Stars on screen
Digital television: It may be hard to remember in 2017, with the power of the internet ruling every aspect of our day-to-day lives, but there once was a time when the burgeoning World Wide Web was new, exciting and ready for bold idea people to seize it.
“Halt and Catch Fire” takes on the early days of the online world in its fourth and final season, premiering with back-to-back new episodes Saturday, Aug. 19, on AMC. The critically acclaimed drama explores the early days of the Information Age — the 1980s and early 1990s — through the eyes of a cast of characters whose professional lives are all too intertwined with their personal ones.
It may be the final season, but that doesn’t mean that the digital drama is neglecting its casting. An Emmy-nominated actress logs into the series this year: Anna Chlumsky (“Veep”) stars as Dr. Katie Herman, a figure who proves crucial to the season’s on-screen business venture.
The rest of the cast is back for the series’s swan song, too. Lee Pace (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” 2014), Scoot McNairy (“Argo,” 2012), Mackenzie Davis (“The Martian,” 2015), Mark O’Brien (“The Last Tycoon”) and Kerry Bishé (“Scrubs”) are all back for the 10-episode season, with Bishé’s Donna having been kicked from the latest revolutionary project: creating a user-friendly way to explore the fastgrowing internet.
It’s just the latest digital trend for which “Halt and Catch Fire” has peeled back the curtains, with the rise of personal computers, video games and online commerce all having received their own time in the spotlight. It may sound a bit dry, but it’s the people and their relationships that drive the story, not the technology itself, making for a show that’s anything but.
“Halt and Catch Fire” returns for its final season Saturday, Aug. 19, on AMC.
A good Baldwin: Alec Baldwin is sticking with the network that’s earned him a bucketful of Emmy nominations. The veteran actor has signed up for a special new project with the home of “Saturday Night Live,” the series that earned Baldwin two Emmy nominations this year alone.
The last few Christmas seasons have seen the peacock network stage deliver live productions of classic musicals, including “Peter Pan Live!” in 2014 and last year’s “Hairspray Live!” Now, NBC is expanding its successful live
format and moving away from both holidays and musicals. Aaron Sorkin’s celebrated 1989 stage play “A Few Good Men” will be performed live on NBC in the second quarter of 2018, with Baldwin topping the cast list.
The play, about a team of military lawyers who stumble upon a conspiracy
while defending clients accused of murdering a fellow Marine, was famously made into an Oscarnominated film in 1992 that starred Tom Cruise (“The Mummy,” 2017), Jack Nicholson (“The Shining,” 1980) and Demi Moore (“Ghost,” 1990).
Casting for NBC’s adaptation is ongoing. As for Baldwin, he starred in the NBC sitcom “30 Rock” for seven seasons, earning a whopping 10 Emmy nominations in that time and winning two of them. Appearances in an earlier NBC sitcom, “Will & Grace,” earned him two nominations.
NBC has been good to Alec Baldwin, and live productions have been good for NBC, so it was only a matter of time before they all came together. The live production of “A Few Good Men” is due sometime in 2018. Can’t stop (naming) the music:
One of the summer’s hottest new shows isn’t going anywhere — at least not for long. Fox’s “Beat Shazam,” which premiered in late May, has been renewed for a second season.
The musical game show is hosted by the multitalented Oscar-winning singer, songwriter and actor Jamie Foxx (“Ray,” 2004), who also serves as executive producer. He’s returning to both roles for “Beat Shazam’s” second season, which doesn’t yet have a premiere date attached to it.
In “Beat Shazam,” teams of two are pitted against each other and against the clock in a race to identify hit songs and rack up the prize money. There’s a lot of cash on the line here. In the final round, the sole remaining team faces off against the famous song-recognition app Shazam. If the contestants can identify the songs faster than the app can, they just might get to take home a whopping $1-million prize.
It’s no easy task, beating Shazam. The app has been downloaded over a billion times, and its popularity stems from the fact that it’s good, darn good, at identifying songs. Of course, like any game show, it’s the host that can ultimately make it or break it; luckily, Foxx is one heck of a good entertainer himself.
“Jamie is the ultimate host and entertainer,” Fox’s president of alternative entertainment and specials, Rob Wade, said in a statement. Clearly, audiences agree.
Kerry Bishé, Scoot McNairy, Lee Pace, Mackenzie Davis and Mark O’Brien in “Halt and Catch Fire”