FOX Summer TCA: ‘Gotham’

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Executive Producer Bruno Heller’s upcoming series is set in Gotham City and, according to FOX’s synopsis, finds James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) two weeks into his job, engaged to his beloved fiancée, Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) – basically living his dream and hoping to restore Gotham to all its glory that it once was when he was a kid.

The eager-to-please, young detective is partnered up with Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) who is a bit “rough-around-the-edges,” but a police legend in his own right and sort of a mentor to the young rookie. Together, they “stumble upon the city’s highest-profile case ever: the murder of local billionaires Thomas and Martha Wayne. At the scene of the crime, Gordon meets the sole survivor: the Waynes’ hauntingly intense 12-year-old son, Bruce (David Mazouz), toward whom the young detective feels an inexplicable kinship. Moved by the boy’s profound loss, Gordon vows to catch the killer.

FOX released all of the character images earlier this year. Are you excited to see the origin story of the Caped Crusader and the evil that is brewing in our beloved Gotham?

Gotham premieres on Monday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.

Cast: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Erin Richards, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Carmen Bicondova, Zabryna Guevara, Cory Michael Smith, Victoria Cartagena, Andrew Stewart Jones and John Doman.

Executive Producers: Bruno Heller, Danny Cannon and John Stephens.

Gotham Synopsis:

The good. The evil. The beginning.

Everyone knows the name Commissioner Gordon. He is one of the crime world’s greatest foes, a man whose reputation is synonymous with law and order. But what is known of Gordon’s story and his rise from rookie detective to Police Commissioner? What did it take to navigate the multiple layers of corruption that secretly ruled Gotham City, the spawning ground of the world’s most iconic villains? And what circumstances created them – the larger-than-life personas who would become Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face and The Joker?

GOTHAM is an origin story of the great DC Comics Super-Villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. From executive producer/writer Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist,” “Rome”), GOTHAM follows one cop’s rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering between good and evil, and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time.

Growing up in Gotham City’s surrounding suburbs, JAMES GORDON (Ben McKenzie, “Southland,” “The O.C.”) romanticized the city as a glamorous and exciting metropolis where his late father once served as a successful district attorney. Now, two weeks into his new job as a Gotham City detective and engaged to his beloved fiancée, BARBARA KEAN (Erin Richards, “Open Grave,” “Breaking In”), Gordon is living his dream – even as he hopes to restore the city back to the pure version he remembers it was as a kid.

Brave, honest and ready to prove himself, the newly-minted detective is partnered with the brash, but shrewd police legend HARVEY BULLOCK (Donal Logue, “Sons of Anarchy,” “Terriers,” “Vikings,” “Copper”), as the two stumble upon the city’s highest-profile case ever: the murder of local billionaires Thomas and Martha Wayne. At the scene of the crime, Gordon meets the sole survivor: the Waynes’ hauntingly intense 12-year-old son, BRUCE (David Mazouz, “Touch”), toward whom the young detective feels an inexplicable kinship. Moved by the boy’s profound loss, Gordon vows to catch the killer.

As he navigates the often-underhanded politics of Gotham’s criminal justice system, Gordon will confront imposing gang boss FISH MOONEY (Jada Pinkett Smith, “The Matrix” franchise, “HawthoRNe”), mob kingpin CARMINE FALCONE (John Doman, “The Wire”) and many of the characters who will become some of fiction’s most renowned, enduring villains, including a teenaged SELINA KYLE/the future CATWOMAN (acting newcomer Camren Bicondova), OSWALD COBBLEPOT/THE PENGUIN (Robin Lord Taylor, “The Walking Dead”) and EDWARD NYGMA/the future RIDDLER (newcomer Cory Michael Smith).

The crime drama will follow Gordon’s turbulent and singular rise through the Gotham City police department, led by Police Captain SARAH ESSEN (Zabryna Guevara, “Burn Notice”), as he goes head-to-head with major crimes unit detectives RENEE MONTOYA (Victoria Cartagena, “The Bedford Diaries”) and CRISPUS ALLEN (Andrew Stewart Jones, “Sex & the City”). It also will focus on the unlikely friendship Gordon forms with the young heir to the Wayne fortune, who is being raised by his unflappable butler, ALFRED PENNYWORTH (Sean Pertwee, “Camelot,” “Elementary”). It is a friendship that will last them all of their lives, playing a crucial role in helping the young boy eventually become the crusader he’s destined to be.

Photo Credit: Dan Steinberg/FOX

FOX Summer TCA: ‘Gracepoint’

Photo Credit: FOX

Photo Credit: FOX

Gracepoint premieres on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.

