HBO Max Orders True Crime Series ‘Love and Death’ Starring Elizabeth Olsen

HBO Max has ordered the limited series “Love and Death,” starring Elizabeth Olsen  and written by David E. Kelley.

Inspired by the book Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death in the Suburbs and a collection of articles from Texas Monthly (“Love & Death in Silicon Prairie,” Part I & II), the series, directed by Lesli Linka Glatter, is about two churchgoing couples enjoying small town family life in Texas until somebody picks up an axe.

The series is produced by Lionsgate, and executive produced by David E. Kelley through David E. Kelley Productions; Nicole Kidman and Per Saari through Blossom Films; Lesli Linka Glatter; Scott Brown and Megan Creydt through Texas Monthly; Matthew Tinker; Michael Klick and Helen Verno.

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“This is a gripping story about the frustrations and desires of two women in a small town that culminates in a terrible act of violence,” Sarah Aubrey, head of original content for HBO Max, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be partnering with David, Lesli, Nicole and Per, and incredibly fortunate to have Elizabeth at the center of our story to bring out all the layers of Candy that make this story so unforgettable.”

“We cannot imagine a more perfect artist to play the leading role of Candy than Elizabeth Olsen,” Kevin Beggs, chairman of Lionsgate Television Group, said in a statement. “Her talent, charisma and energy can bewitch audiences like no other. We’re proud to be collaborating with a world-class creative team of Lesli, David and Nicole on this thrilling and intriguing series and to bring another exciting premium property to our partners at HBO Max.”

Culinary Series ‘How She Rolls’ to Debut on PBS Living Channel in May

In May, “How She Rolls,” a half-hour lifestyle documentary and culinary series, will debut on the PBS Living channel, available on Prime Video and Apple TV Channels.

The subscription rate for PBS Living is $2.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. PBS Living is also available on Apple TV Channels in the Apple TV app at a subscription rate of $2.99 per month with no additional annual fees.

The program follows the life of Carrie Morey, an award-winning baker, entrepreneur, and mother, wife and daughter who transformed a made-by-hand mail order biscuit company, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, into one of the South’s best small business success stories.

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Each episode follows Morey as she balances being a mom to three daughters with the pressures of being a business owner in what has been an unpredictable year. Whether she’s traveling the country to attend food expos, dealing with the obstacles of opening a new breakfast and lunch biscuit eatery three hours from home, or putting work aside to prepare a dinner for her family, viewers follow Morey’s challenges and triumphs.

In the 10-episode inaugural season, viewers are introduced to Morey as she runs a growing business from her kitchen, her car, food festivals, her daughter’s volleyball games and anywhere else she finds herself. The series takes us from the early beginnings of starting her business — juggling her family life while opening a new store in Charlotte, N.C. — and soon after the opening, when the pandemic hits and the coronavirus overtakes America. Over the next few months, Morey sheds staff and runs out of flour, but also discovers a new path to success. With faith and determination, Morey is able to take her employees to a dairy farm to learn how buttermilk is made, cook with her parents (her culinary inspiration) and begin to create recipes for a new cookbook.

Netflix and MGM/UA Announce New Series About Wednesday Addams

Netflix and MGM/UA Feb. 17 announced a new live-action coming-of-age comedy called “Wednesday,” about the gleefully morose girl from “The Addams Family” series.

The pilot will mark director Tim Burton’s television directorial debut.

The eight-episode series, from creator/show runners Al Gough and Miles Millar, is a sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery charting Wednesday’s years as a student at the peculiar Nevermore Academy. Wednesday attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous killing spree that has terrorized the local town and solve the supernatural mystery that embroiled her parents 25 years ago — all while navigating her new and very tangled relationships with the strange and diverse student body.

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The team also includes Andrew Mittman for 1.21 (The Addams Family, “Alphas”), Kevin Miserocchi (Tee and Charles Addams Foundation), Kayla Alpert (“Code Black,” “Up All Night”), Jonathan Glickman for Glickmania (RESPECT, Addams Family 2) and Gail Berman (The Addams Family, “Alphas”).

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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,”

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“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.

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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).

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“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.”

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“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.

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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.