Pasadena, CA -- Among other reasons, the Winter 2023 Television Critics Association tour will be remembered for being bookended by day-long presentations from streaming services. Paramount+ opened the tour two weeks ago, and AppleTV+ closed it two days ago. Both were packed with panels for new and returning series.
The cast of Shrinking, debuting January 27, was the first panel to hit the stage. The new series stars Jason Segel as a grieving therapist whose unorthodox approach to his job has major repercussions for his clients. The cast also features Harrison Ford, Christa Miller, Jessica Williams, Michael Urie, Luke Tennie and Lukita Maxwell, and was co-created by Ted Lasso’s Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein.
Lawrence revealed that Ford is in fact his neighbor and after reading the script wanted to be part of the project. The panel turned a little salty, as Miller steered the conversation toward Segel’s penis and a text exchange between him and Ford. “You've seen Jason's penis in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, right?” she laughed. “You can imagine what the text said.” When pushed as to the verbiage Ford used for Segel’s man parts in the text, things got hysterical with the onstage exchange before Segel admitted, “It was penis.”
The Reluctant Traveler (debuting on February 24) follows Eugene Levy (pictured at top) as he “reluctantly” hosts a travel show. Filmed around the globe, it forced him to expand beyond his comfort zone. “There was a great deal of truth to this,” he shared. “I don’t love traveling and am not a fan of sightseeing, or adventure. I’m not proud of it, but it’s a fact. But the show has been a good thing for me as a person. I’m just a person that shouldn’t be fronting a show like this, but the creators thought that was the show.”
Selling the future never looked more stylish than in the 1950s, and Hello Tomorrow! (February 17), excels in depicting a retro-future world where Billy Crudup portrays a salesman selling timeshares on the moon while trying to reconnect with his estranged son. Haneefah Wood, Alison Pill, Nicholas Podany, Dewshane Williams, Hank Azaria, Matthew Maher and Jacki Weaver round out the cast. “I absolutely loved my costumes,” declared Wood. “They celebrated my womanly figure but, I also felt I had some authority with my character. I felt like royalty in it.”
“We all had a palette,” added Pill. “It was fascinating to see what the designers would do -- and the cutters and fitters -- to take an actual vintage dress and change the collars or the buttons. It definitely puts you into the world. And walking onto our motel set was also immersive and very helpful, in terms of imagining.”
The Big Door Prize will premiere in the spring. Chris O’Dowd portrays a man who, after discovering the mystical Morpho (a machine designed to tell your true-life path), finds himself questioning everything. “I loved that central premise that we may have a second go-around,” said O’Dowd of accepting the project. “There can be this reset and if you follow what you were supposed to, maybe you'll find some kind of happiness. There's something fun in that premise, particularly at a time when we have all reset to explore.”
Dear Edward (February 3) is a 10-episode drama adapted from Ann Napolitano’s bestselling novel about survivor's remorse. Starring Connie Britton, the show reunites her with Friday Night Lights creator Jason Katims. “I always wanted to work with Jason again,” she shared of the reunion. “But it's almost like you have to let time pass [and] get to that right moment. So, I was so excited to hear from [him].”
City on Fire (May 12) is inspired by real-life events surrounding the 2003 murder of a college student in New York City – a time many of the actors in the cast are too young to have experienced. “I think New York, in that period, is such a rich backdrop for a story that has not been utilized enough, if at all,” said star Jemima Kirke. “It’s not that long ago. New York was so different without technology. The ‘real New York’ is, without the seamlessness of navigation and text messages, a journey and the best place to go on a journey and get lost.”
The Last Thing He Told Me (April 14) is a six-episode limited thriller series starring Jennifer Garner as a woman in search of the truth regarding her mysteriously missing husband. “I’m drawn to women who learn their own strength in finding themselves,” she said of her new role.
March 23 will see the debut of Extrapolations. Boasting an impressive cast that includes, Meryl Streep, Sienna Miller, Kit Harington, Daveed Diggs, Edward Norton, Diane Lane and David Schwimmer, to name just a handful, the series looks at the effects of climate change in a not-too-distant future. Of the stellar assembled talent telling the story, series creator Scott Z. Burns revealed, “It was likeminded thinking. I hope they responded to the page and not just what was in their hearts, and it spoke to them.”
Schmigadoon! 2 takes center stage on Friday, April 7, with stars Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key finding themselves in Schmicago. This iteration of the series explores the hit musicals of the ’60 and ‘70s, which Key found inviting. “There’s so much variety here,” he said. “This is my favorite era for musicals. The first musical I ever did was Godspell, although Sweeny Todd is my favorite of all time.” In addition to many returning stars from season one, Tituss Burgess and Patrick Page join the cast.
Also coming to Apple TV+ in the months ahead are sophomore seasons of The Afterparty (April 28) and the sports drama Swagger (June). The third season of Truth Be Told begins January 20.
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