Post-Dispatch TV critic Gail Pennington chats with readers
Thursdays at 1 p.m. at stltoday.com/chats. Leave your questions and
comments in advance, or join the discussion live. Here's an excerpt
from her Aug. 8 chat, soon after her return from the Television
Critics Association summer press tour in Los Angeles.
What's the scoop on another season of "American Horror Story"?
"American Horror Story: Coven" premieres Oct. 9 on FX. As you might
suspect, it's about witches. Returning cast members Jessica Lange
and Sarah Paulson play mother and daughter witches; Angela Bassett
and Kathy Bates are also in it. And it's set in New Orleans.
You saw the "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot? What did you
think? I did, and you know ABC practically frisked us to make sure
nobody would secretly record it. Instead of sending a DVD or even
closed-circuiting it, we had to watch from the same room, and the
head of ABC Entertainment said he was asked to put away his iPhone
when he first saw it. I'll write a full review when it premieres,
but I can tell you I enjoyed it even with no background at all in
the franchise. It has a nice mix of action, characters and banter
(my favorite part).
Is "Downton Abbey" going to be delayed again for the U.S.
showing? Why won't PBS run it at the same time as England? Yes; the
new season premieres in September in England and on PBS Jan. 5. PBS
is fairly adamant that this is the right way to do it. The belief is
that fall here is too competitive and that most PBS viewers aren't
tech-savy enough to pirate it (or even get spoiled) before January.
(I think that's kind of insulting.) But ratings were great for
Season 3, so there's a great chance PBS will do well enough for
Season 4 to be proven right.
Any news about "The Killing" being renewed for another season?
No, but there's a good chance it will be picked up because of the
deal AMC made with Netflix that makes it financially viable. (That's
why it got uncanceled after being canceled.) Ratings for Season 3
were better, and I thought it improved creatively, too.
One of the shows I am interested in this fall is CBS's
"Hostages." It looks like this will be a 15-episode show with a
beginning, middle and end. Am I correct on that one? I love Toni
Collette, so I am sure that it will be great! "Hostages," on CBS, is
meant to be a limited-run series. Limited for this season, but the
producers say they have lots of ideas for how a second season would
go. A network will never let a series go with "limited" if it turns
out to be popular. …