HBO & BBC One Renew Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Drama Series “His Dark Materials” for Third & Final Season

There’s more dark material in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s future…

HBO and BBC One have renewed the fantasy drama His Dark Materials, starring the 40-year-old Puerto Rican actor, singer and composer/lyricist, for a third and final season.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, His Dark Materials

HBO and BBC One will run with the eight-episode season set to close the story.

The latest season, which is based on Philip Pullman’s novels, begins production in Cardiff, Wales in 2021.

This comes as the second season of the Bad Wolf-produced drama concludes on Monday, December 28 on HBO.

Last month, Bad Wolf co-founder Jane Tranter reported that Jack Thorne and a team of writers were working on scripts and that the series will be based on The Amber Spyglass. In January, HBO programming chief Casey Bloys has said that he was particularly pleased that the drama had been a co-viewing hit with families.

The second season, which consisted of seven episodes due to COVID-19, follows Lyra, played by Dafne Keen, a seemingly ordinary but brave young woman from another world. It begins as Lyra, distraught over the death of her best friend, embarks upon a journey in a strange and mysterious abandoned city. There she meets Will, played by Amir Wilson, 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, played by Ruth Wilson, searches for Lyra, determined to bring her home by any means necessary.

Season two series regulars also include Miranda, Ariyon Bakare, Andrew Scott, Will Keen and Ruta Gedmintas. New cast members this season included Terence Stamp, Jade Anouka and Simone Kirby.

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

“Bringing Phillip Pullman’s epic, intricate and culturally resonant body of work to television has been a tremendous privilege,” said Francesca Orsi, Executive Vice President, HBO Programming. “We thank our incredible partners at the BBC and the entire Bad Wolf team, led by the indefatigable Jane Tranter, for their exceptional work on the first two seasons.  We look forward to completing the trilogy with this final chapter in Lyra’s journey.”

Desmin Borges to Appear on Fox’s Series “This Country”

Desmin Borges is heading to this country

The 36-year-old half-Puerto Rican actor has landed a recurring role in Fox’s This Country, Jenny Bicks’ and Paul Feig’s remake of the BBC comedy.

Desmin Borges

In the half-hour series, a documentary crew goes to a small town to study young adults and their current concerns. Their focus is the daily lives of cousins Kelly (Chelsea Holmes) and Shrub Mallet (Sam Straley) and their idiosyncratic surroundings.

Seann William Scott, Aya Cash, Taylor Ortega, YouTuber Krystal Smith and Justin Linville also star.

Borges will play Jimmy Jameson, the rival editor to Cheryl (Cash) in the town next to Flatch. Borges will join the series, currently filming in North Carolina, beginning in Episode 2. Feig is directing the series’ first three episodes.

This Country is based on the eponymous BBC Three series, which ran on the British public broadcaster’s youth-skewing network for three seasons from 2017-20. The BAFTA-winning series, which was written by and starred Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper, was set in the Cotswolds in rural England.

The role reunites Borges with Cash, his former You’re the Worst co-star. Borges portrayed Edgar Quintero on five seasons of the FX comedy-drama. He also stars as Dan on the Netflix limited series Living with Yourself opposite Paul Rudd, as well as in films like Private Life, alongside Paul Giamatti, Kathryn Hahn, Molly Shannon, John Carroll Lynch and Denis O’Hare. Borges most recently can be seen as Wilson Wilson in Amazon’s Utopia, co-starring John Cusack and Rainn Wilson.

This Country is produced by Lionsgate, BBC Studios, Fox Entertainment and Feigco Entertainment.

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.”