George R.R. Martin signs a reported eight-figure deal to develop more HBO and HBO Max programming, Indira Varma is among the new stars confirmed for Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi, Colin Firth will lead an eight-episode drama adaptation of classic true-crime docuseries The Staircase, and more of the week’s top TV and streaming news.
George R. R. Martin’s Game Of Thrones universe looks to dominate TV land for years to come, and now he has his sights set on The Great White Way: Martin is developing a Thrones stage show that he’s planning for a Broadway debut in 2023, THR reports.
The production, which is also planned for London and Australia, will revolve around a prequel storyline, with characters deceased in the TV GoT timeline, like Ned Stark and Jaime Lannister, alive and kicking in the stage show. Despite the many GOT prequel stories being developed for TV, the play would mark the first time beloved characters from the HBO series will be revived for a new project.
The play will specifically revolve around a historical event from Westeros’ past: The Great Tourney at Harrenhal, “a landmark event that previously was shrouded in mystery … a story centered around love, vengeance, madness and the dangers of dealing in prophecy … revealing secrets and lies that have only been hinted at until now,” according to THR. Given that setting, characters like Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, legendary knight Arthur Dayne, Robert Baratheon, Jaime Lannister, and Ned Stark would appear, likely as teenagers. Ned’s sister Lyanna would also feature prominently, as her relationship with the prince — the spark that leads to Robert’s Rebellion against the Mad King — is established publicly at the tournament.
In other GOT news, George R.R. Martin just signed a five-year, eight-figure deal to create yet more programming for HBO and HBO Max.
With half a dozen new projects in his A Song of Ice and Fire universe already in various states of development at HBO, Martin is also executive producing a pair of adaptations of other fantasy creators’ works for the network.
The very busy author, producer, and entrepreneur also has a series in development at Peacock, a feature film to be directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, and, THR reports, even a theme park ride, via his experiential immersive entertainment company.
As any devoted Trekkie – and anyone who saw the big-screen movie Star Trek: First Contact – knows, April 5, 2063, is the future date when humans first make contact with Vulcans, marking the historical beginning of collaboration, exploration, and acceptance in Trek history. Paramount and Paramount+ are celebrating the occasion with First Contact Day on April 5, a day of programming that will include panels with Trek celebrities, surprise announcements about new Trek programming, episode marathons, and the return of the #StarTrekUnitedGives initiative.
Highlights of three hours of panels, hosted by Wil Wheaton and Mica Burton, include a First Contact movie anniversary reunion with Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, and Alice Krige; a “Women in Motion” panel featuring Star Trek: Discovery’s Sonequa Martin-Green, Star Trek: Picard’s Michelle Hurd and Isa Briones, and Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Dawnn Lewis, who look back at how original Trek star Nichelle Nichols helped pave the way for women of color on television and overall; and the Star Trek: Prodigy panel, with Prodigy executive producers Kevin and Dan Hageman joined by Captain Kathryn Janeway herself, Star Trek: Voyager star Kate Mulgrew, who is reprising her role in animated form in Prodigy, as they talk about the upcoming kids series from Nickelodeon.
A complete list of First Contact Day events is available at StarTrek.com.
Mare of Easttown is a seven-episode limited series about Mare Sheehan (Kate Winslet), a small-town Pennsylvania detective who tries to solve a local murder case as the rest of her life crumbles around her. Also stars Jean Smart, Guy Pearce, Evan Peters, and David Denman. Premieres April 18 (HBO).
More trailers and teasers released this week:
• The Handmaid’s Tale’s fourth season finds rebel leader June on the run, as her quest for justice and revenge against Gilead threatens everyone she loves. Stars Elisabeth Moss. Premieres April 28 (Hulu).
• Shadow and Bone is a series adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s fantasy novels about a war-torn world which may depend on the extraordinary powers of orphan Alina Starkov to save it. Stars Jessie Mei Li. Premieres April 23 (Netflix).
• Star Wars: The Bad Batch is the spin-off series from the beloved Clone Wars series, following the very capable, but disobedient, Clone Force 99. Stars Ming-Na Wen, Dee Bradley Baker, Stephen Stanton, and Andrew Kishino. Premieres May 4 (Disney+).
• Rick and Morty, Season 5, will find the grandfather and his sidekick grandson blasting off on new adventures this summer. Stars Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer, and Sarah Chalke. Premieres June 20 (Adult Swim).
