Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
At today’s TCA panel on Weeds, creator-executive producer Jenji Kohan and cast members (Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish, Alexander Gould, Kevin Nealon and Justin Kirk) were unwilling to reveal any details about how the show’s final season will unfold.
“We’re shooting the finale right now, I hope it works,” Kohan said. Parker said she cried when she read the script.
Kohan did say there’s an advantage to knowing this is the show’s final season: “We knew it would be the end just before the season started,” she said. “I was very sad about that, it’s been great. It’s hard to let go of a good thing.”
Added Kohan, “Once we got the news, I thought, oh shit, so many times we’ve written our (season) ending not knowing what is coming next.” This time, she said the finale will not end with a cliffhanger and that “ultimately, it’s a show about family.” Read More »
Daniele Watts (Cold Case, Criminal Minds) has landed a role on Showtime’s Weeds for the final season. Watts plays the quirky, alluring and mischievous Angela Mullen, the first recurring love interest for Shane Botwin (Alexander Gould). Shane meets Angela, a fellow police recruit, at the academy. Watt’s first episode aired July 8 with seven more to come.
Ty Olsson has landed a recurring role on The CW’s Supernatural for the upcoming 8th season. Olsson plays Benny, a darkly handsome survivor with a tell-it-to-you-straight sense of honor. Details of the arc are being kept under wraps. Olsson (ABC’s Men In Trees) is repped by Russ Mortensen at Pacific Artists and ROAR. Supernatural premieres on October 3.
Cedric Stewart (Tyler Perry’s For Better Or Worse) has joined the cast of Alan Ball’s new drama Banshee. The plot revolves around Lucas Hood (Anthony Starr) a criminal who steps into the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, Penn., where he’s hunted by gangsters he crossed in the past. Stewart plays Damien Sanchez, a pro MMA fighter who comes to town for his big fight. Ball (True Blood) will executive produce with House’s Greg Yaitanes, Peter Macdissi (Six Feet Under), Jonathan Tropper and David Schicker. Tropper and Schicker also will pen the drama, which is scheduled to premiere in January 2013.
Beginning today, HBO is making the first episode of Aaron Sorkin’s new drama The Newsroom, which premiered on the pay cable network last night, available free to any viewers — including non-subscribers. It is going live on HBO.com, YouTube, DailyMotion, TV.com and multiple distributors’ free On Demand platforms. The episode will also be available as a free podcast on iTunes during the sampling period. FYI, ratings for the Newsroom premiere will be available in about an hour. (UPDATE: The ratings are in: the series debut attracted 2.1 million viewers in its first airing and 2.7 million overall.)
Meanwhile, Showtime is putting the final-season premiere of Weeds and the second-season opener of Episodes on Facebook one week before their July 1 debut on the network. To boost sampling of the Matt Leblanc comedy Episodes, those who watch the show’s Season 2 premiere will be able to “unlock” the first episode of Weeds‘ eighth season. The Episodes opener also will be available on other platforms.
UPDATED: We’ve been referring to the upcoming eighth season as “likely” the show’s last ever since the show’s renewal last November. Now likely has become definitely. Showtime has confirmed that Weeds will end its run after this summer’s eighth season. “Weeds has been a seminal series for Showtime and was key in establishing the network as a home for great original programming,” said Showtime’s entertainment president David Nevins. “It was very important to us that we bring the story of Nancy Botwin and her family to a satisfying conclusion for the devoted fans who have spent years following these characters.” The final 13 episodes of Weeds, which will begin airing July 1, will include the series’ 100th episode, a rare feat for a pay cable network show.
