TV News: NBC’s Epic Underground Railroad Miniseries, Gary Senise’s Criminal Mind, ‘Heroes’ For One More Day


Heroes Reborn. Zachary Levi (Chuck) will headline the rebooted NBC series Heroes. He will be joined by Jack Coleman who starred in the original series. The long-gestating series will run 13 episodes, and no premiere date has been announced. (TV Line)

Continuing Shows

Once Upon a Time. Patrick Fischler (Mad Men, Mulholland Dr.) will appear in multiple episodes of ABC’s fantasy drama, in both fairytale land and Storybrook, as a “well-intentioned but…quick-witted, arrogant [peddlar] with reckless impulses.” (TV Line)

In Development

Freedom Run. NBC is turning Pulitzer Prize finalist Betty DeRamus‘ 2004 novel Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories From the Underground Railroad into an 8-hour miniseries executive produced by Stevie Wonder. The novel tells love stories (based on actual people) of couples – slave, free, black and white – who fled slavery in the South along the Underground Railroad. the miniseries will tell three of those stories. (Press Release)

Criminal Minds Spinoff. Gary Senise (CSI: NY, Apollo 13) will lead the CBS spinoff of its popular crime drama. As previously noted, this one will center around a special FBI unit dedicated to getting US citizens out of trouble overseas. The new series will be planted in an episode of the main show this spring. (TVLine)

Dolly Parton. NBC is developing a series of TV movies to be produced by the country music legend. According to the press release, they’ll be “based on the songs, stories, and inspiring life of Dolly Parton.”

The Wiz. NBC has announced acquisition of the rights to The Wiz as another live musical adaptation from the producing team of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Peter Pan Live!, Chicago). December’s Peter Pan Live! production debuted to roughly half the viewers as 2013’s The Sound of Music Live!, but NBC’s expectations weren’t as high and match or beat their traditional ratings for the evening. The Wiz will join the previously announced Music Man Live! production, but it is not yet clear which will come first. (Deadline)

Telenovela. NBC has placed a 13-episode order for an Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) comedy from a concept largely attributed to Longoria. She will produce and star in the series, her first significant post-Desperate Housewives role. (Deadline)

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