Casting notice reveals Batwoman producers have ditched the Kate Kane role for a more “goofy” alter ego, Cobra Kai must find a new streaming home, Patrick Dempsey returns to U.S. TV in Italian crime series, Gal Gadot TV series moves to Apple TV+, Joe Exotic foe Carole Baskin is awarded his zoo, and more recent top TV news.
Not only was the Batwoman Season 1 finale the last episode of the series for star Ruby Rose, but it was also the last episode for her character, Kate Kane.
As The CW begins the process of casting a new lead actress for the series after Rose quit the DC Universe drama following its May premiere season finale, the network has decided to create a new character who will don the Batwoman suit.
Kate Kane was the cousin of Bruce Wayne, the alter ego of Batman. But Decider.com reports that, as per a casting notice, the new character will be named Ryan Wilder. The scoop on Ryan: she’s mid- to late 20s, may be of any ethnicity, and she’s “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the batsuit before her.”
More details for the new Batwoman star, who will take over the role when the series returns in January 2021: “With no one in her life to keep her on track, Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the GCPD and masking her pain with bad habits. A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat could also kill you with her bare hands … Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical All-American hero.”
The casting notice also encourages, “Performers who identify as LGBTQ are encouraged to submit.” The first season of Batwoman made history as the first live-action series to feature a lesbian superhero as the lead.
Bad news: still no release date for the much-anticipated third season of Cobra Kai. But the good news: that premiere date should be announced as soon as the Karate Kid sequel series lands at its new streaming service home. Deadline reports YouTube had decided it would not order additional seasons of the series after Season 3 because of a pivot to focus on unscripted series. Cobra Kai producer Sony Television then asked YouTube if it could shop Season 3 around to other networks — with the hope that a new service would want to also order additional seasons — and YouTube agreed. According to Deadline, all the major streaming services were interested in the series, which quickly earned a huge fanbase when it premiered in 2018, and now it’s down to Hulu and Netflix as the two most likely to snag the show.
No spoilers for those who have yet to watch the series — one of the most bingeworthy dramas of the pandemic, FYI — but Season 2 ended with a major cliffhanger regarding the status of one of the breakout younger characters of the series, which stars original Karate Kid cast members Ralph Macchio and William Zabka.
From Cobra Kai co-creator Jon Hurwitz: “Clarity is out there when it comes to the reasons for the delay in Season 3’s release. I promise you will hear from us the moment there’s something official to announce. Hopefully soon. Just know that our priorities are always what’s best for the show and its future.”
The CW is getting devilish with its fall lineup, courtesy of Patrick Dempsey. The Grey’s Anatomy alum is the star of a French-Italian co-production series called Devils, which The CW is adding to its Wednesday night lineup in the fall. The 10-episode premiere season of the series, which aired in Italy earlier this year, is a financial-themed drama set in the London office of a major U.S. investment bank. Dominic Morgan (Dempsey) mentors ruthless banker Massimo Ruggero (Alessandro Borghi, Suburra), until Morgan promotes another colleague instead of Ruggero. Bitter feelings ensue, and Massimo becomes the prime suspect in a murder case. Will Morgan be an ally or a foe in his time of need?
The English-language thriller, which also stars Paul Chowdhry, Laia Costa, Sallie Harmsen, Malachi Kirby, Pia Mechler, Harry Michell, Lars Mikkelsen, and Kasia Smutniak, has already been renewed for a second season.
Matthew Rhys, Tatiana Maslany, and John Lithgow star in HBO’s Perry Mason, the origin story of “American fiction’s most legendary criminal defense attorney.” The series is based on characters created by author Erle Stanley Gardner. Set in 1931 Los Angeles, the story shows a city booming while the rest of the country struggles through the Great Depression. When a child kidnapping goes wrong, the high-profile case lands with Mason, whose investigation will reveal a fractured city.
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The Good Place alum Manny Jacinto has joined the cast of Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers, the upcoming adaptation of Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty’s book of the same name that also stars Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy. Jacinto will play Yao, who becomes the assistant of Kidman’s Masha, the leader of an eccentric wellness spa called Tranquillum.
Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Luce, Waves, The High Note) has confirmed he has joined the cast of Euphoria for the HBO drama’s second season. He wouldn’t share his character’s name or specific details, but he did tell Teen Vogue he has “never seen a character like this, period… I can almost argue that it has not been done. It’s interesting, it is definitely a character of the time, and that’s all I got. He’s interesting.”
