Casting

Penelope Cruz joins the cast of Ryan Murphy’s future American Crime Story installment dealing with Gianni Versace’s murder. Cruz plays Donatella Versace.

Another limited series, another high-wattage star joins the cast of Versace.

Reports indicate that Oscar-winner Penelope Cruz has been cast as Donatella in Ryan Murphy’s Versace: American Crime Story. Earlier thoughts this year pointed to Lady Gaga taking on the role of the fashion icon, but Murphy himself squashed those rumors in early January.

This marks Cruz’s first major television role, and Muphy has a knack for bringing non-ingenues to the smaller screen. Susan Sarandon throws down with Murphy regular Jessica Lange every week in Feud: Bette and Joan, and Annette Bening will lead in his Katrina-themed season of American Crime Story. Will Emmy and other awards bodies take notice?

Cruz’s casting should have registered on someone’s radar considering how stunning she always appears on the red carpet while wearing Versace.

Cruz joins Edgar Ramirez as slain designer Gianni Versace, and Darren Criss as killer Andrew Cunanan. This third season’s casting is still majorly in development. It’s based on Maureen Orth’s book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History.

HBO’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s ‘Sharp Objects’ casts its second Oscar nominee as Emmy buzz builds. Should we just crown Adams and Clarkson now?

The upcoming HBO adaptation of Sharp Objects cast its second Oscar nominee earlier this week. Patricia Clarkson (next seen in House of Cards Season 5) will join the 8-episode series as Adora Crellin, the queen of the local socialite scene as well as the estranged mother of Amy Adams’ lead character Camille Parker. Adams was cast as the lead in early 2016 and will be performing double duties as star and executive producer.

Gillian Flynn’s debut novel follows Camille Parker, a reporter recently released from a psychiatric hospital. She returns to her hometown to research the murder of two preteen girls. As she covers the murder, Adams’ character begins to put together a psychological puzzle from her past. Flynn has described her debut novel as a thriller with “moist” and “gothic tones.”

Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions, which previously produced the HBO projects The Jinx and The Normal Heart, first optioned the best seller six years ago. Marti Noxon (UnReal) will server as show-runner as well as co-write the series with Flynn. Jean-Marc Vallée (Big Little Lies) will direct all eight episodes.

Since the massive success of 2014’s Gone Girl, audiences have clamored for adaptations of Gillian Flynn’s other novels, and the casting news of Patricia Clarkson only adds to the excitement. Sharp Objects marks the television debut of Amy Adams since becoming a major Hollywood star. As a 5-time Oscar nominee, her rise to Emmy glory seems inevitable. Mixing in a 2-time Emmy winning actress and a director known for his ability to guide actors to award-worthy roles (including the entire cast of Big Little Lies) only adds to growing buzz . With filming reportedly starting this week the only question left to answer is when exactly the show will premiere?

Lady Gaga

RuPaul’s Drag Race unveils the first guest judge for Season 9’s premiere episode. Rally the Monsters, kids. It’s Lady GaGa time!

RuPaul’s Drag Race has served us some amazing guest judges. Vanessa Williams, Bob Mackie, Debbie Reynolds, Lily Tomlin, and Kelly Osbourne all graced the runway. Hell, even Cher’s mother has appeared on the drag queen competition series (AKA the best show ever). RuPaul has never had one of the current gay icons come onto the show…until now.

It was announced on Tuesday that Mother Monster, yes Lady Gaga herself, will serve as the guest judge on Season 9’s first episode. I literally fell out of my chair. First she makes the Super Bowl watchable and now she’s going to join RuPaul in judging these bitches??? If I were them, I’d be shaking in my stilettos.

Wouldn’t be be great if she walked through the Werk Room doors as a contestant and she fooled everyone?

Drag Race Season 9

Joey Moser looks at the unveiled contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Drag Race Season 9 premieres March on Logo.

Our Drag Race Mother has delivered…again.

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season 2 just ended in October, but we already have another batch of queens ready to fight it out for Drag Race Season 9 of the now Emmy Award-winning reality show. We don’t even have time to shop for a new lace front! There is one rule when watching these first glimpses: never judge a queen by her Meet the Queens video! Don’t be shady, be a lady.

There will be 13 queens this season, and there are some babies in this bunch! We also get a semi-British import from the show’s oldest ever contestant, Charlie Hides.

With all the bright colors and energy, it’s clear that they are keeping it light and bright this year. Ru even says at the end of the promo that this is the show we need right now. Amen! It looks like a CoverGirl advertisement with spokesqueens that actually want to be there.

Gawk at all the new queens from this season and let us know who you are rooting for this year, and then check out the first teaser for the season.

Valentina

Absolutely love her. Big hair and a big heart? I’m digging her 60’s Raquel Welch vibe she’s giving out in this video. Guido Contini would try to sleep with her.

Aja

Sorry, Aja, but I’m not a fan of this. Give us something!

Kimora Black

Confidence is key in a competition like this, sure, but maybe Miss Kimora Blac should serve a tinge of humility? And, yes, she is hot as a boy. The thirst is going to be major when the queens see him in the Werk Room for the first time. Brace yourselves.

