All the TV news that you need to know… in just 10 minutes.
America Ferrera is having a great month. Not only has her sitcom Superstore (2015-current) been supersized from 11 episodes in season 1 to 22 episodes for season 2, the actress has heavily hinted that an Ugly Betty (2006-2010) reunion may be in the works, with a made-for-TV movie currently under discussion. “We’re having conversations,” she teased when appearing on talkshow Watch What Happens: Live (2009-current). “The more our fans make noise about it, the more likely it is, so keep it up!” America Ferrera and her Ugly Betty co-stars could be making a comeback.
Reality cooking show The Great British Bake Off’s (2010-current) mass exodus continues, with judge Mary Berry opting not to sign with the show now that it’s moving broadcasters from BBC to Channel 4 in the UK. Presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are also out, which leaves judge Paul Hollywood as the only original cast member to stay on.
Alan Cumming isn’t set to be in drama show The Good Wife’s (2009-2016) spin-off series next year – although his character Eli Gold’s daughter Marissa (Sarah Steele) will be. Alan is returning to TV though – he’ll produce and star in a TV adaptation of the James Patterson novel Dr Death, about a CIA agent-turned-novelist who’s roped in by the cops to help catch a serial killer. The series is in the early stages of development and for now is only a pilot.
The recent untimely death of Ax Men (2008-2016) star Gabe Rygaard in a multi-car crash is likely to blame for the History Channel cancelling the reality show after nine seasons. Also getting canned is music-themed dramedy Roadies (2016) after one season.
Soap operas are about to make for great prime-time dramas with two soapbased series currently in the works – and with big names attached too. Scream Queens’ (2015-current) John Stamos is co-producing a still-untitled drama about the glam and excessive world of ’80s US soap operas. And it’s a world that he knows something about – John got his shot at fame aged 18 as heartthrob Blackie Parrish on soap General Hospital (1963current) in 1982. And network ABC wants The Marquis, which is described as a “sexy and twisted character soap set in the most iconic and exclusive building in Manhattan”. The Marquis is the joint brainchild of Greg Berlanti (the creator of Arrow, 2012-current) and Julie Plec (co-creator of Vampire Diaries, 2010-current). John Stamos is moving into the executive producer’s seat.
Music drama show Nashville’s (2012-current) upcoming fifth season seems to be setting up a love triangle with the newly out singer Will (played by Chris Carmack), his ex Kevin (Kyle Dean Massey) and new cast member Murray Bartlett (Dom from Looking, 2014-2016). Murray will play Jakob Fine, a successful mens’ fashion designer who will share scenes with Will.
The SABC isn’t the only broadcaster with their own self-imposed content quotas. If you’re loving Netflix’s original programming like House Of Cards (2013-current), Orange Is The New Black (2013current), Stranger Things (2016-cur- rent) and Grace & Frankie (2015-current), you’re in for a treat. The streaming service revealed plans to have half of their content be original Netflix-only programming in the form of TV series and movies. CFO David Wells added that it’s going to cost them billions over the next few years to reach that goal.
The BBC is definitely not giving up on Top Gear (2002-current), despite the show’s flop return earlier this year with Chris Evans, who quit as host in July after just six episodes. Chris’s co-host Matt LeBlanc has officially been named the motoring show’s new main host for the next two seasons, along with the returning Chris Harris, Rory Reid, Eddie Jordan, Sabine Schmitz and The Stig.
Top Gear isn’t the only British series being renewed – ITV’s period drama Victoria (2016current) is getting a second season, while reality shows Britain’s Got Talent (2007current) and The X Factor UK (2004-current) have both been extended until 2019. More good news is that we’ll be getting more seasons of travel show Ride With Norman Reedus (2016current), plus sitcoms Dice (2016current), Atlanta (2016-current), Better Things (2016-current) and Odd Mom Out (2015-current). Matt LeBlanc is returning as the main man on Top Gear.