Coronavirus Drama ‘The Second Wave’ Adds Phillipa Soo, Will Swenson, Leslie Uggams to Cast (TV News Roundup)

Natalie Oganesyan
·6-min read

In today’s TV news roundup, coronavirus drama “The Second Wave” adds Phillipa Soo, Will Swenson and Leslie Uggams to its cast, and “Adventure Time: Distant Lands” unveiled the first four minutes of its upcoming special “Obsidian.”

CASTING

CBS Studios and Spectrum Original’s coronavirus drama “The Second Wave” announced new casting updates with Will Swenson as a series regular and Phillipa Soo and Leslie Uggams as recurring guest stars. Swenson, best known for his work in musical theatre productions such as “Les Miserables” and “Hair,” will portray Brian Ritter, a thrill-seeking top photojournalist who is not looking forward to the upcoming citywide lockdown. Soo, known for playing the role of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton in the critically-acclaimed “Hamilton,” will portray Cyndi Estereo, a White House liaison to the CDC who will stop at nothing to conceal the truth. Tony Award-winning actor and singer Uggams, best known for her portrayal of Kizzy in the TV miniseries “Roots,” will play Dr. Hester Boutella, a Nobel-prize winning immunologist and main character Rachel’s (Audra McDonald) mother, who prioritizes her life in that order. “The Second Wave” follows an unexpected second wave of the coronavirus outbreak in New York City, centering on the lives of two neighbors, Rachel and Lily (Taylor Schilling), as they navigate quarantine, relationships and their careers. Steven Pasquale also stars in the series, which will debut later this year.

ABC Signature’s “None of the Above,” a comedy about two college friends and their transition to the “real” world, announced new casting: Gregg Wayans will play Cannon, a self-assured clever guy who is usually open to new experiences; Asjha Cooper will portray Valencia, a strong-willed religious woman, whose drive to succeed can oftentimes lead her into trouble. Ron Taylor will play Mo, a perpetually laid-back entrepreneur and advocate for the Black community; Justin Miles will play Cannon’s friend Ryan, a fun-loving and loyal man, and Katelyn Tarver will play Cydney, Ryan’s wife, a practical yet determined woman who speaks her mind on various social justice issues. Written by Kenny Smith and directed by Mo Marable, the series will center on Cannon and Valencia as they navigate society’s expectations of post-graduates.

DATES

Syfy‘s late-night comedy series “The Movie Show,” a fictional public access movie review show hosted by two puppets discussing the biggest sci-fi blockbusters of all time, will preview its first two episodes Nov. 27 and 29, with the official launch of the 12-episode series occurring Dec. 3. The series is hosted by polar opposites Deb (voiced by Adam Dubowsky) and Wade (voiced by Alex Stone), who have nothing in common other than their shared love of movies. Each week the two puppets will share their hot takes on upcoming films, including “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Dune,” as well as fan-favorites “Back to the Future” and “Apollo 13.” The show, produced by Line by Line Media, will feature a star-studded line-up of interview guests such as Bruce the shark from “Jaws,” the T-Rex from “Jurassic Park,” Stephen King‘s laptop and more.

FIRST LOOKS

Cartoon Network Studios’ TV limited series “Adventure Time: Distant Lands” released the first four minutes of its upcoming second special “Obsidian,” set to premiere on HBO Max Nov. 19. Based on the beloved animated series “Adventure Time,” the four “Adventure Time: Distant Lands” specials explore the unseen corners of the world featuring familiar and new characters. In “Obsidian,” a powerful and dangerous dragon breaks free from its prison beneath the Glass Kingdom and Glassboy, a young bookworm, must set out to find the legendary hero who first defeated the dragon generations ago — Marceline the Vampire Queen, who is now living peacefully with Princess Bubblegum and is hesitant to return to a place that holds troubling memories for both her and Bubblegum. Watch the clip below.

HBO Max debuted the official trailer for Max OriginalI Hate Suzie,” premiering Nov. 19. The comedy drama series chronicles the life of Suzie Pickles (Billie Piper), a star fading out of mainstream attention, whose life is upended when her phone is hacked and nude photos of her leak online. The show follows Suzie’s various responses to the traumatic episode, depicting her through the stages of grief. Meanwhile, her best friend and manager Naomi (Leila Farzad) and Suzie attempt to hold together her life, career and marriage. Watch the trailer below.

EXECUTIVE NEWS

Crown Media Family Networks promoted Allison Bennett to vice president of corporate communications and publicity. In this role, she will oversee internal and external communications, continuing to work closely with the company’s marketing, ad sales, distribution, research and human resources teams. Bennett will additionally take on increased oversight in the areas of talent relations and events and will assume responsibility for all communications budgeting. She is based in New York and will report to Crown Media’s chief communications officer Annie Howell. Bennett joined Crown Media in 2011 as director of corporate communications and media relations.

SPECIALS

Country stars and couple Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood will celebrate the holiday season in a one-hour concert special on CBS, “Garth & Trisha Live! A Holiday Concert Event,” to be broadcast Dec. 20. Following up on the success of their previous concert special in April, Brooks and Yearwood will perform live from their home recording studio, Studio G.

AWARD SHOWS

Actor Richard Kind will host the International Emmy Awards live from New York City Nov. 23 at 11 a.m. ET. He will be joined by New York-based and international presenters. The New Yorkers include Kelsey Chow, Paul Blackthorne, Titus Burgess, Tim Daly and Indira Varna, with Haluk Bilginer from Istanbul, Turkey; Caroline Peters from Cologne, Germany; Cauã Reymond from Rio, Brazil; Miguel Angel Silvestre from Madrid, Spain and Fu Xiaotian from Hong Kong are part of the international cast. Kind is best known for his roles in the Academy Award-winning films “Argo” and “Inside Out.”

Univision’s Lili Estefan will host the Spanish-language ceremony celebrating nominees in programming in Daytime, Sports and News and Documentary Emmy Awards, to be streamed Tuesday. In addition to Estefan, host of “El Gordo y la Flaca,” the awards show will include presenters and guests such as Ilia Calderón, Andrés Cantor, Oscar De La Hoya, Ernesto Jerez, José Díaz-Balart, Suki Lopez, Gaby Natale, Cristina Perez, Alejandra Gutierrez Oraa and Maria Alejandra Requena.

LATE NIGHT

Tonight, Ryan Phillippe, David Cross and Wallows will appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” while Erin Andrews, Chance the Rapper and G Herbo will appear on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” Kaley Cuoco, Cazzie David and Valerie Franco are tonight’s guests on “Late Night With Seth Meyers.”

BEHIND THE SCENES

The ninth episode of the fourth season of crime thriller TV series “Fargo” depicted a computer-generated tornado sequence, and in an exclusive clip obtained by Variety, Zoic Studios’ Academy Award-nominated VFX supervisor Lou Pecora showcases the layers of digital design required to bring the scene together. Pecora, known for his work on “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” worked closely with showrunner Noah Hawley, with whom he had collaborated previously on “Legion” and “Lucy in the Sky,” to craft the visual effects for the season. Watch the clip below.

More from Variety

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.