SPOILER ALERT: This story contains references to story elements and events in Season 3 of Game of Thrones
Michelle Fairley is coming back from the dead. No, this is not a surprise plot twist on HBO’s blockbuster Game of Thrones, where Fairley’s Catelyn Stark faced a spectacular demise. The Northern Irish actress is joining ABC’s drama Resurrection for a season-long story arc. She will play Margaret Langston, the formidable matriarch of the Langston clan, mother of Henry and Fred (Kurtwood Smith, Matt Craven). Dead for more than three decades, she will reappear in Arcadia as one of the returned. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: With filming underway in LA, The Woman In Gold has added Frances Fisher to its cast. Fisher, whose ABC freshman hit Resurrection was renewed for a second season, joins Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany, Daniel Brühl, and Katie Holmes in the fact-based drama about a Holocaust survivor who sets out to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, including Gustav Klimt’s famous painting The Lady In Gold. Read More »
ABC has pulled the plug on midseason drama Mind Games after five low-rated airings. For the next two weeks, the network will use the Tuesday 10 PM slot for extra sampling of its promising midseason Sunday drama Resurrection, which will air repeats in the slot. Beginning April 15, ABC will launch Season 3 of utility player Celebrity Wife Swap in the q0 PM hour. The writing has been on the wall since Mind Games debuted to a 1.1 demo rating only two days after ABC’s Oscar telecast, where the procedural starring Christian Slater and Steve Zahn was promoted. It dived to a 0.6 in its second week, matching that rating again this Tuesday when it was hampered by the the lack of original lead-in. Mind Games became the third ABC drama casualty in the Tuesday 10 PM slot this season, joining cancelled freshmen Lucky 7 and Killer Women.
TCA: ‘Mind Games’ Challenges TV Critics
2014 ABC Pilots
NBC’s ads for midseason drama series Believe feature front and center its mastermind, newly minted Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón, touting his best director statuette for Gravity. Meanwhile, the promos for another heavily marketed midseason drama that premieres within a day of Believe, ABC’s Resurrection, don’t even mention the fact that it comes from the producers of best picture Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave. Brad Pitt’s Plan B is behind Resurrection, with the company’s two other principals, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, who shared in the best picture Oscar with him, executive producing the series. Just like Plan B’s 12 Years A Slave managed to top Gravity and seven other movies to land the biggest prize, ABC probably hopes its show would spark some ratings magic. And boy, does the network need some of that.
Related: TCA: ‘Resurrection’ Producers Sort Out Crowded Resurrection Landscape
ABC is on an unenviable streak of three consecutive new drama entries hitting a 0.6 rating in adults 18-49 — an all-time low on a Big 4 network: The Assets (which was billed as a limited series), Killer Women and Mind Games. That, coupled with the 0.7 low marks for the long-forgotten Lucky 7 and Betrayal and the 0.8 for Once Upon A Time In Wonderland makes for a very dismal freshman drama record this season. Read More »
ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee was guilty of some wishful thinking this morning when he told TV critics he’s so proud of his network’s upcoming limited-series Resurrection because, among other things, it’s something he’s “not seeing on television at the moment.” Resurrection, premiering Sunday, March 9, is about a small town in Missouri in which people who have been dead for years have turned up alive again and not a day older than the day they died – starting with 8-year-old Jacob who died more than three decades earlier and suddenly turns up alone in a rice paddy in a rural Chinese province.
Related: TCA: Paul Lee High On Marvel’s ‘Agent Carter’
Days earlier, Sundance Channel announced it had renewed for a second season The Returned, about a small French town in which some of the residents one day get on with their lives, not realizing they’ve been dead for years. The French series is based on the 2004 French film called Les Revenants. The second season is about to go into production and will debut on Sundance in late 2014. And, if that’s not enough, A&E is developing an English-language adaptation of Les Revenants. ABC’s limited series is based on Jason Mott’s novel The Returned. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Omar Epps will star in One Small Mistake, a neo-noir thriller about a man searching for truth and justice in a bigoted small town. British Emmy-nominated Alexander Harvey is directing a script adapted by Guy Bennett from French author Jean Francois Coatmeur’s La Bavure. Stefan Raiser and Felix Zackor of Munich-based Dreamtool Entertainment are producing the pic. Epps, who made his debut in 1992′s Juice and starred in Major League II, Higher Learning, Scream 2, Love & Basketball, and Against the Ropes. He’ll be seen next spring on ABC’s drama Resurrection produced by Plan B, debuting March 9. Epps is repped by Anonymous and WME.
