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TV News Roundup: ‘Timeless’ Sets Season 2 Premiere Date on NBC

In today’s roundup, “SNL” announced Natalie Portman will return to host the show with singer Dua Lipa, and NBC set a season two premiere date for “Timeless.”

DATES

Natalie Portman returns to “Saturday Night Live” to host alongside musical guest Dua Lipa on Feb. 3. This will be the second time the Academy Award winner hosts the show. Portman stars in the new sci-fi thriller “Annihilation” with Gina Rodriguez and Tessa Thompson. It will be the British musician’s first appearance.

The second season of “Timeless” will premiere on NBC on March 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. This season will have 10 episodes. The time travel, adventure series stars Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, and Malcolm Barrett. Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke serve as creators, writers, and executive producers.

GREENLIGHTS

SundanceTV will dive deeper into the world of true crime with the greenlight of three new docuseries. “The Road to Jonestown” (w/t) is based on the best-selling novel by investigative journalist Jeff Guinn and will in November to correspond with the 40th anniversary of the massacre. Executive producers of the series include Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson of Appian Way Productions, Stephen David of Stephen David Entertainment, and Guinn. “Ministry of Evil: The Twisted Cult of Tony Alamo” explores the life of televangelist Tony Alamo who created a cult with his wife that possibly still exists today. Emmy Award-winners Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato along with Elizabeth Fischer and Leslie Mattingly of Peacock Productions serve as executive producers. “The Preppie Murder” (w/t) is a multi-part docuseries that unravels the murder of Jennifer Levin in Central Park in 1986. Robert Friedman is the executive producer and the series is produced by Bungalow Media + Entertainment.

Netflix has ordered the eight-episode limited series “Unbelievable,” Variety has confirmed. The series is based on the 2015 article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” and the subsequent “This American Life” episode about the same case, titled “Anatomy of a Doubt.”  Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon, and  Ayelet Waldman serve as writers and executive producers, with Grant also serving as showrunner. Katie Couric, Sarah Timberman, and Carl Beverly also executive produce. CBS Television Studios will produce with Timberman/Beverly Productions. Deadline first reported this news.

SPECIALS

This February, Netflix will tape a series of quarter hour stand-up specials to air later this year. The episodes will feature a group of up-and-coming stand up comedians. Each comic will have a 15-minute set. The list of comedians includes Aisling Bea, Tim Dillon, Michelle Buteau, and JR De Guzman.

ACQUISITIONS

Starz has acquired the 10-part, unscripted docuseries called “America to Me.” It was created by filmmaker Steve James and produced by Participant Media and Kartemquin Films. The series is set to premiere in the fall of 2018. The show will follow on students, teachers, and administrators from Chicago’s Oak Park and River Forest High School. The subjects will discuss racial and education inequalities and the obstacles teenagers face today.

DEVELOPMENT

Tomorrow Studios has optioned “The Oracle Year,” the debut novel by comic book writer Charles Soule, for adaptation as a TV series. The book revolves around a young New Yorker who wakes up one morning with 108 specific visions of the future, which he parlays into wealth and fame. Soule will executive produce with Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements of Tomorrow Studios, a joint venture of ITV Studios and Adelstein.

RENEWALS

Disney Junior’s animated series “Vampirina” will return for a second season. “Vampirina” stars Lauren Graham, James Van Der Beek, Isabella Crovetti, and Wanda Sykes. The series follows a family of friendly vampires that relocates from Transylvania to Pennsylvania. It is produced by Academy Award-nominated animation studio Brown Bag Films in partnership with Disney Junior.

EVENTS

The Banff World Media Festival will honor NBCUniversal this year at its annual festival from June 10-13 in Banff, Canada. NBCUniversal will receive the Company of Distinction award at the event which recognizes companies that show significant leadership in the screen-based entertainment world.

EXECUTIVE NEWS

Lee Doyle and Jenny Matkovich have joined MarketCast’s executive team, the company announced Wednesday. Doyle will serve as executive vice president, global client strategy, and Matkovich will be the new marketing director. MarketCast is a global firm specializing in entertainment, media, and lifestyle research.

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