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TV News Roundup: BET Releases Trailer for Lena Waithe’s ‘Twenties’

By LaTesha Harris

LOS ANGELES (Variety) – In today’s TV news roundup, Ali Wong gets two new Netflix comedy specials and BET releases the first look at Lena Waithe’s “Twenties” series.  

CASTING


Michael Beach (“ER”), Anne-Marie Johnson (“For The People”) and Kellee Stewart (“Guess Who”) have been cast in ’s romantic anthology series, “Cherish The Day. They join Xosha Roquemore, Alano Miller and Emmy-award winner Cicely Tyson. Also, Blitz
Bazawule, Aurora Guerrero (“13 Reasons Why”) and Deborah Kampmeier (“Queen Sugar”) join Tanya Hamilton (“Vampire Diaries”) as directors. 


Joel McHale will return to host the 2020 second season of ABC’s “Card Sharks, a competition series with two players facing off in a head-to-head elimination race. McHale is repped by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham LLP. Scott St. John and Jennifer Mullin executive produce “Card Sharks.” 


Juan Pablo Raba (“Narcos”), Adriana Paz, Kristyan Ferrer, Octavio Pisano, Cynthia Kaye McWilliams (“Nashville”) and Julio Cedillo (“Sicario”) have been cast as series regulars in Paramount‘s forthcoming drama “Coyote. The series, which stars Michael Chiklis, follows a border patrol agent who is forced to work on the other side of the wall. Michelle MacLaren (“Game of Thrones”) executive produces. 

Quibi has announced additional cast members for the series “Mapleworth Murders,” which was created by and stars Paula Pell and John Lutz. J.B. Smoove and Hayley Magnus have joined the series in regular roles. Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, D’Arcy Carden, Tim Meadows, Patton Oswalt, Jack McBrayer, Pam Murphy, Ben Warheit, Annie Mumolo, Ike Barinholtz, Mary Holland, James Anderson, and Drew Tarver will all recur. Guest stars will include: Tina Fey, Wanda Sykes, Chris Parnell, Andy Samberg, Terry Crews, Nicole Byer, and Jimmy Carlson. Claire Scanlon has been tapped to direct the series.

RENEWALS


TBS renewed “The Misery Index, with host Jameela Jamil (“The Good Place”), for a second season. Currently in its first season, the game show has reached 28 million viewers across all platforms. Brian Quinn, James Murray, Joe Gatto and Sal Vulcano of “Impractical Jokers” return as panelists. 

DATES


Bravo’s new competition series “Spy Games” premieres Jan. 20. The series, hosted by model and martial artist Mia Kang, forces competitors to outplay each other in spy fantasies. Chris Coelen, John Saade, Eric Detwiler, Karrie Wolfe, David Burris, Andrew Wallace and Scott Teti executive produce. 

FIRST LOOKS


Netflix released the trailer for its forthcoming romantic musical, “Soundtrack, premiering Dec. 18. “” follows a musical group of people in Los Angeles. Callie Hernandez (“La La Land”), Jenna Dewan (“The Resident”), Robbie Fairchild (“Cats”), Christina Milian (“Falling In Love”), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (“Broadchurch”) and Megan Ferguson (“Bad Moms”) star. 


Netflix released the trailer for its forthcoming series “Messiah, premiering Jan. 1. The series follows a CIA officer Eva Geller (Michelle Monaghan) investigating reports of a man who gains international attention for his acts of public disruption (played by Mehdi Dehbi). Created by Michael Petroni (“The Book Thief”), Petroni, James McTeigue (“V for Vendetta”), Andrew Deane, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey executive produce. 


BET released the trailer for (“Queen & Slim”)’s forthcoming series, “Twenties, premiering in 2020. “Twenties” follows a queer black girl — played by Jonica T. Gibbs (“Good Trouble”) — navigating life in her early twenties. Jennifer Lewis (“Black-ish”), Big Sean, Rick Fox, Iman Shumpert and Kym Whitley guest star. 

DEVELOPMENT


AMC Studios will develop Jeff VanderMeer’s “Borne” universe novels into a new series. The original “Borne” novel — followed by “The Strange Bird” and “Dead Astronauts” — was a national bestseller about a scavenger surviving in a futuristic city ruined by a company. VanderMeer will executive produce. 


Roadside Attractions will develop Robert Dugoni’s bestselling novel “The Eighth Sister” into a new series. “The Eighth Sister” follows a retired CIA agent who is asked to run a mission in Moscow, only to be betrayed. Dugoni, Jennifer Berman, Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff will executive produce. 

SPECIALS


(“Always Be My Maybe”) will bring her next two standup comedy specials to Netflix with the first one releasing globally in 2020. “Ali is electric. She offers a completely distinct voice in the culture, and audiences all over the world have responded to her raw, unfiltered humor,” director of original stand up comedy programming Robbie Praw said. “We’re so proud to make Netflix the home of her comedy specials for years to come.” Wong’s past two specials, “Baby Cobra” and “Hard Knock Wife,” were both Netflix exclusives.  

A series finale special of A&E Network’s “Born This Way, a docuseries about seven adults with Down syndrome, will premiere Dec. 18. “A Very Born This Way Christmas” features everyone gathering their families and reflecting on their personal growth. Ahead of the special, six new digital shorts will air online. 

ACQUISITIONS


HBO Max acquired the rights to exclusively stream forthcoming period drama series “Boys” with Olly Alexander of Years & Years, Stephen Fry (“The Hobbit”) and Neil Patrick Harris (“Gone Girl”). The five-part series follows friends during the AIDS crisis in the ‘80s. Production began in October; the series will air in 2020. 

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