TV Talk

American Horror Story Mystery Solved, Film Stars on the Small Screen and Other TV News

by | September 15, 2016 | Comments

This week in TV news, the (sort of) end to the mysterious marketing of American Horror Story, film heavyweights going to TV, Ryan Lochte addresses Dancing With the Stars protest, Star Trek: Discovery is moved to later in 2017 and casting news.


AMERICAN HORROR STORY THEME REVEALED WITH SEASON 6 PREMIERE

Taking a page from Investigation Discovery, Ryan Murphy employs the documentary-TV style to his horror anthology’s sixth season. And the mysterious new American Horror Story theme is — drumroll please — My Roanoke Nightmare, referencing the lost colony of Roanoke. In Season 1, Murder House, psychic Billie Dean Howard tells the ghostly tale: “In 1590, on the coast of what we now know as North Carolina, the entire colony of Roanoke — all 117 men, women, and children — died inexplicably. It became known as the Ghost Colony because the spirits remained. They haunted the native tribes living in the surrounding area, killing indiscriminately,” she said at the time. Which brings us to the now, in which the AHS cast faces those restless spirits. See what critics think of the first episode.


SMALL SCREEN BRIMMING WITH BIG-SCREEN HEAVYWEIGHTS

Keanu Reeves, April 14, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

Tis the season for some of our favorite movie luminaries to turn their talents to the small screen. In addition to last week’s news of Meryl Streep joining J.J. Abrams for a Warner Bros. TV project, Spike Lee has teamed with Netflix to produce a series based on his breakout hit She’s Gotta Have It. Lee will direct the 10-episode series and executive produce alongside his wife, producer Tonya Lewis Lee. The show will center on Nola Darling, a struggling artist and independent woman in Brooklyn who juggles three very different suitors. Also heading to TV, John Wick star Keanu Reeves joins Swedish Dicks, which was recently acquired by Lionsgate. The show follows two unlicensed Swedish private investigators trying to make it in L.A., and Reeves with guest star. The series stars Peter Stormare, whom Reeves co-starred with in Constantine, and Johan Glans. We don’t know much other than Reeves will play Tex in a recurring role in a series Lionsgate’s Kevin Bigg’s promises is full of “edgy, compelling writing.” Lee and Reeves join a recent migration of film heavyweights to TV from the silver screen — including film legend Woody Allen with Crisis in Six Scenes; Billy Bob Thorton in Goliath; and Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore, who have joined a David O. Russell project. Then there’s the star power behind HBO’s WestworldAnthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie NewtonJeffrey Wright…and on and on.


RYAN LOCHTE RESPONDS TO DWTS PROTEST

DANCING WITH THE STARS - TOM BERGERON, CHERYL BURKE, RYAN LOCHTE

Dancing With the Stars contestant and controversial Olympian Ryan Lochte has opened up on Instagram about the demonstration that took place during his DWTS performance Monday night. Protesters rushed the stage and were tackled by security forcing the show to jump to a commercial break. The swimmer wrote, “I want to thank my family, girlfriend, friends and fans for being so supportive of me after the incident on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Monday night…I appreciate the opportunity to be part of the show, and more than ever, I am dedicated to my new family and to working hard to do my best.” His dance partner Cheryl Burke also publicly defended Lochte, writing on Instagram, “My heart is aching for Ryan and his family. No one deserves that sort of behavior directed at them.” Lochte found himself in hot water after the Rio Olympics this summer following his claim that he was robbed at gunpoint turned out to be a lie to cover up the alleged vandalizing of a gas station that was caught on camera. Lochte received a 10-month suspension for the incident.


THIS WEEK SAW SOME CRAZY-COOL CASTING ANNOUNCEMENTS

Malcom-Jamal Warner, Brett Butler, Mykelti Williamson, Kirstie Alley
In casting news this week, everybody knows her name, but until now we didn’t know that Kirstie Alley (Cheers, Fat Actress) has been cast in Season 2 of Scream Queens as the “brilliant and devious” hospital administrator where the Chanel divas will now be working. With Nashville‘s move to CMT, producers had been looking to add a new trans character to the show — a first for the network — and now has brought on Emmy-nominated actress and transgender advocate Jen Richards (Her Story, I Am Cait) as a physical therapist working closely with Juliette (Hayden Panettiere). A new Amazon drama pilot by Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino called The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will now reportedly star Tony Shalhoub (Monk, BrainDead). And ABC has announced a couple new castings, including comedienne/actress Brett Butler (Grace Under Fire) in a “mystery role” in the new season of How to Get Away with Murder. The network also announced that the cast of the new Kiefer Sutherland action-drama, Designated Survivor, will now include 24 alum Mykelti Williamson as Admiral Chernow, marking the second time since their hit show ended that the two actors have reunited on TV, the first being in Season 2 of Fox’s Touch. Lastly, Bravo made an announcement as well that TV veteran Malcom-Jamal Warner (Major Crimes, The Cosby Show) will be joining Season 3 of Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY DELAYED

And in news that’ll bring tears to Trekkers’ eyes: CBS has moved the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery from January 2017 to May 2017. Executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Bryan Fuller expressed a need for more time to perfect the show’s special effects, and CBS agreed. The Good Wife spinoff will move into the Star Trek slot.

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