San Diego is about to get a Gothic horror visit from Victorian England today and John Logan is about to let Penny Dreadful get truly uninhibited. “A lot of Season 1, for me, was actually putting the playing pieces on the board,” says the Oscar nominated scribe of the Showtime series of 19th century iconic supernatural misfits he created. “Now I feel we’ve had 8 hours to do that, to establish the landscape and so now I really get to play,” the first time showrunner adds with a laugh. “I can create more and more complex patterns of the relationships of the characters and of the supernatural element as well,” the Gladiator and Skyfall writer says. “In terms of the second season, I’ve written all but two of the episodes. So, the last two are yet to be written. So I’m well ahead of the game there, and the actors will all be getting it the end of this month.
In just over a month since Dreadful’s rather spectacularly blood soaked Season 1 finale, Logan will be taking the stage in Ballroom 20 of the San Diego Convention Center this evening with cast members Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney and Josh Hartnett. If he returns next year, he may be bringing a few more people with him and not just absent leads Timothy Dalton and Eva Green. “I’m teasing out from the characters I really love … Read More »
The cast of American Horror Story is finally coming to Comic-Con after three seasons on the air. The FX show has skipped the fanboy confab in previous summers partly due to its production schedule, however, the Coven and Freak Show cast will be heading to San Diego including Emma Roberts, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, new addition Michael Chiklis and exec producer Tim Minear. The panel, which is scheduled for Saturday, July 26 from 7-8 PM in Room 6DE will provide a look back at Coven as well as exclusive secrets from the set of the upcoming Freak Show.
Also announced today is Showtime’s plan for Penny Dreadful, which wrapped its first season June 27. It will make its Comic-Con debut on Thursday, July 24th with a 6-7 PM panel session in Ballroom 20, combined with signings and merchandise and a tie-in with the confab that will put Showtime and Penny Dreadful branding on more than 150,000 lanyards worn by attendees. Featured panelists include stars Josh Hartnett, Reeve Carney and Harry Treadaway and creator/writer/executive producer John Logan. Aisha Tyler will moderate.
Like it has every episode so far, of Showtime’s Penny Dreadfulagain had death luridly stalking the streets of Victorian London during its Season 1 finale last night. It also had Timothy Dalton’s Sir Malcolm Murray and Eva Green’s Vanessa Ives leading their motley crew of iconic misfits in search of freeing Murray’s daughter from the clutches of the blood-sucking underworld plus a few of the surprises that a series likes to shoot out as it wraps up. Penny Dreadful also had 856,000 total viewers. While not a dreadful number, last night’s finale was just behind the 872,000 that Penny Dreadful got for its May 11 premiere. That does, however, make it the show’s second-most-watched episode. To that end, it was up from the 800,000 for the John Logan-created series’ June 22 installment.
Overall, Penny Dreadful had 1.27 million viewers for all its plays over the night. Season-to-date, the series is averaging just under 5 million viewers a week on all of Showtime’s platforms and in DVR viewership, says the premium cabler. As it has all season, last night’s Dreadful had Californication as its lead-in. Sunday, the David Duchovny-led series wrapped up for good after seven seasons.
Like the Tiber River after Caligula’s been on a weekend bender, television today is flooded with blood. What was once the sole sphere of slasher flicks now has become a common spattering on the small screen, and not just with cable shows such as AMC’s The Walking Dead, HBO’s Game of Thrones and the recently launched Showtime drama Penny Dreadful. Now the networks are in the gore game with Fox’s The Following and Sleepy Hollow and NBC’s Hannibal and Grimm. The proliferation of blood and guts on TV in this era of the explicit proves that the appetite for death and destruction hasn’t jumped the shark so much as stabbed the beast, torn into its flesh, cooked it up and swam among the remains. Read More »
You may have heard that we are living in a glorious age of television, one where the biggest movie stars leap unceremoniously from the cineplex to the now-nontoxic small screen. An era of event programming and limited series, where stories of anti-heroes and the underbelly of the American Dream are being revealed simultaneously on broadcast networks, cable channels and streaming services. Television suddenly has become prestigious.
You may have heard all this, but that doesn’t make it true.
“It’s not like TV has suddenly become amazing and great — it’s always been amazing and great,” declares Under The Dome executive producer Neal Baer. He should know, having earned his stripes for almost 30 years on network shows such as Law & Order: SVU and ER. Baer has seen TV’s long arc bend back many times. “There was crap, but I could start listing path-breaking television series that thought about racism and drug abuse,” he says.