Cast: David Tennant (Det. Emmett Carver), Anna Gunn (Det. Ellie Miller), Michael Peña (Mark Solano), Virginia Kull (Beth Solano), Nick Nolte (Jack Reinhold), Jacki Weaver (Susan Wright), Josh Hamilton (Joe Miller), Kevin Rankin (Paul Coates),
Kevin Zegers (Owen Burke), Jessica Lucas (Renee Clemons), Stephen Louis Grush (Vince Novik), Madalyn Horcher (Chloe Solano), Sarah-Jane Potts (Gemma Fisher), Jack Irvine (Tom Miller), and Kendrick Sampson (Dean Iverson).

Executive Producers: Anya Epstein, Dan Futterman, Chris Chipnall, Jane Featherstone, John Goldwyn and Carolyn Bernstein. Futterman and Epstein serve as showrunners.

Gracepoint Synopsis:

When a young boy is found dead on an idyllic beach, a major police investigation gets underway in the small northern California seaside town where the tragedy occurred. Soon deemed a homicide, the case turns neighbor against neighbor and sparks a media frenzy, which throws the boy’s family into further turmoil and upends the lives of the town’s residents.

Welcome to GRACEPOINT, a new 10-episode mystery event series based on “Broadchurch,” the U.K.’s critically acclaimed hit crime drama. GRACEPOINT is an expansion of the original series, introducing new characters, identifying new suspects and threading new storylines through the gripping narrative that will end when secrets are revealed and the killer is caught.

Leading the investigation is Detective EMMETT CARVER (David Tennant, “Broadchurch,” “Dr. Who”), who has just arrived in Gracepoint to fill a high position in the town’s police force. That job previously had been promised to Detective ELLIE MILLER (Emmy Award winner Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad”), who, in light of the tragedy, must put any resentment aside and work the case with her prickly new boss. Det. Miller must break the news of the crime to her doting husband, JOE (Josh Hamilton, “American Horror Story”), and her son, TOM (newcomer Jack Irvine), who was the best friend of the murder victim, DANNY SOLANO (guest star Nikolas Filipovic, “Falling Skies”).

Danny is survived by his grieving parents, MARK (Michael Peña, “End of Watch”) and BETH SOLANO (Virginia Kull, “Boardwalk Empire”), and his rebellious older sister, CHLOE (newcomer Madalyn Horcher), who has an older boyfriend, DEAN IVERSON (Kendrick Sampson, “The Vampire Diaries”), unbeknownst to her parents.

All of Gracepoint is pulled into the investigation, including JACK REINHOLD (Emmy Award nominee and Golden Globe Award winner Nick Nolte, “Luck”), a private man who runs the kayak rental service on the beach, as well as the local wildlife observation program, for which Danny volunteered; and SUSAN WRIGHT (Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominee Jacki Weaver, “Silver Linings Playbook”), a mysterious woman, who lives in the RV park near the coast, with her dog. The town’s minister, PAUL COATES (Kevin Rankin, “Justified”), becomes the de facto spokesperson for the community as the media descends on Gracepoint. Danny’s death also impacts tourism, with the decline in visitors felt most harshly by hotel owner GEMMA FISHER (Sarah-Jane Potts, “Kinky Boots,”), a vivacious Brit with secrets of her own. Also touched by Danny’s death is Mark’s apprentice at his plumbing company, VINCE NOVIK (Stephen Louis Grush, “Lucky 7”).

The investigation is followed closely by the town’s local newspaper reporter, OWEN BURKE (Kevin Zegers, “Transamerica”), who is Det. Miller’s nephew. Owen’s ambition is fueled by San Francisco Globe reporter RENEE CLEMONS (Jessica Lucas, “Cloverfield”), who has a history with Det. Carver and sets up camp in Gracepoint to cover the case.

The riveting crime series carves a powerfully dark wake through the town of Gracepoint with a startling conclusion, as the detectives piece together what happened on the night of Danny’s death.

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FOX Summer TCA: ‘Mulaney’

Photo Credit: FOX

Photo Credit: FOX

Mulaney premieres on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.

Cast: John Mulaney, Martin Short, Nasim Pedrad, Zack Pearlman and Seaton Smith.

Executive Producers: John Mulaney, Lorne Michaels, Jon Pollack, David Miner, Dave Becky and Andrew Singer. Andy Ackerman serves as both director and executive producer.

Mulaney Synopsis:

From Emmy Award-winning writer and comedian John Mulaney (“Saturday Night Live”) comes MULANEY, a multi-camera ensemble comedy series about a rising stand-up comic trying to take his career to the next level and the friends and mentors who lift him up, hold him back and push him around.

