Octavia Spencer and Hannah Waddingham team for action-adventure series / Angela Bassett cast as POTUS / Apple TV+ renews The Buccaneers
PLUS: The Rolling Stones scripted drama series no longer in the works at Disney and FX.
Octavia Spencer and Hannah Waddingham team for an Amazon action-adventure series
Amazon Prime Video has won an intensive bidding war for an untitled eight-episode series starring The Help Oscar winner Spencer and Ted Lasso Emmy winner Waddingham, based on an original idea from Feel Good writer Tessa Coates. Spencer and Waddingham will respectively play best friends Debbie and Judith, "who work to repair their friendship after Debbie learns Judith is a highly trained assassin," per The Hollywood Reporter. "When a hit goes horribly wrong, the pair go on the run while being targeted by a mysterious enemy who wants them dead. Only together can they solve this layered mystery." According to The Hollywood Reporter's Lesley Goldberg, "the series was one of few new original scripted ideas that generated multiple offers in what many Hollywood insiders say has been an unusually quiet marketplace after the writers strike." Amazon MGM Studios head Jennifer Salke says of the untitled series: “We were blown away by this one-of-a-kind comedy. Tessa’s pitch delivered it all — fantastically original characters, a great story, the amazing creative talents of Octavia and Hannah, and so much fun."
Angela Bassett cast as POTUS in Robert De Niro's Netflix series Zero Day
Bassett is joining the six-episode limited series as President Mitchell, “a brilliant and perceptive political tactician who has an allegiance to” De Niro’s character George Mullen, a former President who gets pulled out of retirement “to head a commission tasked with investigating a devastating global cyber-attack,” per the official description.
Molly Parker to lead Fox medical drama Doc
The former Deadwood star will lead Fox's adaptation of the Italian hit medical drama Doc — Nelle tue mani, playing Dr. Amy Elias, the chief of internal and family medicine at Westside Hospital in Minneapolis, who must pick up her professional and personal pieces after she loses the memory of the last eight years. Here's the official logline: “After a brain injury erases the last eight years of her life, Amy must navigate an unfamiliar world where she has no recollection of patients she’s treated, colleagues she’s crossed, the soulmate she divorced, the man she now loves and the tragedy that caused her to push everyone away. She can rely only on her estranged 17-year-old daughter, whom she remembers as a 9-year-old, and a handful of devoted friends, as she struggles to continue practicing medicine, despite having lost nearly a decade of knowledge and experience.”
The Rolling Stones scripted drama series no longer in the works at Disney and FX
Since 2020, High Fidelity author Nick Hornby has been working on a scripted series dramatizing the iconic band's glory years, with The Rolling Stones giving their permission to use their music. But Andy Harries, CEO of The Crown producer Left Bank Pictures, says he's having to shop the costly project around due to Disney cutbacks. “It did take a tumble out because of the cutbacks at Disney. It was just too expensive and too ambitious for the immediate agenda," he told Deadline.
Apple TV+ renews The Buccaneers for Season 2
The period drama about a group of party-loving American girls in 1870 who descend upon London in search of a husband, based on Edith Wharton’s unfinished novel of the same name, has been renewed after its Season 1 finale last week.
My Life with the Walter Boys tops Netflix's Top 10 — The Crown is No. 2
The coming-of-age drama was Netflix's most-watched TV series for the week of Dec. 11-17, with 12.8 million views. The Crown's final six episodes, which dropped Dec. 14, had 5.8 million views in its four days of availability.
Holly Marie Combs confirms fan theory that Alyssa Milano got Shannen Doherty fired from Charmed
Combs recalled on Doherty's Let's Be Clear podcast Monday questioning executive producer Jonathan Levin about why Doherty was axed from the 1998-2006 The WB drama after Season 3. “He said, ‘We didn’t mean to — but we’ve been backed into this corner — we’re basically in this position where it’s one or the other,’” Combs recalled Levin’s explanation." Combs added: “‘We were told (by Alyssa) it’s her or (Shannen) and Alyssa has threatened to sue us for a hostile workplace environment.’” Combs further alleged that Milano, 50, had previously spoken with a human resources staff member to build her case against her co-stars and had allegedly “documented every time she felt uncomfortable on set.”
