Bonnie Langford to Return to ‘Doctor Who’ As Mel Bush Alongside Ncuti Gatwa (TV News Roundup)

Bonnie Langford will reprise her role as Melanie Bush in the forthcoming season of “Doctor Who,” starring alongside Ncuti Gatwa as the Fifteenth Doctor, the BBC announced Wednesday.

Langford joined the “Doctor Who” universe in 1986 when she played the companion to the Sixth and Seventh Doctors as portrayed by Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. She then went on to appear in a cameo role in Jodie Whittaker’s final episode as the Thirteenth Doctor. 

“I am absolutely thrilled to be bringing Melanie Bush back. To be part of the exceptional cast, crew and production team led by the force of nature that is Russell T Davies is a career highlight,” said Langford. “I’m so privileged and proud to have been a member of the Doctor Who family since the classic era and to be included in the new generation is phenomenal.” 

Langford kicked made her West End debut at the age of seven years old in “Gone with the Wind” at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, going on to cultivate a flourishing career. She has been featured in numerous Broadway and West End productions, including “Chicago,” “9 to 5” and “Cats,” in addition to starring as Carmel Kazemi on the TV series “EastEnders.” 

“Open those TARDIS doors wide, because Bonnie’s back! What an honor, delight and hoot to welcome back the character of Melanie, after too long away,” said showrunner Russell T Davis. “And this isn’t just a cameo, Bonnie is right in the thick of the action, battling monsters and chaos and cliffhangers, right at the Doctor’s side, just like the old days.” 

“Doctor Who” will return this Nov. with three exclusive episodes featuring David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor ahead of Ncuti Gatwa’s first episode as the Fifteenth Doctor that will air over the festive period.

DATES

“Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge” will return for its second season on July 9 at 9 p.m. ET on National Geographic, announced the channel on Wednesday. The new eight-episode season will include a slew of guest stars kicking off with Bradley Cooper and the season will conclude with Tatiana Maslany on Aug. 27.

In between the premiere with Cooper and the finale with Maslany, Grylls will be featured challenging several other stars, including Russell Brand, Benedict Cumberbatch, Daveed Diggs, Cynthia Erivo, Troy Kostur, and Rita Ora.

According to the official press release, “Bear teaches each celebrity a key set of survival skills they will then have to master on their own under a high-intensity moment to earn their extraction from the wilderness.”

“Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge” is produced by Electus and The Natural Studios. Grylls serves as executive producer along with Chris Grant, Drew Buckley, Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens, Liz Schulze, Rob Buchta, Delbert Shoopman, Bengt Anderson, Josh Cole and Sean David Johnson.

Watch the official trailer below. 

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Upcoming Amazon original series “The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart” starring Sigourney Weaver will premiere on Aug. 4. The seven-part series is based on Holly Ringland’s same-name debut novel.

According to the synopsis, “When Alice, aged 9, tragically loses her parents in a mysterious fire, she is taken to live with her grandmother June at Thornfield flower farm, where she learns that there are secrets within secrets about her and her family’s past. Alice finds solace in the native plants and flowers growing in her Australian backyard. She, too, begins to grow from her past, but soon must fight for her life against the man she loves.”

The series also stars Asher Keddie, Leah Purcell, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Frankie Adams, Charlie Vickers, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Alexander England, Sebastián Zurita, Alyla Browne and Xavier Samuel.

“Lost Flowers” is produced by Amazon Studios, Made Up Stories and Fifth Season. It’s executive produced by Weaver, Jodi Matterson, Bruna Papandrea, Steve Hutensky, Sarah Lambert and Glendyn Ivin. Ivin serves as the series director and Lambert as showrunner.

Take a first look at the series below.

FIRST LOOKS

Dreamworks announced its new series “Fright Krewe” is set to premiere later this year on both Peacock and Hulu. In addition to the official announcement, Dreamworks released first-look images of the animated series.

The series follows a group of teen misfits who are tasked with saving New Orleans, after an ancient prophecy and a Voodoo Queen assembled the group to take on the biggest demonic threat that the city has faced in almost two centuries.

