Showtime Announces ‘Couples Therapy: The COVID Special’ (TV News Roundup)

In today’s TV news roundup, Showtime announced the release date for “Couples Therapy: The COVID Special,” and Starz cast German actor Alicia von Rittberg as young Queen Elizabeth in “Becoming Elizabeth.”

CASTING

Starz cast Alicia von Rittberg as the lead in the network’s upcoming project, “Becoming Elizabeth.” The eight-episode series tells the story of Queen Elizabeth before she ascends to the throne, unraveling the drama and strategies involved in selecting a successor to King Henry VIII. Von Rittberg, a German actor, has previously acted in such projects as “Fury,” which screened at the London Film Festival; “Our Kind Traitor,” and the Netflix series “Charite.” She is represented by United Agents and Die Agenten in Germany.

FIRST LOOKS

FX unveiled a new trailer for its three-episode limited series “Black Narcissus,” which premieres Nov. 23 and will be available on FX on Hulu the following day. Based on Rumer Godden‘s novel, the show takes place in a remote palace occupied by a group of young nuns. The haunted location’s secrets soon affect the women, who are doomed to repeat the tragedies of the past. The series’s executive producers are Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich, Lucy Richer and Amanda Coe. Coe also serves as the show’s writer. Watch the new trailer below.

GREENLIGHTS

TruTV gave the go-ahead for the production of 10 episodes of “Big Trick Energy,” an unscripted stunt series involving illusions. Friends Chris Ramsay, Eric Leclerc, Wes Barker and Alex Boyer, who are also magicians, make up the upcoming show’s main cast, as they attempt to use tricks to shock real-world spectators. The group will also work to trick each other with their magical stunts. The show’s executive producers are Tony DiSanto, Nick Rigg, Tommy Coriale, Chris Ramsay, Ian Frisch and Mark Efman. Watch a teaser below.

PROGRAMMING

LG Electronics USA announced that the LG FOMO Channel, an exclusive channel app only available to  LG OLED Smart TV owners, has launched. The name stands for “Fear of Missing OLED,” and the content offered is designed to capitalize LG technology. Currently available on the channel is a rebroadcast of Balmain‘s Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021 show, though it will also offer behind-the-scene footage exclusively. It will later offer bonus and behind-the-scenes content from Lady Gaga‘s “911” music video shoot.

Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Showtime‘s “Our Cartoon President” will deliver an episode entitled “Cartoon Trump Watches Cartoon Lindell Get Maimed,” and Variety has obtained an exclusive clip. In it, the animated version of the U.S.’ president watches with indifference as an animated take on My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell getting sucked into his pillow-making machine outside of the White House. The show airs Sundays at 8:30 p.m. on Showtime. Watch the clip below.

SPECIALS

Showtime revealed that “Couples Therapy: The COVID Special” will premiere on Dec. 13. The one-hour documentary special explores the impact the ongoing pandemic has had on relationships and overall life through a focus on Dr. Orna Guralnik and the patients she helps. It is directed by Kim Roberts and executive produced by Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg and Eli Despres. The special launches ahead of the second season of the “Couples Therapy” docuseries, which is expected to premiere in 2021. Watch a trailer below.

PODCASTS

American Express launched the “Built to Last” podcast, which explores stories about Black-owned small businesses and their important roles in U.S. culture. The video podcast is hosted by Elaine Welteroth and features interviews with business owners who have found success despite the challenges faced throughout 2020. The first episode includes a conversation with the owner of Atlanta’s Slutty Vegan restaurant, Pinky Cole. The show is available on major podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Soundcloud and Stitcher, as well as on American Express’ YouTube.

ACQUISITIONS

The CW acquired Season 3 of “The Coroner,” Season 4 of “Burden of Truth” and a three-episode “Bulletproof” special. The premiere dates for all three on the CW will be revealed at later dates, but the “Bulletproof” special episodes are scheduled to air in the UK in 2021. Both “Coroner” and “Burden of Truth” are in production for new seasons, as they were renewed earlier in the year.

LATE NIGHT

Anne Hathaway, David Muir and H.E.R. will be featured on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” tonight, while Shawn Mendes and Tig Notaro will be on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Sarah Cooper will appear on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” while Natalie Portman, Cindy McCain and Dave Matthews will be guests on “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” Also, “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” will include Chelsea Handler.

INITIATIVES

Cartoon Network released the first of four PSAs developed to advocate for anti-racism. The videos are developed by Rebecca Sugar, the “Steven Universe” creator, and Ian Jones-Quartey, the “O.K. KO! Let’s Be Heroes” creator. The first installment aired today and is titled “Don’t Deny It – Defy It” and features the “Steven Universe” character Garnet. Later videos will feature other characters from the show. The PSA series is created in collaboration with Dr. Allen Lipscomb, who specializes in inclusive mental health services for people of color.

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