TV News: Taye Diggs Joins ‘Empire,’ ‘Gotham’ Casts Mad Hatter

Fox has cast “Walking Dead” alum Benedict Samuel for Season 3 of “Gotham,” Taye Diggs joins the third season of “Empire” and more in Monday’s TV News Roundup. 

CASTING

“The Walking Dead’s” Benedict Samuel will join DC Comics-inspired series Gotham as Mad Hatter, aka Jervis Tetch, a brilliant hypnotist on the verge of insanity. According to the character description, Tetch arrives in Gotham with an unwavering desire to find his sister, Alice, a young woman who went missing in the city years ago. It is anyone’s guess just how far down the rabbit hole he’s willing to go in order to find her. “Gotham” Season 3 will premiere Monday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. on Fox.

Taye Diggs has been signed for a recurring role on the Fox’s “Empire.” His character, Harvard Law graduate Angelo Dubois, comes from a wealthy background, but is more concerned with local politics and community issues than making a buck, which prompts comparisons to Barack Obama. The third season will also include guest appearances by singer Sierra McClain, rapper French Montana and rapper/producer Birdman. Season 3 of “Empire” will premiere Sept. 21.

DATES

Writer and director Judd Apatow will be presented with the 2016 Generation Award at the Just For Laughs Awards presented by Air Canada on July 29 in Montreal. The award honors Apatow for his achievements in film and TV, as well as in stand-up comedy. Other honorees include Aziz Ansari (Comedy Person of the Year), Maria Bamford (Breakout Comedy Star of the Year), Mike Judge and Alec Berg (Comedy Writers of the Year) and Sebastian Maniscalco (Stand-Up Comedian of the Year). The Just For Laughs Festival runs from July 13 to Aug. 1.

Pivot announced that the third season of “Human Resources” will premiere on Aug. 26 at  7:30 p.m. According the network, the series “chronicles the innovative global recycling company, TerraCycle, and its goal to eliminate all waste.” Previous seasons will continue to be available on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

GREENLIGHTS

Emmy Award-winning actress Kyra Sedgwick will make her directorial debut with “Story of a Girl,” based on the novel by Sara Zarr. The film, set to air on Lifetime in 2017, will be produced by Sedgwick and Kikkosview with a screenplay written by Laurie Collyer (“The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe”) and Emily Bickford Lansbury (“Work of Art: The Next Great Artist”). Sedgwick’s husband Kevin Bacon is set to star.

DEALS

FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) announced on Monday that it has acquired Random House Studio, formerly a part of book publishing empire Penguin Random House. FMNA has also entered into a partnership with Meridian Entertainment, through which FMNA will oversee all television adaptations from Random House Studio, while Meridian will operate and grow the studio’s theatrical slate. According to the press release, the acquisition “provides FMNA and Meridian greater access to some of the world’s most talented authors, and the facility to adapt for film and television worldwide.” Future projects will include “The Silent Land” with Focus Features, based on the novel by Graham Joyce, and  “Longbourn” with Studio Canal, based on the novel by Jo Baker, among others.

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