What’s new today is that TV is a creation of quantity as much as quality, with many more outlets and platforms to grab high-value consumers’ attention with content that up until just a decade ago would have made its home solely in the movies. We have traditional TV trying to recoup some of the luster it lost to non-advertiser-supported programming, but either way, the economics and creativity sit squarely in the small screen’s favor. One need only look at anthologies such as HBO’s True Detective or limited event series like Fox’s 24: Live Another Day or CBS’ Under The Dome to see that the torch is being carried on. Read More »
Four episodes into Penny Dreadful‘s freshman run, Showtime has picked up a second season of the psychological thriller from James Bond writer John Logan, which weaves together classic horror origin stories. Logan is already deep into the writing of the second season, whose order is for 10 episodes, up from the eight-episode Season 1. Logan will once again pen each episode. Penny Dreadful got off to an OK ratings start on May 11, drawing 872,000 in its debut airing and 1.44 million in its premiere night — that was below the Dexter finale-boosted debut of Ray Donovan but slightly higher than the premieres of Homeland and Masters Of Sex. But Penny Dreadful’s strength has been time-shifted viewing. The series, which had amassed 900,000 views for the first episode before the premiere — the biggest sneak preview ever for Showtime — has become the network’s most watched new show ever on Showtime on Demand, which has been around for 12 years, and on 4-year-old Showtime Anytime with over 3.6 million viewers on the two platforms through the third week of the season. “I think because it’s a genre show, it has done incredibly well in all the new ways you can watch, beyond any show we’d had before,” said Showtime Networks president David Nevins. Read More »
It was a night of bloody Victorian beginnings, some tribulations in Westeros and D.C. season highs on cable Sunday. The beginning was the premiere of Showtime’s new 19th century horror series Penny Dreadful. Created by Oscar-nominated scribe John Logan and exec produced by Skyfall director Sam Mendes, the 10 PM series debut drew just 872,000. That’s a far drop from the 1.35 million Ray Donovan got when it debuted on June 30 last year in the same time slot. With a stronger lead-in of Dexter as compared to Californication last night, the debut of the Hollywood fixer series last summer was the best original series premiere in Showtime’s history. Over the multiple plays last night, Penny Dreadful had a total of 1.443 million viewers. Of note is that 895,000 of those viewers, or 62%, were in the adults 18-49 demo – the best such result for a Showtime drama since Dexter launched in 2006 with 65% demo in its total viewership. Over all its plays, last night’s grouping of Victorian icons was also a slight 5% gain on what Homeland and Masters Of Sexhad in their 2011 and 2013 fall debuts. Also of note is that Penny Dreadful’s premiere episode has been available online for the past two weeks and attracted 900,000 Showtime subscribers. Read More »
Literary and cinematic roots run deep in Showtime’s new psychosexual horror series Penny Dreadful, which debuts in May with an episode helmed by The Orphanage director Juan Antonio Bayona. Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, and Harry Treadaway star in the show created by Oscar-nominated scribe John Logan and exec produced by Sam Mendes which crosses the mythologies of iconic horror figures from Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dorian Gray lore in a Victorian England setting. “We wanted to pay respects to the mythology but bring them to a new level,” said Bayona of the show’s twisty take on well-known stories and characters.
Coincidentally, another thread connects the Penny Dreadful gang in front of and behind the camera. “There’s a lot of James Bond on this show: John wrote Skyfall, Sam directed it, Eva was in Casino Royale – I said to someone, I think I’m being groomed for the next Bond movie,” said Hartnett at a Q&A following the premiere of Penny Dreadful’s first episode Sunday at SXSW. Hartnett plays American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, who is recruited by Sir Malcolm (Dalton, a former 007 himself) and the enigmatic Vanessa Ives (Green) for a supernatural mission in London. The gothic series is one of a handful of television projects highlighted this year in SXSW’s new programming slate devoted to episodic /TV content.
