SMALL SCREEN BIGNEWS
Anthology thriller American Horror Story (2011-current) has added Lena Dunham (Girls, 2012-current) to its line-up ahead of the asyet-untitled season 7. Show creator Ryan Murphy tweeted: “Thrilled that my talented friend Lena Dunham is joining the American Horror Story family. Always wanted to work together and now we r!” The title of season 7 hadn’t been revealed when tvplus went to print, but Ryan teased a photo on his social media accounts of a person covered in bees, captioned “ÄHS last clue before the title reveal”.
Big Bang Theory (2007-current) fans, get ready to meet Meemaw! Prequel sitcom Young Sheldon (2017- current) has cast Annie Potts as Sheldon Cooper’s granny in the upcoming series. Annie played Mary Jo in iconic comedy Designing Women (1986-1993) and most recently Sharon on drama The Fosters (2013- current).
Kermit The Frog will sound different when The Muppets (1978-current) returns. Voice artist Steve Whitmire was let go after 27 years after repeatedly disagreeing with the direction his character was taking. “We have been doing the characters for a long time and we know them better than anybody. I thought I was aiding to keep it on track,” says Steve. The show meanwhile released a statement saying that they need to protect the integrity of the character and that “this decision wasn’t an easy one”. Matt Vogel will replace Whitmire immediately.
Fans of medical drama Code Black (2015-current) got good and bad news recently. The show’s been renewed but without character Malaya. Actress Melanie Chandra won’t be returning although no reason has been given for her departure. Code Black will be filling the void with a new resident doctor, played by Tyler Perez (Brett from horror comedy Scream, 2015- current). Also joining as a guest is Chaley Rose (Zoe in music drama Nashville, 2012- current), whose character is terrified by the intensity in the ER, leading to costly mistakes.
Fantasy series The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017) is dead and buried, but at least one of its characters is alive. Candice King will bring her character Caroline ForbesSalvatore to season 5 of Vampire Diaries spin-off show The Originals (2013-current) in 2018. The only detail released so far is that Caroline will have a complicated relationship with Klaus Mikkelsen (Joseph Morgan).
Action show Hawaii Five- 0 (2010- current) has wasted no time hiring replacements for Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park (Chin and Kono), who quit in July over a pay dispute. Ian Anthony Dale, who plays Kono’s recurring-character hubby Adam, has been promoted to a full-time cast member, while Meaghan Rath and Beulah Koale have also been cast for the upcoming season 8.
Epic fantasy series Game Of Thrones (2011-current) broke its own viewership record with its season 7 première on 17 July. Over 10.1 million viewers tuned in, with the total climbing to over 16 million with streaming viewers and viewers watching the repeat added in. That figure still falls short of zombie apocalypse show The Walking Dead (2010-current) which got 17.3 million viewers for its season 5 première. The Walking Dead returns on 22 October. Staying with The Walking Dead, they suffered a tragic lose during filming in late July when stuntman John Bernecker was seriously injured. He fell from a 6m-high balcony on the Georgia set and his family chose to take him off life support. The veteran stuntman also worked on The Hunger Games films (2012-2015) and X-Men movie Logan (2017).
Oscar winner Forest Whitaker is joining season 4 of music drama Empire (2015-current) as Uncle Eddie, a music icon who helps Lucious (Terrence Howard) with his rehab. Demi Moore’s nurse character will also have a bigger role in season 4 after her introduction in the season 3 finale in May 2017.
Eileen Davidson, best known as Kristen DiMera on Days Of Our Lives (1965- current; see p27), has quit reality show The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills (2010- current). She posted on her Instagram page @eileendavids onofficial that “Ï’ve decided it’s best for me and my fam to step away from being a housewife for now. But ya never know! I might be popping in to see what the ladies are up to from time to time!”
Forest Whitaker is joining Empire.
Vampire Diaries’ Caroline.
Lena Dunham has been cast in American Horror Story.