TV News Roundup: Disney+, The Muppets, Game of Thrones, Discworld, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and much more

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 the news over the past two weeks.


USA Network has renewed crime series about drug cartels, Queen of the South, based on Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s 2002 novel La Reina Del Sur, for a fifth season.

Netflix has renewed the Lily Tomlin (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) and Jane Fonda (Book Club) starring comedy series Grace and Frankie for a seventh and final season. Season 6 will first premiere in January 2020. When it ends it will be the longest-running Netflix series to date, with 94 episodes.

HBO has renewed its new comedy series The Righteous Gemstones for a second season. The series stars Danny McBride and John Goodman, among others, with the former also being the series creator. It tells the story of a dysfunctional family of televangelists and is currently airing on Sundays.

Comedy Central has renewed its animated comedy series South Park again for three seasons and will, therefore, hit 26 seasons at the minimum.

Oprah Winfrey channel OWN has renewed Queen Sugar for a fifth season. The series from Ava DuVernay (DC’s New Gods) follows three siblings that fight for their family farm.


TBS has cancelled comedy series The Detour after four seasons. The family road trip series starring Jason Jones (The Daily Show) and Natalie Zea (The Following) ran for 42 episodes.

Richard Gere (FatherMotherSon) starring series Bastards, about a Vietnam veteran with vigilante compulsions, has been scrapped by Apple TV+, The Hollywood Reporter knows. Executive producers and writers Howard Gordon (Homeland) and Warren Leight (Law & Order: SVU) and Apple reportedly did not come to an agreement on where the focus on the series should lie, prompting Gordon to leave the project and Apple to drop the project entirely.

Apple TV+ is not the only new streamer with development problems, as previously announced Disney+ series Muppets Live Another Day has been cancelled in development. Josh Gad (Frozen) and Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis (Once Upon A Time) were working on the project, but they have left because of creative differences. Josh Gad’s statements can be read below. Disney does not have the best of luck when it comes to managing The Muppets property, as previous series The Muppets on ABC also had trouble behind the scenes, leading to a showrunner shakeup halfway into the season, which did not help in getting the series a second season.

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Misinformation is my least favorite kind of information so I thought I’d take a minute to clarify some news that broke today. After a little over a year and a half of working on a project called “Muppets Live Another Day,” @adamhorowitzla #eddykitsis and I have decided, with a heavy heart, to walk away. Some times creative differences are just that. The project, with original songs by Bobby Lopez and Kristen Lopez was to be directed by the great Jason Moore, (director of “Avenue Q” and “Pitch Perfect”). It was meant to be a limited event series that picked up a year after “Muppets Take Manhattan” and was essentially about what happens after you’ve reached the end of the rainbow. It was going to be Muppets by way of Stranger Things and feel like a movie spread over 6-8 episodes. Part of the joy for us, by placing the Muppets in the middle of the 1980’s, was to subvert and comment on our current love for all things nostalgia while at the same time allowing the characters to tell a story that would ultimately lead to and end in present day, revealing some secrets along the way. It has been one of the great joys of all of our lives to write words for these iconic characters. We wish this franchise all the best and thank our partners at Disney+ and ABC Studios for the opportunity to develop something so fun and outside the box. They have been nothing but supportive and terrific and we can’t wait to play again in other sandboxes. While it is sad, I have no doubt this franchise, under its new leadership will find new and wonderful stories to tell. My only hope is that one day you can all hear the BRILLIANT music by Bobby and @kristenlopez5681 wrote for Kermit and company. The music is next level good. In the meantime, Adam, Eddy and I are already cooking up new fun ideas that we cannot wait to share. Until then, long live “The Muppets.” They have given us joy for over 40 years and I have no doubt they will continue to bring us joy for the next 40 years.

A post shared by Josh Gad (@joshgad) on

Picked up

Ewan McGregor is getting busy, not only will he star in Disney+’s Obi-Wan/Ben Kenobi Star Wars TV series, but he will also star fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick in an upcoming Netflix TV series, according to producer Ryan Murphy (9-1-1) in a Time Magazine article.

Kevin James (King of Queens) will star in The Crew, a Netflix comedy series about the NASCAR racing world with James as the crew chief working in a NASCAR garage. Jeff Lowell (The Ranch) will serve as writer, showrunner and executive producer.

Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes, This is Us) will star and executive produce Evel, a USA Network limited biographical series about the famous daredevil Evel Knievel. Etan Frankel (Animal Kingdom) will write the series. Production on the series will begin in 2020.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper) has signed up to star as the lead in Apple TV+’s upcoming drama series Mr Corman. Telling the story of an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles, Gordon-Levitt also writes the series and is executive producer.

Lupita Nyong’o (Black Panther) is going to star in HBO Max’s adaption of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2013 novel Americanah. Danai Gurira, who also starred in Black Panther and wrote the Tony Award nominated Broadway show Eclipsed, will write the adaption. Both Nyong’o and Gurira will serve as executive producers. The story follows Nigerian woman Ifemelu who travels American and has extraordinary experiences with love, heartache, adversity and self-discovery. The first season will have 10 episodes.

Hulu has ordered an adaption of Trenton Lee Stewart’s 2007 young adult novel The Mysterious Benedict Society. The story follows four gifted children who form the titular society and who investigate the evil institution called L.I.V.E. (the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened). The subliminal messages L.I.V.E. broadcasts create the illusion of international panic dubbed “The Emergency”. Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (The Boys) are leading the project from 20th Century Fox TV and Sonar Entertainment, while Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin (Shadowhunters) will be showrunners.

Other developments

With Margaret Atwood’s sequel novel to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, hitting bookstores on Tuesday, September 15, MGM and Hulu are already in early development of adapting the novel as a sequel series to their adaption of The Handmaid’s Tale. The Testaments is set 15 years after the original novel and picks up the story after the cliffhanger of sorts.

Variety knows that Will Poulter (Midsommar) has been cast in an undisclosed leading role in Amazon Prime Video’s big-budget The Lord of the Rings prequel series, set in the Second Age of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth works. And that is the extent of what we know. Speculate away in the comments!

Warner Bros. TV is developing a sequel series to 1960s vampire soap opera Dark Shadows for The CW, Deadline knows. The pilot will be written by Mark B. Perry (Ghost Whisperer). The original series ran for six seasons and no less than 1,225 episodes between 1966 and 1971 on ABC. A remake was short-lived on NBC in 1991. Most notable was the 2012 movie adaption directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp (Fantastic Beasts), Eva Green (Penny Dreadful), and Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter), among others. Here is the trailer for the movie to get a taste of what the TV series could be.

BBC America’s Discworld TV series The Watch has the first castings! Richard Dormer (Game of Thrones) will star as Sam Vimes, captain of The Watch, who has been “disempowered by a broken society that’s reduced his department’s jurisdiction to almost nothing.” Jo Eaton-Kent (The Romanoffs) is non-binary forensics expert Constable Cheery, Adam Hugill (Pennyworth) plays idealistic young recruit Constable Carrot, Marama Corlette (The City and The City) is the mysterious Corporal Angua, Lara Rossi (Horizon Zero Dawn) portrays vigilante Lady Sybil Ramkin and Sam Adewunmi (Stan Lee’s Lucky Man) is the vengeance-seeking Carcer Dun. Filming of the 8 part first season starts later this month.

It was already assumed, but it is now confirmed that Whoopi Goldberg will star as Mother Abigail in CBS All Access’s adaption of Stephen King novel The Stand. New castings are Owen Teague (Bloodline) as Harold Lauder, Jovan Adepo (The Leftovers) as Larry Underwood, Brad William Henke (Orange Is the New Black) as Tom Cullen and Daniel Sunjata (Happy!) as Cobb. Previously cast are James Marsden (X-Men) as Stu Redman, Amber Heard (Aquaman) as Nadine Cross, Odessa Young (Assassination Nation) as Frannie Goldsmith and Henry Zaga (The New Mutants) as Nick Andros.

Disney+ has already gone online in the Netherlands. Until the official launch on Tuesday, November 12 and you live in the Netherlands you can sign up for the new streaming service for just €0.01. You get the choice for signing up for the €6.99 monthly or the €69.99 annual price, but if you cancel before November 12 you will basically get the service free to try until then. Of course, you will not be able to try Disney+’s original content, which will be available on the official launch date, but until then there is a host of movies and TV series to try out first.