JOHN MULANEY is a 29-year-old comedian working the stand-up circuit and looking for his big break. But life drastically changes when self-centered comedy legend and game show host LOU CANNON (Emmy Award winner Martin Short, “SCTV,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Father of the Bride,” “Primetime Glick”) hires Mulaney as a writer. Lou may be John’s entrée into the world of big-money show business, but he’s also a total nightmare. Still, the job represents everything Mulaney thinks he wants. But does he really? And, at what cost? And what does it say about him if he quits? And what does it say about him if he stays? And has Lou had work done?

Mulaney’s life becomes a tug-of-war between the stress of his new job and his guilt over not being there for his two best friends and roommates: JANE (Nasim Pedrad, “Saturday Night Live”), a tightly wound, yet directionless personal trainer; and MOTIF (comedian and television newcomer Seaton Smith), a powerhouse comic who shares nothing in common with Mulaney – except the world of stand-up. Rounding out this odd group of friends is ANDRE (Zack Pearlman, “The Inbetweeners”), a trust-fund baby who has a knack for showing up in Mulaney’s life at the worst possible moments.

If Mulaney has one refuge from the chaos that surrounds him, then it’s his neighbor, OSCAR (Academy Award nominee Elliott Gould, “M*A*S*H,” “The Long Goodbye,” the “Oceans 11” franchise), a 71-year-old gay veteran of New York who has seen it all. Oscar is opinionated, refined, gentle, wise and sometimes extremely cantankerous, but most of all, he’s an oracle of sound advice when Mulaney feels like life has gone off the rails.

A unique mix of ensemble comedy, stand-up performances and an observational point-of-view, MULANEY is a show about the big questions in life: how hard they are to answer and how easy it is to maybe just ignore them and pray they go away.

TCA: ABC Sets Premiere Date for ‘How to Get Away with Murder’

JACK FALAHEE, BILL D'ELIA (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR), AJA NAOMI KING, BETSY BEERS (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), MATT MCGORRY, SHONDA RHIMES (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), KARLA SOUZA, PETE NORWALK (CREATOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), ALFRED ENOCH, VIOLA DAVIS, KATIE FINDLAY, BILLY BROWN, CHARLIE WEBER, LIZA WEIL

Shonda Rhimes has yet another drama on the Thursday night lineup. How to Get Away with Murder (too long of a title to Tweet) stars Academy-Award Nominee Viola Davis as Criminal Law Professor Annalise Keating who also happens to be a defense attorney. Keating is tough, sexy, passionate – basically everything you’d want in a professor – “who selects a group of the smartest, most promising students to come work at her law firm.” The series seems like it will be a basic procedural, case-of-the-week type show with stories about her personal life and relationship with a local detective woven throughout. But we’ll see.

How to Get Away with Murder premieres on Thursday, Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. ET, part on ABC’s new TGIT lineup following Grey’s Anatomy at 8 p.m. and Scandal at 9 p.m. Thursday night is Shonda night!

Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think!

ABC SYNOPSIS:  Annalise Keating (Academy-Award Nominee Viola Davis) is everything you hope your Criminal Law professor will be – brilliant, passionate, creative and charismatic. She’s also everything you don’t expect – sexy, glamorous, unpredictable and dangerous. As fearless in the courtroom as she is in the classroom, Annalise is a defense attorney who represents the most hardened, violent criminals – people who’ve committed everything from fraud to arson to murder – and she’ll do almost anything to win their freedom. On the surface, Annalise seems like she has it all – a successful career and loving husband, Sam (Tom Verica) – but her relationship with a local Philadelphia detective, Nate (Billy Brown), will force her to confront secrets about her life she never saw coming.

Each year, Annalise selects a group of the smartest, most promising students to come work at her law firm. The students vying for this coveted position include Wes Gibbins (Alfred Enoch), a wide-eyed, likable boy-next-door recently accepted off the waitlist; Michaela Pratt (Aja Naomi King), a confident, ambitious overachiever born knowing how to “lean in;” Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee), a sly, sophisticated heartbreaker used to getting any prize he lays his eyes on; Laurel Castillo (Karla Souza), a quiet, sensitive idealist who’s easy to underestimate and Asher Millstone (Matt McGorry), an entitled know-it-all born into a world of Ivy League educations and country club memberships. The students all work under two of Annalise’s dedicated associates: Frank Delfino (Charlie Weber), a local Philly boy done good, and Bonnie Winterbottom (Liza Weil), a sweet, observant team-player with a hidden edge.

