The Girlfriend Experience, the intriguing Starz series executive produced by Steven Soderburgh, will feature two parallel storylines each written, directed and executive produced by showrunners Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz. The new season will star Anna Friel, Louisa Krause and Carmen Ejogo.
Breaking with last season’s format and following two parallel stories this season, “The Girlfriend Experience” will focus on entirely new characters, relationships, plotlines and locations while exploring the price of intimacy and its emotional consequences. One storyline for the 14-episode scripted anthology series will be set in Washington, D.C. and the other, in New Mexico
“It was always our intention to change the universe every season, but Amy and Lodge have cranked up the ambition, scope, and complexity of the show by creating two storylines even more provocative and confrontational than last year’s. I’m as excited as a Swedish person is allowed to get,” Soderbergh said.
Kerrigan’s storyline is set against the backdrop of the corrupting influence of dark money in the upcoming 2018 U.S. mid-term elections, where everything and everyone has a price. This section of the second season of “The Girlfriend Experience” tracks an unexpected and complex relationship between Erica Myles, a commanding and strong-willed finance director of a Republican super PAC, and Anna Greenwald, a confident and intelligent GFE provider at the top of her game. Erica is under intense pressure to deliver on her super PAC fundraising goals. She meets Anna and enlists her help in blackmailing a high-powered dark money fundraiser. After their initial exchange, Erica and Anna fall into a complicated sexual relationship, marked by an exploration of vulnerability, dominance and submission, which also draws in Erica’s manipulative ex-girlfriend. The mix of personal instability and career pressure mount and lead Erica down a path, both professionally and personally, that she struggles to control.
Anna Friel will portray Erica Myles and Louisa Kraus will play Anna Greenwald.
Anna Friel most recently filmed the lead role in Hans Rosenfeldt’s first-ever UK television drama “Marcella.” Prior to that, she filmed Tomato Red with Oscar(R)-nominated director Juanita Wilson and I.T. opposite Pierce Brosnan. She also starred as the lead in Peter Horton’s “American Odyssey” for NBC which aired last year on Netflix and BBC2 as well as WW2 drama “Heavy Water War.” Friel is also set to appear in the new gritty BBC drama “Broken” this Spring. Friel has been acting since the age of 13, appearing in a number of British television programs. She made her West End stage debut in London in 2001, and has subsequently appeared on stage in several productions, including an adaptation of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” She is the recipient of a number of awards including National Television Award (1995), Drama Desk Award (1999), and the Royal Television Society Award (2009) and was nominated for a Golden Globe in (2008) for the comedy series Pushing Dasies. Friel is repped by The Artists Partnership, UTA and Untitled Entertainment.
Louisa Krause is known for her roles in Young Adult, Martha Marcy May Marlene and Return. Her upcoming films include New Money, The Super, Woman Walks Ahead, You Can’t Win opposite Michael Pitt, as well as The Great and the Small, and Thomas Woodrow’s We’ve Forgotten More Than We Ever Knew. She plays the title roles in Jane Wants a Boyfriend as a young woman with Asperger’s Syndrome (Favorite Actress, Napa Film Festival), and Ava’s Possessions, which premiered at SXSW. Additionally, Krause has supporting roles in The Phenom, Donald Cried, Dog Eat Dog, and Bare, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. Television work includes “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: CI” and “Blue Bloods.” She can also be seen in the Showtime series “Billions” as Louise (Lu) Benjamin. Krause is repped by Washington Square Films and Schreck, Rose, Dapello & Adams.
Seimetz’ storyline follows Bria Jones. After discovering disturbing information about a regular client, Jones is forced to relocate to a remote location in New Mexico. Unable to shake her desire for risky relationships and the finer things in life, Bria navigates her new penniless and surreal existence by forming eerily intimate transactional relationships. While Bria’s ghosts from the past continue to haunt, her new connections with men redefine the meaning of the Girlfriend Experience.
Carmen Ejogo (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Selma, “Zero Hours,”) will play Bria Jones. Ejogo is best known thus far for her leading role of civil rights activist ‘Coretta Scott in Ava DuVernay’s universally acclaimed Selma. She was most recently seen playing the key role of Seraphina Picquery, ‘President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America’ in J.K.Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them alongside an all-star cast including Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Jon Voigt and Samantha Morton. Ejogo will next appear in Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated prequel Alien: Covenant later this year. She once again played the role of Coretta Scott King in HBO’s critically acclaimed film for television Boycott which earned her a 2001 Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a TV film or miniseries. Ejogo also starred as FBI agent Becca Sunjata in the ABC television series “Zero Hour” opposite Anthony Edwards.
ITV, Kate Beckinsale to star in The Widow, a Harry and Jack Williams series
ITV have announced that Kate Beckinsale will take the leading role in ITV and Amazon Prime Video Drama, The Widow, from acclaimed writers Harry and Jack Williams. The series will be produced in conjunction with Amazon Prime Video.
In The Widow Kate will play Georgia Wells who has her life turned upside-down with a phone-call in the middle of the night. Her husband of over 10 years, Will, has been reported dead after a plane crash in the Congolese jungle.
