Summer TV used to be rerun city, but this summer you may need to rearrange some vacation plans to fit all the new shows into your schedule.
Both ABC and TNT will go back in time with new Shakespeare-themed period dramas, including Still Star-Crossed from Shondaland and Will, the fictional story of the famous playwright’s roaring 20s in London. Meanwhile, USA premieres eight-episode thriller The Sinner featuring Jessica Biel’s return to the small screen. Your Netflix queue will be full with new binge-worthy offerings like the ladies’ wrestling dramedy GLOW, Marvel’s The Defenders, Gypsy starring Naomi Watts, and the Keegan-Michael Key/Cobie Smulders comedy, Friends From College. And just when you’re missing Dancing With the Stars, J.Lo, Derek Hough, and Ne-Yo will swoop in with NBC’s supersized answer to TV dance competitions, World of Dance, which comes with an unheard-of $1 million prize.
Click through this slideshow to see what’s debuting between now and August.
‘Still Star-Crossed’ (ABC, May 29 at 10 p.m.)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: “It takes place after the beautiful story we know and love, Romeo and Juliet, with the royal family of Verona deciding how to keep the Montagues and Capulets from breaking out into war because of what happened to their children,” explains Lashana Lynch, who plays Rosaline Capulet.
What to Expect: To ensure peace in his city, Prince Escalus (Sterling Sulieman) orders Rosaline, Juliet’s cousin, to marry Benvolio Montague (Wade Briggs), Romeo’s cousin. But “they hate each other,” Lynch says. Adds Briggs, “This is a future he doesn’t want. But there’s a fantastic amount of electricity between these two personalities, and they end up being a lot more to one another than they realized initially.” And complicating the whole plan is the fact that Rosaline and Prince Escalus are in love. “It’s a classic Shondaland love triangle,” Briggs notes.
Modern Love: Though it’s based on Shakespeare, Still Star-Crossed uses contemporary dialogue, and the characters are also updated. “Rosaline is bold and feisty and fierce, like a modern girl in the 16th century,” Lynch says. Of course, Shakespeare’s themes — like “lust and revenge and all of those human desires,” says Lynch — are timeless. — Kelly Woo
(Photo: Jose Haro/ABC)
‘World of Dance’ (NBC, May 30 at 10 p.m.)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: “The world’s biggest new dance competition, bringing the best of the best, all ages, all styles,” says executive producer Matilda Zoltowski.
What to Expect: Contestants will perform a potpourri of dance styles, including ballet, hip-hop, stepping, and more as they compete for a $1 million prize. “It’s all ages,” says judge Derek Hough. “We have juniors, and we have groups and teams. We can have soloists, duets, trios, we can have groups of 40… it’s open for any type of style.” Hough was especially impressed by the younger contestants: “These amazing hybrid kids were coming out and can do classical ballet, hip-hop, and then start tapping!”
Keeping Score: Instead of using generic numerical paddles, the judges — Hough, Jennifer Lopez, and Ne-Yo — will use a precise scoring metric. “The score is out of 100 and then it’s broken down into categories,” Zoltowski explains. “It’s so that we can compare a soloist dance and contemporary to a 20-man hip-hop crew. They have exactly the same score sheet. We’re very proud of it how it worked.” — Victoria Leigh Miller
(Photo: Justin Lubin/NBC)
‘I’m Dying Up Here’ (Showtime, June 4 at 10 p.m.)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: “This is an account of a historic time in comedy when Johnny Carson moved from New York to L.A. and all the comics thought this was their gateway to fame — and it was,” creator David Flebotte says of his dramatization of that heady, hilarious period in the 1970s.
What to Expect: A diverse cross-section of the comedy world: there’s Adam (RJ Cyler), a young African-American comedian looking to make his mark; Cassie (Ari Graynor), a woman who regularly confronts sexism from audiences and colleagues alike; and Ron (Clark Duke) and Eddie (Michael Angarano), a pair of Beantown comedy nerds transplanted to the City of Angels. And while none of these characters are directly based on real-life comics, they are amalgams of various individuals performing at that time. “Adam has a lot of different stand-ups in him,” Cyler says. “He has traits that resemble Richard Pryor and Bernie Mac.”