• The Nevers is the Joss Whedon–created sci-fi drama about a gang of Victorian women with a plethora of special abilities but just as many enemies. Stars Laura Donnelly, Olivia Williams, and James Norton. Premieres April 11 (HBO).
• Things Heard & Seen is a movie adaptation of Elizabeth Brundage’s novel of the same name, set in the 1980s, about a couple who leave Manhattan for a farm in the Hudson Valley, which sheds light on the sinister darkness both in their marriage and their new home. Stars Amanda Seyfried, James Norton, Rhea Seehorn, and F. Murray Abraham. Premieres April 29 (Netflix).
• The seventh, and final, season of Younger will debut on Paramount + (April 15), before airing on TV Land later this year. Stars Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff, and Peter Hermann.
• Wahl Street is a reality series that follows Mark Wahlberg as he balances his career on screen with his entrepreneurial efforts. Premieres April 15 (HBO Max).
• Big Shot is a dramedy, from David E. Kelley, starring John Stamos as a hot-tempered men’s college basketball coach who gets banned from the NCAA, but gets a chance to redeem himself by coaching the hoops team at an elite high school for girls. Also stars Yvette Nicole Brown and Jessalyn Gilsig. Premieres April 16 (Disney+).
• Frank of Ireland is a comedy that finds real-life brothers Brian and Domhnall Gleeson as a pair of friends trying to moved forward from a serious case of arrested development. Premieres April 16 (Amazon Video).
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Oscar winner Colin Firth will play the lead in HBO Max’s eight-episode adaptation of the true crime classic docuseries The Staircase, about author Michael Peterson, who was convicted of the 2001 murder of his wife, Kathleen. The twisty case involved another suspicious death and Peterson’s assertion that he and his wife had an open marriage (despite the prosecution’s assertion that the revelation of his bisexuality was motive for murder), and ultimately led to a surprise plea.
Scrubs star Donald Faison has been cast as Professor Drake Utonium, the father of the Powerpuff Girls in The CW’s live-action series (recently retitled Powerpuff). The sequel to the beloved 1998-2005 Cartoon Network animated series Powerpuff Girls will follow the Girls as adults, as they’re having some complicated feelings about being superheroes as children. That has also led to a tense relationship with their dad, which he hopes to repair now that they’re all grown up.
Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens will replace Armie Hammer in Starz’s Gaslit series with Julia Roberts and Sean Penn. Stevens will play John Dean, Richard Nixon’s White House attorney, who later testified against him in the Watergate scandal. (Variety)
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It’s official: the Disney+ Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor will begin production in April. The story picks up a decade after the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, “where Kenobi faced his greatest defeat, the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, turned evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.” Hayden Christensen, who played Anakin alongside McGregor in the movie, will also reprise his role for the series, which will also star Joel Edgerton, Rupert Friend, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Bonnie Piesse, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, Benny Safdie, and Moses Ingram. One actor and character we know will definitely not be a part of the new series: Ahmed Best and Jar Jar Binks, confirmed via Best’s Twitter.
Read more: “Everything We Know About Obi-Wan Kenobi”
Netflix has yet to confirm it, but The Crown star Josh O’Connor, who played Prince Charles in seasons 3 and 4, told an interviewer that he will be handing the role of Charles off to The Wire and The Affair star Dominic West for The Crown’s fifth, and final, season. (The Independent)
Mank Oscar nominee Amanda Seyfried is replacing Kate McKinnon in Hulu’s limited series The Dropout, playing the role of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the fraudulent medical-testing startup Theranos. Meanwhile, Lost alum Naveen Andrews has signed on to play Sunny Balwani, Holmes’ business partner and boyfriend, who served as the president and CEO of Theranos. Seyfried will also be a producer on the project, which is scheduled to begin filming this summer.
Don Cheadle will be the narrator for ABC’s upcoming reboot of The Wonder Years. Daniel Stern narrated the original 1988-93 series.
Comedian Pete Homes will star in CBS’ untitled pilot inspired by professional bowler Tom Smallwood, who, after being laid off from his job at an auto factory assembly line, decided to follow his dream of pursuing a career in the PBA (Professional Bowlers Association).
Vikings and Game of Thrones actor Laurence O’Fuarain has joined the cast of Netflix’s The Witcher prequel The Witcher: Blood Origin. He’ll play Fjall, a warrior seeking revenge after a loved one died trying to save him during a battle. (Deadline)
Read also: “Everything We Know About The Witcher Season 2”
Fargo alum David Thewlis and The Crown’s Olivia Colman will play a couple who become murder suspects when a couple of bodies are found in the garden of a British home in the HBO/Sky limited series Landscapers.
