Severed heads, torture, epic battles, weaponry galore, menacing voice-over, badass stares — it’s all here in the first-look trailer for Season 3 of History‘s Vikings that premiered at Comic-Con today. The series was renewed in March and will return in 2015. Have a look:
Related: History’s ‘Vikings’ Adds Cast
Manolo Cardona has joined the cast of Netflix’s drama series Narcos as a series regular. Written by Chris Brancato and directed by Jose Padilha, Narcos is the true-life story of the growth and spread of cocaine drug cartels across the globe and attendant efforts of law enforcement to meet them head on in brutal, bloody conflict. It centers on notorious Colombian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) and Javier Pena (Pedro Pascal), a Mexican DEA agent sent to Colombia on a U.S. mission to capture and ultimately kill him. Manolo, repped by D2 Management, will play Eduardo Mendoza, the baby-faced chief of the National Prison System, an inexperienced, kind, idealistic man-child with a can-do attitude who was wrongly blamed for Escobar’s escape from La Catedral. Cardona recently recurred on CW’s Reign and USA’s Covert Affairs.
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Vikings creator Michael Hirst had access to a bigger canvas in creating the second season of History‘s epic series which begins with King Horik and Ragnar battling Rollo and Jarl Borg. Bigger meaning a larger set to wage an ax fight in and lose the audience in, with a few boats and extras thrown in. In the featurette below, a number of the show’s below-the-line creatives expound on their challenges from season 2 including costume designer Joan Bergin, DP P.J. Dillion, production designer Mark Geraghty, prop master Paul Hedges, chief make-up artist Tom McInerney, set decorator Jill Turner, director Jeff Woolnough and key hair designer Dee Corcoran, who says that when it comes to the long hair and beards, “the actors are really into the look.” Last year the show pulled in three Emmy noms for main title design, special visual effects in a supporting role and sound editing.
Related: History’s ‘Vikings’ Renewed For Third Season
History has added cast to its drama series Vikings and miniseries Texas Rising. Ben Robson (Dracula: The Dark Prince) has landed a series regular role in Season 3 of Vikings. It centers on Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), a restless young warrior and family man who longs to find and conquer new lands across the sea and claim the spoils as his own. Robson, repped by UTA and Management 360, will play Kalf, the trusted second-in-command to Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick). Produced by MGM Television, Vikings Season 3 begins production this summer for a 2015 premiere.
Related: Rhys Coiro & Joe Egender Join History’s ‘Texas Rising’
Rob Morrow has joined the cast of Texas Rising (working title) from A+E Studios and ThinkFactory Media. Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) is exec producing the project, which will detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers. Morrow, repped by Gersh, Berwick & Kovacik, and Jackson Tyerman, will play Col. Fannin, a passionate member of the Texas Army who follows his heart instead of orders. He next will be seen in the upcoming John Carney film Begin Again.
‘The Good Wife’ Bombshell: Story Behind The Shocking Exit, Showrunners Speak
By Nellie Andreeva
The Good Wife creators/showrunners Michelle and Robert King, discuss a major character’s exit, its impact on the show and what lies ahead.
CNN’s Piers Morgan Signs Off With Final Blast At U.S. Gun Laws (Video)
By Lisa de Moraes
Piers Morgan wrapped his three-year CNN run on Friday night with (gasp!) a full hour of discussion about the missing plane. But in his four-minute final remarks, he couldn’t resist taking a parting shot at the NRA.
