Its been a while since we’ve seen what various Whedonverse alumni have been up to. Some we see every week: David Boreanaz in Bones, Julie Benz in No Ordinary Family, Adam Baldwin’s Chuck, Christian Kane’s Leverage returns in December, Alyson Hannigan in How I Met Your Mother, Nathan Fillion in Castle, and Daniel Dae Kim in CBS’s new Hawaii Five-O. We’re also seeing the work of our Whedonverse writers showcased in such productions as Terriers (Tim Minear), Supernatural (Ben Edlund), and Lie To Me (Sarah Fain and Elizabeth Craft). Just in case you’ve missed some other news items, check out what else has been happening in the entertainment world!
Gina Torres will co-star in a USA drama pilot, A Legal Mind. The series stars Patrick J. Adams as Mike Ross, a brilliant but unmotivated college student who is recruited to a top Manhattan law firm despite his lack of a law degree. Is that even legal? Anyway, Torres will portray Katherine Pearson, a senior partner at the firm. With the debut of Fairly Legal starring Sarah Shahi (NBC’s Life, The L Word) and Battlestar Galactica’s Michael Trucco announced for January 2011, will the network book another legal drama? Why not! We’ll let you know when this pilot hits the airwaves!
Anthony Stewart Head is still the King! BBC has renewed the fantasy adventure series Merlin for a fourth season. Head stars as King Uther opposite Colin Morgan (Merlin), Bradley James (Arthur) and John Hurt (the dragon). The first season on Merlin ran on NBC to lackluster ratings, and the network canceled the import. However the SyFy channel grabbed the second season, which earned a respectable-for-cable 1.7 million average viewers per episode. The show’s third season should debut on SyFy early in 2011.
Even before the cancellation of Caprica, Jane Espensen must have known it was a good time to jump ship! Now she is working on the hit BBC series, Torchwood. She’ll be writing about a third of the season-four episodes, which will air on Starz and debut in the Summer of 2011. The fourth series will take place outside of Cardiff, with the team coming to the good old USofA. Check out her excellent Q&A with SyFy’s Blastr. Unfortunately, her influence couldn’t help Dollhouse’s Enver Gjokai land the role of a sharp as nails CIA agent. Too bad. That would have been something to see.
Brett Matthews, assistant writer for Joss Whedon through Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly, has joined the writing team at Supernatural alongside former Angel scribe Ben Edlund. Matthews has already penned the Twilight spoof episode, “Live Free or Twihard,” and has also written the season’s tenth episode, “Caged Heat,” featuring the return of an old nemesis for Sam and Dean.
USA is transforming an enjoyable movie classic into a series. Necessary Roughness starred Scott Bakula as a former football star who lost his chance at greatness due to family obligations, yet years later finds his way back onto the football field in this feel-good 1991 film. Now Buffy’s Marc Blucas steps into the starring role of the aging ballplayer for this television remake. To be aired sometimes in 2011, the series also stars Amanda Detmer (Private Practice, What About Brian), Scott Cohen (L&O: Trail by Jury, The Return of Jezebel James), and Craig Bierko (Damages, Unhitched).
Jeremy Renner has been stepping it up lately. The popular Angel guest star was recently seen in the thrilling bank heist film, The Town, with Ben Affleck. Now he has joined the cast of Mission: Impossible IV starring Tom Cruise and Mission regulars Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg. Additional co-stars for the film include Paula Patton (Swing Vote) and Josh Holloway (Lost).
For those who tuned in for SyFy’s original series, Haven – the cast thanks you! While not an automatic hit by any means, the network has seen fit to give the show another chance at ratings silver with a second season. Starring Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant and Buffy’s Eric Balfour, the mystery series is based on Stephen King’s short story, The Colorado Kid. Look for the series to return in Summer 2011.
Steven S. DeKnight’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand will move forward, though without its original star, Andy Whitfield, who has had to pull out of the production due to a relapse in his health. The second season of DeKnight’s popular Starz series was delayed when Whitfield was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Instead the studio filmed a prequel, giving the actor time for his treatments, which were successful. However, just as filming for the second season was set to commence, Whitfield’s health took a turn for the worse and doctors encouraged him to resume aggressive treatment. Regretfully, Whitfield had to pull out of the series, leaving its fate in doubt. Latest news confirms the show will go on with another actor in the lead role. We wish Whitfield a speedy recovery. The prequel will begin airing in January 2011. Casting for the role of Spartacus for season 2 is still ongoing.