Showtime has deployed the first full trailer for its psychosexual horror series that bows May 11. Penny Dreadful unites some of literature’s creepiest characters — including those ripped from tales of Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and Dracula — deposits them in Victorian London and lets the mayhem begin. Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton and Eva Green star in the eight-episode Sunday night series, which co-stars Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear, Billie Piper, Danny Sapani and Harry Treadaway. It’s written by John Logan, who exec produces with Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris. Here’s a look at the sex and blood and imagery:
“I’m a total monster geek,” award-winning playwright turned go-to James Bond scriptwriter John Logan said when asked how he wound up writing and exec producing Showtime’s psychosexual horror series Penny Dreadful. The pay cable network has ordered eight episodes of the series that features some of literature’s most iconic monsters, including Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dorian Gray. Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, Rory Kinnear, Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney and Billie Piper star.
Reading a lot of Wordsworth led him to re-read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, he explained, adding, “I started thinking about why, almost 200 years later, we’re still reading ‘Frankenstein‘ and I think it’s because the monster breaks my heart. Growing up as a gay man before that was as socially acceptable as it is now, I knew what it was like not to feel socially acceptable, but the same thing that made me monstrous to some people made me who I was.” Re-visting Frankenstein, he said, “I wept reading about the pathos and suffering of the poor, vengeful, monstrous creature.“ Read More »
UPDATED: Executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa are already deep in discussions on Season 4 of Homeland, and today Showtime entertainment president David Nevins gave a glimpse at what is in store for the show, which is going for a major reset following the game-changing third season finale. “Homeland is a show that is deeply about a field operative (Carrie), and we haven’t seen her much in the field,” he said. “In Season 3 you will likely see her on the ground in a foreign capital (Istanbul?) doing her job.” As for Mandy Patinkin,”I expect that he will be central, he will be important,” Nevins said. He also defended Season 3, calling it “pretty brilliant in its architecture” and “very clever and very audacious in its take on U.S./Iran relations. ”Showtime also unveiled its spring schedule that includes the May 11 debut of John Logan’s horror drama series Penny Dreadful.Climate change documentary series Years Of Living Dangerously will launch on Earth Day, April 13, following the openers of Season 6 of Nurse Jackie and the seventh and final season of Californication.
Nevins also addressed the decision not to go forward with drama pilot The Vatican. “The world changed on us,” he said. “That show was conceived and written when Pope Benedict was still in the Vatican and now would have been seen as very dated.” Nevins used the example to support … Read More »
The psychosexual horror series features some of literature’s most frightening and iconic figures as they grapple with alienation in Victorian London. Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, Rory Kinnear, Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney and Billie Piper star in Showtime‘s eight-episode Penny Dreadful. Here’s a 3o-second peek:
Enhancing its original drama slate, the UK’s Sky Atlantic has come aboard to co-produce John Logan’s upcoming period series Penny Dreadful with Showtime. The psychosexual horror series features some of literature’s most frightening and iconic figures as they grapple with alienation in Victorian London. Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, Rory Kinnear, Harry Treadaway and Reeve Carney star, with Doctor Who‘s Billie Piper the latest addition to the cast. She’ll play an Irish immigrant trying to escape a dark past. Penny Dreadful is produced for Sky Atlantic and Showtime by Neal Street Productions and Desert Wolf Productions. Logan, Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris are exec producing. Oscar-nominee Logan created and wrote the series with the first two episodes to be helmed by The Orphanage and The Impossible director Juan Antonio Bayona. Shooting starts in October at Dublin’s Ardmore Studios.
John Logan’s Showtime drama series Penny Dreadful is enlisting a trio of rising actors for its psychological frights debuting next year. Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark star Reeve Carney will play Oscar Wilde’s supernaturally handsome and young hero Dorian Grey in the eight-episode series premiering in 2014. Bond thesp Rory Kinnear (Quantum of Solace) will play an unnamed mysterious character of haunting intensity; he worked with series exec producer Sam Mendes on Skyfall. And fellow Brit Harry Treadaway (The Lone Ranger, Control, Brothers of the Head) will star as Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Previously announced cast members Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, and Eva Green also star in the project. Penny Dreadful is created, written, and exec produced by Logan. Neal Street’s Pippa Harris will also exec produce. Filming begins this fall. Carney is repped by Paradigm. Kinnear is repped by Markham, Froggatt and Irwin. Treadaway is repped by UTA and ICM Partners.
It’s a Bond world on Showtime‘s new eight-episode drama seriesPenny Dreadfulas former 007Timothy Dalton has been tapped as one of the leads on the show from the team behind the most recent James Bond film, John Logan and Sam Mendes. Created, written and executive produced by Logan and executive produced by Mendes, the psychosexual horror series features some of literature’s most iconic figures as they become embroiled in Victorian London. Dalton will play Sir Malcolm, a hardened African explorer on a deeply personal quest. He joins previously cast Josh Hartnett and Eva Green.
