Showtime and Pop shared a press day at the winter Television Critics Association press day, tag-teaming with lots of news on renewals and premiere dates, including Penny Dreadful: City of Angels and One Day at a Time. News of shows in development featured a pilot about a very famous mother that comes with the backing of actress Rachel Bloom.
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, Showtime’s follow-up to its Victorian-era, London-set gothic horror series Penny Dreadful, promises to look at the light and dark of Los Angeles in many ways. Executive producer John Logan told journalists at TCA that, although the show is set in 1938, it rather closely mirrors today’s world.
“I’m struck by parallels to the late ’30s and what’s going on now, particularly the rise of extremist political hatred, of a sort of racist demagoguery that is taken for granted, by the pernicious influence in the danger of a foreign power in our electoral process, in our communication, and particularly by the marginalization and victimization of an ethnic community,” Logan said.
Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones), one of the stars of the series, plays shape-shifting supernatural demon Magda. She said at the TCA panel that the first episode of the series, which premieres April 26, will show two of her character’s personas. But there’s much more. Lots of different wigs and voices will be utilized: “It’s like catnip for an actor,” she said of the experience playing this character.
Goodbye, Gallaghers! Showtime announced Monday that Shameless, its long-running dramedy about the antics and schemes of this large family and their friends in the South Side of Chicago, will end with season 11. The upcoming last act will air this summer.
Showtime’s Emmy-winning drama Homeland premieres its final season on February 9. Although the series has covered everything from a bungled presidential election to terrorist attacks and double agents, showrunner Alex Gansa said at TCA that, this season, “we’ve made a conscious decision not to reflect what is happening in Washington, D.C.”
Instead, he said that season 8 will return to the first season’s themes of trust. Specifically: Claire Danes’ CIA agent Carrie Mathison is now under investigation when some suspect she’s been turned against the United States the way that she first doubted Damian Lewis’ Nick Brody.
Pop has given its blessing to a pilot entitled Mother Mary, a comedy that asks what would happen if the most irresponsible and laziest person in today’s society was to become impregnated by immaculate conception. Written by Casey Feigh, Dan Gregor, and Betsy Sodaro, the project stars Sodaro as a reimagined version of the mother of Christ. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star and co-creator Rachel Bloom is executive producing the project along with the trio and Tony Hernandez and Brooke Posch of Jax Media. She will appear in the pilot as Christa Anton, mother of the Antichrist.
Gregor is directing the pilot, which is set to shoot in February.
Speaking of resurrection, One Day at a Time finally has a premiere date on new home Pop after its Netflix cancellation last year. The family comedy will premiere its new season on the cable channel on March 24. According to the release, “this season will find Penelope (Justina Machado) exploring a surprising relationship, her mother Lydia (Rita Moreno) experiencing a religious crisis – as well as revealing the details of her surprise trip to Cuba with Dr. Berkowitz (Stephen Tobolowsky), and Schneider (Todd Grinnell) finding his relationship with Avery (India de Beaufort) growing deeper. Meanwhile, Elena (Isabella Gomez) begins to prepare for college and Alex (Marcel Ruiz) starts to date.”
Lots of other series also received premiere dates: Showtime series Billions returns May 3 and will feature guest stars Julianna Margulies and Corey Stoll, and Black Monday is back March 15. The third season of Showtime’s The Chi premieres July 5 and will feature creator Lena Waithe as a candidate for the mayor of Chicago. News series Vice starts March 29 on its new home at Showtime after moving from HBO.
Showtime’s limited series The Good Lord Bird, which features Ethan Hawke as abolitionist John Brown, was supposed to premiere this spring, but is delaying its premiere date to finish production.