On the Job Training: During the casting process, Flebotte and his fellow executive producer, Jim Carrey, had to make a crucial decision: Should they recruit comedians who could act or actors who could do comedy? They went with the latter, but made sure the cast got plenty of stand-up training from actual comics. “One of our writers took me to a small comedy club,” Cyler says. “It was only supposed to be a five-minute set, but I ended up doing 20 minutes! I was like ‘Damn, you’re all laughing!'” — Ethan Alter
(Photo: Lacey Terrell/Showtime)
‘Claws’ (TNT, June 11 at 9 p.m.)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: “Claws is a show about a woman with a dream and a desire, and when pushed to her limit, she will stop at nothing to take care of the people she loves,” says star Niecy Nash.
What to Expect: Nash plays Desna, the owner of a Florida nail salon who has been laundering money for the Dixie Mafia in the hope of finally affording an upscale location for her staff (Carrie Preston, Jenn Lyon, Judy Reyes, and Karrueche Tran), as well as a nicer home for her autistic brother (Lost’s Harold Perrineau). “I think if Breaking Bad and The Sopranos had a baby and named it Orange Is the New Black, and then that baby had a baby, it would be Claws,” Nash says.
TV-MA: Put another way, there’s dark humor and violence, sisterhood and sex. “You have women — and I’m reaching to the sky for these air quotes when I say ‘of a certain age’ — who are still very viable, sexy, sexual. That part is important. Because you don’t die on a vine at a certain age,” Nash says. “So I appreciated the fact that you still got to see these women living full lives. Whether they’re in relationships with men or other women, it’s full nonetheless.” —Mandi Bierly
‘Blood Drive’ (SyFy, June 14 at 10 p.m.)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: “It’s a race across the country with cars that run on human blood,” says executive producer John Hlavin.
What to Expect: The show itself is a smorgasbord of trashy influences, with “every episode grabbing a little bit of a different grindhouse genre.” Of the show’s creator, James Rowland, Hlavin says, “James’s insanity as a writer is so unmoored from the way television is made” that the pilot was unfilmable. They trimmed only what was necessary to bring it in under budget — meaning the tidal wave had to go, and the couple having sex in a speeding car had to have sex inside the car and not on the hood.
More Than Meets the Eye: The gruesome action is hiding a number of deliberately subversive messages about politics, the environment, and television. “We would sit down and say, ‘What is this episode about? What is it commenting on?’ We’d talk about it a lot, then we would set it aside,” says Rowland. “We said that will infuse the episode — now let’s just have a lot of fun.” — Robert Clarke-Chan
‘The Mist’ (Spike, June 22 at 10 p.m.)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: “The very short version is what do people do when they are blinded by fear,” says executive producer/writer Christian Torpe.
What to Expect: Based on the novella by Stephen King, an unusual mist filled with unseen and inexplicable dangers engulfs a small Maine town, forcing pre-existing tensions and buried secrets to the surface and testing residents’ relationships and humanity. The series takes a “more psychological direction” than the 2007 Frank Darabont film, Torpe says. “We stay true to the heart of it, but have expanded a lot on the King universe and the mythology. It’s a different story with new characters. It’s less about the mist than about how people react to the mist.” Morgan Spector, who plays a dad stuck at the police station while his daughter and wife are trapped at the mall just after a big family blowup, adds, “There are a lot of old, ugly secrets that get revealed and uneasy alliances happen only out of necessity.”
Fear Factor: The shoot in Nova Scotia wasn’t without some real-life scares, including an unscripted car accident. “Someone was supposed to pull out of a shot and drive around the corner, but he peeled out and lost control,” Spector says. “We all heard this sickening sound where you know something has gone horribly wrong. Luckily everyone was ok.” — Carrie Bell
(Photo: Chris Reardon/Spike)
‘GLOW’ (Netflix, June 23)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: “It’s a Cinderella story with body slams,” says Carly Mensch, who co-created Netflix ’80s throwback alongside fellow Orange Is the New Black scribe Liz Flahive.
What to Expect: With her professional and personal prospects looking dim, down-and-out actress Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie) joins the motley crew of women assembled by a producer to star in the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (aka GLOW). While it’s based on the real-life wrestling show (which aired from 1986 to 1992), the creators say the title is the only part of their series that’s not fictionalized. “The only thing we have the rights to is the name,” Flahive explains. That means Ruth and the gorgeous ladies surrounding her are entirely fictionalized, as is the show’s mastermind, failed schlock filmmaker, Sam Sylvia played by comedian and podcaster, Marc Maron.
