July 2012

Entourage’s Jeremy Piven Cast As “Mr. Selfridge,” Series Will Air on Masterpiece in 2013

Entourage star Jeremy Piven – perhaps best known for his exhortation that we all just “Hug it out” – will be given the chance to show off his more serious side in upcoming period drama Mr. Selfridge. Piven will play the titular character, Harry Gordon Selfridge, the visionary American entrepreneur who transformed Oxford Street in London with the splashy department store that still bears his name.

Created by the Emmy Award-winning Andrew Davies (who also did Pride and Prejudice and Bleak House), the ten-part series will focus on the life of the “pioneering and reckless” shipping magnate who turned the act of shopping into an pleasurable and social activity for Edwardian-era women. The series will also deal with some of the same sorts of class issues as Downton Abbey, as well as highlight hidden moments in the history of women in fashion and domestic affairs.

Mr. Selfridge is currently filming in the UK and is slated to air in 2013, but exact dates for US and UK transmission have yet to be determined. (If you'd like an early look at Piven in some fairly fancy period dress, you can find a few filming shots here.)

The announcement that Mr. Selfridge will join the Masterpiece family brought with it some more great news: that the multi-series production co-production deal between Masterpiece and UK network ITV also includes further episodes of Endeavour, Inspector Lewis, Miss Marple and Agatha Christie’s Poirot. So we can now officially look forward to new installments of all four of those popular programs in the coming year as well.


Watch a Scene From Tonight's Inspector Lewis Finale, "The Indelible Stain"

The new series of Inspector Lewis wraps up tonight on Masterpiece Mystery. Yes, somehow we’ve already reached the end of new Lewises for the year (How? It feels like we just started!), and the wait for new episodes begins once again tomorrow. Not to worry though, there’s plenty of great British fare still to come in the next few months, including a new series of Wallander, hit drama Call the Midwife, the second series of Upstairs Downstairs and, of course, the return of a little show called Downton Abbey.

But, that’s getting a bit ahead of ourselves. In tonight’s Lewis finale, called The Indelible Stain, Lewis and Hathaway must investigate when a controversial American academic is found strangled after giving a guest lecture at Oxford and the possible motives include politics, ambition and vengeance.

Click through for a quick sneak peek at a scene from tonight’s episode and let us know what you think!

Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch Welcomes the World to the London Olympics

NBC scored the highest ratings ever for an Olympics opening ceremony held outside the US, with 40.7 million people tuning in last night to watch Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle’s beautiful and occasionally mad love letter to Great Britain. It featured fireworks, Kenneth Branagh, the NHS, the Queen joining forces with James Bond, adorable corgis, epic sets, a hundred-foot tall version of Lord Voldemort, Rowan Atkinson playing piano, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling reading everyone a bed time story, David Beckham on a speedboat, the guy who invented the internet live tweeting from the stage, and Sir Paul McCartney leading the world in a singalong of Hey, Jude. Yeah, it was pretty awesome.

But a couple of the best bits from the London 2012 Opening Ceremonies never made it to air in America, including the fantastic kickoff to the BBC’s television coverage introduced and narrated by none other than Sherlock Holmes himself, Benedict Cumberbatch. The Sherlock star gave the world an introduction to London and a welcome to the 2012 Summer Games, and provided the sort of superquick history reminder that might have helped some Americans catch more of the many historical, literary and cultural references that were jam-packed into Boyle’s opening.

Click through for a look at Cumberbatch’s opening introduction for yourself, as well a memorial dance tribute, and a little snippet that might be of particular interest to Doctor Who fans.

The Friday News Roundup: London Games Edition

Happy Friday, Telly Visions readers! After a couple weeks off, the News Roundup is back, appropriately on a big day for both the UK and Anglophiles everywhere, as the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games get under way. Even if you’re not much of a sports enthusiast, it should be a great two weeks to appreciate some of the many things that make London – and British culture, generally – great.