Eli Roth and James Frey co-created the animated series, and serve as executive producers alongside Joanna Lewis and Kristine Songco and co-executive producers Shane Acker and Mitchell Smith.

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National Geographic has released a first-look trailer at its upcoming month-long “Sharkfest,” set to debut on July 2.

This year’s “Sharkfest” will sport a plethora of shark programming, available to watch across National Geographic, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo Mundo, Disney+, Hulu and ESPN2. “Sharkfest” will span over the course of the month of July with a total of over 22 hours of original programming and 50 hours of enhanced content. 

Per its official logline, “‘Sharkfest’ will explore the waters across the nation in Cape Cod, Florida, Hawaii, New York, South Carolina and around the world in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Indonesia, South Africa, the U.K. and more for a global underwater adventure.” 

An array of shark experts, including those familiar and new to audiences, will be featured throughout “Sharkfest” in partnership with Minorities in Shark Sciences (MISS). The first episode of the special, “Bull Shark Bandits,” premieres on July 2. 

Check out the official trailer below. 

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Prime Video released first-look images and a teaser trailer for Season 2 of “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” which is set to premiere with three episodes on July 14 and release one episode each week until the Aug. 18 finale.

The romantic drama series returns, as brothers Conrad and Jeremiah battle over Belly’s heart. As the love triangle continues, the boys learn their mother’s cancer has returned, and with all that is unknown, Belly wonders if her summers at Cousins Beach will ever be the same.

“The Summer I Turned Pretty” stars Lola Tung as Belly, Christopher Briney as Conrad, Gavin Casalegno as Jeremiah, Sean Kaufman, Jackie Chung and Rachel Blanchard.

Jenny Han, the author of the book the series is based upon, is a co-showrunner with Sarah Kucserka, the two also serve as executive producers along with Hope Hartman, Mads Hansen and Paul Lee.

Check out the first-look images and the teaser trailer below.

ERIKA DOSS
John Merrick/Prime Video
Erika Doss/Prime Video

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Lifetime has released first-look images at “Vanderpump Rules” star Ariana Madix in her role as Officer Karen in the network’s upcoming movie “Buying Back My Daughter.” 

“Buying Back My Daughter” is set to star Megan Good who also executive produces, Roger Cross and Faith Wright, set to premiere this fall. 

After Dana (Good) and Curtis’ (Cross) 16-year-old daughter Alicia (Wright) sneaks out to attend a party, she seemingly goes missing. After a year of searching for Alicia, Dana’s intuition leads her to scour the internet’s online escort service in hopes of finding her daughter. Upon finding Alicia “for sale,” Dana and Curtis work together with Officer Karen (Madix) to “buy their daughter back” and put an end to the horrid case.

The film is produced by Front Street Pictures for distribution by Lifetime. Charles Cooper serves as producer alongside executive producers Orly Adelson, Allen Lewis and Meagan Good with James Jope as co-executive producer. Troy Scott directs from a script written by Barbara Marshall.

Check out the first-look images below.

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Warner Bros. Animation and DC have released the first trailer for their upcoming animated series “My Adventures with Superman,” which is set to release on July 6 via Adult Swim and Max the next day.

The new series will highlight the adventures of Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen as they work together as the investigative team at Daily Planet. Per the show’s official logline, “the story follows Clark as he builds his secret identity as Superman and explores his own mysterious origins. Lois, on her way to becoming a star reporter, teams up with photographer Jimmy Olsen to break the stories that matter. All the while, Clark and Lois are falling in love… as Lois gets closer and closer to uncovering his secret identity!”

“My Adventures with Superman” stars Jack Quaid as the voice of Clark Kent, Alice Lee as the voice of Lois Lane and Ishmel Sahid as the voice of Jimmy Olsen.

Sam Register serves as executive producer while Jake Wyatt and Brendan Clogher join as co-executive producers and Josie Campbell as co-producer.  

Watch the official trailer below. 

