SMALL SCREEN BIG NEWS
Action movie reboot series Training Day (2017-current) didn’t just lose its lead star in February when Bill Paxton passed away from a stroke following heart surgery: it lost any hope of a renewal. While the season had finished filming and Bill’s shady cop character Frank will appear in all of the episodes, sources say that “there’s very little chance of a season 2 now”.
Comedy series The Big Bang Theory (2007- current) is in line for a two-season renewal when season 10 ends in May. Lead stars Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki (Sheldon, Penny and Leonard) are rumoured to be willing to take a $100 000 (R1.3 million) pay cut to get their co-stars Mayim Bialik (Amy) and Melissa Rauch (Bernadette) on higher salaries. The trio are on $1 million an episode, while the ladies get $200 000 per episode. Melissa Ordway (Abby on Y&R, 1973-current) and Justin Gaston (ex-Ben on Days, 1965-current) are proud parents after legally adopting their baby daughter Olivia. Melissa Instagrammed this photo with the caption: “Surrounded by our family, the judge made Olivia officially a Gaston (even though she already was in our heart)”.
Benedict Cumberbatch is making a quick return to TV following the fourth season of Sherlock (2010- current). The 40-year- old will executive produce and star in the five-part drama series Melrose, an adaptation of Edward St Aubyn’s 2012 novels of the same name. Benny will play an “aristocratic and outrageously funny playboy who’s struggling with memories of his abusive upbringing”.
Emma Caulfield, famous as demon Anya Jenkins in fantasy series Buffy, The Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), is also back on the smallscreen following 14 years of once-off appearances on shows like Monk (20022009) in 2004 and Leverage (2008-2012) in 2011. She’s been cast in a topsecret guest role in season 3 of sci-fi horror series Fear The Walking Dead (2015-current) , which is expected to air later in 2017. Internet video giant YouTube is opening its own subscription service called YouTubeTV. “It’s an effort to evolve television,” explains company CEO Susan Wojcicki. Subscribers will have access to over 40 channels and unlimited cloud-based storage for $35 (R450) per month when the service launches later in 2017. Firefighter show Chicago Fire (2012-current) has added a hot new star to their cast. Kamal Angelo Bolden, aka “JooJoo” Beeman in action show Rosewood (2015-current), has been cast as “charismatic, loyal firefighter” Kannell and will make his debut later in the current fifth season, with an option for season 6 should the series be renewed.
Stephen Moyer is swapping vampires in True Blood (2008-2014) for mutants in the as-yet-untitled X-Men sci-fi drama series on FOX. The 47-year- old British actor will be taking on the role of Reed, a lawyer who tries to protect his family after finding out that his kids have mutant powers.
The late Bill Paxton.
Emma Caulfield from Fear The Walking Dead.
Chicago Fire’s Kamal Angelo Bolden.
Justin Gaston, Melissa Ordway and their daughter Olivia.