9 premieres to look out for in October: ‘Homeland,’ ‘The Leftovers,’ ‘AHS: Hotel,’ ‘The Walking Dead’ & more

Posted in Image cache,News,Television by Scott Meisner on September 30th, 2015

We’ve made it through premiere week, and now as we enter October there’s more than a handful of cable offerings you cannot miss. Popular series like Homeland and The Walking Dead make their highly anticipated returns this month. On Halloween, Ash vs. Evil Dead raises hell (literally) as the iconic Sam Raimi creation comes to the small screen. And there’s so much more debuting in-between. Check out my picks after the break. (Click here for more…)

What to watch this weekend: AMC’s ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ and Patrick Stewart in Starz’s ‘Blunt Talk’

Posted in Image cache,News,Television by Scott Meisner on August 21st, 2015

In TV Land, the people of Los Angeles have no idea what’s about to hit them. After years of tantalizing coverage, the time has finally come to sit back, relax tense up, and enjoy AMC’s Walking Dead companion series, Fear the Walking Dead.

Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead graphic novels and the incredibly popular AMC flagship series of the same name, is behind Fear and he’s joined by many familiar producers including Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert, and Greg Nicotero. Fear stars Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Elizabeth Rodriquez, Lorenzo James Henrie, Ruben Blades, and Mercedes Mason.

This summer at San Diego Comic Con, I learned first-hand just how different the new series feels, tonally, in comparison to the flagship series. When the city gets ripped apart by freshly infected walkers, viewers will be privy to immediate government action and more significantly, we’ll witness a family unequipped for surviving the apocalypse approach the walkers head on. Fear‘s first season, after all, serves as a prequel for fans of the franchise in that events unfold before we meet Rick Grimes and his band of survivors. Remember how Rick was in a coma and missed out on the early days of the walker invasion? This is the period we will live in over the course of Fear‘s first six episodes.

As exhilarating and intriguing as it sounds to be privy to the virus spreading, EP David Erickson reminds viewers that the show will drill its focus on the family at the center of it all. “It starts as a family drama, and we filter the apocalypse through that,” he said to the crowd at Comic Con. It’s about “a highly dysfunctional blended family trying to hold it together.”

Never tuned into The Walking Dead, which enters its sixth season this fall? Fear not (heh!). Kirkman and his team have been adamant in saying that Fear stands on its own and does not require you having seen a single episode of their other series.

Fear the Walking Dead premieres Sunday, August 23 at 9pm on AMC. Click here to preview the first three minutes of the highly anticipated pilot episode. And here to watch the official trailer.

Jump after the break to learn more about Patrick Stewart’s return to TV in Blunt Talk. (Click here for more…)

AMC wants more Synth action, renews ‘Humans’; FX cans Billy Crystal’s ‘The Comedians’

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on August 1st, 2015

A satisfying renewal and a sour cancellation have taken place this summer. Good news first. AMC, and its international production partners Channel 4 and Kudos, has greenlit a second season of Humans. The show about people cohabitating with androids (or Synths) will return for an eight-episode second season next year.

“We’re so pleased to announce a second season of Humans,” AMC & Sundance TV original programming president Joel Stillerman said in a statement. “As one of the year’s top new cable series, Humans has been embraced by fans and critics across the U.S. and UK. We’re looking forward to continuing this very captivating story and further exploring the show’s parallel, Synth-filled world that hits so disturbingly close to home.”

It didn’t take long for Humans to strike a chord with viewers, myself included. The series takes place in a future that doesn’t seem like it’s that far away from now. How would your family react to an extremely life-like robot taking up space in your home? Humans works because it tells a tantalizingly grounded story that is inherently complex as it is relatable. It asks lofty questions about what it means to be alive and conscious, and it does with with a lineup of unabashedly good-looking Synths. Leading the pack is family servant Anita, played to perfection by Gemma Chan. Her robotic nature in tandem with her spurts of humanity lend to a captivating performance.

AMC airs the Humans first season finale this Sunday, Aug. 2 at 9pm.