Small Wonder: While she’s a pretty decent person out of the ring, Sam decides that Ruth is precisely the kind of hissable villain that GLOW needs. “You get to see a bit of my dark side,” teases Brie, who spent six seasons as Community‘s resident good girl, Annie Edison. “A lot of Ruth’s tactics have to do with size. I’m kind of petite, so a lot of her strategy is making herself taller than her opponents and then jumping up on the ropes. I also learned I’m good at getting thrown, and good at getting body slammed, which I think is a fun skill.” — EA
(Photo: Erica Parise/Netflix)
‘Prime Suspect: Tennison’ (PBS, June 25 at 10 p.m.)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: “You get to glimpse the origins of where a great detective character comes from,” says executive producer, Robert Wulff-Cochrane, about this prequel series depicting the early years of London DCI Jane Tennison — a role made iconic by Helen Mirren in 1991’s Prime Suspect.
What to Expect: Adapted from a 2015 novel by Prime Suspect creator, Lynda La Plante, Tennison rewinds the clock to 1973 just after England’s formerly-segregated male and female police forces have been merged. Against this backdrop, rookie officer Tennison (Stefanie Martini) tries to insert herself into an investigation involving the brutal murder of a prostitute. She runs headfirst into the institutionalized sexism that’s a big part of the first Prime Suspect series. “She’s really junior in the force, and has to fight to be heard and make a place for herself in this male world,” Martini says.
What a Dame: Mirren herself isn’t involved with the prequel series, which premiered in March in the U.K., but she gave the project her blessing. “She thinks it’s great for young people to see what young women had to go through at that time,” says Martini, who consulted the previous Prime Suspect series as research for bringing the younger Jane to life. “I haven’t spoken to her yet. I don’t know if I’d be able to say anything — I think I’d just melt!” — EA
(Photo: Courtesy of ITV Studios and NoHo Film & Television for ITV and MASTERPIECE)
‘Gypsy’ (Netflix, June 30)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: “Gypsy is about a therapist who gets obsessed with the people in her patients’ lives,” says creator Lisa Rubin.
What to Expect: That therapist is Jean (Naomi Watts, who’s also an executive producer on the series), who navigates randy dalliances with her husband and someone connected to one of her patients, while also using a fake identity to insinuate herself into the lives of people close to the patients who pay her. Jean’s exploits become more and more reckless throughout the 10-episode season, leading to a finale where her lives — present, secret present, and past — threaten to collide and destroy her.
Another Session? Season 1 ends on a cliffhanger, and Rubin says she has plenty of ideas if Netflix gives Gypsy a Season 2. “Just when you think you sort of have some answers, there are more questions. So I think definitely there’s a lot to explore [with Jean].” — Kimberly Potts
(Photo: Alison Cohen Rosa/Netflix)
‘Snowfall’ (FX, July 5 at 10 p.m.)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: “It’s the story of crack cocaine and how it changed Los Angeles,” says showrunner Dave Andron.
What to Expect: Set in 1983, Snowfall unfolds the story of the crack epidemic through a young, ambitious entrepreneur named Franklin (Damson Idris); Gustavo (Sergio Peris-Mencheta), a Mexican wrestler working for a crime family; Teddy (Carter Hudson), a CIA agent who gets mixed up with a deal to fund the Nicaraguan Contras via cocaine; and Lucia (Emily Rios), the independent daughter of the crime family Gustavo works for. “It’s funny, because you don’t hear the word ‘crack’ until the midway point of the season,” says Andron, who created the series with Oscar and Emmy nominee John Singleton. “It’s not just about South Central. It’s not just about the CIA. It’s really about what happens when that bomb gets dropped and how it changes everything in these communities.”
Britspeak: Idris is British, a fact that gave Singleton pause when it came to hiring the newcomer. “I was told to spend a day with John in South Central, just talking in an American accent, because he was kind of scared that I wouldn’t [sound] authentic,” says Idris. “His mom was there, and I’m saying things a British person would say, like, ‘Oh, how lovely your hair looks today.’ And his mom’s like, ‘He ain’t from here, huh?’” — KP
(Photo: Mark Davis/FX)
‘Will’ (TNT, July 10 at 9 p.m.)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: “It’s about a young man with a tumultuous genius inside of him, getting out in the world to create his own destiny,” says creator and writer Craig Pearce (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge).