For the time being, get yourself in the mood by catching up on things from around the world of British entertainment. Click through for tidbits on Doctor Who, Sherlock, The Only Way is Essex, Misfits, Merlin, Downton Abbey and lots more, including a special little Olympics tidbit from the kickoff of this afternoon’s BBC coverage.

The First Trailer for the US Remake of The Inbetweeners is Here

MTV is yet again attempting to remake a popular British teen series for American audiences. Their version of E4’s The Inbetweeners is set to premiere on August 20 and the first trailer for this adaptation has officially arrived.

You should all know that I’m very, very fond of the original Inbetweeners, so the thought of anyone messing with it sort of makes me upset. (If you’ve never seen it, the original is legitimately hilarious, even if you occasionally do need a strong stomach or high tolerance for profanity to get through an episode.) To put it bluntly, the initial trailer does not give me a lot of high hopes for the quality of this remake, and I fear we are about to add yet another series to the list of attempted “Americanized” British shows that didn’t work at all.

Cilck through to take a look at the new MTV trailer for yourself as well as watch a clip from the original series, and then let’s have a chat about this whole “remake” thing.

Amazing Internet Things: Let’s Go Old School with “The Mystery of the Missing Cat”

This is an installment of “Amazing Internet Things” that isn’t so much about sharing the latest and greatest new video or generally nifty thing from around the internet. Instead, let’s take a minute to appreciate an exceptionally awesome blast from the past.

My Sherlock withdrawal is well documented around here, so generally that means I spend a lot of time looking around the internet for random things of interest to help me deal with the fact that we’re still five months from the start of filming on Series 3, let alone to whenever we’ll actually get to see it. Normally, this sort of internet sleuthing means watching a lot of random, angsty videos dedicated to working out all various feelings about The Reichenbach Fall, but sometimes, it turns up some real gems that make you smile.

This bit of awesomeness – which has nothing at all to do with Steven Moffat or Benedict Cumberbatch -will still warm the heart of any Sherlockian that happens to be reading. Watch classic Sesame Street segment “Mysterious Theater,” hosted by Vincent Twice (hee!) and featuring the always awesome Sherlock Hemlock.

Click through to watch a slightly shorter, definitely furrier version of Holmes and Watson tackle “The Mystery of the Missing Cat.”

Downton Abbey Series 3: See a New Cast Photo and Get Some Plot Details!

New details about the highly anticipated third series of Downton Abbey have started to emerge following the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. Stars Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt and cast newcomer Shirley MacLaine were all on hand to discuss the new episodes, drop a few hints about upcoming storylines and just be generally amazing. Then today, to keep the Downton mania flowing, we also got a first look at the official Series 3 promo art.

Click through for all the latest Downton dish, and a bigger version of that picture you see up top. As some plot of these plot-specific items could be consider spoilery, even if they are all plastered on every major entertainment outlet there is this morning, I’m still dumping them all under a cut in their own clearly labeled area and wishing all of you trying to avoid them good luck and Godspeed on that particular journey.


Watch a Scene from Tonight’s Brand New Inspector Lewis Mystery, “Fearful Symmetry”

The new series of Inspector Lewis continues tonight on Masterpiece at 9pm. In tonight’s installment, Fearful Symmetry, Lewis and Hathaway investigate the murder of a suburban babysitter who seems to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time – and may have been leading a secret life.

Click through for a full synopsis of tonight’s episode, as well as a sneak peek clip. Enjoy!

Watch the First Trailer for Red Dwarf X!

Smeg-heads, rejoice the first trailer for the highly-anticipated new series of Red Dwarf is here! The popular sci-fi comedy will be back this fall for a six-episode run, complete with original cast members Robert Llewellyn, Craig Charles, Chris Barrie and Danny John-Jules on board.

Red Dwarf will air on UK network Dave, which was also behind the comedy’s three-part Back to Earth special that aired in 2009. (Prior to that, the sci-fi seires aired on the BBC.) No word on whether we’ll see this air at some point in the States, but here’s hoping!

