HBO to Launch Season Two of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “His Dark Materials” in November

Lin-Manuel Miranda will be going dark next month…

HBO and BBC big-budget co-production His Dark Materials, starring the 40-year-old Puerto Rican composer, lyricist, actor, singer, rapper, producer, and playwright, will be back with a bang in November for its second season.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, His Dark Materials

HBO will launch the second season of the Bad Wolf-produced adaptation of the Philip Pullman books at 9 p.m. November 16. It will also be available to stream on HBO Max.

This comes as the team behind the series, which includes writer Jack Thorne, are prepping scripts for a possible third season. Although a third run hasn’t been commissioned, the hope on all sides is for it to run for more seasons.

HBO programming chief Casey Bloys told Deadline earlier this year that the first season had performed very well for the network and that he would like to do more. “One of the things that I was hoping for, and the numbers we’re seeing bear this out, it is more of a co-viewing show than we’ve ever had. We don’t have many shows where kids and parents can watch together, and that was the idea with this show and it has done really well.”

The first two seasons of the show essentially are based on Pullman’s Northern Lights and The Subtle Knife. Jane Tranter, who runs Bad Wolf with Julie Gardner, told Deadline that if possible they would like to split the “huge” and “sprawling” third book The Amber Spyglass into two additional seasons.

The second season begins after Lord Asriel has opened a bridge to a new world, and Lyra, distraught over the death of her best friend, follows Asriel into the unknown. In a strange and mysterious abandoned city, she meets Will, a boy from our world who also is running from a troubled past. Lyra and Will learn their destinies are tied to reuniting Will with his father but find their path is constantly thwarted as a war begins to brew around them. Meanwhile, Mrs. Coulter searches for Lyra, determined to bring her home by any means necessary.

In addition to Miranda, Season 2 series regulars include Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, Amir Wilson, Ariyon Bakare, Andrew Scott, Will Keen and Ruta Gedmintas. Joining the cast this season are Terence Stamp, Jade Anouka and Simone Kirby.

Justina Machado to Compete on ABC’s Upcoming Season of “Dancing With The Stars”

Justina Machado’s ready to paso doble her way into your hearts…

The 47-year-old Puerto Rican actress, who currently stars on PopTV’s One Day at a Time, will compete on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars this season.

Justina Machado

Machado will compete against Tiger King’s Carole Baskin, rapper Nelly, Selling Sunset’s Chrishell Stause and NBA legend Charles Oakley among others for the coveted DTWS mirrorball trophy.

The ABC celebrity ballroom dancing competition series, based on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, will premiere on September 14 with new host Tyra Banks.

This season’s other competirors include Monica Aldama, star of Netflix’s Cheer, Disney Channel actress Skai Jackson, The Real’s Jeannie Mai, Catfish’s Nev Schulman, Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir, Super Bowl champion Vernon Davis, Anne Heche, Backstreet Boys member AJ McLean, and The Bachelor’s Kaitlyn Bristowe.

This season’s professional dancers include Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten, Sharna Burgess, Cheryl Burke, Artem Chigvintsev, Val Chmerkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Jenna Johnson, Daniella Karagach, Keo Motsepe, Peta Murgatroyd, Pasha Pashkov, Gleb Savchenko, Emma Slater and Britt Stewart.

In addition to hosting, Banks will also serve as an executive producer this season. She replaces Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews as the show’s host in season 29.

One of the challenges for this season is to ensure that the production adheres to COVID-19 protocols, a trickier move for a dance competition format than many other productions. Details of the health and safety protocols and other format refreshes are expected imminently.

HBO Releases First Look Trailer at Season Two of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “His Dark Materials”

Lin-Manuel Miranda is still living in a Materials world…

HBO has released a first look at the upcoming second season of His Dark Materials, starring the 40-year-old Puerto Rican actor, singer and Broadway star.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, His Dark Materials

The second season of HBO/BBC’s big-budget adaptation of Philip Pullman’s fantasy epic begins after Lord Asriel has opened a bridge to a new world, and, distraught over the death of her best friend, Lyra follows Asriel into the unknown. In a strange and mysterious abandoned city she meets Will, a boy from our world who is also running from a troubled past. Lyra and Will learn their destinies are tied to reuniting Will with his father but find their path is constantly thwarted as a war begins to brew around them. Meanwhile, Mrs. Coulter searches for Lyra, determined to bring her home by any means necessary.

In addition to Miranda, who plays aeronaut Lee Scoresby, the cast of season two series regulars include half-Spanish actress Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, Amir Wilson, Ariyon Bakare, Andrew Scott, Will Keen and Ruta Gedmintas.

Joining the cast this season are Terence Stamp, Jade Anouka and Simone Kirby.

His Dark Materials, one of the biggest in scope and most expensive British dramas to date, is written by Jack Thorne and directed by Tom Hooper, and is based on Pullman’s acclaimed trilogy of books: Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, considered a modern masterpiece of imaginative fiction.

His Dark Materials is produced by Bad Wolf in association with New Line Cinema for BBC One and HBO.