Talking about new streaming services, Apple has announced more details about Apple TV+. The streaming service and “access portal” to other streaming services, will launch on Friday, November 1. The service will set you back $4.99 a month, which is cheaper than Disney+’s $6.99 and significantly cheaper than HBO Max’s yet to be confirmed price of between $16 and $20. An annual subscription option has not yet been revealed, if there is any. Apple TV+ will be ad-free, will have a download option for offline viewing, and 23 original series are in various stages of development. The service will launch with a handful of them (See, The Morning Show, For All Mankind, Dickinson), with a new project being released each month.

HBO has announced a premiere date for their adaption of fantasy novel trilogy His Dark Materials. The first episode will premiere on Monday, November 4. In the UK BBC One will air the first episode a day earlier on Sunday, November 3.

HBO also is developing a Game of Thrones prequel series based on George R.R. Martin’s recently released book (yes, that does happen) Fire & Blood, Deadline knows. The novel and the series chronicles the rise of prominence of House Targaryen. Ryan J. Condal (Colony) is developing the project that is actually a reworking of Bryan Cogman’s previously proposed series that was not picked up earlier this year. Cogman since has moved on to Amazon Prime Video’s Second Age Middle-earth series.

The Hollywood Reporter knows that Robert Rodriguez (Alita: Battle Angel) and Diego Boneta (Terminator: Dark Fate) are in early development of adapting Azteca Productions superhero comic El Gato Negro for Apple TV+. The comic, created by Richard Dominguez, follows the story of Agustin Guerrero. Creating the El Gato Negro alias for a successful career as a Lucha libre in the 1950s, he soon started using the moniker to fight crime in the south of Texas. In the present Agustin’s grandson, Francisco Guerrero took up the mantle. Diego Boneta is set to star as the titular hero in the TV series, with Robert Rodriguez directing and both being executive producer via Boneta’s production company Three Amigos. MGM Television is the studio behind the project, with Joel Novoa (Arrow) as co-producer.


Netflix has released a trailer for their animated fantasy series Disenchanted “Part 2”, which will premiere on Friday, September 20.

Also released by Netflix was a trailer for the multinational interrogation series Criminal. “Multinational” as the series will present 12 crime stories set in four different countries. It will premiere on Friday, September 20.

FXX has released a trailer for the 14th season of comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which starts on Wednesday, September 25

USA Network has released a teaser trailer for the fourth and final season of Mr Robot. The last episodes will start airing on Sunday, October 6.

The CW has released a short trailer for the 15th(!) and final season of Supernatural. The last The WB legacy series The CW still has will begin with the end on Thursday, October 10.

Facebook Watch has released a trailer for its podcast-based mystery series Limetown. Starring Jessica Biel (Total Recall (2012)) the series will premiere with two episodes on Wednesday, October 16.

YouTube has released a trailer for the second season of Jumper TV sequel Impulse, based on the book of the same name. The series starts on Wednesday, October 16.

Amazon Prime Video has released a trailer for Modern Love. Based on the New York Times column and podcast of the same name, it will follow multiple romantic stories. The series will release on Friday, October 18.

Hulu has released a trailer for their adaption of John Green novel Looking for Alaska, which is released in full on Friday, October 18.

HBO released a featurette and a new trailer for upcoming DC comic adaption of and sequel to Watchmen. With it comes a premiere date confirmation. The series will premiere on Sunday, October 20.

HBO also has released a new trailer for its costume and biographical four part miniseries starring Helen Mirren (The Queen), Catherine the Great. It premieres on Monday, October 21.

Hulu has released a trailer for the second season of Castle Rock, inspired by the novels of Stephen King. The second batch of episodes starts releasing on Wednesday, October 23.

Apple TV+ has released a trailer for their sci-fi adventure series See, starring Jason Momoa (Aquaman). It will launch with the new streaming service on Friday, November 1.

Amazon Prime Video has released a trailer for the second season of John Krasinski (A Quiet Place) starring spy thriller Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. The new season will be released on Friday, November 1.

HBO has released a teaser trailer for The Young Pope sequel series The New Pope, starring Jude Law (Captain Marvel) and John Malkovich (Billions). No premiere date has yet been announced.

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

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