While this first trailer is a bit on the “short and sweet” side – clocking in at just under a minute – but it’s still got a couple of funny gags, including Lister managing to lose Rimmer in a poker game.

Click through and take a look for yourselves – what say you, Red Dwarf lovers? Does this look like the series has still got it?

Doctor Who at Comic Con 2012: Whovian Adventures in San Diego

I had the best time at Comic Con – largely because it was so awesome to be surrounded by so many devoted fans of shows like Doctor Who and other things that are awesome. I spend the most time at the Con doing Whovian-related things, so that’s the first story I’ll tell you guys – but keep an eye out for an early review of CBS’ Elementary, my favorite outfits I saw at SDCC, and some general flailing about getting to see a bit of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. (Spoiler: Incredible).

To the surprise of no one, I imagine, Doctor Who is one of the most popular series at Comic Con, year in and year out – whether it’s an official panel, a screening or just fans dressing up as their favorite characters, you’ll see the Doctor everywhere in San Diego. This year was no exception, with several exciting events taking place over the course of the long weekend. I went to two separate Who panels featuring various cast and production team members, saw countless Elevens on the exhibit floor, and even ran into a Dalek or two. It was awesome.

Click through for a recap of all the exciting Whovian activities at SDCC, including video clips and highlights from both cast panels. (Seriously, can we have Series 7 now?)

2012 Emmy Nominations – Lots of Love for Downton Abbey, Sherlock and Other British Hits!

I have returned from the magical land known as San Diego Comic Con International. I am still kind of jet lagged and tired and, yes, I may have slept on the ground more than once a bit over the course of the long weekend, but I saw some amazing stuff – so much that I’m not entirely sure what to write up first. Keep an eye out for Comic Con stories starting later today. But, first, - EMMY NOMINATIONS!

The 2012 Primetime Emmy Award nominations were announced this morning – and it’s basically a great day to be a fan of British television, as some of our favorite series from the past year were all honored.

All that controversy surrounding Downton Abbey’s graduation from the Miniseries to the full Drama Series category now seems much ado about nothing, as the move seems to have completely paid off for all involved. The period drama scored sixteen nominations this morning, including nods in the Best Drama, Best Actor (Hugh Bonneville), Best Actress (Michelle Dockery), Best Supporting Actress (Joanna Frogatt and Dame Maggie Smith), Best Supporting Actor (Jim Carter and Brendan Coyle) and Best Writing (Julian Fellowes) categories.

Sherlock also finally got some love from the Emmys – the series was nominated for Best TV Miniseries or Movie. (Weird Emmy categorization strikes again, but I’ll take it this time!) Everyone’s favorite consulting detective Benedict Cumberbatch snagged his first nomination for Best Actor in a TV Miniseries or Movie. (In case you didn’t know, today is the Sherlock star’s birthday – so, I suppose someone’s basically having the Best Day Ever.) His co-star Martin Freeman also received a Best Supporting Actor nod, though BAFTA winner Andrew Scott was shut out. Sherlock also scored nods for Best Writing and Directing ((Steven Moffat and Paul McGuigan respectively, for A Scandal in Belgravia) among its thirteen total nominations.

Other British series getting some recognition include Luther, The Song of Lunch, Great Expectations, Page Eight, Frozen Planet, and The Hour. Click through for a full list of nominations, and let us know what you think of this year’s awards field in the comments.

Telly Visions Goes to Comic Con!

If it looks a little sparse around this blog for the next few days – please bear with me, I promise we’ll be back and up and running at full strength next week.

Why so quiet, you may ask? Well, I’m off to the infamous San Diego Comic Con in the morning! It’s very exciting – this will be my second official SDCC and while I’m technically going for fun once again this year, there’s no reason that I still can’t report back to everyone about all the relevant and exciting Brit-related news from this year’s convention.

