The butler did it
Proving there is no one in the Batman universe who can escape the inevitable «origin story» treatment, Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred is to star in his own pre-Wayne Manor series. Pennyworth will follow the early life of Alfred Pennyworth (Jack Bannon) during his time as a young former British SAS soldier. The series, set in 1960s London, will begin when Alfred takes a job working for billionaire Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge), the man who will one day become the father of Bruce Wayne, alias Batman. The series, which has been commissioned by the US channel Epix, will also star Jason Flemyng, Paloma Faith, Ryan Fletcher, Polly Walker and Emma Corrin.
New Star Trek project
A new animated Star Trek series is in development, from brothers Kevin and Dan Hageman and Star Trek: Discovery executive producer Alex Kurtzman. The series, which has been commissioned by the US cable channel Nickelodeon, follows «a group of lawless teens who discover a derelict Starfleet ship and use it to search for adventure, meaning and salvation». It would be the second animated Star Trek project now in development; CBS Studios is already working on Star Trek: Lower Decks, about a group of junior officers on a Starfleet ship, for the streaming platform CBS All Access. CBS is also filming a live-action Star Trek series focusing on the post-Starfleet life of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart).
Dallas legend dies
Dallas actor Ken Kercheval, who played the ambitious politician and rival to TV supervillain J.R. Ewing in the legendary 1980s soap opera, has died. Kercheval was 83. Cast in the pilot episode of Dallas, an oil industry spin on the Montagues and the Capulets, about the Ewing and Barnes families, Kercheval turned a small part into a significant one, surviving 14 seasons of the original series, a reunion telemovie and the recent TNT reboot of the show. Kercheval’s character was the brother of the show’s heroine, Pamela Barnes-Ewing (Victoria Principal), whose marriage to the son of a rival family, Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy), was the catalyst for rekindling a decades old feud.
Two of American television’s most iconic sitcoms — All in the Family and its spin-off The Jeffersons — are being revived for a star-studded one-off event titled Live in Front of a Studio Audience, directed by James Burrows and produced by US talk show host (and Norman Lear sitcom fan) Jimmy Kimmel. Woody Harrelson and Marisa Tomei will play Archie and Edith Bunker in All in the Family, while Jamie Foxx and Wanda Sykes will play George and Louise Jefferson in The Jeffersons. Ellie Kemper, Will Ferrell and Justina Machado will also have roles. «They have said over and over again that these two shows were meant for the 1970s and would not work today,» Lear said. «We disagree with them and are here to prove the timelessness of human nature.»