Is he back? The creepy new Showtime series Penny Dreadful, set in 1891 London, opens with the unbelievably messy dismemberment of a little girl and her pregnant mother. The crime has the Victorians in a panic as they wonder if Jack the Ripper — not heard from in three years — has returned for yet another murder spree. Little do they know, they have so much more to worry about. Such as devils and ghosts and vampires. And ancient Egyptian curses. Oh, and scientifically resurrected dead people, courtesy of one Victor Frankenstein.
The devil made them remake it. What other excuse can there be for NBC's glossy but laborious two-part revisiting of the Ira Levin supernatural classic Rosemary's Baby (Sunday, 9/8c, concludes next Thursday)? Perversely scheduled to begin on the evening of Mother's Day, this unnecessarily expanded miniseries version owes a huge debt to The Omen for many of its telegraphed shocks.
We can thank the Victorian era for some of literature's most disturbing characters, and now Showtime has gathered them in one place. The network's gothic horror drama Penny Dreadful features the likes of Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and even characters from Bram Stoker's classic novel Dracula.
Showtime President David Nevins didn't waste any time addressing the elephant in the room — aka awards darling Homeland's uneven third season — during the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Thursday.
"From what I've read on Twitter, there were a lot of different opinions about the show this year," Nevins told reporters. "All I can say is thank you for being so invested."
When asked more directly about the critical reaction, Nevins praised the season, but...
Not ready to say goodbye to Dexter? Then get ready to overreact to this news.
After revealing that Showtime had signed a "rare" two-year overall deal with Dexter showrunner Scott Buck, network president David Nevins was asked whether a spin-off series was still being considered.
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"Of course," Nevins told reporters at the Television Critics Association fall previews Tuesday. "We announced a deal with Scott Buck today. Draw your own conclusions."
Pressed for details after the panel, Nevins clarified that nothing is actively in the works and that no deals with cast members have been extended. (The Hollywood Reporter previously reported rumblings of a spin-off centered on Jennifer Carpenter's Debra.) "We have a deal with Scott and we're going to develop a bunch of different things with him," he said. "All options will be explored. We're really not dealing with it at all until we're through this season and maybe for a while thereafter. It's all about the satisfying ending to the show."
To that end...