TV News: Weekly Recap (1/4 – 1/10)

Here are the most interesting news items posted on Awards Daily TV in the last week.

In Development

Carnival Row. The Guillermo del Toro film script (with the longer title A Killing on Carnival Row) which has been languishing in development hell for a decade has been rescued by Amazon Studios with an eye toward turning it into a TV series revolving around a detective tracking a serial killer Victorian city populated by humans, elves, faeries and vampires. (Wrap)

Sinatra: All or Nothing at All. HBO and Alex Gibney will celebrate Frank Sinatra‘s 100th birthday with a two night, four-hour documentary focused on his 1971 Los Angeles farewell concert. There will be no talking head interviews, rather the entire thing will be pulled together from performances and archival footage. The Chairman of the Board turns 100 on December 15th so I’m guess the doc will drop sometime in winter? (Deadline)

Roots. History Channel is nearing a greenlight on a remake of the groundbreaking 1977 miniseries based on Alex Haley‘s biographical boo about the slave experience in the United States. Allen Hughes (Menace II Society) is lined up to directed and executive produce. (Deadline)

HBO Montgomery Clift Bio. Matt Bomer (The Normal Heart) will return to HBO as Montgomery Clift in a bio of the late actor from a script rewritten by Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias (Love is Strange). The story traces Clift’s life after the filming of A Place in the Sun when he was involved with Elizabeth Taylor. No director has been attached. (THR)

The Studio. Showtime outbid all suitors with a “script commitment with a hefty penalty attached” (which means if they fail to greenlight the pilot, they’ll have to pay a penalty which is likely higher than the production cost of the pilot itself) for the previously announced George Clooney-produced project, the pilot episode of which will be written by Peter Tolan (Rescue Me) and directed by Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher, Capote). The series will be an hour-long dark comedy about the inner workings of a movie studio in the 1990s. According to the source of this update, “The two men running the show’s central studio are described as best friends who struggle to maintain their humanity while they stockpile power, fight off irrelevance, and mercilessly fuck over anyone who gets in their way — including each other.” (THR)

Park Row. Gail Berman, the ex-entertainment president of FOX is developing a new drama for the network set in the newspaper world of 1890s New York when sensational and exaggerated “yellow journalism” reigned supreme. Based on actual events and moving “from Gilded Age palaces and yachts to filthy streets and dark alleys”, it pits Joseph Pulitzer vs. William Randolph Hearst. (THR)

Star Talk. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (Cosmos) joins the late night fray with a National Geographic Channel show based on his podcast of the same name. He’ll invite celebrities and other scientists to talk about what’s doing in the universe. I can hear you laughing, but I’m sorry this sounds awesome. (Wrap)

Continuing Series

The Simpsons. Lena Dunham will provide a voice in the series’ season 27 premiere “Every Man’s Dream” in which Homer is diagnosed as a narcoleptic. Instead of getting his medication, he buys booze and comes home drunk. He and Marge decide on a trial separation during a visit to a marriage counselor and Homer begins dating Candace, a 20-something voiced by Dunham. (EW)

Returning Series

Fargo. Ted Danson, Patrick Wilson, and Jean Smart have booked series-regular roles on season 2 of the FX Coen knockoff, while Nick Offerman, Brad Garret, Kieran Culkin, Jeffrey Donovan and others have landed recurring roles. Danson will play Sherrif Hank Larsson “an unflappable WWII vet who embodies a certain cowboy poetry, Hank is Lou’s father-in-law.” Wilson will play young Lou Solverson (father of Molly played by Keith Carradine in season one). Jean Smart will play the matriarch of the Gerhardt crime family. “She’s stood by her husband’s side for 40 years, but now that he’s out of the picture she thinks it’s her turn to run things.” (EW)

New Series

American Crime Story. John Travolta returns to television as attorney Robert Shapiro in Ryan Murphy‘s miniseries rehash of the OJ Simpson trial. I don’t know about you, but every fragment of news about this thing just makes me sleepy. Why do we need to pump OJ again? (TVLine)


Bob’s Burgers. Your Burger of the Day is a sixth season of FOX’s Emmy-winning animated comedy (comes with a side of “uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” (EW)

Girls. Even before season 4 airs (1/11), Lena Dunham‘s divisive (but great) comedy-drama has been given a 5th season by HBO. (EW)

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