TV news roundup for Week 48 of 2018

Welcome to the weekly TV news round-up where we go into the latest TV news regarding renewals, cancellations, and pick-ups. This week we have again sad Marvel news and excellent Blade Runner news.

Renewed

US cable network AMC has renewed DC Comics imprint Vertigo’s TV adaption of Preacher for a fourth season! The series is based on the Garth Ennis and the late Steve Dillon comic about a Texas priest who gets involved in all kinds of supernatural business. Starring Dominic Cooper (Captain America: The First Avenger, Agent Carter), Ruth Negga (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and others, the series relocates production to Australia for Season 4. This is probably to save on production costs.

Cancelled

Comedy Central has cancelled Another Period after three seasons. The costume drama satire series was created by and starring Natasha Leggero (The Do-Over) and Riki Lindhome (Much Ado About Nothing (2012)) as the Bellacourt sisters in Newport, Rhode Island around 1900.

There is no denying anymore that Netflix is ditching their Marvel series. After they have cancelled Marvel’s Luke Cage and Marvel’s Iron Fist after two seasons, they now also have cancelled Marvel’s Daredevil after an excellent third season. Netflix’s “goodbye” press release did have an interesting bit of text: “While the series on Netflix has ended, the three existing seasons will remain on the service for years to come, while the Daredevil character will live on in future projects for Marvel.” They could of course mean that Marvel could do whatever with the character, but maybe, just maybe, it’s a hint that Marvel has plans for these cancelled series on Disney+ or Hulu. Luke Cage and Iron Fist also got similar hints after all. At the moment we still have Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 3 and Marvel’s The Punisher Season 2 coming to Netflix in 2019, but it would not be surprising if that would be it for those series too. If you want to know more about what might be going on between Marvel and Netflix, check out this article.

Picked up

US premium cable channel Starz has ordered two new series. Hightown is a crime drama written by Rebecca Cutter (Gotham) centred around the drug trade around Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The story starts when a body washes up. With the State Police not taking up the case, a National Marine Fisheries Service officer, played by Monica Raymund (Chicago Fire), decides to solve the case. The other series will be P-Valley by playwright Katori Hall (Hurt Village), starring Brandee Evans (The Bobby Brown Story) and Nicco Annan (Shameless), among others. The series will tell the stories around a Mississippi Delta strip club.

Netflix has ordered an animated series based on the works of author Roald Dahl. These will include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, The Twits, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, George’s Marvellous Medicine, Boy: Tales of Childhood, Going Solo, The Enormous Crocodile, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, Henry Sugar, Billy and the Minpins, The Magic Finger, Esio Trot, Dirty Beasts and Rhyme Stew, and many more.

Netflix also ordered a live-action adaption of anime series Cowboy Bebop. The first season will have ten episodes. The series follows a band of interplanetary bounty hunters running from their past and hunting the most dangerous criminals. Andre Nemec (Alias), Josh Appelbaum (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), Jeff Pinkner (Venom), and Scott Rosenberg (Zoo) will write the first season.

US cable channel Comedy Central has picked up a ten-episode first season of a comedy series starring Nora “Awkwafina” Lum (Ocean’s Eight). The series will be semi-biographical and have Lum starring as a twenty-something striving for a larger than life existence in Queens, New York City. BD Wong (Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, Gotham) will star as her father. No premiere date has been announced yet.

Excellent news if you want more Blade Runner! Adult Swim, an adult orientated programming block on US cable channel Cartoon Network, has partnered with Alcon Television Group and anime streaming service Crunchyroll for an at least 13-episode anime called Black Lotus. The series will be set in 2032, in the middle of the original Blade Runner movie and its sequel Blade Runner 2049, and ten years after the 2022 set anime short Blackout. The series will be produced by Sola Digital Arts, with Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama (the Ghost in the Shell reboot series) directing and Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop) as creative producer. No release date has been announced yet. Until that time Alcon also made a deal with Titan Comics for a series of comics by Blade Runner 2049 screenwriters Michael Green and Mike Johnson.