Getting the axe is FX freshman comedy The Comedians starring veteran Billy Crystal and the rising Josh Gad. EP Ben Wexler made the news official in a tweet: “#TheComedians is cancelled at FX. I could not be more proud of the work we all did.”

I happened to enjoy watching Crystal and Gad play TV versions of themselves. Also, having worked in TV production, pretty much all of the scenes that took place in the production offices (including the writers’ room, the break room, etc.) were flat-out riots. In addition to being funny, The Comedians eventually slid into a particular groove of matching the laughs with heart. Crystal turned out to be a solid mentor for Gad, the young and in comparison inexperienced comic. If there’s anything to take away from the first and only season of this series, though, it’s that Stephanie Weir is a comedic force to be reckoned with, and she deserves more time in the spotlight. The Mad TV alum was featured in some outrageously funny sequences here, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Comic Con: ‘The Walking Dead’ & ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ land premiere dates (Epic trailers inside)

Posted in Images,News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on July 13th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 3.05.45 AM

The following post contains spoilers for The Walking Dead season 5.

The Walking Dead never fails to impress in San Diego every summer since creator Robert Kirkman and company always share the next season’s jam-packed trailer. The season 6 trailer, hanging after the break, previews the power struggle going on in the not-so-safe-zone known as Alexandria. With Lennie James’ Morgan in the mix, Rick Grimes has someone else to contend with. However, EP Scott M. Gimple states, “Things might not be as they seem…We sometimes play with the truth in trailers.” Interpret that as you will.

What else? After saying that there will be some “flashbackery” and time jumps coming soon, he later corrected himself and said, “A whole lot of flashbacks” are on the way; in fact, an entire episode will be a flashback. The Wolves are coming, as hinted across episodes in season 5; they will factor into the next season in “a way you might not expect,” teased Gimple. Casting announcements were made as well; Corey Hawkins is Heath from the comics, Nurse Jackie‘s Merritt Wever is also playing somebody from the comics, and Ethan Embry is featured in the new trailer.

In addition to Gimple, EPs Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert, and Greg Nicotero were on the panel along with stars Andrew Lincoln, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Michael Cudlitz, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Sonequa Martin-Green, and Norman Reedus.

What was it like being there? Well… McBride walked onto the stage with a tray of freshly baked cookies (hello, Scare-ol!). Reedus disclosed the three things he needs to get into character as Daryl Dixon: Motörhead, coffee, and Candy Crush (he’s a level 275 and proud of it!). Cudlitz said of his character, “Abraham’s defining moment hasn’t come yet.” Boom. Do you miss Rick’s beard? So does he? Gimple says his facial hair will continue to serve as a barometer of where his head is at; so, if the proverbial shit continues to hit the fan, expect that beard to be meaner than ever. Kirkman and Lauren Cohan couldn’t make the panel so everyone on the panel wore shirts with the creator’s big head on it and Cohan texted Nicotero for Yeun to read a love note to the fans (it was very sweet and then very funny). Also, an entertaining season 5 blooper reel was shown; unfortunately it wasn’t made available online so you’ll have to nab the DVD to see it.

The Walking Dead premieres its sixth season on Sunday, October 11 at 9pm on AMC. The super-sized 90-minute episode, directed by Greg Nicotero, will be followed by a new installment of Talking Dead hosted by Chris Hardwick. It was also announced that the premiere will screen for fans at Madison Square Garden; details here. Jump into the gallery below to see pictures from the panel as well as first looks at newly decomposed walkers designed, of course, by Mr. Nicotero.

Jump after the break for scoop on companion series Fear the Walking Dead. (Click here for more…)

Go behind the scenes in ‘The Walking Dead’ with star Michael Cudlitz (Comic Con poster inside)

Posted in Image cache,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on June 26th, 2015

We’re still many months away from the sixth season premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead, but to keep you going until October, the network is sharing a candid look behind the scenes with your host, Michael Cudlitz. In this clip, Abraham Ford’s portrayer guides you around the set of the season 6 opener, checking in with various cast members including Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha), Lennie James (Morgan), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), Christian Serratos (Rosita), and Dani Guerira (Michonne). Also, a special someone stops by to give Guerira an impromptu kiss!

