A New ‘Batwoman,’ an Early ‘SWAT’ Return & More Fresh TV on the Way
Celebrity sightings about to ramp up. TV series are finally filming again in New York and Los Angeles as the networks are busy making plans for the upcoming fall season and beyond.
Take a bow
Dancing With the Stars is getting a makeover! Supermodel/TV personality Tyra Banks joins the ABC competition for Season 29 as host and executive producer. Tom Bergeron, who had been cracking jokes on the ballroom floor since the show’s 2005 debut, and Erin Andrews, his cohost since 2014 and a former contestant, will not return.
“I’ve been a fan of DWTS since its beginning,” said Banks in a statement. “Seeing celebrities push past their comfort zones…it’s always transported me to my days of turning it up 10 notches on the catwalk,” added the former emcee of America’s Next Top Model and America’s Got Talent. DWTS is set to return Monday nights this fall.
Spreading her wings
Gotham City has a new new hero now that The CW has recruited Javicia Leslie (God Friended Me) to assume the mantle of Batwoman. The drama’s original star, Ruby Rose, opted out of the gig, so Leslie—the first Black actress to play a live-action Batwoman—will slip into the cowl for Season 2. She plays Ryan Wilder, a former drug runner and out lesbian who finds herself defending Bruce Wayne’s hometown after Kate Kane (Rose) presumably vanishes into the dark night.
Oh, there’s no place like Hallmark for the holidays…Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries will air 40 Christmas movies starting October 23, with network mainstays Candace Cameron Bure and Lacey Chabert among the stars. Plus, the prime-time dramas Good Witch and Chesapeake Shores and the daytime talker Home & Family were all renewed.
CBS’s Schedule Shuffle
The start date for fall TV is still in flux, but CBS is already making changes to its Wednesday night plans. With Survivor unable to film in Fiji due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns, the reality staple will be delayed. The Amazing Race and SEAL Team move to 8/7c and 9/8c, respectively, and Shemar Moore’s S.W.A.T., previously slated for midseason, instead airs this fall. Premiere dates to come.
In the works
On the heels of Tom Hanks’ World War II flick Greyhound, Apple TV+ is moving deeper into original-movie content by acquiring Palmer, which stars Justin Timberlake as a former college football star returning home after serving time behind bars.
Chicago P.D./Med/Fire überproducer Dick Wolf is next going from the Windy City to Sin City with American Babylon. Wolf is developing the period drama, centered on Las Vegas’ early days, for a premium cable or streaming service.
HBO Max has ordered a sketch show from Saturday Night Live‘s Michael Che and executive producer Lorne Michaels. The series will tackle topics like dating and police brutality from Che’s unflinchingly honest perspective.
Back to the office
Diehard fans of The Office, rejoice! Brian Baumgartner (Kevin Malone on the 2005–13 NBC comedy) just launched the podcast An Oral History of The Office. Hosted by Baumgartner and featuring interviews with the sitcom’s actors and producers, the show digs deep into the beloved comedy’s development, casting and 201 episodes. New installments drop every Tuesday on Spotify.
—Emily Aslanian, Jim Halterman and Damian Holbrook