HBO Max to Bow Dark Comedy Series ‘Two Weeks to Live’ Nov. 5

HBO Max will be the exclusive U.S. streaming home to the British dark comedy “Two Weeks to Live,” launching all episodes Nov. 5.

The Max Original stars Emmy Award nominee Maisie Williams in her first role after “Game of Thrones” and BAFTA winner and Emmy nominee Sian Clifford (“Fleabag”).

The series currently airs on Sky in the United Kingdom.

“Two Weeks to Live” tells a comic tale of love and revenge born from a seemingly harmless prank that goes terribly wrong. Kim Noakes is an early 20-something oddball who, since the murder of her father, has been sequestered away in the wilderness with her doomsday-prepping mother for most of her life. Feeling compelled to go on a belated coming-of-age adventure, Kim sets out to find her dad’s killer and along the way ropes mismatched brothers Jay and Nicky into her scheme.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The series also stars Taheen Modak,  Mawaan Rizwan, Jason Flemyng, Sean Pertwee and Thalissa Teixeira.

Apple TV+ Renews ‘Ted Lasso’ for Third Season

Apple TV+ has renewed “Ted Lasso” for a third season, ahead of its second season start of production in London in early January.

The series premiered on August 14, 2020.

“Ted Lasso” stars Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso, a small-time college football coach from Kansas who is hired to coach a professional soccer team in England despite having no experience coaching soccer. The series also stars Hannah Waddingham, Brendan Hunt, Jeremy Swift, Juno Temple, Brett Goldstein, Phil Dunster and Nick Mohammed.

In addition to starring, Sudeikis serves as executive producer, alongside Bill Lawrence (“Scrubs”) via his Doozer Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television and Universal Television, a division of NBCUniversal Content. Doozer’s Jeff Ingold also serves as an executive producer with Liza Katzer as co-executive producer. The series was developed by Sudeikis, Lawrence, Joe Kelly and Brendan Hunt, and is based on the pre-existing format and characters from NBC Sports.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Apple TV+ is available at $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial.

Rose Byrne, Seth Rogen to Star in Comedy Series for Apple TV+

Apple TV+ will launch a new comedy series, “Platonic,” starring Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen.

The series will be co-written by Nick Stoller and Francesca Delbanco (“Friends From College”) and will be produced for Apple by Sony Pictures Television.

“Platonic” reunites Byrne and Rogen with director Nick Stoller following their collaboration on the “Neighbors” films.

The 10-episode, half-hour comedy explores the inner workings of platonic friendship. A pair of former best friends who met in their youth (played by Byrne and Rogen) reconnect as adults and try to mend the rift that led to their falling out. As their friendship becomes more consuming, it destabilizes their lives and causes them to reevaluate their choices.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

In addition to writing, Stoller will direct. Rose Byrne, Seth Rogen and Conor Welch will serve as executive producers.

Apple TV+ is available at $4.99 a month with a seven-day free trial.

HBO Max, Amblin Ink Deal for Series Inspired by ‘Rashomon’

Amblin Television and HBO Max have entered into a deal to develop a show inspired by the acclaimed Akira Kurosawa film Rashomon.

Oscar nominees Billy Ray (Captain PhillipsThe Hunger GamesThe Comey Rule) and Virgil Williams (MudboundA Journal for Jordan) will be writers on the series.

The series will not be an adaptation but will retain the key plot device of the Kurosawa film — a drama centering around a grisly sexual assault and murder, and the unraveling mystery seen through multiple characters’ competing narratives — to explore the themes of truth and subjective point of view, in a modern setting, according to a press release. Each episode will present the perceived truth of an individual character — putting each, in turn, at the center of the story and telling the events surrounding the murder from their unique, self-serving point of view.

Amblin Partners’ co-presidents of television Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (The AmericansHaunting of Hill House) will executive produce, along with Mark Canton (Power300) of Atmosphere Entertainment, Leigh Ann Burton of Opus7 Entertainment, and David Hopwood (Den of ThievesImmortals). Todd Cohen, SVP of television development, will oversee the day-to-day development of the project for Amblin, with Frank and Falvey.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

In 2018, Amblin announced that they had secured the blessing of the Kurosawa family to create a new series inspired by the iconic 1950 film, after Burton and Canton approached them.

“I am delighted to work with Amblin Partners and HBO Max to reimagine Rashomon for today’s audience,” Hisao Kurosawa said in a statement. “I am excited to see my dad’s vision through this inspirational story kept alive and made accessible to a new generation,”

Follow us on Instagram

“Truth has become increasingly fractured in this age of cable news and social media’s ‘say it and it’s true’ culture,” Frank and Falvey said in a statement. “Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece was not just a murder mystery; it was a revolution in storytelling, as cinema’s most impactful and influential early exploration of subjective points of view and flawed narration. Seventy years after the film’s release, the legacy of Rashomon is indisputable and its central themes more relevant than ever. Our series will honor the impact of the original work and explore the age-old concept of objective truth versus subjective perspective in our modern times.”