DATES

Season 2 of Netflix’s crime series “The Lincoln Lawyer” will return with a two-part premiere on July 6 and August 3, the streamer announced Tuesday.

The ten-episode series will sport separate premiering dates this summer. Per the show’s official logline, “Mickey Haller, an iconoclastic idealist, runs his law practice out of the back seat of his Lincoln, as he takes on cases big and small across the expansive city of Los Angeles.”

The series is based on the bestselling novel “Lincoln Lawyer” series written by Michael Connelly. Season 2 is based on the fourth book in the series, “The Fifth Witness.”

The second season of “The Lincoln Lawyer” will star Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Neve Campbell, Becki Newton, Jazz Raycole, Angus Sampson. Additionally, Krista Warner, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Lana Parilla, Yaya DaCosta, Matt Angel and Angélica María join the cast.

David E. Kelley serves as the creator of the series developed by Ted Humphrey. Humphrey, too, serves as showrunner alongside Dailyn Rodriguez. Kelley, Humphrey, Connelly, Rodriguez, Ross Fineman, Barry Jossen and Tana Jamieson executively produced the season.

RENEWALS 

Fremantle, Reel World Management and CTV’s romance-drama “Sullivan’s Crossing” is set to return for a second season with production beginning in Canada later this year, the networks announced Thursday.

The series is based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Robyn Carr. “Sullivan’s Crossing” stars Morgan Kohan, Chad Michael Murray and Patterson. Season 1 of “Sullivan’s Crossing” will air on The CW this fall. 

Per the show’s official synopsis, “Season 1 saw Maggie Sullivan’s (Kohan) life thrown into turmoil when she was forced to leave her career in Boston, along with her boyfriend, Andrew (Allan Hawco), to take refuge in Sullivan’s Crossing, the Nova Scotia campground run by her estranged father, Sully Sullivan (Patterson). There, she tried to navigate her complicated present, and painful past while dealing with her on-again-off-again feelings for Cal Jones (Michael Murray), the mysterious stranger helping her father. All this while struggling to choose between a life in Boston and Sullivan’s Crossing.”

Following the success of “Sullivan’s Crossing” Season 1, the series became the highest-rated Canadian drama to launch in two years. Additionally, the series became the highest-ranked Canadian drama launch on CTV in more than three years, ranking as the number one series in its time slot across key demographics. 

“We are absolutely thrilled with the positive response to ‘Sullivan’s Crossing’ and look forward to seeing the series grow from strength to strength,” said Jens Richter, CEO of commercial and international for Fremantle. “The valued partnership we have with Reel World Management and CTV coupled with the talent of Robyn Carr, Roma Roth and Christopher E. Perry has delivered a series that touches the heart of viewers, and we look forward to bringing the next season to audiences around the world.” 

PARTNERSHIPS 

Hearst Media Production Group and Tiffany Haddish have entered into a new development deal to produce two unscripted series, the production group announced Wednesday.

The deal will see Haddish serve as executive producer on the two collaborative projects in an effort to grow HMPG’s slate of development initiatives. 

Haddish has a vast portfolio of movie, television and streaming projects in the roles of acting, producing and writing. After starring in the 2017 comedy “Girls Trip,” she went on to host and executively produce the Emmy-nominated Netflix stand-up comedy series “Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready.” 

“I partnered with HMPG on these projects to make a difference in people’s lives. I’ve been unhoused before and I know how hard it is to get back on your feet. I also knew that my situation didn’t define me, nor did it make me believe that I was unworthy or unlovable,” said Haddish. “Everyone deserves a chance at love and a happy home. That’s why I’m making this show. I want to use my platform to help others who are going through what I went through and give hope to those who need it most. Let’s do this! She Ready!”

She has, too, starred in “The Afterparty,” “The Last O.G.,” “The Carmichael Show” and will be seen in the upcoming motion picture “Haunted Mansion.” Haddish made history as the first black female stand-up comedian to host NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2018.

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MotorTrend Group will bring its MotorTrend FAST TV linear channel to the Roku Channel, the Warner Bros. Discovery company announced Tuesday. 