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History has renewed its first (and only for now) original scripted series Vikings for a third season. Four episodes into its 10-episode second-season run, Vikings has received a 10-episode third-season order to begin production in the summer for a 2015 premiere. Season 2 has averaged 3.4 million total viewers, 1.7 million adults 25-54 and 1.5 million adults 18-49, leading the Thursday 10 PM slot in cable. Additionally, the first two episodes have gotten a +51% lift in Live+7 vs. Live+Same Day viewing, averaging 5.1 million total viewers and +60% growth in adults 25-54 (2.7 million) and adults 18-49 (2.5 million). “Vikings has taken viewers by storm and has established itself as one of the most compelling, visually stunning dramas on television,” said History general manager Dirk Hoogstra. “With its large, passionate and loyal fan base, Vikings has cemented History firmly in the scripted series genre, just as we are the leaders in reality television.” Vikings, which centers on Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), a restless young warrior and family man who longs to find and conquer new lands across the sea and claim the spoils as his own, is produced by MGM Television, which is distributing outside of Ireland and Canada. Hirst executive produces along with Morgan O’Sullivan of World 2000, John Weber of Take 5 Prods., Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer, James Flynn and Sheila Hockin.
Fargo, Platoon, Annie Hall, Hotel Rwanda, and Hoosiers are among the films from the MGM library that will join the programming lineup for those who pay $79 a year for Amazon Prime (which provides free shipping for merchandise in addition to entertainment content). But the e-retailer seems most excited about Vikings, which airs in the U.S. on History. It’s not a shock to see it on Amazon: The company’s European streaming service, Lovefilm, has had it since May. It’s “a series we know our customers love in both the U.S. and abroad,” says Brad Beale, Director of Digital Video Content Acquisition for Amazon. And MGM is glad to collect the check. “We are always looking for opportunities to bring our content to new audiences in innovative ways, which is exactly what this partnership delivers,” says John Bryan, MGM’s President, Domestic Television Distribution.
The freshman season of Vikings was a marauding success for History, with the historical drama emerging as the No. 1 new cable series of the year and scoring three Emmy noms yesterday. Now there’s a trailer for Season 2, which debuted at Comic-Con today. “More armies, more Viking ships” — that was Vikings creator Michael Hirst’s biggest promise to the crowd at Comic-Con and that’s exactly what the teaser trailer delivered (watch it after the jump), showing Norse crusader Ragnar Lothbrok’s vast army clashing with their foes on a bloody beach, Troy-like style. Many of the actors present, most of them bearded and long-haired, followed Hirst’s cue, in keeping details about Season 2 close to the vest. Audiences will learn more about Ragnar’s sons, in particular Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), and of course Ragnar’s wife Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) will ultimately learn of her husband’s extramarital affair.
Related: EMMYS: ‘Vikings’ Justin Pollard
“As Americans, you like to say that family comes first,” Hirst told Room 6a, “The same can be said of the Vikings. Ragnar bred a lot of sons who became famous in their own turn. When he died, they finally declared war on the whole world.” Hinted Winnick: “Her relationship with Bjorn and Ragnar is tested. We learn that our son is older and it’s interesting to see if she is stronger or weaker in that situation.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The Denzel Washington-led reboot continues to pad its cast. Vladimir Kulich has joined Sony‘s The Equalizer, which also stars Martin Csokas, Melissa Leo and Chloe Moretz. The Vikings actor will play a Russian oligarch who funds an international black market enterprise. Washington stars as Robert McCall, a former covert agent who hires himself out to those in need. The $50 million thriller is based on the of the 1985-89 CBS series starring Edward Woodward. In addition to recurring as the warrior Erik on History’s Vikings, Kulich’s credits include Ironclad, The 13th Warrior and TV’s Angel. He is repped by Kazarian, Spencer, Ruskin & Associates and Open Entertainment.
Diane Haithman is an AwardsLine contributor.
In the first episode of History’s Vikings, lead character Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) can barely contain his excitement as he tries to persuade brother Rollo (Clive Standen) that Viking ships might venture West to discover what new cities and new gods might be found in uncharted territory. How, wonders Rollo, can a ship stay true to its course with no land in sight? Ragnar shows Rollo the sunboard, a disc that floats on water and charts direction by the location of the noon shadow. Rollo remains skeptical: What happens when clouds obscure the sun? Ragnar then unwraps the precious sunstone, a crystal whose reflective properties can pinpoint the sun’s position even in blinding fog. Read More »
Thomas J. McLean is an AwardsLine contributor.