Panels and screenings that might be of interest to you all that I’m going to do my best to attend:

Screening of CBS’ new Sherlock Holmes adaptation Elementary and panel Q&A with Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu and more. Takes place Thursday evening.

The Hobbit panel with Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Peter Jackson and more. Takes place Saturday afternoon.

The Nerdist podcast live event with Torchwood’s John Barrowman. Takes place Friday night.

Doctor Who panel with Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner. Takes place Sunday, mid-afternoon

There’s also a Merlin panel happening which is, yet again, unfortunately scheduled so that it conflicts with Doctor Who. We’ll see if I can swing it though. The full schedule is here - if you have suggestions for things you’d like me to try and cover (no promises, but if I can, I’ll see if I can swing it!), let me know.

If you're interested you can keep up with the action as happens on Twitter either here or here. Keep your fingers crossed that my phone battery lasts a good long while. (Either that or I luck into an open power outlet fairly often; that's the real unicorn of SDCC!)

We’ll be back to business as usual next week!

Preview BBC America’s First Original Drama, “Copper,” Coming This Summer

BBC America is set to debut its first original scripted series this summer, a period crime drama called Copper.

Set in 1860s New York, Copper stars Tom Westen-Jones (MI-5) as Detective Kevin Cororan, who works in the city’s notorious Five Points neighborhood and tries to maintain his moral compass despite the turbulent times the city finds itself in. (Think Gangs of New York, it would seem.) Westen-Jones will be joined by a strong supporting cast comprised of Kevin Ryan (Tripping Tommy), Franka Potente (Run Lola Run), Kyle Schmid (Blood Ties), and Anastasia Griffith (Royal Pains).

Sound interesting? Click through for a bit more background on the series and a look at the extended trailer. Then leave your thoughts in the comments.

The Friday News Roundup: The "I Hate Storms" Edition

Happy Friday, Telly Visions readers! And welcome back to the News Roundup. What a week for us DC folks, huh? Huge storms, record-breaking heat and lots of us stuck with no power for days. Hope all of you reading here in our local area are staying safe and cool in the aftermath of all this mess. (And if you haven’t gotten power back yet, my heart goes out to you. Here’s hoping it gets fixed soon!)

Sadly, my home internet is still a victim of this whole storm situation, so if content is a bit lighter than normal around here this weekend, bear with me for a bit. (And thanks in advance!)

Anyway, onward! Click through for some of the latest bits and bobs from the world of British entertainment, including goodies on Sherlock, Downton Abbey, Primeval, Elementary, Doctor Who, The Inbetweeners, The Hollow Crown, Broadchurch and more!

Outnumbered Renewed for a Fifth Series and Christmas Special

Award-winning sitcom Outnumbered is officially set to return for a fifth series, the BBC and producers Hat Trick have confirmed.

The comedy’s fourth series was rumored to have been its last, given the fact that its child stars are rapidly growing up. However, Outnumbered will return for a Christmas special later this year, followed by a full six-episode run sometime in late 2013.

The series stars Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner as two stressed-out parents who are often overwhelmed by the chaos caused by their three children. The series is known for its semi-improvised scripts, most particularly the bulk of the parts of its three child stars Tyger Drew-Honey, Ramona Marquez and Daniel Rouche. Ostensibly this move was meant to get more realistic performances from the child actors, and, to be fair, it has generally worked a treat. Though, this style is probably the main reason that Outnumbered is certainly one of those series that you either love or you hate, almost instantly.

Tyger Drew-Honey, who plays eldest child Jake, will be 17 when the series starts filming next year. The young actor had previously speculated that he didn’t think the comedy would go much further than a fifth series, if that, because it will lose some of the “madness” that comes naturally to a show centered around the children’s school lives. To be honest, I sort of agree, and am hopeful this fifth series will be an opportunity to wrap things up and give the show the proper send-off it deserves.

