-It would appear that Netflix is more than serious about getting into the Bluth business, as the streaming video/DVD delivery service has ordered between 2-5 additional episodes of Arrested Development, the cult classic FOX comedy that is being given a second life on the massively successful site. Series creator Mitchell Hurwitz apparently shot more footage than he’d initially intending for the show’s fourth season, set to air in one huge bloc this spring. Hurwitz approaches Netflix with concepts for additional storylines, resulting in an increased episode order, from 12-15 as opposed to the initial 10 that had been greenlighted. Hurwitz is still busy piecing together how best to work the extra material into fleshed-out storylines, but it appears that the main cast members will be returning for more filming, as early as January.
“We are thrilled with the direction of the show, with the footage we have seen and with the relationship between Mitch, Imagine, 20th and Netflix,” said a Netflix spokesperson. “At this time, we are not confirming or announcing the final episode count but we are sure fans will be thrilled when we do.”
As a big AD fan, I want to cry for joy, but I don’t think I can spare the moisture.
Full story: HitFix
-Meanwhile, AMC finally irons out a dilemma concerning one of their trademark hour-long dramas. The network renewed Hell On Wheels for a third season in October, but had to rescind the renewal upon the resignation of showrunner John Shiban, effectively leaving the ship without a captain. Enter John Wirth, who will step in and take over the reigns as executive producer and showrunner. Given that Wirth’s credits include a host of prematurely-canceled series, such as “V,” “The Cape” and “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” this may well be the first time Wirth is credited with preventing a series from being canceled. (But really, I’m sure he’s a jam-up guy)
“We’re delighted to continue our relationship with AMC, Endemol and Nomadic Pictures,” said Michael Rosenberg, Executive VP, US Scripted Television, Entertainment One Television. “John Wirth is an incredible talent who will drive our roaring series and build on the strength and success of the ‘Hell on Wheels’ brand.”
Hopefully the successful brand to which he refers doesn’t include a heated iron and a horse’s ass.
Full story: HitFix
-One of TV’s most beloved redheads (well, besides Christina Hendricks and Karen Gillan) is joining NBC’s Silence of the Lambs prequel series, Hannibal. Of course, my enthusiasm ignores the fact that I’m pretty sure Gillian Anderson was a bottle redhead (I know nothing about hair, apparently), but that’s never really deterred my fandom before. And now she’s getting a sizable role on a series that already includes Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter, along with Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne, Eddie Izzard, Gina Torres, Molly Shannon, Ellen Greene and Chelan Simmons. She is set to play Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, therapist to the series’ own murderous psychiatrist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
“Every therapist needs their own head examined and we are ecstatic that Gillian Anderson has chosen Hannibal to mark her return to American television after 10 years to portray Dr. Lecter’s personal psychiatrist,” writer-producer Bryan Fuller said in a statement. “Her intelligence and sophistication, not to mention her pedigree of ground-breaking TV, make her the perfect actress to match wits and psychological manipulations with one of the greatest villains of pop culture. I couldn’t be more excited.”
Full story: Entertainment Weekly