The MotorTrend FAST TV channel houses a portfolio of premium automotive programming. Expanding its reach to the Roku Channel signifies a leap of growth in MotorTrend’s ability to distribute top automotive content to a wide range of audiences. 

“Enabling car fans to watch our most popular shows on The Roku Channel’s massive platform marks a monumental step for both our business and our audience,” said Alex Wellen, CEO and president of the MotorTrend Group. “Since launching seven months ago, we’ve seen over 10 million hours of ad-supported viewing across five continents, cementing MotorTrend’s mission to transform the way car fans connect with their favorite automotive programming.”

The announcement marks the second partnership between the two companies after recently revealing their co-production of the second season of “Kevin Hart’s Muscle Car Crew.” Season 2 of the show will air on the Roku Channel as a Roku and MotorTrend Originals series. 

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The WWE and Twitch are joining forces to bring an all-new selection of content to the official WWE channel, the companies announced Monday.

The partnership marks the return of the official WWE channel with the launch of a companion sidecast to “Monday Night Raw” that will pull the curtain back on the WWE experience. A rotating cast of hosts and special guest stars will be featured showcasing exclusive interviews and content for audiences. 

The sidecast will be available for streaming each Monday at 8 p.m. ET via Twitch’s official site or the Twitch app. 

The WWE channel, too, will home a selection of live productions, serving as a streaming feed for all of WWE’s premium live event press conferences. 

ACQUISITIONS

Paramount+ has acquired the new original film “Love in Taipei,” based on Abigail Hing Wen’s bestselling novel “Loveboat, Taipei,” the streamer announced on Monday.

The film will spotlight the story of Ever Wong, a young American woman who is sent to a cultural immersion program and finds self-discovery and romance. When Ever is suddenly sent on a trip to Taipei, she quickly learns why other students have deemed the program as the “Loveboat.” After meeting (and falling for) two different boys, Ever finds herself between a rock an a hard palce. , Ross Butler is Rick Woo, Nico Hiraga is Xavier Yeh, Chelsea Zhang is Sophie and Cindy Cheung is Aunt Shu. 

“Love in Taipei” will premiere on Paramount+ this summer in the United States, UK, Australia, Latin America, Brazil, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and South Korea, with additional territories to be announced. 

“Love in Taipei” is directed by Arvin Chen and produced by Matt Kaplan for Ace Entertainment. Win serves as an executive producer alongside Christopher Foss, Matthew Janzen, Max Siemers, Aubrey Bendix, Cheng-Chung Chang and Ross Butler. The screenplay was done by Charlie Oh and Mackenzie Dohr.

EXECUTIVES

TelevisaUnivision Communications will be reorganizing their structure after Falvia Vigio, executive vice president of communications, departs from the company in July.

Vigio’s role will be split amongst three senior vice presidents of corporate communications: Alyssa Bernstein, Michelle Miguelez and Gabriel Andriollo. They will report directly to José Tomas, chief administrative officer at TelevisaUnivision.

“Our company has established incredible momentum and with Michelle, Alyssa, and Gabo at the helm of communications, we have a stellar and seasoned leadership team in place to further amplify the evolution of our brands, content and growing portfolio,” said Tomas.

Vigio helped organize the restructuring of the communications team ahead of her departure.

“Since joining TelevisaUnivision, Flavia has been a fierce champion of our mission. Her contributions have driven successful communication strategies in support of some of TelevisaUnivision’s biggest milestones, including our landmark merger, the historic launch of ViX, the strategic acquisition of Pantaya and more,” Tomas said.

PROGRAMMING

A&E Network has expanded its “Secrets Of” franchise, adding “Secrets of Miss America” and “Secrets of Penthouse,” following the 2022 release of “Secrets of Playboy.”

