Crank Yankers

In this edition of TV Bits:

  • Truth Be Told is coming back for more on AppleTV+.
  • Crank Yankers has been renewed for additional episodes.
  • The creator of Downton Abbey is back with a new series called The English Game.
  • Michael Mann’s HBO series Tokyo Vice has added another cast member.
  • Wedding Crashers actress Isla Fisher is heading to CBS All Access.
  • A new episode of The Handmaid’s Tale will be directed by one of its stars.
  • Derek Hough has joined High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

Truth Be Told featurette

The AppleTV+ series Truth Be Told, which starred Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul, was initially supposed to just be a one-and-done limited series, but THR reports that it’s coming back for a second season. It sounds like Paul won’t be back, but Spencer is returning as Poppy Parnell, the true crime podcaster who will be focusing on a new case in season 2 after the first season, which followed her realization that she may have mistakenly helped put an innocent man behind bars. Showrunner Nichelle Tramble Spellman is also coming back.

High School Musical: The Musical

Derek Hough, the six-time winner of the ABC reality show Dancing with the Stars, has joined the cast of the Disney+ original series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, which is somehow not a fake title. He’ll have a recurring role in the second season, and Deadline says he’ll play “Miss Jenn’s (Kate Reinders) ex-boyfriend, Zack, a charming but sneaky actor who returns to Salt Lake to teach drama at East High’s biggest rival, North High.”

Isla Fisher Conan O'Brien

Isla Fisher, who was absolutely delightful in her breakout role in Wedding Crashers, hasn’t really made much of a mark since then. But perhaps her new CBS All Access show will be the project that puts her back on Hollywood’s radar. She’ll star in a half-hour dark comedy called Guilty Party, and Deadline says she’ll play “Beth Baker, a discredited journalist desperate to salvage her career by latching on to the story of a young mother sentenced to life in prison for maiming and murdering her husband, crimes she claims she didn’t commit. In trying to uncover the truth, Beth finds herself in over her head as she contends with Colorado gun-smugglers, clickbait culture, the doldrums of marriage and her own tarnished past.”

Rebecca Addelman (Dead to Me) serves as the creator/writer, and Trent O’Donnell (No Activity) is directing.

Downton Abbey creator and Gosford Park writer Julian Fellowes is returning to television with The English Game, a six-part Netflix original series based on true events that follows “two footballers on opposite sides of a class divide who changed the game — and England — forever.” This show looks a little less stodgy than those previous efforts, and it’ll be interesting to see if the sports angle appeals to a wider crowd, turns off Fellowes fanatics, or any combination of the two. It hits Netflix on March 20, 2020.

The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 Finale Review

Even though The Handmaid’s Tale probably should have ended after its excellent first season, it’s still chugging away over on Hulu, and the fourth season is set to debut this fall. And star Elisabeth Moss, who plays the would-be revolutionary June, is set to direct the third episode of the new season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It will be her first time directing anything, and she becomes the latest in a long line of actors to step behind the camera on long-running shows to try their hand at directing.

Rinko Kikuchi in Pacific Rim

Oscar nominee Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, The Brothers Bloom, Pacific Rim) has joined the cast of Tokyo Vice, the new HBO Max series from director Michael Mann (Heat, Miami Vice). THR says Mann lobbied for Kikuchi to be cast as a supervisor to Ansel Elgort‘s Jake Adelstein, the first foreigner to ever work at Japan’s biggest newspaper. Evidently there had been some concerns about Kikuchi’s ability to speak English, but Mann pushed for her to replace actress Mari Yamamoto, who had previously been hired to play that role. Kikuchi joins a cast that already includes Elgort, Ken Watanabe, Ella Rumpf, and Odessa Young. Mann will direct the pilot, and Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12, Just Mercy) will direct the other nine episodes in the first season.

And finally, the Comedy Central prank call puppet series Crank Yankers has been renewed for an additional 20 episodes. The show, which was resurrected in 2019, has proven to be relevant for today’s audiences, and the new episodes of Crank Yankers resume on March 17, 2020 at 10:30pm after the season 12 premiere of Tosh.0.

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