– Crime drama classic, Murder She Wrote, could soon be returning to our screens in the form of a reboot on NBC. Yes, news broke this week that 30 Rock’s Octavia Spencer is set to star in the new show, which will see her play a hospital administrator and amateur sleuth, in the same vein as the original’s Jessica Fletcher, played by Angela Lansbury. Lansbury had expressed some interest in reviving her role for a series of one-off specials, but with a reboot now in the works, it seems doubtful that they will go ahead.
– Showtime announced this week that it was renewing its popular series Homeland and Masters of Sex for another year. This will be the fourth season for the popular thriller, Homeland, with David Nevins, President of Entertainment for Showtime Networks saying it “is one of television’s most exciting, provocative and widely-discussed shows”. It will also be the second season for newcomer, Masters of Sex, though the period drama starring Michael Sheen has already impressed audiences and critics alike.
– In other renewal news, BBC Two revealed that its recent hit, Peaky Blinders, would also be returning for a second series, which will see the Shelby family increasing the hold they have on the city of Birmingham whilst also working their way into the higher echelons of 1920s society. Show creator, Steven Knight, said of the renewal, “I am so pleased we will be able to continue to tell this story of a working class family living through extraordinary times in an extraordinary way”. Production on the second series is expected to begin sometime in early 2014.
– BBC One’s new Saturday night show, Atlantis, will also be returning for a second series after drawing in an impressive following, despite only being four episodes in. The mythological show inspired by Greek myths had the biggest Saturday night drama opening since 2006, beating even its cult predecessor, Merlin, in viewing figures.
– Production on BBC One’s upcoming drama, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, is now well underway and an impressive cast has been lined up to star. Bertie Carvel (Doctor Who) has been cast as Strange, alongside Eddie Marsan (The World’s End) as Mr Norrell in the story which has been adapted from Susanna Clarke’s novel of the same name. Set in a world where magic exists, the story takes place in England during the Napoleonic Wars, and will also star Alice Englert (Beautiful Creatures), Marc Warren (Mad Dogs), Samuel West (Mr Selfridge) and Charlotte Riley (Wuthering Heights).
– Harry Potter star, Matthew Long, has been added to the cast of BBC Three comedy, Bluestone 42, where he will play ammunition technician, Gordon ‘Towerblock’ House. Speaking about his character, Long said, “He’s a Yorkshireman with a bit of a class chip on his shoulder but he’s a great bloke and a very good soldier. He’s a lad and loves getting stuck in with the banter”. Created by James Cary and Richard Hurst, the series follows the lives of a Bomb Disposal Squad in Afghanistan as they are forced to confront dangerous situations as part of their everyday lives. Alongside the casting announcement came the news that the series would also be getting a Christmas special.