Early in the first season, Wes will become entangled with his mysterious neighbor, Rebecca (Katie Findlay), after she becomes the main suspect in the murder of a beautiful university coed. Annalise’s involvement with Rebecca’s case will challenge her students’ values, convictions, and dreams, as she teaches them the dark truth about the law and our justice system. It’s worth it though. Working for Annalise is the opportunity of a lifetime, one that can change the course of our students’ lives forever, which is exactly what happens when they find themselves involved in a murder plot that will rock the entire university.

CAST: “How to Get Away with Murder” stars Academy-Award Nominee Viola Davis as Professor Annalise Keating, Billy Brown as Nate, Alfred Enoch as Wes Gibbins, Jack Falahee as Connor Walsh, Katie Findlay as Rebecca, Aja Naomi King as Michaela Pratt, Matt McGorry as Asher Millstone, Karla Souza as Laurel Castillo, Charlie Weber as Frank Delfino and Liza Weil as Bonnie Winterbottom.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: “How to Get Away with Murder” is created and executive-produced by Pete Nowalk (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy”). Shonda Rhimes (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy”), Betsy Beers (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy”) and Bill D’Elia (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “The West Wing”) also serve as executive producers. “How to Get Away with Murder” is produced by ABC Studios.

Photo Credit: ABC

TCA: ABC Sets Premiere Date for New Series ‘Forever’

ALANA DE LA GARZA, IOAN GRUFFUDD, MATT MILLER (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), JUDD HIRSCH

ABC’s new series Forever is about Dr. Henry Morgan, a medical examiner played by Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four, Ringer) who just happens to be immortal. Now he’s not just any immortal, he’s an immortal who dies multiple times and wakes up naked every time. (I mean, that works for me.) Apparently, when he dies he shows up in other places and and always ends up in water, which is why he’s naked. EP Matt Miller joked that it’s “a little something for the audience.”

Forever is definitely a case of the week, with Dr. Morgan at the center, working alongside Detective Jo Martinez, played by Alana De La Garza (Do No Harm, CSI: Miami, Law & Order) and Judd Hirsch as Abe, Henry’s best and only friend.

According to Miller, Morgan won’t die in every episode but any explanation as to how he became an immortal will unravel over time. “Not over 13 episodes or even a full season.”

Forever will be kicking off premiere week with two new episodes: a special sneak premiere on Monday, Sept. 22 at 10 p.m. ET and a second, all-new episode on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 10 p.m. ET for its regular time period premiere.

ABC SYNOPSIS: 

What if you could be immortal and live forever? Would you find it a blessing or a curse? Meet Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd), New York City’s star medical examiner who has an unusual secret. He doesn’t just study the dead to solve criminal cases — he is trying to solve a mystery that has eluded him for over 200 years: his own inexplicable immortality. Henry’s exciting, adventurous and intriguing long life has blessed him with amazing insight and observational skills, which not only impresses his new partner, Detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza), but piques her curiosity about who he is. Each week, a new case and their budding friendship will peel back the layers of Henry’s colorful extraordinary past, on ABC’s new drama, “Forever,” which will be kicking off premiere week with two new episodes: a special sneak premiere on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), and a second, all-new episode on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), for its regular time period premiere.

Henry and Jo combine to make a powerful crime fighting team. Henry, with his charming wit, charisma and an eerie knowledge not just of police procedure but the whole culture, finds an apt collaborator in Jo. Her personal history thrust her into law enforcement, making her an outstanding cop who can connect with the criminal mentality. They both are hiding pieces of their lives and both have lost a great love, albeit Henry’s stretches back some years. Henry met his beloved Abigail during World War II. On the other hand, Jo lost her husband a year-and-a-half ago. She finds a sympathetic ear in Henry, but his “Sherlockian” perception and his straight forward, no nonsense approach to people both fascinates and frustrates her. How does this man know so much? Will she discover who the real Henry is?

However, Abe (Judd Hirsch) is Henry’s best and only friend. He also is the only one who knows Henry’s secret and the two men share an unconventional bond. A romantic at heart, Abe is the more optimistic of the two. However, even though he has an active social life, something is keeping him from getting serious with any woman.

As Henry soon discovers, someone else knows his secret. He may not be the only “immortal” out there. It’s just part of the captivating mystery surrounding Henry’s strange circumstances and his long search to uncover the cause of his condition and escape.