Three years later, with her old life now a thing of the past, Georgia learns something shocking. Something that will take her to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, looking to uncover the truth about his disappearance.
Still haunted by the past, Georgia is grieving for the man she loved and the life they’ve lost, but she hasn’t given up hope.
The Widow has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill, who said: “I’m delighted to announce Kate Beckinsale’s casting in The Widow. She is perfect for the role of Georgia in what is, as always, brilliant, compelling and surprising storytelling from Harry and Jack Williams. We’re very pleased to have secured the series which is an ITV original commission and co-production with Amazon Prime.”
On behalf of Amazon Prime Video, Brad Beale, Vice President, Worldwide TV Content Acquisition said: “We are thrilled to continue our existing relationship with Kate Beckinsale on the heels of her incredible performances in Amazon Studios’ critically acclaimed films.”
“Harry and Jack Williams have created a powerful story, which will be brought to life by one of the world’s most talented actresses, and we are excited to bring this thrilling series to Prime members around the world,” he added.
Commented Harry and Jack Williams: “Kate Beckinsale is a brilliantly talented actress and we’re thrilled she’s joining us on this journey – we couldn’t imagine anyone more perfect for the role. The Widow is our most ambitious and cinematic piece to date and we can’t wait to bring the dark heart of the Congolese jungle to the screen.”
The Widow will be produced by Eliza Mellor (Liar, The Living and the Dead, Poldark, Death Comes to Pemberley) and will be directed by lead director Sam Donovan (Humans, Liar, Utopia) and Olly Blackburn (Donkey Punch, Glue) who is also directing four episodes of the series. Jack and Harry Williams will executive produce the drama.
The series will go into production in January 2018 in South Africa, Wales and Rotterdam.
The Widow will premiere on ITV before airing as an Amazon Prime Original in the US. The series will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories for members to watch via the Prime Video app for popular smart TVs, Fire TV, Fire Tablets and Android and iOS phones and tablets.
Channel 9, Married At First Sight 2018 New Series Premieres 29 Jan
What started as something of a social experiment but is now more or less straight reality (but still calling itself a social experiment), Married At First Sight will premiere it’s new series on Channel 9 on Monday January 29 at 7.30pm.
Once again the team – relationship expert John Aiken, neuropsychotherapist Dr Trisha Stratford, and dating and relationship expert Mel Schilling – aim to put relationships to the test in a unique experiment designed to determine if science can predict true love in couples who will get married at first sight.
The experts will undertake the mammoth task of pairing 20 brave singles to create their perfect match as 10 brides and 10 grooms undergo the most intense experiment yet.
The experts will match all our couples on the basis of extensive psychological and neurological testing and profiling.
Each couple meet for the first time on their wedding day, and from the moment they exchange vows their relationships are thrust under a microscope as they experience the highs and lows of marriage at full speed – alongside other couples riding the same rollercoaster.
Once again, the couples will reside under the same roof as relationships are tested like never before.
They’ll get the chance to compare their experiences at often explosive dinner parties – and put their relationships to the test at the most confronting commitment ceremonies we’ve ever seen.
But while some couples will struggle with all the complexities an intense relationship experiment brings, others will find true joy as their fairytale blossoms from first glance.
10 brides. 10 grooms. 10 weddings. Who will find true lasting love?
Netflix, German Supernatural drama Dark given Second Season
Netflix has renewed its first German original production, DARK, for a second season. The acclaimed drama created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese has resonated with audiences in Germany and around the world, including the U.S., Brazil, Italy, Turkey, Spain and France among other countries. DARK, a family saga with a supernatural twist, is now one of the most-watched entirely non-English shows on Netflix, a German series that transcends borders to connect with audiences in every country.
Kelly Luegenbiehl, Vice President of International Originals for Netflix, said: “When we first heard about DARK, we realized very early on that we hadn’t seen anything like this show before — in Germany or anywhere else in the world. DARK is a testament that great storytelling transcends geography. We’re excited that our members around the globe are captivated by the mysterious world of Winden, and will now be able to continue to see how the story unfolds.”
Showrunners Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese about the audience reception and the renewal of season two added: “We are overwhelmed by the response to DARK and are thrilled that our story has been a success with a global audience. Viewers have been captivated by the secrets of our protagonists and have taken delight in unravelling the various puzzles that the story presents. To know that we will now embark on our next journey is, for us showrunners, a dream come true. And our fans can be sure that we have plenty of surprises in store for the second season of DARK.”
Producer Quirin Berg concludes: “Jantje Friese, Baran Bo Odar, our wonderful actors and our fantastic team have put an incredible amount of energy into making DARK a unique and gripping series. We thank all of those who have accompanied us on this path. And we thank Netflix for their trust and for the excellent cooperation. We are extremely happy that DARK has by now received such an overwhelming response, both in Germany and around the world, and we are particularly thrilled about the quick decision by Netflix to take it into a second season. We can hardly wait to continue telling the story!”
DARK is now streaming on Netflix, it is set in a German town in present day where the disappearance of two young children exposes the double lives and fractured relationships among four families. In ten, hour-long episodes, the story takes on a supernatural twist that ties back to the same town in 1986.
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