News Briefs: Game of Thrones' Renly Baratheon Will Play Charles Manson for NBC
HELTER SKELTER NEWS
... Gethin Anthony, known throughout Westeros as the actor who played Game of Thrones' would-be king Renly Baratheon, has landed a role so sinister that shadow baby assassins would go crawling back up into Melisandre if they ever met his new character face to face. Anthony will play psycho-philosopher and cult leader Charles Manson in NBC's upcoming miniseries Aquarius. The project stars David Duchovny as an undercover cop going after some young kid—Manson—who's brainwashing others to start a cult. Also joining the cast are Grey Damon (Friday Night Lights) as Duchovny's partner, and Emma Dumont (Bunheads) as one of Manson's followers. [TV Line]
... Rian Johnson, the excellent director of the excellent Breaking Bad episodes "The Fly" and "Ozymandias" and the films Brick and Looper, has landed one of the most desirable jobs in all of Hollywood. He'll direct and write Star Wars: Episode VIII, taking over for J.J. Abrams, who's currently directing Episode VII. Wow, there's an actual chance that these movies won't totally suck! [Variety]
... Syfy's wacky holy-war drama Dominion started off its run okay but definitely not great, with just under 2 million viewers and a 0.6 rating. The Season 2 premiere of Defiance fared about the same, with just over 2 million viewers and a matching 0.6. [Syfy via press release]
... HBO has expanded Looking's second season to 10 half-hour episodes, up from eight in Season 1. The comedy about gay men in San Francisco will return in early 2015. [TV Line]
... Amazon has officially ordered a pilot for Really, starring Sarah Chalke and written and directed by (and also starring) Broken Lizard's Jay Chandrasekhar. Well, we already knew this thing was ordered, but Amazon announced today that it will debut Really during its next pilot sampling period. The comedy follows a group of friends whose lives are disrupted when two of them have an affair with each other. Selma Blair, Lindsay Sloane, and Rob Delaney also star. [Amazon via press release]
... The final season of Glee will probably leave New York and take place at McKinley High. Probably. [TV Line]
... The word "Adorkable," originally coined to help promote Fox's New Girl, has been accepted as a real word by Collins English Dictionary. Its official definition is "socially inept or unfashionable in a charming or endearing way." [THR]
... The Simpsons has booked Will Forte to play one of its most mysterious characters. The SNLer will make a guest appearance in Season 26 as King Toot, the never-before-seen owner of the music shop that's adjacent to Moe's Tavern. He and Moe do NOT get along. [TV Line]
... Mary Steenburgen will join the cast of Orange Is the New Black when it returns for Season 3, and she's got some 'splainin' to do. The Oscar-winner will play the mother of Pornstache Mendez (Pablo Schrieber), so she'd better be able to explain how she raised a young man to be so awful (and awesome). [TV Line]
... Cheyenne Jackson will guest-star in an upcoming episode of Royal Pains. The theater actor and 30 Rock alum will drop by the August 5 episode as a perfume dealer who loses his sense of smell, which is not good for business. Jackson has also made appearances on Glee and Behind the Candelabra. [USA via press release]
... I cannot tell a lie! Aussie Jason O'Mara (Terra Nova, Vegas) will be playing the truest American of them all, George Washington, in History's Revolutionary War miniseries Sons of Liberty. The six-hour series follows the Founding Fathers as they kick England's butt and create a nation where guns are awesome. Also starring are Henry Thomas, Michael Raymond James, Ryan Eggold, and Dean Norris. [EW]
... Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s J. August Richards is joining Lifetime's original series The Lottery. The drama is set in a post-apocalyptic world where women are unable to have children, so the government holds a lottery to select 100 women to stuff with fertilized embryos. Richards will play Deputy Secretary of State Nathan Mitchell, who travels overseas as a foreign diplomat. [Variety]
... Freaks and Geeks is one of the best series ever made, so of course Fox canceled it after one amazing season. Creator Paul Feig has released his an excerpt of his character bible from the show, and it's pretty damn fascinating. [Slate]
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