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‘Wheel of Time’ Renewed for Season 3 at Amazon Ahead of Season 2 Premiere

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“The Wheel of Time” has been renewed for Season 3 at Amazon, Variety has learned.

The announcement was made as part of the show’s panel presentation at San Diego Comic-Con. It was also made ahead of the second season premiere of the fantasy series, which does not yet have a premiere date. Season 1 debuted on Nov. 19, 2021.

“I’m so thrilled that we’ll be making a third season of ‘The Wheel of Time,’” said Rafe Judkins, series executive producer and showrunner. “The Shadow Rising has always been my favorite book in the series, so being able to bring it to television and introduce new audiences to the stories that made me fall in love with these books in the first place is such an honor, and something I’ve been working toward since I first pitched the show years and years ago.”

“The Wheel of Time” is based on Robert Jordan’s best-selling fantasy novel series, which have sold more than 90 million copies worldwide.

Set in a sprawling, epic world where magic exists and only certain women are allowed to access it, the story follows Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), a member of the incredibly powerful all-female organization called the Aes Sedai, as she arrives in the small town of Two Rivers. There, she embarks on a dangerous, world-spanning journey with five young men and women, one of whom is prophesied to be the Dragon Reborn, who will either save or destroy humanity.

“We are so excited to dive deeper into the world of ‘The Wheel of Time’ with Rafe Judkins and his team, who have done such a marvelous job of honoring Robert Jordan’s vision and delivering an incredible viewing experience to Prime Video customers,” said Vernon Sanders, head of global television for Amazon Studios. “Season One resonated with the most loyal of Jordan devotees, as well as the uninitiated, who were experiencing this incredible world for the first time, proving this is a show that truly stands out in the genre space. We couldn’t be happier to give fans more reasons to be excited about the show and bring more The Wheel of Time to our customers worldwide.”

Along with Pike, the series also stars Daniel Henney, Zoë Robins, Madeleine Madden, Josha Stradowski, and Marcus Rutherford. The series is a co-production with Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television.

“Initially, people around the globe fell in love with Robert Jordan’s ‘The Wheel of Time’ books and now thanks to Rafe Judkins and his incredible team that epic world has vividly been brought to life on Prime Video,” said Jeff Frost and Jason Clodfelter, co-presidents of Sony Pictures Television. “We are so pleased to be able to continue the journey and deliver this remarkable story to fans around the world. Sony Pictures Television is proud to continue its partnership with Amazon Studios as we move toward Season Three.”

Judkins adapted the books for television in addition to serving as executive producer and showrunner. Larry Mondragon and Rick Selvage of Red Eagle Entertainment also executive produce along with Ted Field and Mike Weber of Radar Pictures, Darren Lemke, and Marigo Kehoe. Pike serves as producer.  Harriet McDougal and Brandon Sanderson are consulting producers.



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Jailed ‘Scrubs’ Writer Eric Weinberg Faces 12 More Sexual Assault Lawsuits

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Twelve more sexual assault lawsuits were filed Friday against jailed “Scrubs” writer and producer Eric Weinberg, who is accused of being a serial rapist.

Weinberg, 62, is also facing 18 criminal charges involving five women. Two women also filed lawsuits against him in November, alleging that he sexually assaulted them on separate occasions in 2019.

The new lawsuits accuse Weinberg of sexually assaulting 13 women from 1998 to 2017. The women ranged in age from 18 to 35 the the time of the assaults, and most of them allege a common pattern. According to the complaints, Weinberg would meet women in a public place, such as a cafe or a grocery store, tell them he was a photographer and invite them to participate in a photo shoot.

Weinberg would have them come to his home, where he would begin taking photos. He would then encourage them to undress, and would sexually assault them, according to the lawsuits. Several of the lawsuits state that the women were in fear of being killed or seriously injured if they refused Weinberg’s commands.

Some of the suits allege that he would take photos of the women during the assaults. Afterward, he would sometimes plead with them not to go to the police. One woman alleged that he threatened to harm her child.

The lawsuits identify the plaintiffs by pseudonymous initials. One of the complaints covers two accusers, who allege that they went together to Weinberg’s house in October 2013, and that he sexually assaulted both of them.

Some of the women allege that he would show them pictures of his kids to put them at ease.

One woman alleges that Weinberg sexually assaulted her when she was working as an actor on the MTV show “Death Valley,” where he was a writer and producer. The suit alleges that Weinberg called her repeatedly in the weeks leading up to the assault and would talk about his penis and sex acts while masturbating.

The suit also alleges that Weinberg cornered her in an isolated part of the set, pinned her against a wall and groped her breast, hip and thigh. She stopped working on the show after that, and refused his invitation to participate in a photo shoot, according to suit.

The woman alleges that Weinberg approached her on the street years later, apparently not recognizing her, and complimented her looks and asked if she was an actress. She told him to leave her alone, and he allegedly became angry and grabbed her wrist and tried to force her into her car. The suit alleges that Weinberg approached her two more times in public places in later years, and that she reported him to the police and had to have security cameras installed at her home.

Another woman alleged that Weinberg met her through OKCupid, and they agreed to get a drink at a bar. The woman alleges that Weinberg drugged her drink, took her to her home, and raped her.

Weinberg was arrested in July and released on $3.225 million bail. He was charged on Oct. 5 and his bail was increased to $5 million. He has pleaded not guilty.

A judge revoked his bail on Oct. 25, after finding that the allegations suggest that Weinberg “cannot stop and will not stop his sexual assaults on women, and therefore he poses a danger to the safety of women.”

At the time, prosecutors said that the LAPD had received more than 70 tips about Weinberg.

