TV Q & A; 'American Horror Story,' 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' and More
Pennington, Gail, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
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. …