Homeland producers grumbled about their 2014 Emmy nomination snub for drama series at today’s TCA, but Jon Voight seemed happy to carry the Emmy nom flag for Showtime at today’s panel on his second-season series, Ray Donovan. The supporting actor nominee appeared on the panel with stars Liev Schreiber, who plays the title character, a Hollywood fixer, Paula Malcomson, Season 2 guest stars Hank Azaria and Wendell Pierce, creator/EP Ann Biderman and EP Bryan Zuriff.
For Zuriff, this marks a return to the executive producer ranks of the series following his high profile arrest and subsequent indictment for allegedly running an illegal gambling operation this time last year that prompted his temporary exit from the show. Zuriff actually touched upon his history when the cast and producers were asked to attest to the accuracy of some of the crazy storylines on the show. “We’ve all had a little bit of a past, so there’s stuff that we can draw on in the writers’ room that we can have some fun with,” he said.
Related: ‘Ray Donovan’ Executive Producer Bryan Zuriff Pleads Guilty In Gambling Ring Tied To Russian Mob
Earlier this year, Voight won a Golden Globe for his performance (star Schrieber got a nom for lead actor in a drama). When asked about Emmy, Voight could have been rehearsing his Emmy speech. The abridged version of his reply: “Let me just say, I feel very blessed and very fortunate to have had so many wonderful experiences as an actor. I am really enjoying this family that’s making Ray Donovan. It’s almost like I earned this role over years of struggling and failing and experimenting and succeeding…” He praised the “wonderful artists” he works with on Ray Donovan and reached back into the past to praise earlier collaborators John Schlesinger, Dustin Hoffman, Hal Ashby and Andrei Konchalovsky. Read More »
OK, he admits it: Homeland showrunner/executive producer Alex Gansa said the lack of a drama series Emmy nomination in 2014 “hurt.” The critics hurt, too. “I don’t know how you can look at the last episodes of the season, especially the last two episodes [and not believe] they are the best we’ve ever done,” Gansa said at today’s TCA. “But we’re going to get back on the mountain again.”
Gansa was speaking at a luncheon panel along with executive producers Alexander Cary and Meredith Steihm. The three revealed a few plot developments for Season 4, which Showtime announced earlier in the day would premiere October 5.
Gansa started off with the joking promise to “only kill most of your favorite characters,” adding to laughter: “I can guarantee that Dana Brody will not be back for Season 4” (a reference to Brody’s moody teenage daughter whom many critics thought got way too much moping screen time in Season 3).
But the writer-producers dropped a few real story tidbits: Claire Danes’ Carrie Mathison’s bipolar illness has stabilized and in her new Middle Eastern setting will be on the tail of a new character, “someone whom she’s recruiting and trying to get his trust.” Steihm added that this is just one of “5 or 6 new characters” who will be added. Steihm confirmed that the character Carrie pursues as a recruit is portrayed by Life Of Pi‘s non-CGI star Suraj Sharma. Read More »
“We’re incorporating almost everything from the mythology into it and have added a whole new backstory” with the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator, Geoff Johns, CEO of DC Entertainment, said today during the panel for the new CW series. The series, starring Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash, is a spinoff of CW’s Arrow.
The producers also announced today that Wentworth Miller will guest star on the series as Leonard Snart, aka Captain Cold. The series premieres October 7 in the Tuesday 8 PM slot.
Johns said “the most faithful DC Comic adaption ever” includes using as many characters from the comic series as possible. He appeared on the panel with executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg and cast members. Read More »
Maybe it was because the preceding panel dealt with NFL football, but TV journalists butted heads repeatedly at today’s TCA panel with executive producer Kevin Williamson, asking how his new series Stalker is different from his older show on another network that features many similar elements. The EP/creator appeared with stars Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott, but Williamson spent most of his time on the panel explaining why the drama about detectives tracking stalkers is different from his Fox series The Following, which is about an FBI agent tracking a serial killer and his murderous cult (Williamson said Jennifer Johnson has taken over as showrunner of the Fox series).
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Does network TV really need more jargon? Just in case, producers of CBS’ new drama series Scorpion offered a new one at today’s TCA: Fun-cedural.
The series — based on the true story of genius Walter O’Brien (IQ 197) who created a company to defend the world against high-tech threats — has a “procedural engine” but is not really a procedural, said executive producer Nick Santora. “It’s a fun-cedural”, he said.
There was a lot of talk on today’s Scorpion panel about how the socially-awkward geniuses of the company, including O’Brien, would connect with an audience. The real Walter O’Brien, who serves as executive producer with Santora, Orci, Nicholas Wootton and director/EP Justin Lin, appeared on the panel along with the other EPS and cast members.