Other developments

We are sad to report that SpongeBob SquarePants creator and marine biologist Stephen Hillenburg has died at the age of 57. Last year he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, an incurable disease that causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles, meaning that those suffering from it lose the use of their body.

The 100th episode of Fox and Warner Bros. TV/DC Comics’ Batman prequel series Gotham will be written by “Jim Gordon” actor McKenzie and directed by “Barbara Kane” actor Erin Richards. Quite the internal affair. While it’s marked as “Episode #512” and will be 100th episode, it does not necessarily mean this is the final episode of the series, as it is quite normal production orders are switched around.

US broadcast network The CW is considering a reboot of Good Christian Bitches aka GCB. There was a short-lived adaption of Kim Gatlin’s 2012 novel on US broadcaster ABC in 2012, starring Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies), Leslie Bibb (Iron Man), and Annie Potts (Ghostbusters, Young Sheldon), among others. The semi-autobiographical story follows a recently widowed mother of two who returns to her hometown of Highland Park, Texas where she clashes with her former schoolgirls. Aaron Kaplan (A Million Little Things) and Darren Star (Younger) are set to return for the reboot behind the scenes.

HBO has a Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights, John Carter) starring drama series in development. Kitsch would play a drug dealer who after too much of the bad thing lands in a vegetative state. The series will show flashbacks and his present medical ordeal. The series is created and executive produced by John Barcheski (Son of Anarchy). Robert Munic (producer of Empire) will serve as showrunner.

Trailers

Netflix released a number of trailers of upcoming anime series. The first one is an Ultraman sequel series, which will be released on Wednesday, April 1.

The second is for a release of Neon Genesis Evangelion. All 26 episodes of the 1995 anime, plus movies The End of Evangelion and Evangelion: Death (True)2 will be available on Netflix in the Spring of 2019.

And finally, there is the stop-motion series Rilakkuma and Kaoru, a tale about teddy bears. To be released on Friday, April 19.

Netflix also released a trailer for the second half of Season 3 of Ashton Kutcher starring comedy The Ranch. The new batch of 10 episodes will be released on Friday, December 7.

Another trailer for a Netflix comedy was released for the fourth season of comedy Full House’s sequel series Fuller House. The new season will be released on Friday, December 14.

US streaming service DC Universe has released a trailer for the long-awaited third season of animation series Young Justice, subtitled “Outsiders.” The series will start Friday, January 4. An international broadcaster is still not known.

US streaming service Hulu has released a trailer for Marvel’s Runaways Season 2! The series will be set almost directly after Season 1 and will have the kids on the run from their villainous parents, who are part of the PRIDE organisation. The teased connection to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe has probably been revealed in this trailer. Nico Minoru is seen with the same Dormammu caused eyes as the villains in the Doctor Strange movie. We also see Topher, which in the comics is a vampire, but it remains to be seen if this series will open up that corner for the MCU. At 1:13 and in the thumbnail, there’s also a mysterious new girl member of the Runaways. If you know who she is, leave a comment! The complete second season of 13 episodes will be released on Friday, December 21 in the US.

A trailer has been released for the eight and final season of animated sci-fi series Voltron: Legendary Defender. The DreamWorks Animation Television and World Events Productions produced series, animated by Studio Mir (The Legend of Korra), will come to a conclusion on Netflix on Friday, December 14.

The BBC has released a trailer for the upcoming fifth series of Idris Elba (Pacific Rim) starring detective series Luther! No premiere date has been announced yet, but early 2019 is to be expected.

US cable channel TNT has released a trailer for their upcoming drama in their “Suspense Collection” of limited series, I Am The Night. The series stars Chris Pine (Star Trek Beyond) and is directed by Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman). I Am The Night starts on TNT in the US on Monday, January 28.

Lucasfilm has announced a new animated Star Wars web series for YouTube, Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures. This will be the second animated series for YouTube after Star Wars: Forces of Destiny. The series will take iconic moments from the saga and give them a stylized animated makeover to win over young ones. (You can also just show them the actual movies, but whatever.) The new series (which is geolocked for some reason) will start Friday, November 30 on the Star Wars Kids YouTube channel.

That’s it for this week, but join us next week when we round-up the TV news of that week.