He is currently being held at the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic.

Weinberg was first arrested in 2014, but prosecutors declined to file charges.

The plaintiffs are all represented by attorneys Micha Star Liberty and Amy Zeman of Oakland. The suits name Weinberg and his company, Guitar and Pen Productions, as defendants.

Weinberg worked on “Scubs” from 2001 to 2006. He also worked on “Veronica’s Closet,” “Californication,” and “Anger Management.”



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Poker Face Art Teams Natasha Lyonne With Columbo

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Natasha Lyonne’s Charlie meets her TV inspiration, Peter Falk’s Columbo, in new fan art celebrating Rian Johnson’s hit show Poker Face.


Poker Face art teams Natasha Lyonne’s human lie detector Charlie with Peter Falk’s classic detective Columbo. Rian Johnson brought back the whodunit movie with his sly and comedic murder mystery films Knives Out and Glass Onion. Now the acclaimed writer-director is doing the same for the classic TV detective show, with his hit Peacock series Poker Face, starring Lyonne as a seemingly average person who possesses the superpower to always know when people are lying.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

In celebration of Johnson’s accomplishment with Poker Face, artist Readful Things has unleashed a new image that brings Lyonne’s Charlie together with her greatest TV inspiration, Lieutenant Columbo.

As can be seen above, Johnson himself took to Twitter to express his appreciation for the art, posting “Holy holy” in response to the image. Currently holding down a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes while finally giving Peacock a buzzworthy original show, Poker Face is indeed well on its way to re-establishing the detective genre on the small screen as Johnson hoped. But back in the day, Columbo was the state-of-the-art when it came to TV detective stories, thanks in large part to its lead actor Falk.


How Columbo Inspired Poker Face

columbo peter falk poster

Poker Face creator Johnson has spoken extensively about his love of murder mystery writers like Agatha Christie, and how their works – and the films made from their works – inspired his own yarns like Knives Out and the recent sequel Glass Onion. While trying to bring back the classic TV detective story however, Johnson naturally turned to a small screen inspiration in Columbo. But it wasn’t so much the mystery side of Columbo that turned Johnson on. Rather, it was the idea of centering a mystery show on a charismatic lead performer whom the audience wants to root for. As Johnson told Screen Rant recently:

More than that though, the great characters like James Garner as Rockford or Tom Selleck as Magnum Pi or Falk as Columbo—those shows were more hangout shows than anything else. You didn’t really tune in for the mystery. You tuned in to hang out with Falk. And so when I became friends with Natasha and realized she could be that for a show, I got really, really excited. That’s where the whole thing started.

Shows like Columbo of course were mystery-of-the-week stories that did not concern themselves with ongoing arcs. Today however, the emphasis in prestige TV is on serialized stories. But Johnson chose to buck this big current-day trend by making each Poker Face episode self-contained, defying the binge model of TV releasing by encouraging viewers to not devour the entire season in one go. This approach received a lot of pushback from binge-model-fixated TV execs, but as Johnson explained to THR, he finally convinced Peacock to go with his old school storytelling style:

And I just kept coming back and hammering the notion that all the shows that I grew up watching were not about the cliffhanger at the end. They were about wanting to come back to hang out with this character that you love and see them win, and that’s equally addictive. And it’s also something I miss, and I bet a lot of people also miss.

Will Poker Face Get A Season 2

Natasha Lyonne as Charlie smiling in Poker Face Trailer

The widespread positive reception for Poker Face would seem to indicate that audiences and critics do indeed miss the old-fashioned episodic approach to TV as much as Johnson does. But will that translate into Poker Face receiving an order for season 2? Peacock has not yet asked for a second season, but it seems inevitable that the renewal will come. And if Poker Face season 2 does indeed happen, Johnson has already revealed his dream guest star, telling Screen Rant he’d love Jamie Lee Curtis to appear. Hopefully, Johnson will get a chance to unleash more Columbo-inspired mystery TV with Poker Face season 2.

Source: Readful Things/Twitter



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India’s Raveena Tandon to Headline Disney+ Hotstar Series (EXCLUSIVE)

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Indian actor Raveena Tandon will headline an upcoming series for streamer Disney+ Hotstar.

There are no further details at this stage from Disney+ Hotstar, which exclusively shared an image from the show with Variety.

Tandon said: “I’m extremely elated to be a part of the Disney+ Hotstar family. This show is going to be very special for me as I’ve always liked to challenge and reinvent myself with every character I’ve ever played and this show has given me just that, all I can say is, stay tuned for some fun.”

Gaurav Banerjee, head of content at Disney+ Hotstar, added: “It brings us immense happiness to announce our association with Raveena Tandon. She is and has been a superstar throughout her journey in the Indian Film Industry and together, Disney+ Hotstar and Raveena Tandon will soon bring some magic on the audience screens.”

Tandon, who was a top Bollywood star in the 1990s, is now known for her powerful performances. She headlined 2021 Netflix series “Aranyak” for which she won several awards in India. In 2022, she had a pivotal role in India’s biggest box office hit of the year, “K.G.F: Chapter 2.”

Disney+ Hotstar India has commissioned a slew of successful original series featuring A-list actors. Ajay Devgn starred in “Luther” Indian adaptation “Rudra: The Edge of Darkness,” Sushmita Sen starred in two seasons of “Aarya,” Abhay Deol headlined “1962: The War in the Hills,” R. Sarathkumar and Jagapathy Babu led “Parampara” and Tamannaah Bhatia starred in “November Story.”

“The Night Manager,” the Indian adaptation of the BBC series of the same name, is due in February. It stars Anil Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur.



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