Many key Weeds players have moved on. Justin Kirk and Kevin Nealon this spring only made deals for one last season on Weeds after landing broadcast pilot leads in first position. Kirk’s project, Animal Hospital, was picked up to series at NBC to launch this fall. Weeds creator Jenji Kohan too has a new series in the works at Netflix, Orange Is The New Black. Weeds, starring Mary-Louise Parker, helped put Showtime on the map. The network has plenty of half-hour building blocks at its disposal for the next year. Since picking up the show for Season 8, Showtime has renewed several comedy series – Californication, House Of Lies and Nurse Jackie – with a decision on … Read More »
The premium cable network announced today that the Season 8 premiere of Weeds and the second-season bow of Episodes are set for Sunday, July 1. Weeds will feature 13 half-hour episodes and is in the 10 PM slot, while Episodes, starring current Golden Globe winner Matt LeBlanc, shot nine half-hour episodes and will follow at 10:30.
EXCLUSIVE: Another key Weeds player is set to return for the series’ upcoming eight and likely final season. I’ve learned that Justin Kirk has closed a deal for Season 8 of the dark Showtime comedy. He joins the series’ star Mary-Louise Parker, who was signed before Weeds was renewed for Season 8 in November, and Kevin Nealon, who recently finalized his deal to return for one last season. Both Kirk and Nealon have broadcast pilots — Kirk plays the lead of NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot Animal Kingdom, Nealon co-stars on another NBC comedy pilot, Isabel, with the new projects in first position to Weeds. It appears that everyone on the Jenji Kohan’s show is moving on (Kohan herself has a new series for Netflix), but not before one final hurrah with Season 8. Kirk, who was among the sought-after actors this pilot season with multiple offers, has recurred on ABC’s Modern Family. The actor, repped by UTA and Management 360, co-stars in the movie Goats, which premiered at Sundance.
Weeds‘ Justin Kirk is set as the lead of NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot Animal Kingdom. The office comedy centers on a House-like veterinarian (Kirk) who loves animals but usually hates their owners. Brian Gatewood and Alex Tanaka wrote the script and are executive producing with Anthony and Joe Russo, who are directing, Scot Armstrong and Ravi Nandan for Universal TV and American Work. The pilot is not expected to interfere with Kirk’s duties as a regular on the upcoming eighth season of Weeds, likely the long-running series’ last. Negotiations are still under way for him to return to the Showtime series. (The cast of the series’ contracts expired after Season 7). Kirk’s Weeds co-star Kevin Nealon, who recently booked another NBC comedy pilot, Isabel, has closed his deal for one more season of the Showtime comedy series and will do both. Kirk, who was among the sought-after actors this pilot season with multiple offers, also has recurred on ABC’s Modern Family. The actor, repped by UTA and Management 360, co-stars in the movie Goats, which premiered at Sundance.
EXCLUSIVE: Weeds‘ Kevin Nealon is set to co-star in NBC’s comedy pilot Isabel, reuniting with NBC topper Bob Greenblatt who shepherded Weeds during his tenure at Showtime. Inspired by the French-Canadian series Le Monde De Charlotte, Isabel, from Kapital Entertainment and Universal TV, centers on an otherwise normal, angry middle-class family that wrestles with the challenges of everyday life while raising daughter Isabel (Sophia Mitri Schloss) who has magical qualities. Nealon will play her father, a natural born insurance salesman, opposite Marcia Gay Harden, who was previously cast as the mother. The casting won’t interfere with Nealon’s duties as a regular on the upcoming eighth season of Weeds, which is rumored to be the long-running series’ last. If Isabel goes to series, it will have Nealon in first position beyond Season 8 of Weeds. Saturday Night Live alum Nealon is with Gersh and Brillstein Entertainment.
In other pilot casting news David Mamet’s daughter Clara Mamet has been cast as Jami Gertz’s teenage daughter in ABC’s Dan Fogelman comedy pilot. Also cast in kids roles are Ian Patrick and Isabella Cramp.
