Billy Bob Thornton
FX will drop in on Minnesota next spring.
The network has cast Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton to star in its Fargo limited series, adapted from the 1996 award-winning movie of the same name by Joel and Ethan Coen, FX CEO John Landgraf announced at the Television Critics Association fall previews on Friday. "It will do justice too the classic Coen Brothers film," Landgraf said.
New FX offshoot FXX announced its first original series Thursday — an animated comedy from the creators of Archer and Eastbound & Down.
Chozen is about a gay white rapper who's newly released from prison and is on a quest for redemption and domination.
There's more tearful soul-searching than singing in Fox's Glee (Thursday, 8/7c) as the show tackles an issue that couldn't be more timely and topical, on Capitol Hill and in any community that worries about its children's safety in the wake of recent (and not-so-recent) tragedies. The episode is titled "Shooting Star," which should give you an indication of just what triggers such intense emotional anxiety in the halls of McKinley High. Some would argue that the way the story ultimately plays out trivializes the issue, and maybe they're right, but as unpleasant realities seep into what is usually a musical-comedy fantasy, the glee club won't be the only ones left shaken and perhaps even a little more awakened.
The American Bible Challenge
TV history, and cable's History channel, will tell you: Never bet against the Bible. While History's greatest-hits approach to The Bible (airing Sundays through Easter) continues to reap blockbuster ratings, GSN launches a second season of The American Bible Challenge (9/8c), its highest-rated game show, which could just as easily be called Are You Smarter Than a Divinity Student?
Amy Poehler, Jason Schwartzman
First, comedy tonight (since that's what was made available for review): NBC's current best sitcom, Parks and Recreation, ended its February sweeps run with some incredibly sweet moments: the impromptu nuptials of Leslie and Ben ("I love you and I like you"), Ann Perkins' awkwardly heartfelt invitation to Chris to be her would-be baby's daddy, the way everyone rallied to lift Andy's spirits after he's rejected by the police academy.
Will Nicki Minaj's "wife" Kree make the cut? How about Devin, the (quoting Nicki again) "Spanish Ken doll?" And could this be the end of the road for such curiosities as Zoanette "What's Tone Got To Do With It" Johnson and the appropriately named Charlie Askew? All will be revealed as Fox's American Idol moves back to Hollywood for a 90-minute live results show (8/7c), where America decides this year's Top 10 — but I wouldn't be surprised if the judges get a "wild card" pick should one or more of their faves fail to capture the voters' attention.
All systems are a go for a fifth season of Archer. The animated FX spy comedy was renewed Wednesday.
"Archer is one the very best comedy series on...
Under the familiar heading of "shows gone too soon," ABC's robust, though at times berserk, military thriller Last Resort is the only failed freshman series from this season's underwhelming fall crop that I would argue deserved more of a chance — or at least a tryout in a more appropriate time period — to catch on as it figured out its sprawling narrative. With the great Andre Braugher and the appealing Scott Speedman leading a strong and (on the island at least) exotic cast, this action drama about a rogue nuclear sub standing up against a homeland gone haywire is unlike anything else on network TV. Which made it a risk, though one well worth taking, and at least ABC let the producers complete the initial 13-episode order, which now comes to a too-early, but let's hope satisfying, end (Thursday, 8/7c).
Patrick J. Adams
Winning the battle was only half the story — or, in this case, the season. USA Network's Suits returns Thursday (10/9c) to finish out a second year, its momentum from the crackling first half of the season somewhat stalled by the four-month break. Nothing in the first two new episodes quite matches the tension of the summer run, which was dominated by a suspenseful in-house battle for control of the Pearson Hardman (now minus Hardman) law firm.
FX series Justified, Anger Management, Archer and Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell will return mid-January 2013, FX announced Wednesday. The network also announced the premiere time for its new comedy series Legit.