Though very little is divulged in terms of where things are headed (spoiler alert) following the surprise return of Morgan at the end of last season, Cudlitz hypes up the upcoming premiere calling it a “huge, huge episode” and saying that “the first episode is going to blow your mind.” Mission accomplished, Cudlitz; I’m shaking in my post-apocalyptic boots.

And if that isn’t enough to satiate your walker obsession, be sure to jump after the break to eyeball the Comic Con exclusive key-art for season 6; it appears to set up to distinct factions: Rick and his people versus Morgan and the Alexandrians. Interesting, indeed! Stick it here for the latest Walking Dead deets as a trailer is likely to leak out of Comic Con in July. (Click here for more…)

New ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ clip teases faster walkers [Update: More teasers + Comic Con poster inside]

Posted in Image cache,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on June 20th, 2015

Here we have the second teaser for AMC’s upcoming prequel spinoff Fear the Walking Dead. At a brisk 30-seconds in length, it stars Frank Dillane (young Tom Riddle from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) running away from…something. Of course, the first thing that should come to mind is WALKER! If that’s the case, this must be a fast sucker. Remember, Fear takes place during the early days of the zombie apocalypse, before the corpse’s have had time to properly decay. So for a walker chasing somebody at this pace in Fear, it makes sense. OR, it could be a crazy ex-boyfriend, or a dad. Notice how Dillane’s character’s shirt is completely unbuttoned and his pants are falling to his knees? All signs point to a quit exit from a bedroom…I’m just saying!

Fear the Walking Dead premieres in August on AMC. Click here to learn more about Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead companion series. You can expect a full-blown trailer to premiere next month at Comic Con. (Click here for more…)

TV reminder: 8 premieres to look out for in June

Posted in Image cache,News,Television by Scott Meisner on June 1st, 2015

We’ve officially entered the month that welcomes back summer. Typically, a TV draught takes place after the big finales in May and avid viewers are forced to twiddle their thumbs until the new season kicks into high gear in September. That has all changed. We’re living in the Golden Age of TV, after all, and the sheer amount of creative content isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The summer months are packed with great programs you simply cannot miss; the broadcast and premium cable networks, as well as streaming giant Netflix, have a number of exciting new series debuting this very month. To see what June has to offer, jump after the break. (Click here for more…)

Look out for mysterious ‘Wayward Pines’ and the return of ‘Halt And Catch Fire’ in May

Posted in Image cache,News,Television by Scott Meisner on April 30th, 2015

Welcome to May, the month typically associated with punchy TV season and series finales. While you’re dealing with anticipatory cliffhangers and dramatic conclusions, there are two shows coming on the air this month you shouldn’t let go under your radar.

Wayward Pines is a fresh Fox series created by Chad Hodge (The Playboy Club) and executive produced by filmmaker M. Knight Shyamalan (The Sixth SenseUnbreakableSigns), based on the novel Pines by Blake Crouch. It’s a gripping, suspenseful mystery with a promised twist coming before the end of the 10-episode run, straight out of Shyamalan’s toolbox.

[The series] follows Secret Service agent Ethan Burke who, while investigating the disappearance of two fellow agents, finds himself trapped in the titular town, a Stepford village of the damned in which no one is allowed to leave. The citizens live in abject terror of the mysterious people in charge who run things via random phone calls, which seem to usually involve orders to commit terrible acts upon pain of death.

Matt Dillon (Crash) stars as Burke and Empire‘s Terrence Howard–who is pulling double duty for Fox here–plays the town sheriff. Check out the rest of this all-star cast: Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Toby Jones (Infamous), Carla Gugino (Entourage), Shannyn Sossamon (How To Make It In America), , Reed Diamond (24), Tim Griffin (Prime Suspect), Charlie Tahan (Charlie St. Cloud) and and Juliette Lewis (who currently stars in ABC’s Secrets & Lies).