Jaymes Manfield

First of all, I love her name. Secondly (and more importantly), she isn’t hiding that she is hungry for it. I can’t wait to see her on Snatch Game.

Charlie Hides

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Charlie Hides?

Farrah Moan

I love how up front she is about her personal preferences (Farrah Moan is an awesome name), but that might put some people off. She’s got a kewpie doll face with a sexually forward attitude. Intrigued about this one.

Eureka O’Hara

YAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

Nina Bo’nina Brown

Dig the name. Dig the commitment. I love a lot about this. Check out some of her other pictures, however, and chunky makeup is the only thing I can see. Says the guy who has never applied anything to his face, so I should probably shut the hell up.

Sasha Velour

I wrote Sasha Velour off just from one picture, but look at those eyebrows. She’s going to be fun. Plus, she knows her stuff.

Alexis Michelle

Classy and sassy? I’m listening…

Alexis Michelle may sound like a generic name (what’s in name…?), but she doesn’t seem like she’s going to be shaken by anyone anytime soon. The last time a helpful queen was vocal about being secure about herself, it was Bianca Del Rio. And we all know how that turned out.

Shea Couleé

Am I the only one distracted by her bedazzled headpiece?

Peppermint

What a warm presence Miss Peppermint exudes! Is she tough enough to survive the competition? Points for her Endora drag in this vid.

Trinity Taylor

The color is nice, but that’s all I got. Blue blue blue. Who is Trinity Taylor again?

Season 9 Full Promo

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 9 will premiere in March on LOGO.

American Crime Story Season 3

Ryan Murphy announces the topic for American Crime Story Season 3 – Gianni Versace

We haven’t even seen anything from the second season of Ryan Murphy’s phenomenon American Crime Story, but it was confirmed on Tuesday that American Crime Story Season 3 will revolve around the murder of fashion mogul Gianni Versace. In 1997, the icon was gunned down outside his Miami Beach home by serial killer Andrew Cunanan, and the entire chronicle became loud tabloid fodder.

Will there be a John Travolta sized star trying to make a comeback in this lurid tale of bloodshed and glitter? Will Murphy be able to succeed with another mid-90’s media sensation story? Who is going to star in this thing? Here are 3 casting choices that should make his job a little bit easier.

cunanan

When information started coming out about Andrew Cunanan, he was often described as a charismatic and charming individual. How to Get Away with Murder‘s Conrad Ricamora is definitely a fan favorite, but he’s unknown enough to carry the right mixture of menace and mystery. I have never been more dead set on a casting decision before. Don’t let me down, Ryan Murphy!

versace

Murphy is probably going to get Antonio Banderas to play Gianni Versace, but I have something totally bonkers for him to consider. Anyone remember Just Shoot Me? Anyone? You in the back! Doesn’t Enrico Colantoni look a LOT like Versace? Sure, he’s not a tested dramatic actor, but look at that resemblance! It would at least be a way to make David Spade pissed. Plus, Colantoni did get a chance to play Versace in 2013’s House of Versace, but the least we say about that the better off we are. Murphy’s series would be Colantoni’s vindication, let’s just say that.

elton

Tom Hardy was set to play Elton John already in Rocketman, but it seems that the project fell through. The picture of John weeping at Versace’s funeral is one of the most publicized picture of the entire saga.

versace

I mean…this is going to happen, right? Lady Gaga is friends with Donatella Versace, and she’s besties with Ryan Murphy. I would put money on this. I would also accept Maya Rudolph or Sharon Stone.

Who do you think should be cast in American Crime Story Season 3? Sound off in the comments!

Stranger Things

More Stranger Things on the horizon at Netflix

Netflix officially announced a Stranger Things Season 2 today, according to multiple news outlets. The news comes as a special gift to fans of the smash streaming hit as Stranger Things reportedly ranks as one of Netflix’s highest rated series. Season 2 will see the return of leads Winona Ryder as well as the lovable, rag-tag bunch of kids from the freshman season. Eleven’s return is less certain, of course, but we will return to the Upside Down. For more information on Stranger Things Season 2, head on over to Entertainment Weekly who interviewed the Duffer Brothers after the renewal announcement.

Here’s a first look at Scream Queens Season 2

Fox’s Scream Queens remains an AwardsDaily TV obsession. Season 1 enthralled us for about six episodes until the season completely collapsed. Plus, we’d always hoped for a now-patent Scream Queens anthology series, but, against our wishes, Mr. Murphy continues the series. Scream Queens Season 2 apparently takes place in a hospital a la Halloween 2. Here’s a look at the season straight from the mouths of its tortured cast. They tease a “funnier, scarier” Season 2. Which is it, folks?

 

Game of Thrones casting news

Multiple outlets report today that HBO’s Game of Thrones offered a “major” Season 7 role to Jim Broadbent (IrisMoulin Rouge!). Of course, since the show now surpasses the novels’ timeline, there are no clues as to Broadbent’s identity. The casting feels right as Broadbent often plays left-of-center characters. HBO’s Game of Thrones currently holds 23 Emmy nominations going into September’s Emmy fiesta. Season 7 returns next summer outside of the 2017 Emmy eligibility window, and Season 8 will serve as the last regular season of the series.

