As first reported by EW.com, the 90210 alumna has boarded Fox’s sophomore thriller in the series regular role of Max, an NYPD intel specialist who thus proves useful to her Uncle Ryan when the kin reconnect.
EW also reports that Tiffany Boone (Southland) will recur as a young woman who finds herself drawn into Joe Carroll’s cult.
Other recent castings for The Following, which returns at midseason, include NYPD Blue‘s James McDaniel, Boss‘ Connie Nielsen and Dexter baddie Sam Underwood.
James McDaniel, formerly known as NYPD Blue‘s Lt. Arthur Fancy, will join the cast in a recurring capacity for Season 2, TV Guide.com reports.
He’ll play an FBI agent named Ken Phillips, and he’ll run a task force in New York City — likely filling the hole left by Agent Debra Parker’s death in the first season finale.
McDaniel can currently be seen as Jean Baptiste on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. His other recent TV work includes Detroit 1-8-7 and The Good Wife.
Nielsen will play Lily Gray, a Soho art dealer who finds herself in a bit of trouble. When Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) comes to her aid, a connection begins to form which causes even more problems for her.
This marks the Fox hit’s second major Season 2 hire, following last week’s casting of Dexter‘s Sam Underwood as a young man who may or may not be a follower of the “late” Joe Carroll (James Purefoy)
Nielsen, who is also known to TV audiences as Law & Order: SVU‘s Det. Dani Beck, will next be seen on the big screen in Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac and McG’s Three Days of Kill opposite Kevin Costner.
Underwood, who is currently appearing in Dexter‘s final season as a protégé of Michael C. Hall’s titular vigilante, will play Luke, a very complicated and dangerous young man who may or may not be a follower of the “late” Joe Carroll.
The actor will next be seen in the upcoming third season of Homeland as a troubled friend of Dana’s.
The Luke character is one of three new roles series creator Kevin Williamson is introducing in Season 2 (premiering in early ’14).
James Purefoy will return to The Following for Season 2, it was announced at the show’s Comic-Con panel on Friday.
The news was revealed to a shocked Ballroom 20 crowd — the actor wasn’t part of the original line-up for the session — when Purefoy called star Kevin Bacon mid-panel and then appeared on stage as a surprise guest.
Purefoy’s professor/cult leader/serial killer was last seen getting seemingly blown to smithereens in the Season 1 finale’s fiery boathouse explosion. His remains were later identified via dental records and DNA, but we suppose someone as clever as Joe could fake those.
“Yeah, I guess he might be alive,” said series creator Kevin Williamson. “I don’t want to give too much else away, except to say Joe Carroll will figure into next season.”
Among the panel’s other revelations:
JUMP JUMP | Fans at the panel saw a continuation of Season 1′s final scene; in it, Molly repeatedly, brutally (fatally?) stabs Claire and Ryan snaps the follower’s neck then sobs over his true love’s seemingly lifeless body. Season 2 will kick off with that footage, then will jump ahead one year. The show will then become more of a “character-driven thriller as opposed to a FBI chase,” shared Williamson. And what happened in that year will affect Hardy and co. greatly. “We have the opportunity to look at what happened to those characters,” added Bacon. “Everyone is in a very different place in their lives. Ryan seems lighter and more at peace than you’ve ever seen him in the show. He’s finally been able to find something in his life that [takes him] away from all the killing and the violence.” Hmm, does that mean Claire’s not a goner? Also, expect to see lots of new characters, good and bad. (With this show’s death count, how could you not?)
JOE’S NEW REALITY | Williamson did offer up this tantalizing Joe tease: “[He] may need to reimagine who he is as a man and a killer. That Edgar Allen Poe stuff didn’t work out so well, so he’s going to have to figure out a new way.” The creator also hinted that viewers will see flashbacks to Joe’s past, exploring the questions of “How did this man become this way? What happened in his past? Where were the seeds of evil planted?”
THE STUDENT BECOMES THE TEACHER? | As for what Joe’s “absence” means for his disciple Emma, “she’ll have to learn how to live without that protection and motivation from Joe Carroll,” mused Valorie Curry, hinting that “Maybe she’s met some new friends. I’m curious to see what becomes of her when she’s left to her own devices.” And of course, Emma “lives in hope, as always” that her mentor will reappear. But in the meantime, is she the new Joe Carroll? “Nobody could ever replace Joe Carroll,” the actress replied.
BROTHERS IN ARMS | Look for Mike and Ryan’s relationship to show significant change in the new episodes. Williamson noted that he’s excited to see “what that horrific first season has done” to the partners/friends. As Shawn Ashmore noted, “Hardy and Weston kidnapped and basically killed a detainee in handcuffs. There certainly will be repercussions for that moving forward.”
Claire Matthews is a survivor — or is she?
Natalie Zea will return to The Following for Season 2, after signing an eleventh-hour deal with the Fox drama. Her comeback, however, could be short-lived.
Speaking with TV Guide Magazine, Zea would not disclose how long she’ll be sticking around the Fox thriller, indicating that the near-death events of the first season’s cliffhanger could lead to a goodbye arc or a new storyline.
Zea — who will appear on CBS’ Under the Dome later this summer — was very close to not returning at all for The Following‘s sophomore run, leaving Claire on the chopping block.
“My concern, and [creator] Kevin Williamson’s concern, was always, is there more story to tell with Claire? And we both discovered that maybe there wasn’t,” Zea tells the magazine.
As such, Joe Carroll’s ex was set to be killed off at the close of Season 1 — TVLine can confirm that the finale was edited two different ways — but Fox execs pressed to resurrect the character, according to TV Guide Magazine‘s sources.