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Jessica Biel on ‘The Sinner’s’ Surprise Success and Season 2 Plans
USA Network’s “The Sinner,” the small-screen adaptation of Petra Hammesfahr’s novel, has become the surprise hit of the summer. The drama has dominated ratings since its debut, taking the No. 1 slot in Live+7 numbers.
Even executive producer and series star Jessica Biel has been taken aback by just how strong a reception the show has seen. “Generally it never occurred to me that we’d have such great ratings,” Biel admits to Variety.
Biel thinks the show’s combination of high-caliber creative team and unique subject matter is what has led to the success. “It felt like something we’d never seen before,” Biel says. “The characters were an absolute dream for a creative and challenging experiment, and with a woman at the front of it all – and kind of an unlikable woman – it seemed like a good challenge and it seemed like something new.”
“The Sinner” was designed to be an eight-episode story that »
- Danielle Turchiano
‘Game of Thrones’: Fifth Prequel Series in Development at HBO
A fifth “Game of Thrones” prequel series is officially in the works at HBO, Variety has confirmed.
Bryan Cogman, who has worked on “Game of Thrones” since Season 1, has been tapped to pen a potential fifth prequel project for the network. It was previously known that four prequels were in development, though George R.R. Martin said that a fifth was also in the works. When Martin first spoke of the fifth writer being recruited in May, he said that apart from himself and “Thrones” experts Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson, “I don’t know anyone who knows and loves Westeros as well as he does.”
Cogman has worked on the show in various capacities over the years, most recently as a writer and co-executive producer. Among the episodes Cogman has written for the series are “Stormborn,” the second episode of Season 7, and “The Broken Man, the seventh episode of Season 6 which introduced the character of Lyanna Mormont »
- Joe Otterson
Sean Penn to Star in Beau Willimon Sci-Fi Series ‘The First’ on Hulu
Sean Penn will be making his first foray into series television thanks to a starring role in “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon’s upcoming sci-fi drama “The First.” The series, which will premiere on Hulu in the U.S. and Channel 4 in the U.K. and Ireland, follows the first human mission to Mars in the not-too-distant future. The character drama focuses on the astronauts who embark on the mission but also their families, loved ones and the people participating back on Earth. It also hopes to explore the challenges that go into interplanetary colonization. It was given a straight-to-series order on both. »
- Carli Velocci
Lee Daniels Developing Pair of Drama Projects at Fox with Julian Breece, Peter Mattei
Lee Daniels will executive produce two drama projects currently in development at Fox, Variety has learned.
The first project, titled “Victory,” is a one-hour drama set in the world of competitive gospel choirs. It tells the story of a prodigal son and a group of forgotten young people who must rise above their personal hardships to save a church and heal a broken community through the power of song. The project has received a put pilot commitment at the network. Julian Breece will write and executive produce, with Daniels also executive producing along with Pam Williams and Kevin Donahue. This marks Breece’s second collaboration with Daniels and Fox, having recently sold the drama project “Mason Dixon.” Breece most recently served as a co-producer on Beau Willimon’s new Hulu series “The First.”
Fox has ordered a script with a penalty attached for the the second project, “East of Hope.” The »
- Joe Otterson
‘The Deuce’ Renewed by HBO for Season 2
Created by David Simon and George Pelacanos, “The Deuce” premiered Sept. 10 on the premium service. Starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, the series tells the story of the rise of the porn industry in New York in the 1970s.
“We are thrilled to continue our creative collaboration with master storytellers David Simon and George Pelecanos,” said HBO programming president Casey Bloys. “Their unique gift for immersing the audience in their dark and edgy worlds brings a brilliant verisimilitude unlike any other. With the remarkably talented Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco leading an exceptional cast, we look forward to delving deeper as this captivating story evolves.”
“Everyone involved with this project is genuinely grateful to HBO for the chance to »
- Daniel Holloway
Sabrina-Centric Riverdale Spinoff in Development at The CW
It’s official: Sabrina the Teenage Witch is making tracks for Riverdale — though perhaps not the way fans have been speculating.
