Friday, June 6, 2014

Q and A: Week of June 9

Q: Can you tell me what I can see Ben McKenzie in next? I loved him on “Southland,” and I really miss that series. — Hallie F., via email

A: Ben returns to series television this fall when he stars in Fox’s “Gotham,” which is a prequel series to the “Batman” movies. Ben plays a young James Gordon — the police official whom “Batman” fans know as an eventual ally to Bruce Wayne/Batman. The cast also includes Donal Logue, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Mazouz, Robin Lord Taylor, Camren Bicondova, Erin Richards, Sean Pertwee, Zabryna Guevara and Cory Michael Smith. The series’ executive producers are Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist”), Danny Cannon (the “CSI” franchise and “Nikita”) and John Stephens (“Gossip Girl” and “The O.C.”). Judging by the teaser trailer online, this is definitely something I’m going to watch.

Q: I had heard awhile back that Robert De Niro was going to star in an HBO drama series, but I haven’t seen anything about it since. Do you know if that’s still going to happen? — Donnie F., via email

A: Well, it is and it isn’t. The series is still happening, but Robert won’t be involved. “Criminal Justice,” a seven-hour miniseries based on BBC’s 2008 Peter Moffat drama of the same name, was supposed to star James Gandolfini. When James passed away in last June (after having already filmed the pilot), Robert was tapped to star in his place. However, Robert had to pull out due to a scheduling conflict, so John Turturro has stepped in to play the lead, Jack Stone, an unscrupulous New York City lawyer who defends a Pakistani man (Riz Ahmed) accused of murder.

Q: I keep hearing rumors that a new “Star Wars” will be coming to theaters. Is that true, or is it going to be a TV series? — Freddie T., Omaha, Neb.

A: This past year’s worst-kept secret in Hollywood was verified on April 29 when director J.J. Abrams posted a picture on starwars.com of the first table read for the feature film “Star Wars: Episode VII.” Cast members include Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and Adam Driver. Of the movie, J.J. said in a statement: “It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. Everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.” Fans don’t have to wait too long to see the much-anticipated film: Its scheduled premiere date is Dec. 18, 2015.

Q: Can you tell me if “Almost Human” will be back for another season? — John J., via email

A: Fox opted not to renew the sci-fi crime drama set in 2048, which centered on John Kennex (played by Karl Urban) and his android police partner, Dorian (played by Michael Ealy). The show had been gaining in the ratings race in recent weeks, however, there are too many new powerhouse drama series (like the aforementioned “Gotham”) that Fox has ordered to series that there just wasn’t room for “Almost Human.”

Q: Years ago, I used to watch “Project Greenlight” on HBO, and I really enjoyed it. Is it true that HBO is bringing the series back? Are Matt and Ben involved?— George S. in Kentucky

A: After being off the air for more than a decade, HBO has opted to bring back Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s filmmaker competition series for a third season. Ben revealed of the 2001/2003 series in a press statement: “‘Project Greenlight’ was ahead of its time. Now that technology has caught up to the concept, we thought it was a perfect time to bring it back. It is great having ‘Project Greenlight’ back at HBO.”

Q: Could you tell me when Longmire is coming back? — Terry and Pat V., via email

A: A and E’s highest-rated original drama of all time returned for a 10-episode third season this past June 2 at 10/9c. I recently spoke with series star, Cassidy Freeman (who plays Cady Longmire), and she gave me a little hint as to what to expect this season: “The first season of the show really set up who these character are. We got into the rhythm of having a crime every week or every two weeks, and then last season I felt like we started to see things happen to each of these characters, and the proverbial sh!t hit the fan. Last season’s tagline was: ‘A storm is coming.’ And now this season, the storm has come, and you’ll see how people deal with the wreckage. There’s going to be a lot of change. How do they put their lives back together? How do they fight to keep what they love?”

And speaking of love, will Cady and Branch continue to explore their on-again/off-again relationship? “Absolutely. It’s really, really complicated. At this point, it is no longer a don’t-tell-my-dad taboo. Now it’s more about if they really want to be together, and if they are each other’s priority.”

Check back Monday for my full interview with Cassidy.

Q: Is “The Killing” coming back for another season? I know it was canceled last season, and then AMC decided to give it a third season. Has it escaped death again? — Carl T., Seattle

A: In an almost-unprecedented move, “The Killing” has escaped yet another cancelation. This past September, AMC did indeed decide not to renew the crime/mystery drama for a fourth season, and that’s when Netflix stepped up to the plate. Netflix, which has been the series’ exclusive digital partner for all three seasons, will air a six-episode fourth (and final) season, with “The Killing” joining the ranks of superb Netflix original series like “Arrested Development,” “Orange Is the New Black,” “House of Cards” and many more. The complete fourth season of “The Killing” will be available beginning Aug. 1.

Q: Can you tell me if “The Carries Diaries” will return this fall? — Denise G., via email

A: Along with “The Tomorrow People” and “Star-Crossed,” the not-so-great-in-the-ratings “The Carrie Diaries” has been canceled by the CW to make room for new programming. “The Flash,” “iZombie,” “Jane the Virgin,” and “The Messengers” will join the CW’s growing lineup of supernatural and edgy dramas.

Q: I am amazed every week by “Hannibal,” especially the writing and all of the actors. Do you know yet if it’ll be back for another season? — Scott R., via email

A: The dark and brilliant psychological thriller — which stars Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen — will return to NBC for a third season (which is rumored to take place in France), most likely in spring 2015. Come back next week, when I’ll be sharing NBC’s entire 2014-15 schedule (with each networks’ schedules to follow in subsequent weeks).

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