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Gary Glasberg, executive producer/creator of CBS’ new drama NCIS: New Orleans, said at the new series’ TCA panel today that Rob Kerkovich (Cloverfield, The Rebound) will join the cast as a forensic scientist. Glasberg, who appeared on the panel with co-EPs Jeffrey Lieber and Mark Harmon and cast members Zoe McLellan, Scott Bakula, CCH Pounder and Lucas Black, said the series will begin shooting in New Orleans on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, CBS entertainment chief Nina Tassler called NCIS and its spinoffs a “billion-dollar franchise.” The newest member of the club was introduced as a planted spinoff via two episodes of NCIS earlier this year. Read More »
There’s been a lot of talk about diversity at ABC’s TCA panels today, yet the network’s shows have all shared one constant: Virtually all their stars are thin. But after the panel on her new multi-camera comedy Cristela, stand-up comedian Cristela Alonzo, the show’s co-creator and executive producer, said she’s happy to represent the majority: People of average weight.
Alonzo was wearing a black Fitbit bracelet and said she plans to wear it on the show, in which she portrays an aspiring lawyer who moves back in with her family to pursue that goal. “You see all these shows that have thin people and you never see them eat, you never see them go to the gym,” she said. “Well, I eat. This is what America looks like. This is it.”
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To borrow a couple terms from TV industry jargon, ABC’s new drama series Forever is a “procedural” with a “mythology.” At today’s TCA, executive producer Matt Miller tried to explain how those two elements will fit together in the new show, about an immortal medical examiner (Dr. Henry Morgan, played by Ioan Gruffudd).
There are some constants to the mythology of Henry Morgan: Whenever he dies and shows up in another place and time, he always arrives in water and he’s always naked: “A little something for the audience,” quipped Miller.
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Actors from ABC’s canceled comedy Suburgatory could turn up on ABC’s newest comedy Selfie, said Emily Kapnek, creator and EP of both, at today’s TCA panels.
“I’m absolutely in love with those actors. If there’s an opportunity to bring them in organically, I would love to,” said Kapnek. She appeared on today’s panel with actors Karen Gillan (Doctor Who) and John Cho (Star Trek), who portray a modern-day Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins in this contemporary update of My Fair Lady/ Pygmalion.
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The season finale of the new ABC Family series Chasing Life — about a 24-year-old aspiring journalist facing leukemia — will focus on April (Italia Ricci)’s “7 days in chemo and all that goes with that,” executive producer Patrick Sean Smith revealed at today’s TCA. Smith appeared on today’s panel with fellow EPs Joni Lefkowitz and Susanna Fogel and cast members Ricci, Haley Ramm, Steven Weber and Mary Page Keller.
The 6th episode of the first-season drama (which made its debut June 10) airs tonight. Smith said that production has completed on episode 21. The producer noted that the series is different from most fictional stories about cancer because it does not start with treatment but rather the many emotions and decisions facing the character leading up to treatment.
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TruTV announced that it has greenlit four new series: Branson Famous (working title), “the first ever reality musical;” Hack My Life, which truTV describes as “a comedic take on life’s little shortcuts;” Kart Life, about kids and parents involved in competitive kart racing and The Shake Up, a competition reality series about bar owners. All series are slated to launch this fall and winter. The announcement, made at today’s TCA Summer TV Press Tour, raises the total number of series greenlit by the network over the past 9 months to 13.
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Tonight’s PaleyFest panel at the Dolby Theatre was a 10th Anniversary Reunion for Lost — the Emmy-winning ABC fantasy drama that made its debut in 2004. Apparently a decade is a long time when it comes to social media: Executive producer Carlton Cuse and co-creator/EP Damon Lindelof said the show would never have been able to keep the kind of plot secrets that were the signature of early episodes in today’s Twitter-happy world.
“The spoiler culture was not what it is now,” said Cuse, who appeared on the large panel with Lindelof and cast members Josh Holloway, Yunjin Kim, Jorge Garcia, Ian Somerhalder, Maggie Grace, Malcolm David Kelley and Ian Cusick. (At the beginning of the panel, host Paul Scheer called a moratorium on any jokes about the mysterious disappearance of airplanes. “Let’s not have ask questions about that because they won’t be in good taste,” he said.)
The producers cited as a prime example their decision to kill off Ian Somerhalder’s popular Boone Carlyle character early in the show’s run. The decision was controversial even back then, but at least the producers were able to keep a lid on the surprise. Cuse said the show wanted to defy TV series convention. In an episode of CSI: Miami, for example, you always knew that whoever had a gun to the head of David Caruso’s Horatio was not going to pull the trigger. “(We thought) the idea that we could kill a character that was so beloved would give the show incredible energy, so no one was safe,” Cuse said. Read More »