film / tv / substack / social media / lists / web / celeb / pajiba love / misc / about / cbr
film / tv / substack / web / celeb

ackles-casting.jpg

TV Casting Call: Jensen Ackles, Kristen Stewart, Tina Fey, and Charlie Hunnam

By Dustin Rowles | TV | June 10, 2024 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | June 10, 2024 |


ackles-casting.jpg

I applaud television shows that are built less around their IP and more around the talent involved. There aren’t a lot of A-list actors left who can carry a box-office hit, but there are plenty of actors who can at least pique our interest in a television series.

Jensen Ackles, for instance, is an automatic draw. For Ackles, I returned to Big Sky after quitting. He has legions of Supernatural fans and plenty of people who were exposed to his villainous charms in The Boys. In his next television project, he’s staying in business with Amazon for Countdown, a thriller drama where he plays an LAPD cop who is recruited into “a secret task force of undercover agents from all branches of law enforcement to investigate a murder that happened in broad daylight. But as the truth of a more sinister plot comes into focus, the team must overcome their conflicting personal agendas to unite and save a city of millions.” Amber Oliveras (All Rise, The Flash) has also been added to the cast as a DEA agent. It comes from Derek Haas, who is behind all of those Chicago series, but before he sold out to the procedural gods, he also wrote 3:10 to Yuma.

Kristen Stewart still has her Twilight fans, but most of us love her these days for her acting talents, her rebellious attitude, her indie flick choices, and her impeccable fashion style. Now she’s set to star in her first television series, wherein she will play Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space. The title, The Challenger, might initially sound confusing because Ride was not on the Challenger when it exploded. However, besides being the first woman in space, Ride also pinpointed the O-ring problem that caused the Challenger to explode. That sounds like compelling television, a For All Mankind for our own universe.

Both Steve Carell and Tina Fey can still gain the attention of 30 Rock and The Office fans, and many of us loved them together in the otherwise mediocre Date Night. The two are reteaming for a Netflix series called Four Seasons, based on a 1981 movie (and 1984 TV series). It’s about three married couples who take vacations together each season. However, things get weird when one of the husbands leaves his wife and begins bringing a younger woman with him. In addition to starring, Fey also co-created the series with 30 Rock alums Lang Fisher and Tracey Wigfield.

Finally, I’m not sure how much pull Charlie Hunnam still has. Outside of Pacific Rim, his post-Sons of Anarchy career can generously be described as checkered. Remember his Apple TV+ series Shantaram? Yeah, no one else does, either. However, he is attached to an impressive property in Ed Brubaker’s comic series Criminal. Jordan Harper, a fine novelist (Everybody Knows), will showrun the series along with Brubaker. Hunnam will play Coward, “a brilliant master thief who sees all the angles and specializes in plans with no guns and no violence. Like a chess player, Leo thinks three moves ahead.” The series will also star Richard Jenkins, Adria Arjona (who was phenomenal in Hit Man), John Hawkes, and Kadeem Hardison. I feel like Hardison’s career was mostly stuck in neutral until he was old enough not to be recognized as Dwayne Wayne from A Different World anymore. He was great in Moonhaven, that AMC sci-fi series that crapped out in 2022, and I love otherwise catching him in guest roles. It’s a little treat.