The mystery begins to unravel when Wayward Pines premieres Thursday, May 14 at 9pm on Fox. Preview the series at YouTube.

Jump after the break to learn when AMC’s technologically infused drama Halt And Catch Fire returns for its second season. (Click here for more…)

TV reminder: 10 premieres to look out for in April

Posted in Image cache,News,Television by Scott Meisner on April 5th, 2015

Spring is here! Though we may be nearing the month where most of your favorite TV series wrap up for summer (I’m looking at you, May!), that doesn’t mean this is the end. In fact, there are a whopping 10 series premiering this month, four of which are brand new and demand your attention. Jump after the break for what you need to know. (Click here for more…)

Robert Kirkman confirms ‘Walking Dead’ companion series title [Update: First promo inside]

Posted in Image cache,News,Television by Scott Meisner on March 28th, 2015

At last, we no longer have to call it the Walking Dead companion series! On Friday, Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman made it official and announced his new AMC series’ name via TwitterFear The Walking Dead. See above for the spinoff’s companion series’ logo.

Up to this point, AMC has been referring to Fear The Walking Dead as a “companion series” as opposed to a “spinoff” because while the new show takes place in the same zombie apocalyptic universe as featured in The Walking Dead, it features a brand new cast and it’s set in a distinctly different location (Los Angeles, not Atlanta). Click over to this post for more details.

And don’t forget! The Walking Dead airs its 90-minute (!) fifth season finale this Sunday night at 9pm on AMC.

Update (3/29): “There’s a strange virus” going around in the first promo for Fear The Walking Dead which made its debut tonight during the season finale of The Walking Dead. The trailer backs up what Kirkman said before:

“From the beginning of the show one thing we’ve heard is, ‘What’s going on over here or there.’ So the intent of the new show is to expand that world and show another corner of the United States and what’s happening there. The timeline is taking place a little bit earlier timeframe than the original show. Rick Grimes woke up from a coma and was like, ‘Oh, man, zombies, weird!’ We’re going to possibly see that unfold a little more in the other show. But I wouldn’t call it ‘prequel’ because the entirety of the show is not going take place before [The Walking Dead]. It will eventually form a path running concurrently.”

Sounds like we’re going to get more insight on how the zombie outbreak unfolded in its early days. Plus, those visuals of cells dividing might be a hint that we’re also going to learn more about the virus and its origins. These are topics mostly untouched by the comics and the flagship TV series. This is pure speculation, of course, but the possibilities are exciting. Watch the promo after the breakFear premieres this summer on AMC.

[Via TVLine] (Click here for more…)

‘The Walking Dead’ companion series gets two season order from AMC

Posted in Image cache,News,Television by Scott Meisner on March 12th, 2015

I’ve got an update on the shrouded-in-mystery, hotly anticipated Walking Dead companion series. Following its surprise announcement in 2013 and a pilot greenlight in 2014The Walking Dead spinoff is definitively a-go at AMC with an early two-season pickup order by the network. The first season is set to premiere in late summer and it will follow in the flagship series’ footsteps with a truncated six episode start. Season two will air in 2016 and its episode count is still TBD. The series’ title is also being kept under wraps, though IMDb is calling it Fear the Walking Dead.

What is there to know about the series so far? Not much. AMC is calling it a “companion series” as opposed to a “spinoff” because although it will take place in The Walking Dead universe, it will feature an entirely new cast and fresh storylines. It will take place in Los Angeles, showing how the zombie outbreak affected that other part of the country (we’ve hovered around Atlanta for the most part with Rick and the gang). Actors tagged to the show include Cliff Curtis (Gang RelatedTrauma), Kim Dickens (House of CardsSons of Anarchy, TremeLostDeadwood), Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), and Alycia Debnam Carey (The 100). Sources say Curtis is the male lead and will be playing Sean Cabrera, a divorced teacher trying to do right by everyone; learn more about the potential list of characters at TVLine. See Curtis, Dickens, and Dillane in a production still above; another one hangs after the break.

Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero, and David Alpert from The Walking Dead are serving as executive producers of the companion series. Dave Erickson (Marco Polo, Sons of Anarchy) is showrunner and an EP; he co-created and co-wrote the pilot with Kirkman.

AMC president Charlie Collier said this in a statement: “We take incredibly seriously the notion of building a satisfying companion series to the number one show on television. From the beginning of The Walking Dead on AMC, we’ve been asked questions about what was going on in other parts of the zombie apocalypse, and what it looked like as the world really did ‘turn.’ Through this new series, we’re going to find out. Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson and their writing team, along with an incomparable set of producers, cast and crew have created something remarkable and clearly distinct. We respectfully follow the request of Monty Python as we bring out (the latest of) our Dead.”

Kirkman added: “We feel empowered by this two-season commitment, a serious show of faith from our network partner AMC. I personally take it as a sign that they believe, like we do, that we’ve accomplished our goal of developing something original that can pay tribute to the original show and expand the world I created while at the same time having something new to say with this story. I’m very grateful that we now have the opportunity to tell this amazing story and show the fans that we really haven’t scratched the surface yet when it comes to The Walking Dead.”

And Erikson chimed in: “This vote of confidence from our partners at AMC is gratifying, to say the least. We’ve been blessed with amazing writers and a stellar cast — and we can’t wait to build this apocalyptic drama over the next two seasons and hopefully beyond.”

Stick it here as more details leak out. Currently, The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 10pm on AMC.

Update (3/14): Robert Kirkman briefly discussed the Walking Dead companion series this month during a panel at SXSW. Jump after the break for choice quotes. (Click here for more…)

TV reminder: 4 premieres to look out for in February

Posted in Images,News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on February 1st, 2015

February is all about quality over quantity in terms of appealing premieres to look out for. The new month packs two specials, one highly anticipated series premiere, and the return of the show that popularized the art of binge-watching. It’s all after the break. (Click here for more…)

‘The Walking Dead’ 5B: new poster, haunting teaser, and a sneak peek at the back eight episodes

Posted in Image cache,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on January 13th, 2015

The Walking Dead returns in less than a month and so it’s time to ramp up anticipation for the back half of season five. AMC does it right by pumping out a flashy new poster, a truly epic teaser, and a brief sneak peek at what’s in store next for Rick and the gang. In the poster (see above), the survivors are walking down a dilapidated, deserted street. And what’s that on the side of the road? It’s the map that Abraham scribbled the following note on before departing for Washington: “The new world’s gonna need Rick Grimes.” [Spoiler!] Though Washington ended up being a bust (thanks a lot, Eugene!), perhaps the band of brothers (and sisters) are about to catch some much needed luck and find a new safe haven to fortify and for Rick to lead. A post-credits scene in the 5A finale featured Morgan finding the overrun church and that map inside; perhaps the poster is signaling a long-awaited reunion for Rick and the man who cried clear.

There’s more after the break: a haunting teaser following the survivors in the woods as they take down off-screen walkers, and a look at what’s ahead including commentary from the cast and producers. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple calls the back half of the season “a very interesting structure. There are some very emotional moments, there are some very crazy moment, and there’s a huge change for the situation for these characters.” Star Andrew Lincoln says, “it feels like a new show visually and also story-wise.”

The Walking Dead returns February 8 at 9pm on AMC.

(Click here for more…)

Saul Goodman meets Mike Ehrmantraut in ‘Better Call Saul’ pilot preview

Posted in Television,Video by Scott Meisner on December 1st, 2014

Better Call Saul is coming soon, and to celebrate its anticipated premiere, AMC aired an actual scene pulled directly from the pilot episode during Sunday night’s tragic midseason finale of The Walking Dead. In it, Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman prototype Jimmy McGill meets a familiar face for the first time: it’s Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut who’s reprising his character from Breaking Bad. As you’d probably guess, things don’t get off to such a great start for these two.