The Hedy Lamarr series starring Gal Gadot in the title role has moved to Apple TV+ from Showtime. The eight-episode series comes from writer and executive producer Sarah Treem (The Affair), and also counts Gadot, Warren Littlefield, and Katie Robbins as executive producers, and Lamarr’s children as consultants. The series will unfold the story of Lamarr beyond her career as an actress, including her work as an inventor (among her creations: an invention that became the basis for spread spectrum technology that’s used today) and founding her own production studio. (Variety)
Amazon is developing a series featuring The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo character Lisbeth Salander. The new series, despite being called The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, will not be a sequel to Stieg Larsson’s books or the movie adaptations; Salander will be featured in a new story that is set in current times. (Variety)
The Safdie brothers, Josh and Benny, the filmmakers behind the critically acclaimed Adam Sandler drama Uncut Gems, have signed a two-year first-look TV deal with HBO. A24, the company behind Uncut Gems and the producer of HBO’s Euphoria, will executive produce any projects that spark from the deal.
NBA execs are expected to announce a plan to restart the league’s season in July. The shortened season would include an eight-game run of games featuring 22 teams, followed by a play-in tournament and play-offs. All games would be played at the Disney World Resort in Orlando (without fans), where players, coaches, and broadcasters would live for the duration of the season. Players and other personnel would be tested for the coronavirus daily. (ESPN)
A writer for the upcoming Law & Order spin-off that will revolve around Chris Meloni’s Law & Order: SVU character Elliot Stabler has been fired by L&O creator Dick Wolf after the writer threatened to “light up” looters during Los Angeles protests over the death of George Floyd. Craig Gore posted on Facebook an image of himself holding a weapon and text that said he would “light motherf—ers up who are trying to f— with my property.” Wolf confirmed the firing to Variety, stating, “I will not tolerate this conduct, especially during our hour of national grief. I am terminating Craig Gore immediately.” Meloni responded on Twitter: “I have no idea who this person is or what they do.”
YouTube’s series adaptation of Step Up is moving to Starz. The show was canceled by YouTube after two seasons, as part of its shift to unscripted programming. The third season will continue to star Ne-Yo as Sage Odom, the founder of Atlanta’s High Water Performing Arts School, and Naya Rivera as his professional and personal partner, Colette. Battlestar Galactica alum Tricia Helfer is also joining the cast. (THR)
HBO Max is moving up the release dates for episodes of its original series Love Life, starring Anna Kendrick. Episodes 4, 5, and 6 are available as of June 4, while the final four installments of the first season will be released on June 11.
HBO Max also greenlit Homeschool Musical: Class of 2020, a scripted special in which high school students whose musicals were canceled because of the pandemic will perform from their homes. The show was inspired by Younger star and Tony winner Laura Benanti’s #SunshineSongs, in which she offered to be the audience for students whose theater projects had been canceled.
Tony, Grammy, and Emmy winner (and Oscar nominee) Cynthia Erivo is producing a Quibi documentary series called What We Keep. Based on the book of the same name by Bill Shapiro and Naomi Wax, the series takes viewers into the homes of celebrities, who reveal their favorite possession and why it means so much to them. Erivo also stars as Aretha Franklin in the next season of Nat Geo’s Genius series, scheduled for later this year.
CBS is partnering with the Recording Academy for a two-hour special that will celebrate essential workers and raise money for No Kid Hungry and the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in New Orleans. Harry Connick Jr. will host United We Sing: A Grammy Salute to the Unsung Heroes, airing Sunday, June 21, from 8-10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and including appearances and performances by Sandra Bullock, Queen Latifah, Brad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey, Renée Zellweger, Andra Day, Jamie Foxx, Herbie Hancock, Cyndi Lauper, John Fogerty, Little Big Town, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Dave Matthews, Tim McGraw, Rockin’ Dopsie, Irma Thomas, and Trombone Shorty.
Netflix will certainly have no lack of material for potential Tiger King sequels: Joe Exotic foe Carole Baskin was awarded Exotic’s zoo properties in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, as part of a judgment of trademark infringement Baskin won against Exotic. The current owner of the Wynnewood property, and another star of Tiger King, Jeff Lowe, told ET.com he has no intentions of leaving Tiger King Park in good condition for Baskin’s takeover. But Baskin may have bigger things to worry about, as a sheriff in Florida is alleging that the will of Baskin’s missing husband, Don Lewis, who was declared dead in 2002, was forged. The will left Lewis’ estate to Baskin and nothing to his family, another topic that was covered in Tiger King.