TV Bits: 'Reno 911!' Part 2, 'Stranger Things 4', 'Patriot Act', 'Ozark' Season 4, 'Warrior Nun' & More

In this edition of TV Bits:

  • Watch the trailer for Reno 911! Part 2 on Quibi
  • Hasan Minhaj‘s Patriot Act canceled at Netflix
  • Stranger Things 4 won’t be the final season
  • Warrior Nun renewed for second season
  • Ozark season 4 details
  • And more!

Reno 911! is back next week to kick off the second wave of new episodes from Quibi. Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Niecy Nash, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Cedric Yarbrough, Carlos Alazraqui, Ian Roberts, Joe LoTruglio and Mary Birdsong are all back for more police shenanigans, but that’s not all.

The roster of guest stars in the upcoming run of 13 episodes beginning on August 24 includes “Weird Al” Yankovic, Paul Walter Hauser (Richard Jewell), Ron Funches (Hoops), Jim Rash (Community), Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), and more.

The season will end on September 7.

Earlier this week, comedian Hasan Minhaj announced that Netflix had opted not to renew the news and political satire series Patriot Act for another season. The series lasted for six seasons comprised of 40 episodes across two years, and in that time it won won an Emmy, a Peabody Award, and two Webby Awards.

Patriot Act put a different kind of spin on topical and timely satire, and fans are already asking Netflix to reconsider their cancellation of a show like this during such a tumultuous time in our nation’s history.

The story of Harriet Jacobs may not be as famous as that of Harriet Tubman, but the slave turned abolitionist will have her story told in a new TV series being produced by 6 Underground actor and consultant Remi Adeleke, a former Navy SEAL who is a descendant of some of the slaves that Harriet Jacobs helped free in her hometown of Edenton.

The new series will be based on Slave Stealers: True Accounts Of Slave Rescues Then & Now by Timothy Ballard. Here’s the official synopsis of the book, which weaves two different narratives together:

In the 1800s American South, Harriet Jacobs is enslaved and tormented by a cruel master. He relentlessly attempts to force her into a sexual union, and, when rebuffed, he separates her from her children and spends a lifetime trying to coerce her and then recapture her when she escapes to freedom. Jacobs outwits her tormentor and eventually reunites with her children, works in the cause of abolition and reform, and helps newly freed slaves with education and aftercare.

In 2012, Timothy Ballard encounters a grieving father in Haiti whose three-year-old son has been kidnapped and sold into slavery, along with thousands of children who were orphaned after an earthquake devastated the country. Inspired by Harriet Jacobs, Tim pledges to track down the missing child and leaves his job at the Department of Homeland Security to establish Operation Underground Railroad. This foundation infiltrates black markets in human trafficking, liberates victims, and provides a comprehensive aftercare process involving justice and rehabilitation for survivors.

However, it seems the focus for the first season may just be Harriet Jacobs. The series is tentatively called Edenton, and it will chronicle her struggle as the first known female slave to document the sexual harassment and abuse she faced while enslaved. It’s not clear if another season would dive into the 2012 story thread in the book or not.

Adeleke will be writing the script with Cody Newton Gifford, and he’ll also be producing by way of his 8th Wonder Entertainment production company. Nick Nanton will also produce alongside the book’s author and Brian Norton, who are producing through their StoweAway Productions banner.

Even though sports have slowly made a comeback in recent weeks, they’re certainly not back to business as usual. So there’s no better time to shine a light on what might be the safest sport during a pandemic: fencing.

One of the first sports to be played in the Olympics, fencing is a sport of swordsmanship and combat, and Deadline has word that Picturestart and Lionsgate TV are working on a scripted TV series about fencing based on a concept by Little Women director Greta Gerwig, who is a skilled fencer in her own right (as you can see in the video above).

The comedy series will follow a ragtag, underdog college fencing team, specifically a female team, and all their trials and tribulations, friendships, and struggles with gender, class and the rules of the sport itself.

Gerwig wrote the script and was previously attached to direct it as a movie when it was developing with Erik Feig. But now that Lady Bird and Little Women are under her belt as a director, she’s a more sought after filmmaker than she was before. It’s not clear how involved she’ll be with the project in its TV form, but it sounds like a promising new show.

— Dean Devlin (@Dean_Devlin) August 15, 2020

In case you didn’t hear, there’s a revival of the crime series Leverage heading to IMDb TV that is now in production down in Louisiana. The new incarnation of the series is following safety protocols to stop the spread of coronavirus with Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment producing.

The new Leverage is a sequel series focusing on reformed crooks using their unique skills to right corporate and governmental injustices inflicted on common citizens. Noah Wyle is leading the series as a new character, but the show’s original cast members Beth Riesgraf, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, and Aldis Hodge will all be reprising their characters from the first iteration of the series. But Timothy Hutton will not be back for the revival after he was accused of sexual misconduct.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’ll likely be waiting a little longer for the next season of Stranger Things. But the good news is that the upcoming fourth season will not mark the end of the series.

While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter as part of the streaming service’s Emmys push for the series, creators and executive producers Matt & Ross Duffer talked about how the delay has given them more time to polish the fourth season scripts. Matt Duffer said:

“We’ve had a lot more time to work on the scripts. For the first time, we have all the scripts written and we’re able to look at it as a whole piece and make adjustments.”

Thankfully, they’re not in the midst of writing a series finale or anything like that, as the duo confirmed the show will continue after season four. Ross Duffer said:

“Season four won’t be the end. We know what the end is, and we know when it is. [The pandemic] has given us time to look ahead, figure out what is best for the show. Starting to fill that out gave us a better idea of how long we need to tell that story.”

Another Netflix series gearing up for a fourth season is Ozark. It’ll be the final season for the crime drama, and as of now, production is slated to start in November down in Georgia. But series star Jason Bateman may not be directing any episodes due to the increased safety measures to avoid the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking with IndieWire, Bateman explained the situation:

“As normal, I was going to do the first two episodes, but as we were looking through the protocols, the guidelines, all the complications with COVID, [and] the producer side of me made me think it’s just not responsible to have one of the actors direct the first two, given that we’re still going to be getting our perimeter safe. Because if one of the actors gets sick, we all have to go home for weeks. If one of the crew members gets sick — while I’m making sure their salary is protected while they’re in quarantine — we can hire a replacement. So it just didn’t seem smart for me to [direct] the first two [episodes].”

He talks more about the challenges of continuing to work amidst the coronavirus pandemic in IndieWire’s full interview.

— Netflix (@netflix) August 19, 2020

Warrior Nun is also executive produced by Stephen Hegyes (White Noise, 50 Dead Men Walking) and David Hayter with Amy Berg serving as a consulting producer and Terri Hughes Burton (The 100, Eureka) acting as a co-executive producer..

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