After lengthy negotiations with Lionsgate, Showtime has closed a deal for an eighth season of comedy Weeds. Production on the 13-episode eighth season will start next year for a 2012 launch. Weeds, created by Jenji Kohan, is the longest-running series on Showtime and the most watched comedy. It stars Mary-Louise Parker as a suburban widow-turned- full-fledged marijuana queenpin. Justin Kirk, Hunter Parrish, Alexander Gould and Kevin Nealon co-star.
NBC has bought two more single-camera comedy projects: Life As I Blow It, from Chelsea Lately and After Lately writer-panelist Sarah Colonna, and Satellites, a workplace comedy from Weeds writer-producer Stephen Falk.
Life As I Blow It is based on Colonna’s upcoming book and follows Colonna and her life in the Midwest surrounded by eccentric friends and family whose opinions and actions know no boundaries. Happy Madison and Sony TV are producing along with Colonna’s management company New Wave Entertainment, Lunch Bag Snail Prods and Universal TV. Colonna will write the script and executive produce with Danielle Sanchez, who will supervise, Doug Robinson, Abbey MacDonald, Michael Pelmont and Brian Volk Weiss. APA-repped Colonna recently performed on the Comedians of Chelsea Lately tour. Read More »
Pablo Schreiber has joined the cast of CBS’ new drama A Gifted Man as a series regular. He plays Anton, a shaman and New Age spiritual healer to Michael Holt (Patrick Wilson). Schreiber was a guest star in the Jonathan Demme-directed pilot and is now being upped to regular. Schreiber, repped by ICM and D/F Management, is currently filming a five-episode arc on Weeds and also stars in the upcoming feature Recalled.
Stephen Root has been cast as a new regular in the FX drama pilot Outlaw Country, which is undergoing tweaking and some reshoots directed by Adam Arkin. The crime thriller/family drama, set against the backdrop of Southern organized crime and Nashville royalty, stars Luke Grimes as twentysomething Eli Larkin, who tries to leave a life of crime; John Hawkes as Eli’s uncle Tarzen Larkin, a big-time player in the Southern crime world; Haley Bennett as a country singer; and Mary Steenburgen as her overprotective mother. Root, repped by Gersh and Grillstein, will play Jack Folcum, a shrewd businessman gangster associate and rival of Tarzen’s. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Jenji Kohan, creator/executive producer of Showtime’s flagship comedy Weeds and the series’ executive producer Matthew Salsberg have a new comedy project, Whales, in the works at the pay cable channel. The half-hour revolves around a group of brilliant and quirky young people, some of them Harvard and MIT graduates, who move to Las Vegas to live in a lavish apartment while pursuing the $10 million prize at the World Series of Poker. Kohan and Salsberg, who is an avid poker player, are writing and executive producing for Lionsgate TV Read More »
Richard Dreyfuss has joined Showtime’s Weeds as a recurring. In at least 4 episodes of the dark comedy’s upcoming 6th season, he will play what the network describes as “an unexpected character from Nancy Botwin’s past.” Season 6 of Weeds, which premieres on August 16, features Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and family on the lam after Shane (Alexander Gould) bopped Mexican VIP Pilar to death with a croquet mallet. Dreyfuss joins previously announced guest stars for next season Linda Hamilton, Peter Stormare, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, as well as returning guest stars Alanis Morissette and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Oscar winner Dreyfuss made his full-time series debut with CBS’ The Education of Max Bickford. On Showtime, he previously starred as Alexander Haig in the 2002 docudrama The Day Reagan Was Shot.
Showtime’s new dark comedy series The Big C, starring Laura Linney as a woman diagnosed with terminal cancer, will premiere Monday, Aug. 16 and will air at 10:30 p.m. It will follow the network’s comedy Weeds whose sixth season also debuts Aug. 16.
Showtime also has set June 10 as premiere date for the eighth season of Penn & Teller: Bullshit, which is being paired with the new roundtable comedy series The Green Room with Paul Provenza at 10:30 p.m.
New reality series The Real L Word debuts June 20 and will air on Sundays where the scripted L Word Showtime that inspired it once ran.