Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
The Americans creator/executive Joe Weisberg and executive producer Joel Fields told a PaleyFest: Made in NY crowd tonight that their show’s second season will expand from exploring the marriage of two spies to focus more on their family. FX’s Cold War-era drama, created by former CIA agent Weisberg, stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as Soviet intelligence agents posing as an average American couple with two kids. The panel included the two EPs, Russell, Rhys and Noah Emmerich, who portrays the couple’s neighbor, nosy FBI agent Stan Beeman.
Although the kids are kept in the dark about their parents’ occupation, the first-season finale included the couple’s 13-year-old daughter Paige (Holly Taylor) snooping into forbidden territory. Following the panel, which was moderated by New York magazine TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz, one audience member probed for details about whether Season 2 would spotlight the spy kids. Answered Fields: “I think we can say as much as, last season was the exploration of a marriage [and the news season] would draw a big concentric circle” around that marital unit to include Paige and her 10-year-old brother Henry (Keidrich Sellati). “That moment with Paige is a hint to some of the direction we will go.” Read More »
Keri Russell strays just a weensy bit from her badass Soviet spy character in FX’s The Americans for her latest film role. In the Sundance rom-com Austenland, she plays Jane, a single gal with a borderline-unhealthy Jane Austen obsession who’s looking for her very own Mr. Darcy. She books … Read More »
It’s titled “Unmentionables”. Sony Pictures Wide World Acquisitions picked up the movie earlier this week at Sundance. Sony Pictures Classics plans a summer release of the Jerusha Hess-directed film that stars Keri Russell as a Jane Austen fanatic who visits a theme park where the action … Read More »
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
What was it like to be a KGB spy posing as a suburban American at the height of the Cold War? This is the question at the heart of the new FX period drama The Americans, which was rolled out for critics during the FX panel at TCA before lunch. The hour stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as KGB operatives posing as an American couple with two kids and living in Washington, D.C. shortly after Ronald Reagan’s election as President in 1981. It’s inspired by the real-life story that broke in 2010 about sleeper Russian agents who had infiltrated American society and ultimately were exposed. “That was absolutely the inspiration for the show,” noted creator and exec producer Joe Weisberg, who was himself a CIA agent from 1990-94. “I got a call from DreamWorks TV about trying to create a TV show from that event.” He said it wasn’t really going anywhere until those involved hit on the idea of setting it in 1981 during rising Cold War tensions, “a time when we were really enemies with that nation” following Reagan’s declaration of it as the “Evil Empire.” It’s only really now that a story like this could be woven with potentially sympathetic Soviet characters… We want you to root for the KGB,” Weisberg emphasized. “Enough time has passed where people are willing to look with their hearts and try to understand,” he said. “By the same token, trying to tell the story of al-Qaeda now would would be impossible. It’s just too soon.”
Former Felicity star Keri Russell has signed on to play the lead in Dark Skies, the supernatural thriller written and to be directed by Scott Stewart for Dimension Films. The film is more modest-budget scare fare from Insidious and Paranormal Activity producers Blumhouse, with production to begin this summer.
Stewart wrote-directed Priest and Legion, and the film’s being produced by Blumhouse’s Jason Blum and Alliance Films, the latter of which is financing. Russell, whose film work includes Waitress and Mission: Impossible 3, is repped by WME and managed by The Burstein Company. Read More »
I’ve learned that Brothers & Sisters alum Matthew Rhys has landed the male lead opposite Keri Russell in FX‘s period drama pilot The Americans. Created/executive by Joe Weisberg, executive produced by Graham Yost and directed by Gavin O’Connor, the … Read More »
After lengthy negotiations, Keri Russell has reached an agreement to star in FX‘s period drama pilot The Americans. Created/executive produced by Joe Weisberg, executive produced by Justified showrunner Graham Yost and directed by Gavin O’Connor, … Read More »
By now you may have already heard that David Cross is joining Mitch Hurwitz and Will Arnett’s new comedy series Running Wilde, bringing in another piece to the Arrested Development reunion that’s … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Peter Serafinowicz has joined the cast of the new Fox comedy series Running Wilde as a regular. Serafinowicz was made a regular after he popped in his guest-starring turn in the pilot as Fa’ad Shaoulin, the Oxford-accented neighbor and frenemy of Steve Wilde (Will Arnett). Similarly, Erin Cummings, who guest-starred in the pilot for ABC’s Detroit 1-8-7 as the medical examiner, was recently upped to regular on the new drama series. The Lionsgate TV-produced Running Wilde centers on Steve Wilde, a filthy-rich, immature playboy trying desperately to win (or buy) the heart of his childhood sweetheart and uber-liberal humanitarian (Keri Russell). Read More »