In today’s TV news roundup, ABC unveiled the premiere dates for its early 2021 scripted series, and NBC announced details for its annual “Christmas in the Rockefeller Center” special.
Starz cast Luis Guzmán as a guest star in the second season of crime drama “Hightown.” Guzmán will portray Jorge Cuevas, Frankie’s (Amaury Nolasco) charmingly hilarious but deadly cousin. Also joining the cast this season are guest stars Jona Xiao, Charline St. Charles and Dominic L. Santana. Production is currently underway for Season 2, with creator Rebecca Cutter making her TV directorial debut. Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Rachel Morrison will direct two episodes and lead actor Monica Raymund, as well as Dawn Wilkinson, Radium Cheung and Eagle Egilsson are also tapped to direct.
Food Network’s “Kid’s Baking Championship” will return with a ninth season premiere Dec. 28. The show, hosted by Valerie Bertinelli and Duff Goldman, will feature a new twist, with the young bakers’ parents backstage reacting to the ups and downs of the 10-week competition. This season’s competitors include Keaton Ashton, Haylin Adams, Jonah Anderson, Cydney Cain, Andrew Clark, Trey Gordon, Bella Luu, D’Von Mills, Namiah Phillips, Miabella Ramirez, McKenzly Sandefer and Nemo Tsai.
ABC announced its early 2021 returning and new scripted series premiere dates: The new year will kick off with the third season premiere of “The Rookie” Jan. 3 at 10 p.m.; the sophomore season premiere of “Mixed-ish” will air Jan. 26 at 9:30 p.m., and new sitcom “Call Your Mother” starring Kyra Sedgwick will debut Jan. 13 at 9:30 p.m. Meanwhile, “The Good Doctor” will return from a holiday break Jan. 11 at 10 p.m., followed by comedies “The Goldbergs,” “American Housewife” and “The Conners” Jan. 13 at 8 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively. The return of “Black-ish” will air Jan. 26 at 9:00 p.m., followed by the continuation of David E. Kelley’s drama “Big Sky.” “For Life” will return Jan. 20 at 10 p.m., and the continuations of “Station 19,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “A Million Little Things” are set for March 4 at 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., respectively.
Apple TV Plus’ new psychological thriller “Losing Alice” will launch Jan. 22 with the first three episodes. The eight-episode series from creator, writer and director Sigal Alvin, is a cinematic neo-noir exploration of an aging director Alice (Ayelet Zurer) and her growing obsession with an up-and-coming femme fatale screenwriter Sophie (Lihi Kornowski), whose troubling script is more truth than fiction. Through a series of flashbacks and flash-forwards, the series delves into how far Alice is willing to go to achieve success, relevance and power. Gal Toren, Yossi Marshek, Shai Avivi and Chelli Goldenberg also star.
The second season of Apple TV Plus’ space drama “For All Mankind” will premiere Feb. 19. The 10-episode season will pick up a decade after the events of the first season, in 1983 at the height of the Cold War, seeing the superpowers compete over resources on the moon and marking the start of a potential nuclear war. Joining as series regulars are Cynthy Wu as Kelly Baldwin, Ed (Joel Kinnaman) and Karen’s (Shantel VanSanten) adopted daughter; Coral Peña as Aleida Rosales, a brilliant engineer with a troubled past and Casey Johnson as Danny Stevens, the son of astronauts Gordo (Michael Dorman) and Tracy (Sarah Jones).
CNN Films has set a Dec. 5 release date for “President in Waiting,” which it acquired from director Jeffrey Roth. The movie includes President-Elect Joe Biden discussing his relationship with former President Barack Obama and the key events that shaped his vice presidency. Featuring interviews with all six living vice presidents, along with insight from former presidents including George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, the film will explore the nature of the relationships between the president and vice president and how political crises, war and other defining decisions shape the modern vice presidency. Watch a trailer below.
A+E Studios is teaming up with Raising Kane Films, Narrative Film Group and Creative 7 to develop “Blood Brothers” (working title), an eight-episode limited series on the seminal story of the friendship between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X. The series, based on the 2016 nonfiction book “Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X,” is written and executive produced by showrunner Charles Murray, with executive producers Shelby Stone, Derek Dudley, Carmelo Anthony and Asani Swann. The series will delve into the prominent figures’ initial meeting and immediate bond, exploring their personal lives and the relationship’s eventual demise as a result of societal tensions.
Bad Robot is expanding its production team through new hires Chrysta Burton, who will serve as executive vice president of physical production, and Diane Coote, who will serve as vice president of physical production. They join Josh Tate, who currently serves as vice president of physical production. The trio of executives will oversee all film and television productions for the company, with Burton responsible for projects from development through post-production. All three report to head of physical production Cory Bennett Lewis. Burton joins Bad Robot following her role as a visual effects executive at Netflix where she managed more than 100 projects including “Stranger Things” Season 3 and “When They See Us.” Coote’s appointment reunites her with the company, where she has specialized in post-production and visual effects on such projects as “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Tate has worked at Bad Robot since 2009, garnering credits on films such as “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.”
ViacomCBS Consumer Products and toy brand Melissa & Doug have signed an exclusive licensing partnership to deliver “PAW Patrol” and “Blue’s Clues & You!” co-branded toy lines for fall 2021. The product line will focus on educating and empowering preschoolers through active engagement in problem solving and creative thinking skills.
NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” special will air Dec. 2 at 8 p.m., celebrating the holiday season with festive performances by Kelly Clarkson, Goo Goo Dolls, Earth, Wind & Fire, Brett Eldredge, Jimmy Fallon, Tori Kelly, Leslie Odom Jr., Dolly Parton, Pentatonix, Dan + Shay, Gwen Stefani and Meghan Trainor. The show, hosted by “Today” co-anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin and Al Roker, will also feature the cast from the Tony Award-winning musical “Ain’t Too Proud” and the Radio City Rockettes. Throughout the evening, viewers will be prompted to donate to Red Nose Day in support of families facing food insecurity. Due to safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there will no public access to the tree lighting ceremony.
CBS News’ “Sunday Morning” will air “Sunday Morning: The Pet Project,” a one-hour primetime special celebrating the country’s love of animals, Nov. 27 at 9 p.m. Anchored by Jane Pauley, the special will examine people’s passion for pets, from viral videos and family pets to a visit with Bindi Irwin and her siblings who are carrying on the mission of their late father, animal conservationist Steve Irwin. The broadcast will also feature fun segments on presidential pets, pet cloning, a visit with a giant panda cub and how owners grow to resemble their pets.
Tonight, Barack Obama and Zac Brown Band will appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” while Sarah Paulson, Henry Golding and Car Seat Headrest will be on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” Tonight’s guests on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” are Michael Moore, journalist Rich Eisen and Valerie Franco. Bill Gates is tonight’s guest on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.”