Television Critics Association tour: Drama round-up
Michael Pickard looks back over the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour and highlights the top 10 moments from this year’s conference.
After more than two weeks, dozens of reporters and critics are re-emerging into the Los Angeles sunlight at the end of the Television Critics Association summer press tour 2015.
Across 17 days, the audience of journalists from the US and Canada heard from programming executives, writers, producers and cast members from new and returning series across the network, cable and online landscape.
Among the news coming from the tour was confirmation that Netflix had cancelled Lilyhammer, its first original series, after three seasons; MTV’s order for a second season of Scream; and Starz picking up season four of pirate drama Black Sails (pictured above).
It was also revealed that Antonio Banderas will star in a new detective series for Starz, based on Leonardo Padura’s Havana Quartet of novels – Havana Blue, Havana Gold, Havana Red and Havana Black. Banderas and writer Eduardo Machado will exec produce for Entertainment One with Nadson Film’s Peter Nadermann, Sienna Films’ Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny.
Showtime ordered fourth seasons of both Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex, while Common became the latest musician to be attached to a drama series after the premium cable channel picked up an as-yet-untitled coming-of-age pilot created by the star and Lena Waithe.
Factual network National Geographic unveiled plans for Last Men Out, a limited series focused on the final hours of the Vietnam War, from Tom Fontana (Borgia) and Barry Levinson.
BBC America picked up two series – political thriller Undercover, written by Peter Moffat, and psychological mystery Thirteen, from Marnie Dickens.
Elsewhere, The CW is developing a small-screen version of Friday the 13th, while Fox is developing a live-action series based on the X-Men comic books and hopes to announce something soon.
NBC also confirmed it is looking for a writer for its Xena: Warrior Princess reboot, while Empire co-creator Lee Daniels said there will be a spin-off of the hit music industry drama.
Here’s DQ’s pick of the 10 biggest moments from the tour:
FX Networks CEO John Landgraf said there is too much scripted programming on television, and that the content bubble will burst in the next few years.
- Showtime president David Nevins added that while there is too much good TV, “there’s never enough great TV.”
- CBS chief Nina Tassler discussed the financial benefits of the network owning its own content.
- The Flash and Jane the Virgin helped change the perception of younger-skewing The CW, according to network president Mark Pedowitz.
NBC defended its Heroes reboot, with chairman Bob Greenblatt claiming creator Tim Kring came to the network with a vision for the new incarnation.
- Horror series The Strain has been picked up for a third season, with creator Guillermo del Toro outlining his five-season plan for the show.
- Shooting for the Twin Peaks revival is due to begin in September, with David Lynch set to direct every episode.
- Dick Wolf revealed there will be a “jumbo crossover” of his Chicago franchise – Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and new entry Chicago Med – and long-running Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in February.
Code Black exec producer Michael Seitzman spoke about the over-familiarity of medical dramas and how the new CBS series hopes to shake up the genre.
- Starz entered the binge-watching battle by announcing it will make available online all episodes from the third and final season of Da Vinci’s Demons and its new limited series Flesh and Bone.