What to Expect: That young man is one William Shakespeare, and the series focuses on his early life, when he first arrived in London. “He’s 25 years old. He has this feeling inside of himself, this yearning, this roiling genius,” says Pearce. “He has to take his destiny into his own hands.” The first season is very much a fish-out-of-water story, as young Will struggles to make it in the big city. “There’s this rivalry between theater companies,” says Pearce. “There’s [Christopher] Marlowe, who’s like a dark reflection of Will. And there’s love.” Director Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth) explains, the show explores “how the life he might’ve lived led to the kind of plays he wrote.”
The Notorious B.A.R.D.: “Shakespeare wrote for the rabble. This language that we talk about today as ‘Shakespearean’ was actually the slang of the time,” says Kapur. “If William Shakespeare was writing today, he would’ve been the world’s biggest rapper.” — KW
‘Salvation’ (CBS, July 12 at 9 p.m.)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: “It’s a story about what happens when a small group of individuals are staring down a potential extinction-level event,” teases exec producer Liz Kruger.
What to Expect: An asteroid is on a collision course with earth, and a team of smart people — including an MIT grad student, an Elon Musk-ish tech billionaire, a Pentagon press liaison, and her boss — have just six months to figure out how to stop it. “These are not superheroes, just regular people,” says Kruger. “So the question becomes, how do you keep this huge secret from the ones you love, deal with the burden of knowing, change how you live and love? And what rules would you break if you thought you had a real chance at stopping it?”
Fact-Based Fear: “We take the science super seriously, which is why we have an astrophysicist consulting, and why Neil deGrasse Tyson agreed to be in the pilot,” says executive producer Craig Shapiro. “Our characters are going to science the s–t out of this threat.” Which was the best part for Santiago Cabrera (Big Little Lies), who plays tech billionaire Darius Tanz. “Given the current climate where science is under siege, it becomes even more important to get facts right,” he says. “I’d like to think if I found myself in this situation, I would rise to the occasion. That said I’d need the asteroid to give us a lot more warning, as I would need to go to university for about five years to help in any real capacity.” — CB
(Photo: Sven Frenzel/CBS)
‘Friends From College’ (Netflix, July 14)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: “It’s about a group of friends from college, but it’s really about nostalgia,” writer/director Nick Stoller (The Five-Year Engagement) says of his eight-part Netflix series. “How nostalgia can be fun, but also destroy your life in a way.”
What to Expect: When married couple Ethan and Lisa Turner (Keegan-Michael Key and Cobie Smulders) move back to New York, they reconnect with their collegiate pals, played by Fred Savage, Nat Faxon, and Annie Parisse. But with that close proximity comes tensions and buried histories that bubble to the surface, upsetting the comfortable routine of their lives. “I’m shooting all eight episodes, and trying to treat it like a four-hour movie,” says Stoller.
We Love the ’90s: Because these characters are in their 40s, their halcyon college days took place in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Ethan, in particular, is prone to referencing movies from that era, including Crocodile Dundee and Point Break. “He’s a nostalgia junkie,” Key says. “There are people in the world who spend time reaching back as opposed to looking forward. That’s a thing we’re exploring thematically in the show.” — EA
(Photo: David Lee/Netflix)
‘Midnight, Texas’ (NBC, July 24 at 10 p.m)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: A psychic/con artist hides out in a mysterious Lone Star State safe haven for all matters of supernatural species (werewolves, angels, vamps, witches), which also happens to sit on the ever-thinning veil between the living and hell.
What to Expect: Based on a book series by Charlaine Harris (the author behind True Blood), Texas will feature fantastic creatures, the impending possible apocalypse arc, and the backstory of a Midnighter with each episode. “Usually, monsters are the villains and humans are the heroes, but Charlaine’s world it isn’t always that simple,” says executive producer Monica Owusu-Breen. “I love that this is a metaphor for people who are different or who are outcasts finding a community. I related to that as an interracial woman who has lived in many places with parents from two different countries and never felt like she fit in.”
Spirited Away: To portray the town’s newest resident, François Arnaud (Blindspot) met with mediums including a psychic working in Albuquerque, where Season 1 was shot. “She very generously let me observe how she worked. I’m a skeptic, but I witnessed people who wholeheartedly believe they are doing good by helping people get in touch with loved ones who are gone,” says Arnaud. “To play Manfred I have to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I’m still not on the phone trying to reach the dead or find out my future.” — CB
(Photo: Cathy Kanavy/NBC)
‘Somewhere Between’ (ABC, July 24 at 10 p.m.)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: Laura (Paula Patton) lives in San Francisco with her husband, “and they have a beautiful 8-year-old daughter — until the daughter disappears and turns up drowned in the Bay,” says exec producer Stephen Tolkin. But through a mysterious circumstance, time rewinds to eight days before the daughter’s disappearance, and her mom “does every single thing she can to change fate.”