The CW is developing a one-hour Riverdale spinoff titled The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, TVLine has learned. The project, being likened to Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist in its tonality, “reimagines the origin and adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror, the occult and, of course, witchcraft. … This adaptation finds Sabrina wrestling to reconcile her dual nature — half-witch, half-mortal — while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family »
The CW Is Developing a Sabrina the Teenage Witch Companion to Riverdale
Sabrina the Teenage Witch might be returning to TV, but like Riverdale what did for Archie Comics, she'll be darker than you remember.
The CW is developing a Sabrina series called The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, TV Guide has learned. The one-hour horror drama is being eyed for a 2018-19 debut.
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- Liam Mathews
Sabrina the Teenage Witch ‘Riverdale’ Companion Series In Works At the CW
One of Archie Comics’ most popular characters, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, has been conspicuously missing from the CW’s Archie-themed drama series Riverdale. Now she is getting her own series. The CW has put in development The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, eyed as a companion series to Riverdale for the 2018-19 season. It comes from the same team as Riverdale: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. TV, with Aguirre-Sacasa, who penned the Riverdale… »
Sabrina the Teenage Witch Series in Development at CW From ‘Riverdale’ Team
Sabrina the Teenage Witch could soon be returning to television.
The CW and Warner Bros. Television are developing a new one-hour drama based around the character for the 2018-2019 season, Variety has learned.
The potential series would be based on the Archie Comics series “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” which reimagines the origin and adventures of Sabrina as a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror, the occult, and witchcraft. The series is described as being tonally in the vein of horror classics like “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Exorcist,” and will see Sabrina wrestling to reconcile her dual nature as a half-witch, half-mortal while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family, and the daylight world humans inhabit.
Should the project move forward, it would serve as a companion series to “Riverdale,” the dark reimagining of the Archie Comics that puts Archie and the rest of his high school friends at the heart of a »
- Joe Otterson
Gotham Season 4 Cast Photo Reveals Haunting Skyline of Villains and Heroes
Faces familiar and new (plus one with a fresh ‘do) are ready to brave a dark night in the cast photo for Season 4 of Gotham.
RelatedGotham Casts Fringe Vet as Baddie Professor Pyg
The Fox drama christens its new night this Thursday at 8/7c, with the episode “A Dark Knight: Pax Penguina,” in which Gordon (played by Ben McKenzie) worries that Jonathan Crane may still be alive after a string of robberies seem to be committed by The Scarecrow. Meanwhile, Penguin’s (Robin Lord Taylor) plan to “legitimize” the city’s crime goes awry during the grand opening of »
‘Hand in Hand’ Hurricane Relief Telethon Raises More Than $55 Million
“Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief” announced Wednesday that the hourlong telethon featuring the likes of Justin Bieber, Beyonce, and George Clooney had raised more than $55 million, which will aid the victims of both hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
A whopping $14 million was raised during the live telethon, while the remaining $41 million was collected after the event had ended. Stephen Colbert announced during the telethon that Apple had donated $5 million, with Albertsons Co. and Meck donating $1 million each.
Comic Relief USA, the organization behind Red Nose Day, will take the reins in distributing the funds from “Hand in Hand” to the organization’s partnered charities, including Rebuild Texas Fund, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Feeding Florida, Feeding Texas, Direct Relief, Aspca, Best Friends Animal Society, United Way of Greater Houston, United Way Irma Recovery Fund, and the Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief (administered through the Greater Houston Community Foundation).
“Our team is »
- Erin Nyren
Netflix Is Dropping 30 Rock and More of Your Favorites in October
Netflix is doing their own version of The Purge this October, dropping favorites like 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights and One Tree Hill.
Although many other shows are also getting the Netflix axe -- including Louie, The Wonder Years and Malcolm in the Middle -- 30 Rock's departure truly feels like the end
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- Sadie Gennis
‘In The Cloud’: Crackle Sets Cast As Production Begins
Nora Arnezeder (Safe House), Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment), Justin Chatwin (Shameless), Tomiwa Edun (The Hour) and Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad) have been cast in Crackle's upcoming sci-thriller In the Cloud., from Imperative Entertainment and Automatik. Production is underway in London and Manchester, England, on the 90-minute feature expected to release in December on the streaming network. In the Cloud takes place in the near future after dozens of people are killed in… »
‘American Idol,’ ‘The Voice’ Nab Top Host Talent for Top Dollar
When ABC announced in May that it had closed a deal to return “American Idol” to television, it did so with the help of a high-priced star. The network announced that pop singer Katy Perry would anchor the judge’s table on the rebooted unscripted juggernaut.