BCS premieres Feb. 8 at 10pm on AMC.

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‘Better Call Saul’ behind the scenes

Posted in Television,Video by Scott Meisner on November 8th, 2014

Perhaps this will help you ride out the anticipation for Vince Gilligan’s next AMC project: it’s a behind the scenes look at Better Call Saul, the highly anticipated Breaking Bad prequel/spinoff starring Bob Odenkirk as sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman small-time lawyer Jimmy McGill. In the clip you’ll hear from Odenkirk, other cast members including Jonathan Banks (reprising Mike Ehrmantraut) and Michael McKean (he’s playing Jimmy’s brother Chuck McGill), as well as members of the show’s crew.

Better Call Saul premieres in February.

AMC renews ‘The Walking Dead’, CBS renews ‘Under the Dome’ & ‘Extant’ [Update: ‘TWD’ record ratings]

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on October 9th, 2014

Days before AMC premieres the fifth season of its ratings juggernaut The Walking Dead, the network renews the zombie drama for a sixth season. It’s no surprise, really, since the show continues to perform spectacularly in the ratings and its popularity never seems to die down.

“We could not be more excited for October 12th as we share new episodes of The Walking Dead with fans around the globe,” said AMC President Charlie Collier in a statement released this past Tuesday. “In advance of Sunday’s season five premiere, AMC proudly confirms a sixth season order of this extraordinary series. Thank you to Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, the terrific executive producers, and the entire team who brings this compelling world and these rich characters to life. There’s plenty more Dead ahead thanks to their impressive, collective effort.”

At last, it seems as if the series has found a showrunner it’s sticking with. Following the abrupt exits of Frank Darabont and Glenn Mazzara, Scott M. Gimple is here to stay. Season 5 premieres this Sunday, Oct. 12 at 9pm.

Elsewhere, CBS is bringing back its summer dramas Under the Dome and Extant for a third and second season, respectively.

“We’re committed to delivering our viewers and advertisers year-round programming with a wide variety of storytelling,” said CBS Entertainment Chairman Nina Tassler in a statement today. “We continue to see summer as a great place for unique concepts, innovative business models, and passionate television audiences.”

Update (10/13): Following tradition, the Walking Dead season premiere opened to record recording on Sunday: 17.3 million viewers tuned into it (11 million of which are part of the 18-49 demo), making it the most watched episode to date. The previous record holder was the season 4 opener which drew 16.1 million viewers (10.4 million in the 18-49 demo). These are huge numbers for cable; not only do they rival network TV viewership, they exceed it. AMC might as well renew Dead, at this point, for life.

Catchy ‘Better Call Saul’ music video teases ‘Breaking Bad’ spinoff sensibilities

Posted in Music,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on October 6th, 2014

Saul, Saul, you better call Saul / He’ll fight for your rights when your back’s to the wall / Stick it the man, justice for all / You better call Saul!

The hype machine for Breaking Bad prequel-spinoff hybrid Better Call Saul is officially up and running now that a music video for it is out. Country musician Junior Brown belts out a catchy tune written by Saul co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould and series composer Dave Porter. This sure is a unique way to market a new show, and I’ve got to say they pretty much nailed it. Over the course of the song, a couple of fine ladies wheel out televisions featuring Walter White’s lawyer played by Bob Odenkirk and viewers will catch a handful of glimpses from the upcoming series.

Better Call Saul debuts in February on AMC, and it has already been renewed for a second season set to bow later in 2016.

TV reminder: 4 premieres to look out for in October

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on October 5th, 2014

Now that the big four networks have open the flood gates to the new fall season, it’s prime time for cable to release its heavy hitters. Jump after the break to learn when Showtime’s Homeland, FX’s American Horror Story, and AMC’s The Walking Dead return to the schedule. (Click here for more…)

Eye ‘The Walking Dead’ season 5 poster; plus AMC orders companion series pilot

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on September 5th, 2014

Here we have The Walking Dead‘s season 5 poster (or key art), and as is tradition, it features Rick Grimes alone: arriving, surviving, and thriving on his newfound confidence and brutality. I’m not sure which is more intimidating–his silver pistol or that ever-growing beard (didn’t Michonne find him a razor awhile back?). The season’s tagline: “Hunt or be hunted.” The Termites of Terminus are, in a word, screwed.