Outnumbered won Best Comedy at this year’s National Television Awards, and has also scored prizes from the Royal Television Society and British Comedy Awards. It was the 16th most popular program on BBC One last year.

We’re currently airing Outnumbered Fridays on WETA UK, if you’ve never seen this series before. While it’s the sort of show that won’t be everyone’s cup of tea – I think it’s rather hilarious and worth giving a try, if you haven’t yet.

Amazing Internet Things: A Very British Quiz on a Very American Holiday

Happy Fourth of July to us Americans! Hope everyone has a safe and happy celebration today, whatever your plans are. I wondered a bit about what I should post today, but ultimately decided - what would be a more appropriate post on this very American holiday than an exceptionally British edition of Amazing Internet Things?

While we may have rejected the monarchy on this day in history, it's certainly true that we're still fascinated by the British Royals and Royal traditions to this day. (As evidenced by the huge ratings for things like William and Kate's wedding last year.) So, why not head on over and take the British Royal Family Quiz at PBS.org and see how much you really know about the Windsors and their history. It’s a pretty simple quiz – and to be honest, it won’t challenge the serious Royal enthusiasts among you too greatly – but it’s pretty fun.


Plus who doesn’t want the validation of being called a “Monarch”? (That was my score, by the way. And I'm apparently vain enough that I was super pleased about it!) Let me how you do!

Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery Joins the Cast of Restless

Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery is set to join Rufus Sewell, Michael Gambon, Charlotte Rampling and Hayley Atwlell in the BBC’s upcoming two-part adaptation of William Boyd’s best-selling novel Restless.

Dockery will play Ruth, a young girl who discovers that her mother Sally is really a spy named Eva, who was recruited by the British Secret Service at the start of World War II and has been living a double life on the run ever since. Rambling and Atwell will both play Eva, thirty years apart. Sewell and Gambon will also pull double character duty, both playing Lucas Romer, Eva’s former handler and lover. It all sounds quite complicated – but very interesting too!

Acclaimed theater director Ed Hall has signed on to run things behind the scenes, and Boyd – whose Any Human Heart aired on Masterpiece last year – will be adapting his own novel for the small screen.

"To have the chance to film a novel like Restless over three hours is the sort of opportunity that only a television adaptation can provide,” Boyd said.

"It represents the most enticing and alluring of possibilities - not only to tell an enthralling story of wartime espionage, love and betrayal but also to lift the lid on one of the last secrets of the Second World War."

Restless is due to screen on BBC One in late 2012. No hard date has been established for when we might see this drama here in the States, but the Hollywood Reporter says the project will broadcast in the US “later this year” as well.

Watch the New Trailer for Wallander Series 3

Exciting news - the BBC has released the first trailer for Wallander Series 3!

Kenneth Branagh returns to his BAFTA-winning role as Inspector Kurt Wallander in three new feature-length episodes, based on Henning Mankell’s best-selling novels. In the newest set of mysteries – entitled An Event in Autumn, The Dogs of Riga and Before the Frost – the somber detective’s hard-won and fragile new hope will be put to the test when he encounters the most brutal of crimes that force him to confront his own demons. (Poor Wallander; he’s got enough personal demons to start a Halloween shop.)

Click through for a first look at the new series, set to a wonderfully haunting rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence. (BBC One just seriously puts out the best trailers sometimes, I swear.)

Watch a Scene From Morse Prequel Endeavour, Airing on Masterpiece Tonight!

Tonight at 9pm on Masterpiece Mystery, Shaun Evans stars in Endeavour, a prequel to the long-running Inspector Morse series.

Set in 1965, Evans stars as a much-younger Endeavour Morse, back when he was a rookie Detective Constable cutting his teeth on his first cases in Oxford.

Click through for a sneak peek at a scene from tonight’s mystery special and get a bit of a feel for Evans’ performance in the role of Morse. What do you think? Will he be able to live up to John Thaw?