Perry, it was soon learned, would make $25 million for her work on the first season of the new “Idol.” The move to secure her set off a scramble for talent in the unscripted arena that would see A-listers such as Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend and Scooter Braun courted to launch or reinvigorate unscripted franchises to compete with the new version of one of television’s most successful shows.
When “American Idol” originally launched in 2001, the most famous name attached was that of Paula Abdul — a second-rung pop singer whose biggest hits were a decade behind her. But as ABC and producer FremantleMedia prep the new “Idol,” they »
- Daniel Holloway
‘Game Of Thrones’: Another Potential Prequel In Works
There is a fifth potential Game of Thrones prequel series in the works, and this one hails from GoT co-executive producer Bryan Cogman, Deadline has confirmed. The project is currently in early development. HBO noted earlier that there is no set timetable for the possible series, and all will be evaluated when scripts are completed. The fifth possible prequel was mentioned cryptically by George R.R. Martin in a blog post a few months ago. HBO confirmed back in the spring… »
Variety’s 2017 Reality Leaders
From competition shows to docuseries, Variety spotlights 2017’s reality leaders. »
- Danielle Turchiano
Fall TV Predictions: Lost Spinoff, Super This Is Us Plan, Rent Meets Disney (?!), Freshman Hits & Misses and More
Here at TVLine, we have spent the past few months diligently sharing often-exclusive intel on what will happen as the much-anticipated 2017-18 TV season unfolds.
But what about what might happen?
RelatedFall TV: Your Handy Calendar of 100+ Premiere Dates
As is tradition, the TVLine staff hereby serves up its Fearless Fall TV Predictions, where last season will walked away with a fairly typical 28 percent success rate. So out of our 35 forecasts in the attached slideshow (click here for direct access), which 10 or so do you think are most likely to pan out?
RelatedFall TV Preview: Scoop and Photos on 35+ Returning Favorites! »
Stranger Things Isn't the Only Great Thing Coming to Netflix in October
Stranger Things 2 is far and away the biggest thing coming to Netflix in October (it drops Oct. 27), but it's by no means the only thing coming. Here at TV Guide, we're equally excited about Mindhunter, the streaming service's criminal profiler drama series from David Fincher. That one arrives on
Read More > »
- Liam Mathews
‘The Good Place’ Boss on Season 2: More Michael, More POVs, More Individual Torture
Mike Schur’s latest NBC comedy, “The Good Place,” is about to break its own format. After the first season finale revealed the so-called “good place” was really just an elaborate setup within “the bad place,” orchestrated as a new way of torture by architect Michael (Ted Danson), the second season plans to explore what happens after Eleanor (Kristen Bell) and her new friends have their memories wiped and dropped right back in the experiment again.
Variety spoke with Schur ahead of the season 2 premiere about how to keep a show interesting when the audience’s knowledge is ahead of the characters.
The first few episodes of season 2 seem to be more from Michael’s perspective than Eleanor’s. Is that a trend that will continue throughout the new season?
Yes, that was the big idea, really, of how we could make it an interesting show in a situation where everyone’s memories are erased, ’cause »
- Erin Nyren
‘America’s Got Talent’ Hits Ratings Highs With Performance Finale
The Season 12 penultimate episode of NBC's America's Got Talent on Tuesday night drew 14.3 million total viewers and a 2.9 rating in adults 18-49 (Live+same day) to deliver the long-running variety series’ most-watched Tuesday telecast in six years and the highest-rated among 18-49 in three years. Last night’s show edged last year’s performance finale by 4% in 18-49 (2.9 vs. 2.8) and 2% in total viewers (14.32 million vs. 13.97 million). It also surged (up 23% and 26%)… »
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