“It takes a lot of hard work to make the stars align and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to create an original take on Rashomon — a masterpiece from a true genius of cinema — for new audiences, with the full support and blessing of the Kurosawa family,” Canton said in a statement. “Not only that, but to be doing so in partnership with my friends and colleagues at Amblin Television, as well as the brilliantly talented Billy Ray and Virgil Williams, is truly the convergence of hard work and good fortune that every producer hopes for.”

“We are excited to work with Amblin Partners and our incredible writing team. Everyone involved understands the caliber and cache of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon and his legacy,” Burton said in a statement.

“Our partnership on Rashomon is based on our mutual pledge to make every single episode, every scene, and every character of this show a loving homage to Kurosawa’s talent as an artist. That’s our true north,” Williams and Ray said in a statement.

Patricia Arquette to Star in ‘High Desert’ on Apple TV+

Apple TV+ has ordered the half-hour comedy “High Desert,” produced by Apple Studios and starring Academy, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood,” “Escape at Dannemora,” “The Act”), who will also executive produce.

The project reunites Arquette with Ben Stiller (Escape at Dannemora), who will direct the first episode and executive produce through Red Hour Films alongside Nicky Weinstock. Molly Madden and Tom Lassally executive produce on behalf of 3 Arts Entertainment.

“High Desert” follows Peggy (Arquette), a former addict who decides to make a new start after the death of her beloved mother, with whom she lived in the small desert town of Yucca Valley, Calif., and makes a life-changing decision to become a private investigator.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The series is created and written by Nancy Fichman (“Nurse Jackie,” “Damages”), Katie Ford (Miss Congeniality) and Jennifer Hoppe (“Grace and Frankie,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Damages”), who will also serve as executive producers.

“High Desert” marks Apple’s second partnership with Arquette and Stiller following the series order for “Severance,” an upcoming workplace thriller starring and executive produced by Arquette and Adam Scott, and directed and executive produced by Stiller. Arquette and Stiller both received Emmy Award nominations for their most recent collaboration: the limited series Escape at Dannemora, for which Stiller won the DGA Award and Arquette won Golden Globe, SAG and Critics Choice Awards.

HBO Max Picks Up ‘Raised by Wolves’ for Second Season

“Raised by Wolves,” which HBO Max reports is its top-performing original since the platform’s launch, has been picked up for a second season.

The serialized sci-fi series from filmmaker Ridley Scott (The MartianGladiator, Alien) debuted with three episodes on Sept. 3 and has continued to be a strong performer in its second week on the platform, growing its audience by nearly 50% week over week, according to the service.

“Raised by Wolves” centers on two androids tasked with raising human children on a mysterious virgin planet. As the burgeoning colony of humans threatens to be torn apart by religious differences, the androids learn that controlling the beliefs of humans is a treacherous and difficult task.  Scott serves as an executive producer on the series and directed the first two episodes. The series was created by Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners).

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“When I think of ‘Raised by Wolves,’ I think of artistry; artistry in crafting a compelling storyline, artistry in the out-of-this-world production design, special effects and cinematography, artistry in our actor’s portrayals of these memorable characters, and artistry attached to the legendary work of Ridley Scott, Aaron Guzikowski and our phenomenal crew,” Sarah Aubrey, head of original programming at HBO Max, said in a statement. “This chart-topping series beautifully weaves together Ridley’s hallmarks of sci-fi and horror while offering fans one of the most original storylines they’ve seen in some time.  I can’t wait to see what’s in store for season two.”

Follow us on Instagram

“Being a dyed-in-the-wool advertising man, I was knocked out by the extraordinary campaign done by HBO Max marketing, which conveyed the ambitious storyline in such a provocative and tactile manner, and deftly positioned our first season of ‘Raised by Wolves’ as a ‘must watch’ show,” said Scott in a statement. “It must have been a notable challenge to selectively plumb the riches In Aaron’s storylines. We were even happier that audiences have responded so enthusiastically. We are already deep into the ‘layers’ of season 2, as Aaron has begun to shape what we think will be another brilliant season to inspire the imagination.”

Netflix Picks Up Series ‘Sweet Tooth’ Based on DC Characters

Netflix May 12 announced the series pickup of the drama “Sweet Tooth” from Team Downey and Warner Bros. Television based on characters from DC.

