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TV News Roundup: Starz and BBC to Produce Kenneth Lonergan’s ‘Howards End’ Adaptation Starring Hayley Atwell

Variety logo Variety 2/15/2017 Will Thorne
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In today’s roundup, Starz and BBC team up to co-produce Kenneth Lonergan’s “Howards End” adaptation, “Jessica Jones” star Krysten Ritter’s debut novel gets a pub date, and more. 

GREENLIGHTS

Starz and the BBC are teaming up to co-produce the limited series “Howards End,” written by Academy Award-nominee Kenneth Lonergan and based on the classic E.M. Forster novel. The series represents the “Manchester by the Sea” writer and director’s first television adaptation, and will explore the changing landscape of social and class divisions in turn of the century England through the prism of three families: the intellectual and idealistic Schlegels, the wealthy Wilcoxes from the world of business, and the working class Basts. Hayley Atwell, Matthew Macfadyen, and Tracey Ullman are all set to star, with Hettie Macdonald signing on to direct the four hour-long episodes that will air on BBC One in the U.K. and Starz in the U.S.

RENEWALS

Disney Channel has renewed “Tangled: The Series” for a second season, before the first has even premiered. The Disney Television Animation production is based on the 2010 Walt Disney Animation Studios movie “Tangled.” The show will reunite Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi, who reprise their roles as Rapunzel and Eugene (formerly known as Flynn Rider), as well as the music team behind the film, composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater. The story takes place between the events of the film and the start of the 2012 short film “Tangled Ever After,” following Rapunzel on her adventures as she acquaints herself with her parents, her kingdom of Corona and its people. Season 1 debuts Friday, March 24.

DATES

Season 2 of the Amazon series “Hand of God” is set to premiere on March 10. Created and written by Ben Watkins, “Hand of God” stars Ron Perlman as Judge Pernell Harris, the hard-living, law-bending king of San Vicente. “Judge Maximum” (his nickname on the show) has hit bottom as he faces trial for the murder of a cop, while his visions and the ghost of his son will threaten his relationship with his wife and everything he holds dear. “Hand of God” also stars Dana Delany as the Judge’s estranged wife Crystal Harris, Andre Royo as the gregarious mayor Robert ‘Bobo’ Boston, and Garret Dillahunt as KD, the born-again sociopath whose violent tendencies are exploited by Pernell.

Crown Archetype, an imprint of Penguin Random House’s Crown Publishing Group, has announced that it will publish “Jessica Jones” actress Krysten Ritter’s debut novel “Bonfire.” The novel will be released in the U.S. on Nov. 7. The novel centers around 28-year-old Abby Williams, who is forced to confront her past in the wake of small-town corruption. After a 10-year absence, Abby returns to her small hometown as an environmental lawyer sent to investigate Optimal Plastics, the town’s largest company and economic heart, accused of illegal dumping of toxic chemicals in local water.

EXECUTIVE NEWS

Traci Otey Blunt has been appointed president, Urban Movie Channel (UMC),  RLJ Entertainment chairman Robert L. Johnson has announced. Previously, Blunt was EVP for Corporate Marketing and Affairs for RLJ Entertainment, and was assigned to launch and develop the company’s UMC streaming service.

RATINGS

“24: Legacy” and “APB” saw healthy lifts in Nielsen’s Live+7 ratings. The second episode of “24: Legacy” tacked on an extra 0.8 in the 18-49 demographic, ending with a 2.3 rating, and 9.03 million viewers. Streaming through seven days brought in another 515,000 viewers. “APB” added another 0.7 to its demo for a 2.2 rating and 8.52 million viewers.

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