CAST: “Forever” stars Ioan Gruffudd (“Fantastic Four”) as Henry, Judd Hirsch (“Taxi,” “Damages,” “Maron”) as Abe, Alana De La Garza (“Law & Order”) as Detective Jo Martinez, Lorraine Touissant (“Orange is the New Black”) as Lt. Joanne Reece, Donnie Keshawarz (“Homeland,” “The Wolf of Wall Street”) as Detective Hanson and Joel David Moore (“Bones,” “Avatar”) as Lucas.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: “Forever” was created by Matt Miller (“Chuck,” “666 Park Avenue,” “Human Target”). Miller, Dan Lin (“Sherlock Holmes,” “Gangster Squad”) & Jennifer Gwartz (“Veronica Mars,” “Cupid,” “Party Down”) are executive producers. The pilot was written by Miller and directed by Brad Anderson, who was also an executive producer. “Forever” is produced by Warner Bros. Television and is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format with a 5.1 channel surround sound.

Photo Credit: Rick Rowell / ABC

Bravo Sets Date for ‘Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce’

NBCUniversal Events - Season 2014

Bravo teased their first original scripted series, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce at the Television Critics Association’s summer session. Series creator and producer Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) was present along with stars Lisa Edelstein (House), Paul Adelstein (Private Practice), Beau Garrett (Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior) and Necar Zadegan (Emily Owens, MD). The series is based on the “Girlfriends’ Guide” book by Vicki Iovine and follows Abby McCarthy, (Edelstein) a self-help author, who tells all those around her that her “perfect life” has all been a lie. Abby is completely falling apart after separating from her husband, Jake (Adelstein), and is trying to figure out how to live her new life as a single woman in her 40s. She turns to a group of new divorced friends for advice and life lessons, including Lyla (Janeane Garafalo), who is an entertainment layer and dealing with an ex-husband of her own and his new girlfriend.

Creator Marti Noxon is “so excited to be Bravo’s first scripted show.” She said that the show wasn’t based on her life exactly, but there were some instances that were taken from her own experience as well as those of her friends. She did say that “ironically on my drive over here I got a call saying that I’d paid my last alimony.”

The one and only Carrie Fisher guest stars on the show, with Edelstein saying that “she is so wonderful and she has such an enriched life that talking to her can be sort of intimidating.”

Noxon added that Adelstein’s character ends up sleeping with a CW star, as opposed to a younger woman, and created a fictitious show called “Blood Sisters,” where one sister is a vampire slayer and the other a vampire. I mean, when is she pitching that show to the CW for real!!!

Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce premieres Tuesday Dec. 2 at 10 p.m. on Bravo.

Entertainment Weekly has the exclusive trailer below:

BRAVO SYNOPSIS: Bravo’s first original scripted series, “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” follows Abby McCarthy (Lisa Edelstein, “House”), a self-help book author and guru of all things family, who shocks the world when she reveals that her seemingly perfect life has all been a lie. After publicly admitting that she has separated from her husband, Jake (Paul Adelstein, “Private Practice”), America’s once-favorite girlfriend finds her career and marriage in a free fall. As she starts to navigate life as a single woman in her 40s, Abby turns to her new divorced friends, rather than her married ones, for advice. Her friend Lyla (Janeane Garofalo, “Reality Bites”) is a legendary no-nonsense entertainment lawyer who is in a constant ‘War of the Roses’ battle with her ex-husband, and Phoebe (Beau Garrett, “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior”) is a former model and budding entrepreneur who has a very unique relationship with her ex. Meanwhile, a rival attorney at Lyla’s firm, Delia (Necar Zadegan, “Emily Owens, MD”), is hired as Abby’s divorce attorney, and begins to cause a rift between the girlfriends.

Abby is on a journey of self-discovery as she attempts to salvage her career, get back in the dating game and figure out her new identity as a single woman. As she hits the reset button on her life, she embarks on startling adventures and mishaps along the way, including her first post-marriage hook-up, a blog post gone horribly wrong and a Vegas trip that leads to some unexpected complications. And, while in the process of trying and failing to have the “perfect divorce,” Abby ultimately questions whether her marriage is worth saving.

CAST: The series also stars Patrick Heusinger (“Royal Pains”), J. August Richards (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), C. Thomas Howell (“The Outsiders”), Julianna Guill (“Crazy, Stupid, Love”), Michael Weaver (“The Joe Schmo Show”) and Charles Mesure (“Desperate Housewives”). The pilot also includes a cameo by Carrie Fisher as Abby’s book editor, Cat.

Inspired by the “Girlfriends’ Guide” book series by Vicki Iovine, “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” is produced by Universal Cable Productions with Marti Noxon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), who wrote the pilot, Vicki Iovine and Meryl Poster serving as executive producers. The pilot was directed by Adam Brooks. Robert Duncan McNeill (“666 Park Avenue,” “Chuck”) serves as producing director for the series.