ABC has firmed up its midseason scheduling plans. With Super Fun Night only getting a Back 4 order, the network will try out another new comedy series, Mixology, in the Wednesday 9:30 PM slot behind Modern Family. The high-concept series, which takes place at a bar over the course of one night and features a 10-member core cast, will premiere on February 26. ABC previously used flagship Modern Family to launch another single-camera young ensemble comedy, Happy Endings, which recently ended its run. Meanwhile, Suburgatory will return to its original Tuesday 8:30 PM slot where it was so successful in its first season, launching Season 3 on January 15 to succeed departing Back In The Game.
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ABC is making changes to some previously announced midseason moves. Once Upon A Time and Revenge are still slated to return from their winter hiatuses on March 9, joined by new drama Resurrection. But Revenge will move to 10 PM, with Resurrection taking over its 9 PM slot. With its supernatural theme (Resurrection is about deceased loved ones returning to a small town), it is considered a better fit for dark-ish fairytale drama Once than the glitzy soap Revenge. On Thursday, ABC was to launch adventure reality series The Quest, from The Amazing Race creators, on January 2. The competition has now been pushed to summer, with cooking reality series The Taste and CIA drama The Assets taking over Thursday night while Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal are on hiatus, returning on February 27. In another tweak, Nashville — originally slated to go on hiatus like Once, Grey’s and Scandal under ABC’s newly adopted split-season model before returning on February 26 — will now stay on, airing a total of four originals in January and February. I hear ABC brass felt that maybe they were taking too many dramas off, and Nashville‘s strong DVR following could help it through repeats. Of the freshman dramas, Betrayal will have aired its entire limited-run first season before it goes off the air, while Once Upon A Time In Wonderland will air its fall finale on Dec. 12 and will return with a few more originals in the spring. New procedurals Killer Women and Mind Games will split the Tuesday 10 PM slot previously occupied by cancelled drama Lucky 7. Here are ABC’s new mideason premiere dates, followed by descriptions of the new series: Read More »
LD Entertainment has committed to produce/finance Resurrection, with Kevin Reynolds directing a film about the first 40 days after the death of Jesus Christ. Patrick Aiello is producing with LD Entertainment CEO Mickey Liddell, and the film is eyeing an Easter Weekend 2015 berth. This joins the growing volume of films derived from the New and Old Testaments. Scripted by Paul Aiello, The Resurrection is told through the eyes of an agnostic Roman Centurion charged by Pontius Pilate to investigate rumors of a risen Jewish Messiah and to locate Christ’s missing body in order to subdue an imminent uprising in Jerusalem. Along Centurion’s mission, his doubts of such a supernatural occurrence peel away as he encounters the Apostles and other historic Biblical characters and reviews the events following the Resurrection. Liddell described the film as Gladiator in tone. Read More »
UPDATED: ABC today revealed its midseason scheduling plans that support the strategy for limited runs of its serialized dramas laid out by topper Paul Lee at the upfronts. New drama Resurrection will debut March 9, taking over the Sunday 10 PM slot from another serialized rookie which will have a limited-run first season, Betrayal. Similarly, new reality series The Quest will premiere Jan. 2, following the the first 8 episodes of the Once Upon A Time spinoff, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland, which will air in the fall through mid-December. The remaining four originals will get on the air once The Quest ends its run, and Lee indicated today that additional episodes could be added to the spring cycle. ABC also has set midseason return dates for its older serialized dramas, Grey’s Anatomy, Nashville, Once Upon a Time, Revenge and Scandal, whose seasons will be split in two stretches of largely all-original episodes, one in the fall and one in the spring. Here are ABC’s midseason premiere dates: Read More »
Reaper creators Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas have joined new ABC drama series Resurrection as showrunners. Written by Aaron Zelman and directed by Charles McDougall, Resurrection, one of the best-received ABC drama pilots this year, revolves around the people of Arcadia, MO, whose lives are forever changed when their deceased loved ones suddenly start to return. Butters and Fazekas will executive produce alongside Zelman, JoAnn Alfano, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Jon Liebman for Brillstein Entertainment, Plan B and ABC Studios. For ICM Partners-repped Fazekas and Butters, the gig stems from the overall deal they signed at ABC Studios in February. As part of the deal, they served as executive producers/showrunners on ABC/ABC Studios pilot Gothica, working alongside creator/executive producer Matt Lopez.