Drama

News of the Day: Downton Abbey Renewed!

 

Exciting news for Downton Abbey fans – the period drama was picked up for a third series yesterday by ITV! [Pause for happy dancing and various forms of enthusiastic celebration. A long pause.]

Downton’s second season, which wraps in the UK this weekend and will air in America starting January 8, has been doing fairly gangbusters ratings for ITV, so this isn’t exactly shocking news, though it’s certainly very welcome. Downton Series 3 will be comprised of eight episodes, set over the two year period of 1920 and 1921. Crowleys in the Roaring Twenties? Yes, please!

Obviously, as this news was just announced yesterday, there’s no indication of when Series 3 will debut, either abroad or here in America, and it's highly likely no one involved has given any thought to any of that just yet. I wouldn't expect to hear anything on that front for quite a while, actually, but stay tuned for updates as news becomes available.

New Downton Abbey Series 2 Promo!

We’re now 66 days from the premiere of the new series of Downton Abbey on January 8, 2012. Just over two months to go!

To help get through the wait, here’s a brand new promo just released for the new season, with a few superquick scenes which should probably get everyone chomping at the bit for Christmas to just get over with already. (Personally, I’m definitely looking forward to a visit from the Dowager Countess way more than I am from Santa, that’s for sure.)

If you need more ideas on things to do while you’re waiting for new episodes to return, why not let Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton offer her suggestions on how to survive the hiatus, including several great ideas for the history buffs in our crowd.

All Things Sherlock: Series 1 Rebroadcast and Series 2 Gossip

All of you who’ve been wondering what the big deal is about Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ modern retelling of the famous Sherlock Holmes story are going to get another chance to see what all the fuss is about.

Starting a week from today, we’ll be re-broadcasting the entire first series of my current obsession Sherlock, every Tuesday night for three weeks. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch (♥) and Martin Freeman, Sherlock is a 21st century version of the world’s most famous detective (thankfully, minus deerstalker thus far), set in an exceptionally nice-to-look-at modern London. The first episode “A Study in Pink,” a retelling (mostly) of the story “A Study in Scarlet,” will re-air next Tuesday, November 8, at 8pm.

And, as I am always looking for an excuse to watch the trailer again, have a look at the Series 1 promo and get in the mood for a trip back to 221B Baker Street.

If that’s not enough Sherlock for you, click through and after the jump we’ve got some casting tidbits and Series 2 gossip that those of you seeking to remain entirely spoiler-free for the new episodes might want to avoid.

Tune-In Tonight: William & Mary at 10:30pm!

Heads-up for all our fans of William & Mary - tonight's episode will be starting a little later than the past few weeks, so make sure you've updated your calendars accordingly.

Due to the slightly extended run time of the special Mark Twain Prize ceremony broadcast, there'll only be one episode of William & Mary tonight, and it'll be starting at 10:30pm on TV 26 and WETA HD. Wanted to make sure that everyone was aware of this slight shift and didn't miss anything - and don't worry, we'll be back to showing two episodes of the series on Monday nights next week!

The Final Episode of Case Histories Airs Tomorrow Night

One of the most disappointing parts about Case Histories is simply that there’s not more of it. It’s an interesting and largely charming series, and there are definitely worse things that could happen to television than having Jason Isaacs’ Jackson Brodie around more often.

So, make sure you enjoy the ride through the last episode of this season of Masterpiece Mystery! tomorrow night at 9. Someone gets hit by a train, we sort of meet Jackson’s dead sister, and he acquires a rather fun new sidekick, the Kevin Costner to his Morgan Freeman, if you will. (And that joke will actually make sense once you see it, I promise.) Fair warning though, this last installment is a bit heavier on the drama than the comedy, compared to the first two episodes, and the end is a bit bittersweet. But it also feels just right, by the end.

And I have still never seen a better advertisement for vacationing in Edinburgh, immediately. Gorgeous!

New William & Mary Tonight! Martin Clunes Sure Looks Different, Huh?

Starting at 10pm tonight on WETA, we've go two more back-to-back episodes of romantic drama William & Mary. (For those of you keeping track at home, these are episodes three and four of the series’ first season.) In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit that despite my vast personal knowledge of all sorts of British TV, I’m a relative newcomer to Doc Martin and the acting of Martin Clunes. In the interest of really full disclosure, I’ll even admit that I’m only on the first season! But, all that said, I can already tell why so many people love it, and I’m looking forward to catching up to the rest of you.

Anyway, despite my relative ignorance of Clunes’ acting resume, I still have to say that his performance in William & Mary is really charming, displaying a sort of quiet (even adorable) everyman appeal that’s almost a complete 180 degree shift from his role as the prickly, grumpy Doc Martin. He even plays the guitar in a band! I mean, just compare the two pictures after the jump, and that should kind of tell you all you need to know about just how far apart these performances are. (Plus, I had to come up with SOME way to share that - I just get a tremendous kick out of that William & Mary episode photo. It’s just so unlike every other image I’ve ever seen of Clunes. It’s awesome.)

Preview This Sunday’s Case Histories!

The second episode of Masterpiece Mystery!’s new drama Case Histories premieres this Sunday night at 9pm on TV 26 and WETA HD. Jason Isaacs remains tremendously dishy appealing, the writing remains snappy, and the mysteries remain intriguing, involving a drowned girl who may or may not exist, a crime novelist who witnesses a violent act, and a society lady who learns shocking secrets about her husband after he ends up in a coma. Don't worry, it'll all make sense by the end.

And for a hint of things to come: We’ll see some familiar faces from the first episode pop back up again, and get a little more insight into the events surrounding the death of Jackson’s sister.

Whet your appetite with a preview for Episode 2 below:

More New Sherlock Series 2 Promotional Art!

More new Sherlock Series 2 promotional art has surfaced! (Like water in the desert, hurray!)

Both images are included after the jump to protect those that are uninterested in seeing anything about the new series before it airs. So, you’ll have to click on through if you’re feeling brave.

NBC Really, Really Wants You to Try Their Prime Suspect Remake

NBC is doubling down (tripling down?) on their new Prime Suspect. If you’ve been curious to try the American remake, next week is going to be your chance. With the early demise of several of their new Fall offerings, the network is lining up a big push for the police drama heading into November sweeps. Repeats of Prime Suspect will air on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night next week, leading into the series’ regular Thursday broadcast.

If you're a British TV fan - should you try it? Well, maybe. But not because you loved the British version.

In all honesty, NBC’s Prime Suspect isn’t a terrible show. Yes, it has some issues (the relentless portrayal of every man on the police force as an obnoxiously sexist ogre is especially tiresome.) But, it’s well-acted, well-produced, and if detective/procedural shows are your thing, you could do a lot worse. The problem is, is that it isn’t Prime Suspect. Calling this series by the same name is not only, well, incorrect, but offers viewers no clue about what this series is actually going to offer them. British TV fans are no more likely to enjoy this show than anyone else, and will probably be predisposed to a let down once they actually try it out.

More after the jump!

Tune-In Tonight: William & Mary at 10pm on WETA!

Don't miss Doc Martin star Martin Clunes in a very different kind of role, starting tonight at 10pm on TV 26 and WETA HD. William & Mary features Clunes alongside Survivors' Julie Graham; the duo plays a pair of lonely hearts looking for love.

You’ll probably be shocked at just how different a role this is for Clunes! His character, undertaker William Shawcross, is a virtual 180 from his role as Portwenn’s Doctor, both in attitude (William is actually quite charming and nice and dare we say cuddly?) and appearance (Clunes gained something like 25 pounds for this role and as you can see in our photo, his hairstyle is quite a bit different!)

 

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