Adorable, scene-stealing Minari child star Alan Kim will play the young version of BD Wong in flashback scenes in the Comedy Central series Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens. Wong plays Wally, Nora’s dad. (TVLine)
In the latest castings for HBO’s drama series about the Los Angeles Lakers, based on Jeff Pearlman’s book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s, comedian Bo Burnham has signed on to play Boston Celtics superstar Larry Bird, one of the Lakers’ biggest rivals, while Jason Segel will play Paul Westhead, a Shakespeare professor who quits his job to become a Bard-quoting Lakers assistant coach.
Ariana Grande announced she will take up one of the giant red judges chairs on The Voice for the show’s 21st season in the fall. She will replace Nick Jonas, and join fellow judges Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, and Blake Shelton on the reality series. Meanwhile, Snoop Dogg will join the current season of The Voice on April 19, acting as a “super mentor” to the contestants.
Director John Waters will guest star on season 4 of Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, though details of his role are being kept hush-hush for now. (Variety)
Battlestar Galactica and Outlander showrunner Ronald D. Moore is developing author Sarah J. Maas’ bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses fantasy series for a Hulu series. Maas and Moore are writing the pilot together for the series, which, according to the official description, will blend “epic romance, adventure, and political intrigue in a tale of a huntress who agrees to travel to a magical realm with a faerie lord in return for her family’s safety, only to fall for him and ultimately fight for that love when an ancient curse threatens to destroy the faerie and human realms.”
Sarah Michelle Gellar will star in the Amazon comedy pilot Hot Pink, based on author Elana K. Arnold’s National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of. The story revolves around Nina, whose mother tells her unconditional love isn’t possible. After doing everything she can to prove to her boyfriend she deserves him, he breaks up with her anyway, sending her on a quest to understand what love really means.
NBC has given a series order to Ordinary Joe, starring James Wolk (Mad Men and Watchmen) as a man who makes a key decision at an important point in his life. The audience follows him as three different possible paths unfold from that decision: he becomes a rock star, a nurse, and a cop. (TVLine)
No network or streaming service is yet attached, but star Calista Flockhart is likely to return as the star of an in-development reboot of the 1997-2002 Fox legal dramedy Ally McBeal. Creator David E. Kelley would likely return as an executive producer, but with a female showrunner. (TVLine)
Netflix will air Steven Moffat’s upcoming BBC series Inside Man, which will star Stanley Tucci, David Tennant, Dolly Wells, and Lydia West. Deadline reports that Moffat is so secretive about the series that even Netflix and BBC don’t know how it will end, but the four-part story revolves around “a prisoner on death row (Tucci) in the U.S., a vicar in a quiet English town, and a math teacher trapped in a cellar, as they cross paths in the most unexpected way.”
Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss is developing, co-producing, and starring in Bozeman, a historical drama about the founding of the city Bozeman, Montana. Set in 1859, the series will follow farmer John Bozeman and gunslinger William McKenzie during the first gold rush in the land that will become Montana and Colorado. The production will film in Montana, and is committed to using Native writers, cast, and crew, Deadline reports.
HBO Max has given a series order to the Head of the Class reboot produced by Bill Lawrence (Scrubs and Ted Lasso). One Day at a Time’s Isabella Gomez will play the teacher role played by Howard Hesseman and Billy Connolly in the 1986-91 ABC original comedy, the teacher who tries to get her overachieving students to focus a little less on their books and a little more on experiencing other areas of their young lives.
Yet another reboot on the way: CSI, or rather, CSI: Vegas, with William Petersen and Jorja Fox returning as Dr. Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle, and Wallace Langham as lab tech David Hodges. Matt Lauria, Paula Newsome, Mel Rodriguez, and Mandeep Dhillon will also star in the CBS comeback, in which “a brilliant new team of forensic investigators must welcome back old friends and deploy new techniques to preserve and serve justice in Sin City.”
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before author Jenny Han is the creator, writer, and executive producer of a spin-off series of the Netflix movies adapted from her books. The half-hour comedy would revolve around the youngest of the Covey sisters, Kitty, played by one of the hit movies’ favorite cast members, Anna Cathcart. (Deadline)