iCarly is back. Minus a familiar face.
ALSO: Allison Williams to star in Being Erica. AND: Zorro is back! Kinda.
(Most of) the gang is getting back together for iCarly 2.0
iCarly is coming back for a grown-up reboot. The new series will land on Paramount+ with original stars Miranda Cosgrove, Jerry Trainor, and Nathan Kress returning.
Developing the show will be Jay Kogen (Nickelodeon’s School of Rock, The Simpsons, Frasier) and Ali Schouten (Diary of a Future President, Champions, Merry Happy Whatever).
Not returning is iCarly’s MVP Jennette McCurdy - I’m sure we’ll hear more about her absence from this in the coming days. Also not involved is creator/producer Dan Schneider, the former Head of The Class star-turned tween TV mogul. That likely has something to do with the abuse allegations that saw his shows dropped by Nickelodeon. Also - there was that business with the pictures of his stars toes.
New Zorro series plots radical twist: Zorro is a woman!
A new Zorro series is in the works at NBC. The take this time is that it’ll be a contemporary series with a female Zorro in the lead.
Zorro centers on Sola Dominguez, an underground artist who fights for social justice as contemporary version of the mythical Zorro. Her life is threatened by several criminal organizations after she exposes them.
At a certain point one has to ask: When does this stop being Zorro?
This comes by way of the creative team of Robert and Rebecca Rodriguez, with Rebecca on as director. I’ll admit to not really knowing anything about Rebecca, but she has built up a solid amount of TV work in recent years directing episodes of The Orville, The Chi, Snowpiercer, Queen of The South, and Mayans MC. And for a bit of trivia: If you’ve ever seen Robert Rodriguez’s student film Bedhead, Rebecca played the lead role in that.
Allison Williams will Be(ing) Erica
Canadian dramedy Being Erica was one of those shows that felt like it was on the cusp of being a breakthrough hit, but never quite made it. The show was about a woman who starts seeing a therapist to help her deal with her regrets in life and is transported back in time, by said therapist, to work through her issues. It was a fun, charming show.
But for US success, it appears they needed to double down on Erica’s. Just one isn’t enough for the US market. That’s why the remake, announced today with Girls star Allison Williams attached as a series lead, will feature two women going back in time to deal with their respective issues.
The remake tells the story of two women — strangers with seemingly nothing in common — seeking the help of an eccentric therapist who enables them to travel back in time to revisit their biggest regrets. Along the way, they’re shocked to discover their lives are inextricably intertwined.
What is the future of Jeopardy for $1000?
Who will take over as the host of Jeopardy? Writer Claire McNear has quite literally written the book on the show and takes an exceptionally deep dive into the possibilities on who might replace the late great Alex Trebek, as well as the thinking behind the choice.
Together, these glimpses into Sony and Jeopardy!’s thinking illustrate what the studio is likely to consider. The apparent pursuit of Cooper—not to mention rumors that, in 2013, the show also considered then–Today show host Matt Lauer—suggests that someone with a broadcasting background was appealing. TV news chops mean more than just on-screen ease and reps pronouncing names and places on air: Those who master the form often gain a Cronkite-ian air of scholarly authority and gravitas that is central to the appeal of Jeopardy! Trebek, after all, got his own showbiz start as a radio and then television newscaster in Canada.
Read: The Ringer
Ellen has announced she has the COVID. Read: CNN
A new Sonic The Hedgehog series is coming to Netflix. Read: Polygon
Weaponizing the theme to Gilligan’s Island in a dispute between wealthy neighbors. Read: The Independent
Sony purchased anime streamer Crunchyroll for a cool $1.175 billion. Source: The Verge
ITV is adapting The Ipcress Files into a TV series. Read: Deadline
Julia Roberts will star in the new Apple TV+ show The Last Thing He Told Me. Source: Deadline
Bradley Walsh will star in a new series based on The Darling Buds of May. Read: Radio Times
Your Honor is the most-watched limited series premiere in Showtime’s history. Read: Deadline
Disney investor day
If you want to watch the Disney investor event, it kicks off in the US at 4:30pm on the East Coast (so, about 8:30am Sydney-time). It’s going to be a long one, lasting about four hours. So, maybe just look for a wrap-up later on. Watch it HERE.
NYT has a guide on what to expect: big Star Wars announcements, Marvel footage, details on which feature films will go to streaming (Pinocchio) and which will still remain in cinemas (Black Widow), details on the launch of international streamer Star, and info on what Disney plan to do with Hulu. Read: NYT
Disney shares closed at an all-time high on the eve of the investor event. Read: Deadline
Depending on what gets announced, I may have an additional Always Be Watching newsletter go out. We’ll see…
Happy 40th anniversary Magnum PI
On December 11, 1980 Magnum PI aired for the very first time. It debuted with a 2-hour pilot movie Don't Eat the Snow in Hawaii.
December is a weird time to debut a show like this. You’re right. The pilot was filmed in February and March of 1980, with the show itself delayed due to the 1980 SAG/AFTRA strike.
Mental Floss has a fun list of Magnum PI facts worth skimming through while you play the opening titles on loop.
30 Coins debuts on HBO on Jan 4.
The eight-episode horror series follows Father Vergara (Eduard Fernández), an exorcist, sent away by the church, to become the local priest of Pedraza, a remote town in Spain.
Servant s2 returns to Apple TV+ on Jan 15.
Fate: The Winx Saga debuts on Netflix Jan 22.
The Winx Saga follows the coming-of-age journey of five fairies attending Alfea, a magical boarding school in the Otherworld where they must learn to master their magical powers while navigating love, rivalries, and the monsters that threaten their very existence.
What’s next? (Disney news, probably)