The one-hour, eight-episode series is the family-friendly, storybook adventure of Gus — part deer, part boy — who leaves his home in the forest to find the outside world ravaged by a cataclysmic event. He joins a ragtag family of humans and animal-children hybrids like himself in search of answers about this new world and the mystery behind his hybrid origins.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

It stars Christian Convery (Beautiful Boy, Tiger Rising, Playing With Fire), Nonso Anozie (The Laundromat, Zoo, “Game of Thrones”), Adeel Akhtar (“Les Misérables” TV series, Victoria & AbdulThe Big Sick) and Will Forte (“The Last Man on Earth,” “Saturday Night Live”), with James Brolin (Life in PiecesAmityville Horror, Westworld) as the voice of the narrator.

Executive producers are Team Downey’s Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey and Amanda Burrell; and Linda Moran.

Season One of ‘Narcos: Mexico’ Due on DVD May 12 From Lionsgate

Season one of “Narcos: Mexico” arrives on DVD May 12 from Lionsgate.

Set in 1980s Mexico during the rise of the Guadalajara Cartel, “Narcos: Mexico” is the follow-up to the “Narcos” series (both of which stream on Netflix), with new characters and a new storyline that shifts the action from 1970s Colombia. The series explores the origin of the modern war on drugs and the violent reality of marijuana in Mexico.

Co-created by Chris Brancato (TV’s “Godfather of Harlem”), Carlo Bernard, and Doug Miro (The Great Wall, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Uninvited), “Narcos: Mexico” season one stars Michael Peña, Diego Luna, Tenoch Huerta Mejía, Alyssa Diaz, Matt Letscher, Joaquín Cosío, and Alejandro Edda.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

In the series, in his quest to build a drug empire in the 1980s, Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo (Luna) takes the helm of the Guadalajara Cartel, unifying traffickers. Meanwhile, DEA Agent Kiki Camarena (Peña) moves his wife and young son from California to Guadalajara to take on a new post. As Camarena gathers intelligence on Félix and becomes more entangled in his mission, a tragic chain of events unfolds, affecting the drug trade — and the war against it — for years to come.

HBO Max Orders Doc Series on Mark Wahlberg

HBO Max has ordered an eight-episode documentary series, “Wahl Street,” which will follow the life of star and businessman Mark Wahlberg.

The series will cover his successes and failures and allow viewers to “glean powerful business and life lessons while also getting to know the cast of colorful characters that make up Wahlberg’s real-life entourage,” according to the service, which launches at $14.99 a month in May.

The series began production in December.

“This series will be an intimate exploration behind the drive that makes Mark Wahlberg one of the most unique stars in entertainment,” Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of original nonfiction and kids programming at HBO Max, said in a statement. “Mark’s entrepreneurial spirit is fun to watch and we hope to show both the struggle and triumphs of what it takes to succeed.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Each episode of “Wahl Street” will follow Wahlberg as he directs his business portfolio, ranging from a line of activewear to all-natural, high-performance sports nutrition supplements to television and film production companies, and even a Chevrolet dealership, according to the service. Each episode will include a diverse group of entrepreneurs and inventors pitching Wahlberg new opportunities.

Follow us on Instagram

“We’re documenting the ups, the downs, the hits and the misses. It’s all the real stuff that’s happening while I’m growing my businesses,” said Wahlberg in a statement. “We’re pulling back the curtain and hopefully it’s an opportunity to inspire other entrepreneurs.”

 

Amazon to Produce First Australian Original Series With Rebel Wilson

Australian actress, writer and producer Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect, The Hustle, Isn’t It Romantic) has signed on to host and executive produce the first Australian Amazon Original series “LOL: Last One Laughing.”

The comedy-variety series, produced with Endemol Shine Australia, will feature a star-studded cast of 10 Australian comedic actors and stand-ups competing to make each other laugh first. The final comedian left standing will win the grand prize of $100,000 (Australian).

The six-part series will premiere exclusively on Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories in 2020.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Prime Video family of creators and talent,” said Wilson in a statement. “I’ve already had the chance to work with Alexa — she’s great — and on Audible, so working with Prime Video seemed like an obvious choice. I can’t wait to see what these talented Australian comedians come up with and how far they’ll go to take home the prize.”

“LOL: Last One Laughing” follows the format of the Amazon Original series from Japan, “Hitoshi Matsumoto Presents Documental,” produced by and starring comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto. The format was also launched in Mexico with comedian Eugenio Derbez as host. The series in Japan and Mexico are currently on their seventh and second seasons, respectively.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We’re excited to bring ‘LOL: Last One Laughing’ to our Prime members in Australia and around the world,” said James Farrell, head of international originals for Amazon Studios, in a statement. “Customers in Japan and Mexico have told us they love ‘Documental’ and ‘LOL: Last One Laughing.’ Australia was an easy choice as the next country to bring this to and Rebel Wilson was at the top of our list to host and star. We think our Prime members are going to love it.”