Small screen: LeBron James sells third pilot of the season; popular character returning for The Defenders
Soon, you won’t even need ESPN to get your sports fix. LeBron James sold his third sports-related pilot of the production season to another big network. Meanwhile, set photos revealed a popular face from Luke Cage is returning to Netflix’s upcoming superhero event The Defenders, Zendaya is still struggling to balance being a high school student and super spy, and Mindy Kaling’s character in The Mindy Project was recast as a white man. For these stories and more, read on:
Network: Look out for yet another sports-related show in development for next season. LeBron James’ Springhill Entertainment sold a sports comedy script called Thankless to CBS in their third television sale of the season. The show will center on a group of athletic assistants pursuing their dreams at a sports agency, set in Chicago. Previously, Springhill sold a family comedy and a sports medical drama to NBC, and also runs Survivor’s Remorse on Starz. The production company is under an overall deal with Warner Bros.
Bad news for Rosewood: the Morris Chestnut medical/police procedural has been moved to Fridays at 8 p.m. The show initially aired in the primetime Wednesday 8 p.m. slot as a lead-in to Empire, where it premiered with 7 million viewers, and gradually dwindled down to 3.5 million by the end of the season. Only halfway into its second season, this is the show’s third timeslot, and not one that FOX promotes heavily. Ratings in its second season have remained steady around the 3.5 million viewer range.
Quantico is about to get a history lesson. ABC’s hit drama will feature current Hamilton star Javier Muñoz in a guest role during its currently-airing second season. He will play a vice consul at a consulate in Washington DC who meets the main characters of the show – and quickly wishes he hadn’t. The show follows an FBI agent (Priyanka Chopra) who during the first season became a prime suspect in a terrorist attack. Munoz took over the role of Alexander Hamilton in the Broadway phenomenon when Lin Manuel Miranda exited the production.
One of FOX’s new shows just landed a huge star. Soul legend Gladys Knight will guest as herself on the upcoming musical drama Star. The show follows three young singers attempting to follow their dreams and navigate their way through the music industry. Its already star-studded cast includes Queen Latifah, Benjamin Bratt, Jude Demorset, Ryan Destiny, Brittany O’Grady, and Amiyah Scott. The show will premier December 14.
Cable: Zendaya is going undercover. Her Disney Channel sitcom K.C. Undercover was renewed for a third season, which the 20-year-old star will star in and produce. In the show, Zendaya plays a secret government spy trying to balance her high school life with her high stakes missions (think Hannah Montana mixed with James Bond). The series also stars Kadeem Hardison, Tammy Townsend, Kamil McFadden, Trinitee Stokes, and Veronica Dunne. Filming for the season will start once Zendaya wraps up major film gigs The Greatest Showman on Earth alongside Hugh Jackman, and the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Even though Being Mary Jane may be under some stress, it just landed a big name in a role for its upcoming fourth season. Love & Hip Hop’s Cardi B will guest star on the show for one episode as a reality star named Mercedes. According to the official character description, she’s a “round-the-way beauty with a big weave, big boobs and a big booty to match her oversized, ratchet personality.” If that wasn’t enough, real life Senator Cory Booker will also appear in an episode. Airing in January, the show’s fourth season will follow Gabrielle Union’s character as she relocates to New York City.
Online: Well, The Defenders just got a whole lot better. Set photos for Netflix’s upcoming Marvel series revealed Simone Missick will reprise her popular character Misty Knight for the upcoming crossover. The photos reveal detective Knight pointing a gun at Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones, who starred in her own popular series named after the character. The 8-episode series set to premier in 2017 will feature characters from Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage, and the upcoming Iron Fist.
Remember when we talked about how Mindy Kaling wants a white man to play her in season five of The Mindy Project? Well, it’s happening. Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars) will play Mindy Lahiri in an upcoming episode of the show, which exclusively streams on Hulu. In the episode, Mindy falls asleep wishing she were a white man, and wakes up as a handsome white male doctor. The show drops new episodes every Tuesday, and will air its 100th episode this month.
Spike Lee’s upcoming Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It is rounding out its cast. Chyna Layne (Precious) and Ilfenesh Hadera (Baywatch) signed onto the project in unspecific roles, joining a cast of DeWanda Wise as lead role Nola Darling, and Lyriq Bent, Anthony Ramos and Cleo Anthony has her three lovers. A contemporary update to Lee’s 1986 indie film, the show will follow Darling as a free-spirited artist living in Brooklyn. Layne recently had a recurring role on TNT’s Major Crimes, while Hadera previously worked with Lee on Chi-Raq and Oldboy.