Season 2 is set to premiere in November on HBO.

Taylor Ortega to Star in Fox’s Comedy Pilot “This Country”

Taylor Ortega is headed to the country-side…

The Latina actress has joined the cast of Fox’s single-camera comedy pilot This Country, starringSeann William Scott.

Taylor Ortega

Ortega joins new additions to the cast that include Chelsea Holmes, Sam Straley and Krystal Smith.

Written by Jenny Bicks and to be directed by Paul Feig,This Countryis a half-hour mockumentary inspired by the BBC Threeformat created by Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper

The show follows the daily lives of cousins Kelly (Holmes) and Shrub Mallet (Straley), who are trailed by a documentary crew as they go to a small town to study young adults and their current concerns. The show follows the pair as they pursue their dreams, confront challenges and fight each other for frozen pizza. These two don’t have much, but they do have each other.

Ortega will play Nadine, Shrub and Kelly’s old high school classmate who is beautiful, successful and married to Kelly’s old crush, Dylan. Nadine is the “big fish” in the “small pond” of Flatch.

Ortega played Shego in the Kim Possible TV movie. She guest-starred on Succession and will be seen in the upcoming anthology series Love Lifestarring Anna Kendrick.

Oona Chaplin to Star in the Horror Feature “Lullaby”

There’s nothing soothing about Oona Chaplin’s next project…

The 33-year-old part-Chilean actress has been tapped to star in Lullaby, a horror feature from Alcon Entertainment

Oona Chaplin

John R. Leonetti, who has directed films in the same genre like AnnabelleWish Upon, and most recently the Netflix original The Silence, has signed on to direct Lullaby, which will begin production in Toronto next month.

Based on the mythological figure Lilith, the film is rooted in folklore and follows a new mother who discovers a lullaby in an ancient book and soon regards the song as a blessing. But her world transforms into a nightmare when the lullaby (“Lilith-Abi” Hebrew for “Lilith, begone”) brings forth the ancient demon Lilith.

Chaplin, the granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin, has previously appeared on HBO’s Game of ThronesBBC’s The Crimson Fieldand Taboo.

She’s set to appear in the forthcoming Avatar sequels.

Cristela Alonzo Joins Voice Cast of HBO/BBC’s Drama “His Dark Materials”

Cristela Alonzo is going dark

The 40-year-old Mexican American comedian/actress is lending her voice to HBO and BBC drama His Dark Materials.

Cristela Alonzo

Alonzo, Helen McCrory, and David Suchet are among those to sign up as voice actors for the Philip Pullman adaptation, written by Jack Thorne and produced by Bad Wolf.

The first season of His Dark Materials follows Lyra, played by Dafne Keen, searching for a kidnapped friend. She uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children and becomes a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. As she journeys through the worlds, including our own, Lyra meets a determined and courageous boy called Will (Amir Wilson). Together they encounter extraordinary beings and dangerous secrets, with the fate of both the living — and the dead — in their hands. James McAvoy, plays Lord Asriel who has a demon in the form of a snow leopard. Ruth Wilson’s villainess Mrs. Coulter has a monkey. Lin-Manuel Miranda plays Lee Scoresby, a Texan who flies air balloons. He revealed that when we first see his character, he’s singing with his demon.

McCrory voices Stelmaria, Lord Asriel’s snow leopard daemon, Suchet is Kaisa, gyrfalcon daemon to the witch Serafina Pekkala, played by Ruta Gedmintas.  Scoresby’s daemon is an arctic hare called Hester, voiced by Alonzo and Lyra’s unsettled daemon, Pantalaimon, is voiced by Kit Connor.  Mrs Coulter’s mysterious daemon, a Golden Monkey,  doesn’t speak or have a name but his animal noises and vocal characteristics will be created by Brian Fisher, who also serves as the lead puppeteer and CFX co-ordinator on the series. 

Iorek Byrnison, a bear who Lyra meets on her quest will be voiced by Joe Tandberg. In the frozen wilderness of the North exists a race of armored bears. Both skilled metal workers and fierce warriors, they have their own culture and laws.

The cast of the drama also includes Anne-Marie DuffClarke PetersAriyon Bakare, Will KeenIan GelderGeorgina CampbellLucian MsamatiJames CosmoMat FraserGeoff BellSimon Manyonda as well as young actors Lewin LloydDaniel Frogsonand Tyler Howitt.

Santiago Cabrera to Star in CBS All Access’ Upcoming Jean-Luc Picard-Themed “Star Trek” Series

Santiago Cabrerais making a special trek…

The 40-year-old Chilean-Venezuelan actor and Salvation star is reuniting with Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout and CBS Studios for a co-starring role opposite Patrick Stewart in CBS All Access’ upcoming Star Trek series that will explore the next chapter of Jean-Luc Picard

Santiago Cabrera

Michelle Hurd also will co-star in the series, produced by CBS Television Studiosin association with Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment.

The new untitled Star Trek series features Stewart reprising his iconic role as Picard, which he played for seven seasons on Star Trek: The Next Generation, as he takes on a new adventure.