What to Expect: When the world gets rewound, it gives Laura a chance to save her daughter. “But every single time she changes events, they end up falling back into the same path,” Tolkin teases. So Laura begins trying to save the other female victims of the serial killer responsible for her daughter’s death. The show is based on a Korean drama called God’s Gift: 14 Days, and Tolkin was inspired by the idea that “we think we have control over our lives, but there are forces much bigger than us guiding it.”
Time Opens All Wounds: The rewind brings a private investigator named Nico Jackson (Devon Sawa) into Laura’s orbit. “She lives a perfect life and he lives a messed-up life. But her life is not perfect, and in the course of her journey she discovers that,” Tolkin says. “She discovers secrets. Everything about her marriage changes.” — KW
(Photo: Eike Schroter/ABC)
‘The Sinner’ (USA, August 2 at 10 p.m.)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: Creator Derek Simonds sums it up: “It’s the story of a young woman who lives in a small town, and one summer day with her family at the beach, she makes this startling act of violence in this state of rage that just comes over her inexplicably.”
What to Expect: Jessica Biel stars as Cora, the young woman in question, in this drama based on Petra Hammesfahr’s book of the same name. “We have all the information about the crime — who, what, where, when, how,” says Simonds. “We just don’t know why. We’re delving into her character and her mind and her past and trying to understand what might have triggered her right to do this thing.” Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) investigates the “why?” of it all. “The relationship between Ambrose and Cora is really the spine of our story,” Simonds explains. “These two characters connect and get to know each other on these unexpectedly deep levels as the story goes on.”
Double Duty: Biel is also an executive producer on the series, but this was no vanity title. “She was involved from the start,” Simonds says. “She watched casting tape for all of the other parts and was involved in those discussions. She’s someone who always rolled up her sleeves and was right there with us through the process.” — KW
(Photo: Brownie Harris/USA Network)
‘What Would Diplo Do?’ (Viceland, August 3 at 10 p.m.)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: “We want to tell little parables about life through the eyes of a clown,” says star James Van Der Beek of the mockumentary he’s executive producing, writing, and starring in as a comedically fictionalized version of real-life DJ Diplo. “He’s a musical genius who sucks at life — amazing in front of 80,000 people, terrible one-on-one.”
What to Expect: The Dawson’s Creek star previously portrayed Diplo in a well-received 2016 commercial for a Bud Light-sponsored concert, and the DJ was eager to have him reprise the role. “He said, ‘Dude, make me look totally ridiculous. And I was like, ‘I can’t make you look completely ridiculous because we have to make it a character people want to follow,'” says the actor. Episodes include a parody of Viceland’s rock doc series, Noisey, and a flashback installment set in the long-ago year of… 2013? “A lot of it is our made-up origin of how he’s able to create this music that has had an impact worldwide.”
DJ Jimmy Beek: While filming the series, Van Der Beek shadowed Diplo at various gigs and, unbeknownst to the crowd, sometimes switched places with him onstage. “I would be dressed like him and run around with the dancers,” says Van Der Beek with a laugh. “We’d steal the shot, and then I’d run off.”— EA
(Photo: Shane McCauley/Viceland)
Mr. Mercedes (Audience Network/DirecTV, August 9 at 8 p.m.)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: A computer wiz psychopath “is charging on all cylinders after getting away with the massacre of his dreams,” says Harry Treadaway, who plays the aforementioned psycho, Brady. Now, the killer is determined to drive the cop who couldn’t catch him (Brendan Gleeson) to commit suicide.
What to Expect: “This is dark, twisted stuff, and unfortunately it is going on in the real world. Psychopaths live in our cul-de-sacs and there are way more of them than I care to think about,” says Treadaway of the series, based on Stephen King’s 2014 bestseller. “Stephen King weaves that believable evil into such normal residential settings. It’s f–king mental getting your head around that.”