Photo Credit: Chris Haston / Bravo

TCA: USA Network Previews New Event Series ‘DIG’

DIG USA Network 2

USA Network presented their new event series DIG at the Television Critics Association’s summer session on Thursday. The six-episode series stars Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, Awake) as Peter Connelly, an FBI agent stationed in Jerusalem, is investigating the death of an American citizen that has been killed on foreign soil and soon uncovers a conspiracy thousands of years in the making. Anne Heche (Hung, Save Me) stars as Lynn Monahan, the head of the Jerusalem FBI office, who happens to be Peter’s boss and sometimes lover.

There’s much more to the story than just solving the murder of a young female archaeologist.  “It’s primarily a murder mystery set in old Jerusalem,” says producer Tim Kring (Heroes) who created the series along with Gideon Raff (Homeland, Tyrant) and due this fall. 

Running a series as an “event series” or “limited series” seems to be the new trend, but not as new as BBC has been doing this for years with shows like Luther and Sherlock.

Kring says that “certain stories lend themselves to a beginning, middle and end and some can go on and on. Knowing where you’re going is a real luxury.” Isaacs adds that “it takes you on a journey and the journey has an ending. The ending is the most important part…and I love telling a proper story and this is a proper story.”

Heche brings the light to panel by asking if she could be turned down because the mic was so loud. Isaacs jokingly says “you can never be turned down.” She says “I think people think I’m way deeper than I am. I really just like to giggle a lot.”

One TV critic asked Heche about why she chose this role, a more serious one than we’re used to seeing her in. She says “this show came along and I like to surprise people with what direction I’m going in…it’s deep and I love to be able to explore a fantastic and dramatic character and I haven’t done it in a couple years and I’m thrilled to be doing it. I really like complicated characters and when I met with Tim and Gideon, they see my personality and it tends to become part of the character, and as she evolves, everyone works together with that. Even though Lynn works with the FBI, she is a complicated woman and has a deep emotional tie to Peter and is an emotional spirit…I wanted to bring that to her character so she’s not a cookie cutter FBI agent. I wanted her to be a bit more complex.”

Raff confirmed they’ve already wrapped filming on the pilot but “are assessing the situation with the network and executives,” regarding the recent political turmoil in Israel. “We are on hiatus until we start filming the series and this was unplanned. Jerusalem is a key element in our show. We wanted to shoot in Jersualem because of the history. It gives us a lot of possibilities.”

Jerusalem is definitely a major character in the show and the stars and producers are in awe of its beauty. Kring says “it’s absolutely exhilarating to be there. Both Heroes and Touch were about creating worlds that didn’t exist. We created everything with green screens and CGI extension, and the ability to go some place and set up a shot and point your camera and see the world was so fantastic. It was a huge honor to be able to do that.”

Heche adds that it’s “such a beautiful place to be. Every turn you take leads you to another extraordinary place. It’s one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been.”

Heche was here for NBC sessions yesterday as she is currently executive producing Bad Judge in addition to starring in USA’s Dig, saying “you can be in meetings now and be part of anything via Skype.”

One reporter brought up the highly anticipated Heroes reboot, with Kring adding that “this project predated the announcement that Heroes was coming back and I’ve been working on this for a year and a half and hopefully I’ll be able to talk about that when it comes on deck.”

Dig premieres this fall on USA

USA SYNOPSIS: “Dig” is an event series from executive producers Tim Kring (“Heroes”) and Gideon Raff (“Homeland”).“Dig” stars Golden Globe nominee Jason Isaacs (“Awake”) as Peter Connelly, an FBI agent stationed in Jerusalem, who, while investigating a mystery surrounding the murder of a young female archaeologist named Emma (Alison Sudol, “A Fine Frenzy”), uncovers a conspiracy 2000 years in the making.   Emmy Award winner Anne Heche (“Save Me”) stars as Lynn Monahan, the head of the Jerusalem FBI office, Peter’s boss and casual lover.Created and executive produced by Kring and Raff,  “Dig” is from Universal Cable Productions (UCP) and was developed by Keshet, in association with Gail Berman (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) of Tecumseh Productions and Gene Stein (“Deception”).  Keshet’s Avi Nir (“Homeland”), Alon Shtruzman and Karni Ziv also serve as executive producers.  The event series shoots in Jerusalem and will premiere in the fall on USA Network

CAST: Anne Heche, Jason Isaacs, Alison Sudol, Lauren Ambrose, Ori Pfeffer, Regina Taylor, SJ Clarkson, Omar Metwally, David Costable, and Richard E. Grant.

