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TV News Roundup: Liz Garbus Shooting New York Times-Donald Trump Documentary for Showtime

In today’s roundup, Liz Garbus is developing a New York Times documentary for Showtime, while Kirk Acevedo has been cast in the upcoming season of “Arrow.”

DEVELOPMENT

Liz Garbus is shooting a documentary series about the New York Times’ aggressive coverage of the Trump administration for the Showtime premium cable network. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker has been filming inside the newspaper’s newsroom for the past six months to gather footage for the series. Showtime declined to comment, but the show is intended to look at both how the newspaper is covering Trump and the larger role of the fourth estate. The film marks Garbus’s first collaboration with Showtime; she’s utilized several other distribution partners in the past. “What Happened, Miss Simone?,” which earned Garbus an Academy Award nomination in 2016, was Netflix’s first prestige documentary, and Garbus followed it with the doc “Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper” for HBO. The new series is being produced for Showtime by Radical Media and Impact Partners. Garbus is repped by ICM.

CASTING

Russell Tovey will return as a series regular to Season 3 of “Quantico,” ABC has announced. Tovey made his network series debut in “Quantico’s” second season as Harry Doyle,  a mischievous gadabout. Prior to “Quantico,” Tovey was best known for starring opposite Jonathan Groff in the critically acclaimed HBO series “Looking.” Other credits include the role of George Sands in the extremely popular BBC series “Being Human,” portraying the “him” in the BBC comedy series “Him and Her,” and starring in the ITV comedy series “The Job Lot.” “Quantico” returns to ABC midseason. Tovery is repped by WME in the US and Independent Talent in the UK.

Comedian, actor, and fantasy football fanatic Michael Rapaport will join the AT&T Fantasy Zone Channel and “The Rich Eisen Show” as its Fantasy Football Correspondent, providing player analysis and other advice to help fans start their perfect lineup each Sunday during the NFL season for Fantasy Zone. The show airs from 12-3 p.m. ET on AT&T AUDIENCE Network.

Kirk Acevedo has signed as the recurring role of Ricardo Diaz in the sixth season of The CW’s “Arrow.” The character of Diaz is based on Richard Dragon, a character from the Green Arrow comic series, who takes on “Ricardo Diaz” as one of his identities. A hardened ex-con recently released from prison for crimes he didn’t commit, Diaz is bent on taking over Star City’s criminal underworld. A master in hand to hand combat, honed by years of life on the street, Diaz has yet to meet a foe he can’t take down. Acevedo is one of three new “Arrow” cast additions playing big villains for next season, along with Michael Emerson and David Nykl. The new season is set to air Thursday, Oct. 12.

EVENTS

IMG has teamed up with Bear Grylls to host the first event series to focus on survival: the Bear Grylls Survival Challenge. The inaugural event will take place in April of 2018 in the Greater Los Angeles Area with additional stops in the United States and Europe. Participants will compete on a four mile, off-road journey that will take them through 18 unique survival scenario challenges. The course will run across five distinct environments: apocalyptic highway, cave complex, deserted village, mountain ascent/descent and snake infested swamp. To gamify the Bear Grylls Survival Challenge, the event will deploy RFID technology and a proprietary algorithm to provide a Bear Grylls Survival Score for each participant immediately upon completing the event. To help them successfully cross the finish line, each participant will also receive a custom Bear Grylls Survival Pack containing everyday items for application on the course, and the event will culminate in a festival featuring music, brand activations, food and beverages, and merchandise. The collaboration was facilitated by Mantis Media – an entertainment company that offers branding and licensing solutions for top tier clients around the world with offices in London and Los Angeles.

ADVOCACY

Peter Dinklage has issued a plea to “Game of Thrones” fans, asking them to stop buying huskies that they are unable to provide proper care for. Partnering with PETA, Dinklage released the following statement:  “Please, to all of “Game of Thrones'” many wonderful fans, we understand that due to the direwolves’ huge popularity, many folks are going out and buying huskies. Not only does this hurt all the deserving homeless dogs waiting for a chance at a good home in shelters, but shelters are also reporting that many of these huskies are being abandoned — as often happens when dogs are bought on impulse, without understanding their needs. Please, please, if you’re going to bring a dog into your family, make sure that you’re prepared for such a tremendous responsibility and remember to always, ALWAYS, adopt from a shelter.” As a vocal vegan and vegetarian since he was young, Dinklage has partnered with PETA in the past to release videos promoting the lifestyle.

The Handmaid’s Tale” cast partnered with Change.org to encourage viewers to stand up for what they believe in and take action on issues they care about. Samira Wiley, Elisabeth Moss, Alexis Bledel, and Ann Dowd all contributed to the video, drawing comparisons between their characters on the show to real-life citizens, and informing the public of Change.org’s potential for use as a tool to affect change. Watch the full video here.

DATES

Showtime Sports‘s new documentary series “A Season with Navy Football” is set to premiere Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 10 p.m. ET. As the third installment of the “A Season With” series, the weekly 30-minute show will follow the 2017 Naval Academy football team by immersing viewers behind the scenes and into the lives of the football players and coaches at the storied Service Academy. New episodes will premiere each Tuesday as the Midshipmen balance the rigors of academics, athletics and military service while navigating a challenging 2017 NCAA FBS football schedule. After chronicling The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Florida State Seminoles in its first two seasons, the SHOWTIME Sports original franchise returns to reveal a vastly different picture of student-athlete life.

EXECUTIVE NEWS

The Hit+Run production company has announced the promotion of Noah Korn to vice president of development. He will continue to report to founder and executive producer Rob Shaftel. In is expanded role, Korn will continue to work alongside Shaftel to develop narrative-first series and original formats for broadcast and cable networks as well as for digital platforms. He will also oversee Hit+Run’s development. Before joining Hit+Run, Korn served as director of development in ITV Studios America’s New York office.  ​While there, he developed a variety of broadcast and cable network projects for Fox, History, MTV, AMC, A&E, TLC, Food and LMN.

Andrew Plotkin has joined the ranks of Sony Pictures Television Studios as senior vice president, drama development. Plotkin will report to Lauren Stein, who was recently promoted to executive vice president, drama development. In this role, he will work closely with Stein on the development of scripted programming for Sony’s drama series. Plotkin most recently co-founded All In Media, a production company that specializes in packaging IP and developing original ideas. Prior to that, he was the head of television at New Regency Productions, and head of development at Syfy.

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