Revealing the first castings for Penny Dreadful — a “totally fascinating” eight-episode “literary horror” series being penned by film vet John Logan and helmed in part by Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) — he said that Josh Hartnett (The Faculty) will play an American “fake cowboy” who enchants the ladies of Victorian era London, while Eva Green (Camelot) has been cast as Vanessa, a character Nevins described as “the fulcrum” of the super-secretive series before catching himself and withholding further details.
Penny Dreadful, which will also feature Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Gray and iconic figures from the Dracula novel, starts production in October to debut as soon as spring 2014. Nevins lauded the project as “smart and psychological, but we’re not going to be gentle with the horror. I think it’s going to scare the s–t out of people.”
In other Showtime casting news, Nevin shared that Kathryn Hahn (Parks and Recreation) has landed the female lead in Trending Down, a new comedy starring Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman as a man facing obsolescence after his ad agency is taken over, while Ruth Wilson (Luther) will star opposite Dominic West in The Affair, a drama about how infidelity impacts two marriages.
Also discussed during Nevins’ Q&A session at TCA:
EPISODES SCHEDULED | Matt LeBlanc’s long-MIA comedy will return with new episodes on Jan. 12, joined by House of Lies and Shameless on Sunday nights. Californication Season 7 in turn will be moved to the spring, where it will be paired with Nurse Jackie.
DEX APPEAL | Though he has only seen the script, Nevins said, “[Dexter] ends with great satisfaction….. I think it’s quite brilliantly built.” As such, the pay cabler inked “a rare overall deal” that will keep showrunner Scott Buck in the Showtime family. As for what that means for any rumored spin-off, the exec winked: “Draw your own conclusions.”
YEA, DONOVAN! | Nevin said that the experiment to bring back Dexter during the summer months, facing fewer male-skewing sports events and to help launch the new drama Ray Donovan, “worked phenomenally well,” with both shows reaping boffo ratings.
THE PLANE TRUTH ABOUT THE BORGIAS | Trying to clear the air on The Borgias‘ cancellation — news which promoted an organized fan effort to fly a “Save the Borgias” banner over the TCA lunch session — Nevins said, “We looked hard at doing a two-hour finale” but the economics “just didn’t make sense. I think it came to a good stopping place in Season 3.” (As for the actual aforementioned fly-by, he said, “I feel bad, the money that’s being spent [by fans].”)
Can’t wait another minute to dig into the 8th and final season of WEEDS? You’re in luck, because right now you can sample the season premiere by heading over to Facebook. That’s right, a full week in advance, you can finally uncover who got shot, who pulled the trigger, and how the rest of the Botwin clan is handling the crisis. Still want more? You got it. In addition to sampling the premiere episode of WEEDS, you can also catch the season 2 opener for EPISODES a week before premiere. Here’s how it works: head over to the EPISODES Facebook page (www.facebook.com/EpisodesonShowtime) or tune in across participating distributors’ Facebook brand pages, and you will “unlock” the first episode of the eighth and final season of WEEDS upon watching the premiere of EPISODES.
After successfully destroying Sean and Beverly’s marriage in addition to their critically-acclaimed hit British TV series, Matt LeBlanc is back and forced to navigate the consequences of his actions. Picking up 4 months after we left off, Sean and Beverly are now living apart, Matt is set on rekindling his bromance with Sean, and all are stuck trying to save Pucks! as it goes from pilot to full-blown series and then quickly sees its ratings plummet further week after week. Log in now to see the fallout from the hilarious 1st season that scored Matt LeBlanc the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Comedy. If you’re all about EPISODES, the second season premiere can also be accessed online now on the SHOWTIME website (http://s.sho.com/Ljw6Tb), on YouTube (http://youtu.be/3CQbuc7UCIY), via select television providers’ free On Demand channels and websites, as well as Showtime apps on iPhone®, iPod Touch®, NOOK® Tablet and Android™ smartphones and tablets, for download as a free video podcast on iTunes® (http://s.sho.com/episodespodcast), and on the Showtime Social app for iPad®. In addition, episode two of EPISODES will be available on SHOWTIME ON DEMAND® and on SHOWTIME ANYTIME® on July 1st after the series debut.
The show that introduced America to a pot-dealing soccer mom and changed the face of the network is sparking up its final toke: after eight unforgettable, jaw-dropping seasons, WEEDS is coming to an end with 13 episodes beginning Sunday, July 1st at 10 p.m. ET/PT. For the final season, it’s back to the ‘burbs for the Botwins. The fallout from the shot heard round the Tri-State area will transform everyone for the better, at least initially. The tragedy has caused Nancy to turn over a new (pot) leaf and return to her pre-dealing soccer mom ways. Meanwhile, Andy finds some semblance of love with someone uncomfortably close to Nancy, and Doug uses his hedge-fund money in a surprisingly good way. But just as it was in Agrestic, nothing is as serene as it seems in Old Sandwich, Connecticut. Just how long before the Botwins return to their old ways and blow up this new neighborhood, literally and/or figuratively, will remain to be seen.
Head over to Facebook now to watch the newest installments of EPISODES and WEEDS, and don’t forget to tune in on Sunday, July 1st beginning at 10 PM ET/PT for the official television premieres of the two shows, only on SHOWTIME.