No details are being revealed about the characters Cabrera and Hurd are playing, but Cabrera is rumored to be playing the pilot of Picard’s ship and a skillful thief. Hurd is said to be playing a former intelligence officer who is a brilliant analyst with a terrific memory that has not been affected by her drug and alcohol abuse.

Cabrera was one of the most sought actors for pilots this season who instead opted to do the Star Trek series. He starred for two seasons on the CBSsummer thriller drama series Salvation, from Secret Hideout and CBS Studios. He also recurred on HBO’s Big Little Lies and played Aramis in the BBCseries The Musketeers. In features, Cabrera recently was seen in Transformers: The Last Knight. 

Hanelle Culpepperwill direct the first two episodes of the series, making her the first woman to direct a pilot or debut episode of a Starfleet series in the franchise’s 53-year history. 

The show will air exclusively on CBS All Access in the United States and will be distributed concurrently internationally by CBS Studios International.

Plácido Domingo to Co-Produce Remake of the popular Hungarian Classical Music Format “Virtuosos”

Plácido Domingo is looking for the world’s next best virtuosos…

The 77-year-old Opera singer is working with The Late Late Show with James Corden co-producer Fulwell 73 to remake the popular Hungarian classical music format Virtuosos in the United States and United Kingdom.

Plácido Domingo

Domijngo, part of the Three Tenors with José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti, has become a shareholder in Virtuosos Holding, the company that owns global rights to the eponymous format.

The show, which has aired on Hungary’s MTVA since 2014, sees children and young adults compete by playing classical pieces, as well as movie themes, while they’re judged by five professional judges.

The series is produced by Mariann Peller.

Fulwell 73, which is partly backed by Corden and also produces series including Comedy Central’s Roast Battle and BBC’s Sounds Like Friday Night, is to develop adaptations in the U.S. and UK following the format deal.

Domingo said, “The Virtuosos talent show and activities that surround it are a wonderful addition to the world of classical music, the encouragement of young musical talent and broadening the appeal of classical music.

“Since my very first involvement I have been incredibly impressed by the talent discovered in Hungary alone and am sure this will be repeated in other countries as the format finds new audiences and new lovers of classical music, presented in a contemporary way. I hope that by becoming an active shareholder in Virtuosos Holding I can lend further encouragement to both the talent we discover and the management of the company with my experience and connections around the world.”

Fulwell 73 partner Leo Pearlman added: “Virtuosos is a phenomenon in Hungary discovering and then showcasing the undiscovered stars of the classical music world, from all walks of life. Plácido Domingo is undoubtedly an integral part of the show and he alongside the talented young musicians, their incredible backstories and the confluence of a mainstream entertainment format and classical music are what we believe will make this a success in the UK and U.S. Classical music has long been hugely influential for artists in many different genres of popular music and now for the first time we’ll be highlighting this fact through a popular entertainment format in the way we know best.”

Cabrera to Star in CBS’ Summer Drama Series “Salvation”

Santiago Cabrera has found his salvation…

The 38-year-old Venezuelan-born Chilean actor will star opposite Charlie Rowe and Jennifer Finnigan in CBS summer drama series Salvation, which hails from Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout and CBS Television Studios.

Santiago Cabrera

The first episode will be directed and executive-produced by Oscar-nominated Spanish filmmaker Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.

Salvation follows whip-smart MIT grad student Liam (Rowe) and tech billionaire Darius Tanz (Cabrera) who bring to a low-level Pentagon official (Finnigan) a staggering discovery: An asteroid is just six months away from colliding with Earth. Liam and Darius team to launch a secret project to save the planet — a secret Liam must keep from the ones he loves.

In addition to Rowe and Finnigan, Cabrera joins previously announced series regulars Jacqueline Byers and Ian Anthony Dale.

Cabrera is known for his role as Aramis on BBC’s The Musketeers. His television credits also include The Mindy Project, Merlin, Heroes and the HBO movie Hemingway and Gelhorn.

He’ll next be seen in HBO’s Big Little Lies, opposite Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, and the feature film Transformers: The Last Knight.

Molina to Star in BBC/Acorn TV’s WWII Drama “Close to the Enemy”

Alfred Molina has found a new Enemy

The 63-year-old half-Spanish actor will star in the period drama Close to the Enemy.

Alfred Molina

Co-produced by Acorn Media Enterprises, All3Media International and the BBC, the seven-part series from Stephen Poliakoff is set in a bomb-damaged London hotel in the aftermath of World War II and centers on intelligence officer Captain Callum Ferguson. His last task for the Army is to ensure that a captured German scientist, Dieter urgently starts working for the British RAF to develop the jet engine. Callum uses unorthodox methods in his attempt to convince Dieter and the two form a friendship. But tensions soon arise, as all is not as it seems.

In addition to Molina, Close To The Enemy will also star Jim Sturgess, Alfie Allen, Angela Bassett and Freddie Highmore.

Coinciding with the BBC broadcast, the drama will make its U.S. debut on streaming service Acorn TV in November/December.