Katherine Heigl Talks ‘State of Affairs’ and on Being “Difficult” to Work with

State of Affairs - Season Pilot

NBC presented their newest fall drama State of Affairs starring Katherine Heigl during the Television Critics Association summer press tour and there was quite a bit of drama during the Q&A. Heigl plays top CIA analyst Charleston Tucker who delivers a daily briefing called “The Book,” which is the CIA’s top 10 list of THE most critical threats facing our country, to President Constance Payton (Alfre Woodard).

This is definitely a new role for Heigl, playing something other than a doctor or some sort of love-stricken girl in a romantic comedy, which is something we’ve seen her do many, many, many times. “I loved doing romantic comedies,” said Heigl. “I love watching them and I stopped exercising different muscles of my ability. I was letting down my audience.”

When asked about why she took some time off Heigl responded by saying that she “took a couple of years to be with my family, my new daughter… I needed to be a mom and a wife and be a friend, and really revel in that, and remember what it is I feel so passionate about in this industry.”

One critic asked what attracted her to this role and what was challenging about it. Heigl added that “trying to get people to believe I was a CIA analyst was challenging…the opportunity to delve into that and show this side of the CIA. She’s [her character] a patriot and believes she can make a difference and protect her country and help the President do her job. It all felt like the perfect extraordinary role and story to tell for me.”

State of Affairs is definitely trying to compete with cable dramas, with Executive Producer Joe Carnahan saying that their “goal was to set out and move in lockstep with a cable program (Homeland, Breaking Bad) and the bar is set quite high. We needed to do something that was a step beyond that…Our goal is to out do what cable is doing.” Carnahan added that “NBC hasn’t put any restrictions on us and I think we’re going to continue to push until someone pushes back…in order to be competitive with likeminded cable shows.”

About halfway through the Q&A portion of the panel a reporter brings up the question of why “momager” Nancy Heigl was even there in the first place, saying he asked NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke the same question about Nancy. ”She bakes us cookies,” said Heigl jokingly. Salke did say in the executive session that Katherine and Nancy came to the network to pitch the show together. Apparently Nancy is very involved in her daughter’s creative process and career.

Nancy responded by saying “I am her mother for sure, so, of course I care about her, but I am just learning about executive producing and am learning from those who really know….I’m a newcomer to it.”

The panel came to an awkward pause when a TV critic asked Katherine, per all the tabloid drama, if is she is in fact difficult to work with, and that there was in fact some support from some of the media, saying she was punished for being outspoken. Heigl was a bit put off by the questions, understandably, with EP Ed Bernero trying to come to her defense and getting a very stern “no, I want Katherine to respond” response from the reporter. Heigl chimed in saying “I certainly don’t see myself as being difficult…I would never intend to be difficult. If I ever disappointed somebody, it was never my intention.”

And on that note, State of Affairs premieres on Monday, November 17 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

NBC SYNOPSIS: Each day the president is faced with dozens of life-and-death decisions, and to prioritize the biggest international crises facing the country, one top CIA analyst — Charleston Tucker (Katherine Heigl, “Grey’s Anatomy”) — assembles the President’s Daily Briefing (PDB). This list of the most vital security issues facing the nation brings with it moral and political judgment calls for Charleston and her trusted group of brilliant analysts at the agency. Aside from the political minefields she has to walk, Charlie has a close personal relationship with President Constance Payton (Alfre Woodard, “Desperate Housewives”) because she was once engaged to her son before a tragic terrorist attack took his life. Charlie survived that attack and is now determined to bring the perpetrators to justice. Navigating a complex personal life and a pressure-cooker profession is, of course, a challenge, and Charlie sometimes engages in boundary-pushing behavior to avoid facing her grief. But when the clock strikes 2 a.m., she is all about her job — protecting her nation, serving her president and still trying to get to the bottom of her fiancé’s murder that will reveal itself as a shocking mystery.

CAST: Katherine Heigl, Alfre Woodward, Adam Kaufman, Sheila Vand, Cliff Chamberlain, Tommy Savas and Leslie Odom Jr.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Writer-director Joe Carnahan (“The Blacklist”) serves as executive producer with Ed Bernero, Katherine Heigl, Nancy Heigl, Robert Simonds, Sophie Watts, Henry Crumpton, Rodney Faraon and Julia Franz. “State of Affairs is a production of Universal Television, Bob Simonds Company and Abishag Productions.