In other Walking Dead news, AMC has ordered a pilot episode of the Walking Dead “companion series” that was originally announced last September. Let’s not call it a spinoff because although the new series will take place in the same zombie apocalypse universe as the flagship series, it will not feature any characters from it. It will follow a completely different band of survivors in a different, still unknown location (read: not in Georgia where the current series takes place). The creatives behind the flagship, namely Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, and David Alpert, will also serve as executive producers of the companion series. Dave Erickson (Marco PoloSons of Anarchy), who co-created and co-wrote the companion series pilot with Kirkman, will serve as an executive producer and showrunner. The pilot is scheduled to shoot later this year, and if all goes according to plan the network will air a second Walking Dead show sometime in 2015. You want to know what I can’t wait for? Since the new series will take place in the same universe as The Walking Dead, you can bet there will be a crossover episode where Rick and co. intersect with the new survivors and that day will be epic. Jump after the break for press quotes from AMC head Charlie Collier, Kirkman, and Erickson.

The Walking Dead returns Sunday, October 12 at 9PM on AMC. Click here to watch the incredible season 5 trailer. (Click here for more…)

Renewals: AMC’s ‘Halt And Catch Fire’, FX’s ‘The Strain’ & Showtime’s ‘Masters of Sex’

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on August 24th, 2014

Let’s start with the unexpected. AMC has gone ahead and renewed freshman series Halt And Catch Fire for a second season. Despite middling ratings and buzz, the 80s period drama about the PC Revolution will return next year. Star Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies) provided the initial draw and after a slow build the show became fun summer fare with its knack for capturing the exciting, experimental era it’s set in. From the technological jargon to the music, HCF eventually found its creative streak and has me yearning to see more in a second season. Props to Pace’s costars Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis, and Kerry Bishé for their emotionally grounded performances that made it easy to get invested.

“This is a show about invention, experimentation and the inherent risks in trying to break new ground — themes that really resonate with us as a network and attracted a passionate audience,” said AMC president Charlie Collier. “We have a history of demonstrating patience through the early seasons of new shows, betting on talent and building audience over time. We see that opportunity here and look forward to a second season of Halt and Catch Fire from creators Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers, and showrunner Jonathan Lisco.”

Elsewhere, FX renewed Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse’s vampire horror fest The Strain and Showtime is bringing back Masters of Sex and Ray Donovan for a third season. No surprise here, really. Though I’m not the loudest Strain supporter (I have issues with the writing and acting) it’s the type of summer fare that just makes sense. As for Masters of Sex, this is the show that just keeps on giving. This season’s bottle episode “Fight” might be the series best thus far featuring phenomenal performances by stars Martin Sheen and Lizzy Caplan.

“We’ve never had any doubts about The Strain,” said FX Networks head John Landgraf. “It is thrilling when you have a show that is a creative and commercial hit, which is a rare accomplishment in this increasingly crowded marketplace. We look forward having it on FX for as long as Carlton, Guillermo and Chuck Hogan need to tell this epic tale.” Added del Toro: “I am thrilled! Another season to spread the virus! Working with Carlton, Chuck and FX has been immensely rewarding and we have such sights to unveil in the upcoming episodes — the blood hits the fan on this one, mankind becomes an endangered species.” Added Cuse: “I am grateful for all the blood, sweat and tears (but mostly blood) given to the project by all involved, and I could not be more excited to continue telling this epic story.”

“Both Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex are quintessentially Showtime: bold, provocative, premium television with production values at the top of the food chain,” said Showtime president David Nevins. “These acclaimed shows are filled with complex and interesting characters and settings that will no doubt give audiences compelling television to invest in for seasons to come.”