Meeting of the Minds: Gleeson was the first actor who came to exec producer David E. Kelley’s mind when it came to casting as curmudgeon cop Bill Hodges. “I just adored Hodges on the page with his very human and compassionate nucleus surrounded by an outward grumpiness. Brendan has a similar quality,” says Kelley. “He doesn’t ask people to so much as like him, yet you love him.” Turns out he wasn’t the only one who thought the Harry Potter actor would be perfect. Says Kelley, “We had never discussed it, but it turns out that he was who Stephen King wanted to play Hodges too.” — CB
(Photo: Sonar Entertainment/Audience Network)
‘Marvel’s The Defenders’ (Netflix, August 18)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: “Four people with abilities from different corners of New York have to unite to take on a challenge,” says Defenders showrunner, Marco Ramirez, about Netflix’s all-star Marvel team-up that unites Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. “But emotionally, it’s really about four orphans who come together and form a family by accident.”
What to Expect: The heroes join up, Avengers style, to combat a new threat in the form of Sigourney Weaver’s mysterious mastermind, Alexandra. “This series has its own identity,” says Ramirez, who previously oversaw Daredevil’s second season with Doug Petrie. “The tone is sewn together organically from the worlds of the other shows.” That approach extends to the action sequences as well, which will naturally make room for the kind of bone-crunching hallway brawl that Netflix’s Marvel shows are famed for. “We wanted to borrow all the fighting styles from the different shows,” teases Ramirez. “My favorite is the Jessica Jones, ‘I don’t even want to f–king be here’ kind of fight.”
Ripley 4EVA: The Alien franchise forever enshrined Sigourney Weaver in the action movie hall of fame. But even after all these years, she’s eager to learn new fighting tricks. Ramirez remembers talking with the former Ellen Ripley about some of the fights featured in The Defenders. “We were discussing fight choreography and vocabulary, and at some point, she said, ‘That word is new to me. I’m not so much a martial arts type of gal — I’m more a ‘hold the flamethrower’ type of gal.” — EA
(Photo: Sarah Shatz/Netflix)
‘The Tick’ (Amazon, August 25)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: “The show is about the origin of a superhero in a world full of superheroes and villains that are quite unlike any you have seen before that sends up and celebrates all the superhero tropes,” says executive producer David Fury (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fringe).
What to Expect: With the comic book’s creator Ben Edlund on board and The Tick now played by Peter Serafinowicz (Parks and Recreation), this live-action reboot is a “mature adult version that complements” the ‘90s animated series and the Patrick Warburton installment. “It retains their fun and craziness, but adds a level of emotional groundedness that will allow fans to enjoy a higher investment in the characters and the world,” says Fury. It’s also gives “emotionally disturbed accountant” Arthur (Griffin Newman) some room to shine. “The series really focuses on Arthur, who for the first time has been given a backstory and it’s tragic. It takes place before the other two series, so we find out how The Tick and Arthur become a team.”
If The Suit Fits: Serafinowicz is the first to admit that had he known what working in an “unforgiving, non-breathable” blue super-suit would be like, he might not have taken the job. “That f–king thing is a struggle to move in. It’s hot inside if it’s hot out, and cold inside if it isn’t,” he says. “Luckily, I’m pretty slimy and too exhausted by the end of the day for a social life. Otherwise, I might have time to put on weight, it wouldn’t fit, and I’d be in real trouble.” — CB
(Photo: Amazon Studios)
The Last Tycoon (Amazon, Summer 2017)
The 1-Sentence Pitch: In 1930s Hollywood, golden boy Monroe Stahr (Matt Bomer) battles his mentor/boss/moneyman Pat Brady (Kelsey Grammer) to greenlight important films. “Monroe has a very specific goal — leaving behind a legacy — and he thinks he will achieve it by leaving behind one perfect piece of art,” says Oscar-nominated writer/executive producer Billy Ray. “He is obsessed with creating something that will outlive him.”
What to Expect: “There’s backstabbing, deception, ambition, drugs, greed and all of that juicy, dark stuff,” says executive producer Christopher Keyser of Tycoon, which is based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s unfinished final work. “Everyone has secrets and pain. Like all of the Fitzgerald-ian canon, it is really about the cost of the American dream.”
Sitting Down on the Job: Bomer has a dream of his own. “Oh my God, like a year and a half ago, I told Patrizia [von Brandenstein, production designer], I have to have the chair from Monroe’s office. It’s the most incredible chair I’ve ever had the luxury of sitting in. In fact, whenever we have a scene in the office, I always start the rehearsal by trying to figure out how I’m going to be able to sit in my chair. They have to pry me away from it. I know there’s no way I am getting that chair, but a boy can dream. Isn’t that what the show’s all about?” — CB
(Photo: Amazon Studios)