WGA demands Television Academy reinstate the outstanding writing for a variety series/special award to the Primetime Emmys telecast
On Tuesday, the union sent a letter to the academy signed by more than 1,400 members — including Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, John Oliver, Jon Stewart, Amber Ruffin, Colin Jost and Michael Che. The letter says the decision to remove the category “devalues their (writers’) work, and our series, by sidelining writers from being honored during the Emmys’ main telecast.”
Past Lives star Teo Yoo joins The Recruit Season 2
The German-South Korean actor will becomes a series regular on the Noah Centineo-led Netflix series, playing "a clever and driven South Korean NIS agent. He’s highly skilled with a subversive sense of humor and willing to go to any lengths to protect those he cares about."
George Clooney recalls Matthew Perry as a "funny, funny, funny kid" who was "wasn't happy"
Clooney says the ER and Friends casts grew very close says their shows premiered three days apart in fall 1994 and filmed near each other on the Warner Bros. Studio lot. "I knew Matt when he was 16 years old," Clooney tells Deadline. "We used to play paddle tennis together. He’s about 10 years younger than me. And he was a great, funny, funny, funny kid. He was a kid and all he would say to us, I mean me, Richard Kind and Grant Heslov, was, I just want to get on a sitcom, man. I just want to get on a regular sitcom and I would be the happiest man on earth. And he got on probably one of the best ever. He wasn’t happy. It didn’t bring him joy or happiness or peace. And watching that go on on the lot — we were at Warner Brothers, we were there right next to each other — it was hard to watch because we didn’t know what was going through him. We just knew that he wasn’t happy and I had no idea he was doing what, 12 Vicodin a day and all the stuff he talked about, all that heartbreaking stuff. And it also just tells you that success and money and all those things, it doesn’t just automatically bring you happiness. You have to be happy with yourself and your life."
Nickelodeon announces animated series Rock Paper Scissors, starring Ron Funches, Thomas Lennon and Carlos Alazraqui
Funches stars as Rock, Lennon as Paper and Alazraqui as Scissors in the animated series premiering Feb. 12 with a special preview during Nickelodeon’s NFL Christmas Day game. "Rock, Paper and Scissors, are a trio of best friends and roommates who lovingly compete over everything in hilarious but mostly wildly absurd ways," per the official description. "Throughout season one, the trio will go to extremes playing hide-and-seek around the world, running from the birthday police, defending the world from an alien invasion, going head-to-head with the Rat Bros and more." Rock Paper Scissors is based on a short from Nickelodeon's Intergalactic Shorts Program.
Darlene Love performs "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" for David Letterman for the first time in nine years
From 1986 through 2014, Love performed her classic 1963 Christmas classic annually on Letterman's Late Night and Late Show. For Letterman's YouTube channel, the "Queen of Christmas" reteamed with Paul Shaffer for a special performance of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)."
Johnny Carson helped create a nationwide toilet paper shortage 50 years ago today
A joke told by Carson on the Dec. 19, 1973 The Tonight Show helped lead to "The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 1973."
NFL's first-ever Brazil game might be played in Week 1 next year due to September's unusual calendar
The Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 forbids the NFL from playing games on Friday nights through Saturday nights in September, October and November to protect high school football and college football. “But next year's calendar gives the NFL an opportunity to televise Friday night or Saturday games on the first week of the 2024 season, since the Sports Broadcasting Act doesn’t restrict such broadcasts until the second Friday of September," according to ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio. "When September 1 lands on a Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, the NFL’s post-Labor Day kickoff weekend may include Friday night and/or Saturday games. (The NFL agreed to that limitation in exchange for the broadcast antitrust exemption, which allows the NFL to sell TV rights as a league and not on a team-by-team basis.)"
Amazon unveils Expats trailer: Nicole Kidman stars in Lulu Wang limited series
Sarayu Blue, Ji-young Yoo, Brian Tee and Jack Huston also star in the six-episode limited series based on Janice Y.K. Lee’s bestselling novel The Expatriates. Expats premieres Jan. 26.
Watch Kevin Hart and Kenan Thompson in Peacock's 2023 Back That Year Up trailer
Hart and Thompson are reteaming to look back on the past year. Back That Year Up premieres Dec. 26.