‘The Divide’: WE tv’s First Original Scripted Series [Preview]

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From co-creators Richard LaGravenese and Tony Goldwyn comes The Divide, WE tv’s first ever scripted drama that explores the personal cost of morality, ambition, ethics, politics and race in today’s justice system. Christine Rose, played by Marin Ireland, a passionate caseworker at The Innocence Initiative goes through great lengths to prove a man’s innocence. Jared Bankowski, played by Chris Bauer (True Blood), was sentenced to death for the murder of the Butler family 12 years earlier and is believed to be wrongly convicted by District Attorney Adam Page, a determined political up-and-comer, who goes against Christine and does everything in his power to uphold the verdict and keep his reputation in tact.

Goldwyn directed the pilot of the eight-episode series while on break from ABC’s hit drama series Scandal and hopes The Divide has the same risky storytelling that made Scandal a hit.

The series was originally developed and filmed for AMC before heading over to their sister network WE tv, where it was picked up straight to series.

WE tv will offer full-episode sneak peeks of the new drama series on a variety of platforms including Roku, VOD, WE.tv, and TV Everywhere services.

THE DIVIDE premieres July 16 at 9 p.m. on WE tv

WE tv Synopsis: THE DIVIDE, co-created by Richard LaGravenese and Tony Goldwyn, is a thought-provoking and suspenseful drama that explores the personal cost of morality, ambition, ethics, politics and race in today’s justice system through the eyes of Christine Rosa played by Marin Ireland, an impassioned caseworker with The Innocence Initiative, and Adam Page played by Damon Gupton, an equally passionate district attorney and political rising star. When the Butler family was attacked in their Philadelphia home twelve years ago, all but the youngest daughter were brutally murdered. In Christine’s search for the truth, she uncovers evidence that puts her at odds with Adam who will do everything in his power to uphold the verdict of the convicted murderer. Faced with the question of one man’s guilt or innocence and motivated by their own personal histories, Christine and Adam struggle between wrong and right – their own divide – in the quest for justice.

Cast: Marin Ireland (Homeland), Damon Gupton (The Newsroom), Nia Long (The Best Man Holiday), Paul Schneider (Water for Elephants), Clarke Peters (The Wire) and Joe Anderson (Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 2)

Executive Producers: Richard LaGravenese and Tony Goldwyn serve as executive producers along with Emmy® award winner John Tinker (The Practice,Chicago Hope) as the showrunner, and co-executive producer, Andrew Sugarman (Shopgirl, Conviction).

Video credit: WE tv

‘Finding Carter’: MTV’s Newest Family Drama About Child Abduction and Motherhood

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MTV’s new original family drama Finding Carter centers around a teenage girl who finds out her entire life is a lie. Carter Stevens, played by Kathryn Prescott, attends school like any other day and discovers that she’s isn’t who she thinks she is, that her mother abducted her 13 years ago and her entire world is changed forever. Carter has to adjust to this whole new life with her biological family, including a twin sister she never knew she had, a new school and boys. According to Executive Producer Terri Minsky, Finding Carter is truly a mother-daughter tale, saying that “to me, Carter is my daughter. When she speaks, she speaks with a voice that I’ve heard all my life.” She added that many of the elements of the show grew out of her relationship with her daughter, even using some of their real-life phrases they say to each other.

Carter has been lied to by the one person she thought she could trust and hopes to find her mother Lori before the cops do. Her biological mother, played by Cynthia Watros, joined the police force after her daughter was abducted and becomes obsessed with finding the woman who stole her child and all those years away from her. Watros added that “a huge part of my character died when Carter went missing…I’m playing Elizabeth with that hard exterior and I want to show the vulnerability but I can’t do that yet.”

The mostly female panel, with the exception of Alexis Denisof who plays Carter’s biological father, talked about the roles of women in the show. Prescott chimed in by saying that the relationships between her and her two mothers are the primary storyline. Her character will have relationships with boys but “it’s not the central story line. It’s very secondary.”

Finding Carter airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on MTV

MTV Synopsis: Finding Carter is described as an unconventional family drama about a girl realizing that sometimes the people closest to you are the ones who have the most to hide. It centers on teenage Carter, who has the perfect life with her fun-loving single mom Lori until a police bust at a high school party reveals that Lori abducted her as a toddler. Now Carter must return to the family who thought they had lost her. As she navigates brand-new parents, a twin sister, high school and boys, Carter vows to find Lori before the police capture the only mom she’s ever known and put her behind bars.

Cast: Kathryn Prescott, Cynthia Watros, Alexis Denisof, Milena Govich and Anna Jacoby-Heron

Executive Producers: Terri Minsky, Deborah Spera, Maria Grasso and Alexander Motlagh, and was created by Emily Silver.

Photo/Video Credit: MTV