia Hoeks (Blade Runner 2049) as Salander’s twin sister and Claes Bang (The Square) as the villain. Stanfield’s role is unknown so far. He also has two movies premiering at Sundance this month: Sorry to Bother You and Come Sunday.
Netflix has released a trailer for their new comedy Step Sisters. Megalyn Echikunwoke, from The CW’s Vixen, stars as Jamilah Bishop, a college student on her way to Harvard Law School and captain of a step dance crew. In the film, she’s forced to teach a white sorority to step by the school’s dean. She gets caught between loyalty to her own sorority and the new one. The film also stars Matt McGorry, Naturi Naughton, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Marque Richardson, Eden Sher, Lyndon Smith, Gage Golightly, Nia Jervier and Alessandra Torresani. Master of None’s Lena Waithe is a producer along with Straight Outta Compton‘s Matt Alvarez. The film was directed by Charles Stone III. It will stream on Netflix starting January 19.
Despite the split fan reaction, Star Wars: The Last Jedi earned $1 billion dollars as of the end of last year, becoming the top-grossing film of 2017. It is also the seventh highest-grossing domestic movie of all time with $517.1 million. According to Box Office Mojo, the top 3 grossing films of 2017 were Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Beauty and the Beast, and Wonder Woman. All three movies were fronted by women. It directly goes against Hollywood’s long-held belief that female-led films don’t sell. Let’s hope this opens up some eyes and some pocketbooks for more female-led (and female-directed) films in the future. It needs to be said though that all of these movies star white, cis, heterosexual women. We need to see women and femmes of all types get more shine.
Speaking of Star Wars, veteran composer John Williams is making a quick return to the franchise. Williams has composed the score for all eight main Star Wars films. Michael Giacchino wrote the score for Rogue One. Williams will be writing the theme to Solo: A Star Wars Story. “The present plan is that I’m writing a theme for Han Solo, and John Powell is going to write the score, which he’ll do brilliantly,” Williams said during an interview with Variety. For more information on Solo: A Star Wars Story, you can check out our coverage here. Entertainment Weekly has also gathered all of the on-set photographs director Ron Howard has released.
Finally, in other news…
Marvel is releasing a new Black Panther comic. Rise of the Black Panther will serve as an origin story for T’Challa, beginning by telling the story of his parents.The six-issue series is written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Evan Narcisse with art by Paul Renaud and a cover by Brian Stelfreeze. The first issue is told through the journal entries of N’Yami who is the chief scientist of Wakanda. The issue delves into her courtship with T’Chaka and the eventual birth of T’Challa. Longtime Black Panther villain Ulysses Klaw makes an appearance as does Howard Stark and Captain America. The first issue was released on January 3. Marvel will also be releasing a free sampler comic entitled “Black Panther — Start Here” prior to the film being released. The issue will contain excerpts from Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run on Black Panther as well as the spin-offs World of Wakanda and Black Panther and The Crew.
If you have anything I missed, email me at email@example.com or tweet me at @jane_anon. Check back in next Monday for all the exciting news happening next week.