Rihanna

A&E’s Bates Motel officially announces its series end… and the arrival of Rihanna

The Bates Motel crew hit Comic-Con today and made a handful of announcements. First, A&E confirmed that the critically acclaimed series would end with 2017’s Season 5. That’s not really news to those of us at AwardsDaily TV – series creator/writer Kerry Ehrin told us back in May this Season 5 marks the final season. As we also expected, Season 5 will provide a spin on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho. What we didn’t know, however, was that pop star Rihanna will be playing the infamous Marion Crane.

Taking over the role originated by the Oscar-nominated Janet Leigh, Rihanna will join the crew as the doomed Crane. There is no information as to how closely the season will adhere to the original material. Ehrin told AwardsDaily TV in May that “We are definitely taking a drive through Psycho and its events. It isn’t the whole season, but it weaves in with the story we are telling.” Here’s hoping the role of Crane will be limited in nature as Rihanna is, to politely put it, a relatively untested actress. It’s a shame to see her get the role as I’d secretly hoped the great Anna Camp would take a turn in the shower. Still, Ehrin and Carlton Cuse have yet to steer us wrong.

In other news, Nestor Carbonell (Sheriff Romero), Freddie Highmore (Norman Bates), and Max Thieriot (Dylan) will all direct episodes of the drama. Bates Motel will return to A&E for its final season in 2017.

Carrie Coon

All news relating to the new third season of FX’s small town gritty satire / drama Fargo gets a very warm welcome if you’re a fan. Given its format to refresh the narrative and cast with each season, we keenly anticipate where the next crime caper will take us and who will be cast in Fargo season three.

After impressively displaying her acting chops already in the dark and the strange, firstly as Ben Affleck’s protective sister in David Fincher’s Gone Girl, then as grieving mother and wife in HBO’s The Leftovers, Carrie Coon now joins Fargo season three as the female lead. Coon, who recently won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series for The Leftovers, will play Gloria Burgle, the chief of police in Edna Valley. Valley, a recently divorced mother, has a hard time coming to terms with the fast-evolving world around her and is something of a technophobe.

This great news comes on the back of Ewan McGregor signing up to the third season. McGregor will portray twin brothers, Emmit and Ray Stussy – one rather successful and confident, the other not so much. Sounds like a familiar, but compelling, dynamic.

Both Coon and McGregor appear to be inspired casting choices for such a diverse, quirky, and haunting TV show. Their faces fit the formula. Look at their back catalogue of acting work and tell me the proof is not in the pudding. Stepping into the shoes of previous lucrative stars Kirsten Dunst, Ted Danson, Billy Bob Thornton, etc, shouldn’t be a problem.

Fargo season three commences shooting at the back end of this year, and new episodes will air sometime in 2017 on FX.

maddie bailio

The great Hairspray search is over. Meet Maddie Bailio.

When NBC announced that they were looking for an unknown to play the perky Tracy Turnblad for their live presentation of Hairspray, girls came out in droves to the casting call in New York City. Maddie Baillio won the coveted role of Tracy Turnblad, and she joins a cast that includes Harvey Fierstein as her mother, Edna, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short, and Derek Hough. More supporting players have yet to be announced.

Last year’s The Wiz Live made a star out of Shanice Williams who was plucked out of obscurity to play Dorothy, and she her wide eyed wonder is one of the reasons why that musical was so good. Watching Baillio’s reaction to winning the part is just as adorable. That genuine loveliness is something that makes us want to see how she is going to do in the role. She seems perfect.

NBC’s Hairspray Live!, starring Maddie Bailio will air on December 7, 2016

Hairspray cast

Welcome to the 60’s, Harvey and Jennifer!

The first Hairspray cast notices for NBC’s live presentation of the Broadway musical have been announced. Harvey Fierstein will return to his Tony Award-winning role as the Turblad matriarch, Edna. Fierstein is a Broadway legend, and it’s fantastic that they didn’t cast a huge Hollywood name that doesn’t have much experience on the stage. I’m sure we all remember the mixed reception to John Travolta’s take on the role when the film adaptation arrived in 2007.

Speaking of veterans, Jennifer Hudson will follow up her Broadway debut (in the hugely acclaimed revival of The Color Purple) with a supporting turn as Motormouth Maybelle, the record store owner and television personality that befriends our hero Tracy Turnblad. Maybelle’s power ballad in the second act, “I Know Where I’ve Been,” will surely be a highlight. They had an open call in New York City to find the new Tracy Turnblad, so expect the newcomer to be surrounded by a slew of veterans.

Stay tuned for more Hairspray cast announcements as they come out!

Update: NBC announced additional cast members. Martin Short will play Wilbur, husband to Fierstein’s Edna Turnblad. Dancing with the Stars vet Derek Hough will play Corny Collins, host of Baltimore’s local TV program “The Corny Collins Show.”

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