“Secrets of Miss America” will premiere July 10 at 10 p.m., and dive into the secrets of America’s oldest beauty pageant. The four hour special will analyze the various scandals that have hit the pageant, including the leaked emails in 2017 exposing the Board of Directors, the pageant’s history of racism, how the competition handles its contestants’s mental health and the removal of the swimsuit competition. “Secrets of Miss America” will feature pageant insiders, including 20 former Miss Americas, whistleblowers, current contestants, executives and critics.

“Secrets of Penthouse” will premiere on Aug. 21 and Aug. 22 at 9 p.m, and reveal the story behind Penthouse’s Bob Guccione. Throughout the four episodes the special will explore how Guccione faced Playboy, rose to become one of the wealthiest men in America and lose his entire fortune after his death in 2010. “Secrets of Penthouse,” will feature exclusive interviews with Guccione’s friends, family and those who watched his rise and fall from afar.

“Secrets of Miss America” is produced by MGM Alternative and Lightbox for A&E Network and executive produced by Mark Burnett, Barry Poznick, Richard Bedser, Ailsa Orr, Simon Chinn, Jonathan Chinn, Suzanne Lavery, Elaine Frontain Bryant and Brad Abramson.

“Secrets of Penthouse” is produced by Curious Films for A&E Network, with Charlie Russell, Dov Freedman, Elaine Frontain Bryant and Brad Abramson serving as executive producers.

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Peacock’s “Bupkis’” second episode, “Do as I Say, Not as I Do,” was released on YouTube on June 7, and is set to air on NBC on June 10 after the “Saturday Night Live” encore episode featuring host Miles Teller and musical guest Kendrick Lamar.

According to the press release the second episode follows “Pete shortly after his father’s funeral. Pete, his mother and sister attend his aunt and uncle’s wedding. There we see Uncle Tommy take Pete under his wing, albeit in a quite flawed manner. Pete discovers that he can use comedy to ease collective pain.”

Written and starring Pete Davidson, “Bupkis” is executive produced Davidson, Lorne Michaels, Dave Sirus, Andrew Singer, Erin David, showrunner Judah Miller and director Jason Orley.

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The CW Network announced the summer 2023 premiere dates for new and returning scripted and unscripted series, including new scripted series “Son of a Critch,” “Run the Burbs,” “Children Ruin Everything” and “Moonshine;” the new alternative series “Recipe for Disaster,” “FBoy Island,” “Down to Earth with Zac Efron;” the limited series “Greatest Greek Tear Ever: 1982;” and returning series “Bump,” “Family Law” and “Great Chocolate Showdown.”

The following is The CW’s Summer 2023 premiere calendar.

Friday, July 7

8-9 p.m.: “Family Law” (Season 2 Premiere)

9-10p.m.: “Moonshine” (Series Premiere)

Saturday, July 8

8-9 p.m.: “Greatest Greek Tear Ever: 1982” (Season Premiere)

9-9:30 p.m.: “Whose Line is it Anyway?” (Encore)

9:30-10 p.m.: “Whose Line is it Anyway?” (Encore)

Tuesday, July 18

8-9 p.m.: “Down to Earth with Zac Efron”(Series Premiere)

9-10 p.m.: “Fantastic Friends” (Series Premiere)

Monday, July 24

8-8:30 p.m.: “Son of a Critch”(Series Premiere)

8:30-9 p.m.: “Son of a Critch” (Original Episode)

9-9:30 p.m.: “Children Ruin Everything”(Series Premiere)

9:30-10 p.m.: “Children Ruin Everything” (Original Episode)

Monday, July 31

8-8:30 p.m.: “Son of a Critch”Original Episode)

8:30-9 p.m.: “Run the Burbs” (Series Premiere)

9-9:30 p.m.: “Children Ruin Everything” (Original Episode)

9:30-10 p.m.: “Bump” (Season 2 Premiere)

Thursday, August 3

9-10 p.m.: “FBoy Island” (Broadcast Premiere)

Saturday, August 5

8-9 p.m.: “Great Chocolate Showdown” (Season 4 Premiere)

9-9:30 p.m.: “Recipe for Disaster” (Series Premiere)

9:30-10 p.m.: “Recipe for Disaster” (Original Episode)

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