Cinematography that stands out from the TV crowd is now about more than looking better than most other shows—it’s about getting a look that meets the high standards once reserved only for feature films. But with television schedules and budgets typically only a fraction of their big-screen counterparts, cinematographers on shows such as Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Good Wife and Vikings use every lighting and camera tool or trick at their disposal to deliver the goods. Digital technology and the popularity of cameras like the Alexa, which operates well in low-light conditions, have helped immensely, but it still takes creativity to find camera moves and lighting techniques that truly stand out.
Going back to basics has paid off for AMC’s Mad Men. Cinematographer Christopher Manley likes, whenever possible, to drop the second camera typically used to ensure closeups and coverage of every scene. “We set up A shots, and if the B shot can work without compromising either shot, then we’ll use it. Otherwise, we don’t,” he explains. The result is more medium shots, giving the closeups more impact and evoking a classic big-screen style. “Doing closeups a lot of the time in television is more about a holdover style from when TVs were much smaller and people were sitting in their living room looking at a 20-inch screen 8 feet away,” says Manley. “Nowadays, everybody has a large 16:9 television that dominates their living room, so I think it’s OK to go back to a more old-fashioned scale of using wider shots.” Read More »
Thomas J. McLean is an AwardsLine contributor.
For sound editors and mixers, the broadening of TV’s audio palette into feature-film territory requires a lot of work and plenty of tricks to get shows to sound as good as they look on tight budgets and even tighter schedules. “I spend quite a bit of time trying to find the right people who can do feature-quality work but not take feature time,” says Tim Kimmel, supervising sound editor on HBO’s epic fantasy series Game Of Thrones. With 10 hourlong episodes to complete in about five months and a tight schedule on the production pipeline, work often continues until the last minute. “By the time we finish mixing the show, we’re still waiting on final visual effects, so we will end up going back into episodes that were basically completed,” Kimmel explains. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company‘s Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters has added the final pieces to its casting puzzle. Modern Family‘s Sarah Hyland and Vikings’ Gabriel Byrne will now also be sinking their teeth into the movie based on the books by Richelle Mead. Byrne will play Victor, one of the leaders of the Academy while Hyland will play Natalie, Victor’s daughter and the best friend of the lead Rose and Lissa characters. Lucy Fry and Zoey Deutch have already been announced as Lissa and Rose. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’s Joely Richardson and Dominic Sherwood have also joined the film. Richardson will play Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi Vampires. Sherwood will be playing Christian, Lissa’s love interest. These latest cast additions come on the heels of the announcement last week that Sami Gayle (Blue Bloods), Cameron Monaghan (Shameless), Ashley Charles (White Buffalo) and Claire Foy (White Heat) had joined the ensemble cast. The film also stars … Read More »
In the company’s first such deal, Amazon-owned LoveFilm has acquired exclusive streaming rights to History‘s Vikings for the UK and Germany. The Netflix rival will make all nine episodes of the hit show available via LoveFilm Instant in the UK on May 24 and in Germany on June 15. Vikings, handled internationally by MGM Television, is the No. 1 new cable series of the year in the U.S. and was renewed for a second season in April. This marks the first time LoveFilm has pacted for a series to stream on the service ahead of traditional broadcast television. Amazon Studios recently used the platform for its pilot screening process, making a slate of 14 pilots available on Amazon Instant Video, LoveFilm UK and LoveFilm Germany.
History Channel announced today that it is picking up another season of Vikings. The first scripted drama for the network, Vikings will return for 10-episode second season next year. Production is set to begin this summer. The show’s first-season finale will air April 28. The renewal comes five episodes into what has been a successful run for the series. With a lead-in from the Mark Burnett-produced The Bible, Vikings had 6.2 million viewers, 2.5 million adults 18-49 viewers and 2.7 million adults 25-54 catch its March 3 debut. That topped the broadcast networks at 10 PM in the 18-49 demo. The series has emerged as the No. 1 new cable series of the year. Read More »