Josh Hartnett and Eva Green have been tapped as leads for Showtime‘s upcoming eight-episode series Penny Dreadful, created, written and executive produced by John Logan and executive produced by Sam Mendes. The psychosexual horror series features some of literature’s most iconic figures as they become embroiled in Victorian London. Green will play the heroine, the beautiful Vanessa Ives. Hartnett will play handsome “fake cowboy” American Ethan Chandler.
Meanwhile, Ruth Wilson (Lone Ranger) is set to star opposite Dominic West in Showtime‘s drama pilot The Affair. From playwright and writer/producer Sarah Treem and co-creator Hagai Levi, The Affair is an intense and intimate exploration of two marriages and an affair that disrupts them — with all of the complex consequences that result. It centers on Noah (West), a good husband, devoted father of four, and New York City high school teacher whose settled, comfortable world is about to implode when he meets a woman (Wilson) he thinks is his soul mate.
Showtime has officially announced that Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible, The Orphanage) will helm the first two episodes of the upcoming eight-episode drama series Penny Dreadful, created, written and executive produced by John Logan and executive produced by Sam Mendes and Neal Street’s Pippa Harris. The psychosexual horror series features some of literature’s most iconic figures — including Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Gray, and characters from the novel Dracula — as then become embroiled in Victorian London, and will begin production in London this fall.
Sam Mendes’ psychosexual horror series for Showtime, Penny Dreadful, will be among the first U.S. TV dramas to benefit from the UK’s newly-approved TV tax relief for high-end productions. Legislation for a 25% tax credit for TV series costing at least £1M per hour to produce — plus animated programs and video games — has been given the state-aid greenlight by Brussels, clearing the last major hurdle before coming into effect April 1. Largely based on Britain’s Film Tax Relief scheme, which has provided about £800M in rebates to more than 800 movies since 2007, the new law requires productions meet a British cultural test. Co-productions made under an internationally recognized treaty may also be eligible, and it’s believed the new regs could inject about $570M into the local industry. But there are concerns that the potential £200M in relief available by 2018 could be gobbled up by U.S. productions that employ British talent on UK shores.
When first announced in March last year, the relief was considered an effort to stem runaway production. Shows like BBC Two drama Parade’s End and the Julian Fellowes miniseries Titanic, were made abroad. Downton Abbey is among the rare exceptions of big-ticket UK shows that have been produced at home, and I’m told it will now look to benefit from the break. But the scheme is also a means to encourage foreign shows to come to the UK. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne consulted both Disney and HBO to lay out the strategy. Read More »
With young vampires taking big bites out of movie box office and TV ratings in the Twilight franchise, HBO’s True Blood and the CW’s The Vampire Diaries, the granddaddy of them all bloodsuckers, Count Dracula, is making a big comeback. TV history buffs may correct me but, while the legend of Dracula has been mined endlessly on the big screen going back to Bela Lugosi, I cannot think of a single live-action American series about Dracula (NBC’s super-short-lived 1979 series Cliffhangers featured a Curse Of Dracula segment, and the syndicated Dracula: The Series was Canadian). Next fall we may have three.
First off is NBC’s straight-to-series drama Dracula, in pre-production for a possible fall launch. Set in 1890s London, it stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the Count and also features his archenemy, Abraham Van Helsing. At the time NBC’s Dracula was announced last summer, Starz said it is developingVlad Dracula, a drama series from Spartacus producer Rob Tapert “tracing Dracula’s evolution from a revered ruler to the world’s most feared vampire.”
Last month, Showtime gave a straight-to-series order to John Logan and Sam Mendes’ Penny Dreadful. The drama, also set in Victorian London, features “some of literature’s most famously terrifying characters,” with Dracula and Van Helsing front and center. Two weeks after Showtime’s announcement, ABC gave a pilot order to drama Gothica, from producer Mark Gordon. Like Penny Dreadful, it too weaves together classic horror characters and stories, but in present day. One of the most prominent among them is Dracula, who is the series’ main antagonist. Guillermo Del Toro/Carlton Cuse’s FX pilot The Strain, which will likely go to series, also revolves around vampires. Read More »