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TV News Roundup: Netflix Releases Trailer for Ellen DeGeneres Stand Up Special (Watch)

In Tuesday’s roundup, the official trailer is out for Ellen DeGeneres’ first stand-up act in 15 years, and Netflix sets the premiere date for “Sex Education,” a coming-of-age teen dramedy.

FIRST LOOKS

The first official trailer has been released for “Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable.” The special marks DeGeneres’ return to stand-up after a 15-year hiatus, and her first Netflix original comedy special. It is set to premiere Dec. 18.

DATES

Netflix has set “Sex Education” for a Jan. 11 release date. Set in a fictional English town, the eight-episode one-hour dramedy is a contemporary British love-letter to the classic American high-school story. It stars Asa Butterfield (“Ender’s Game”) as Otis Milburn, the only child of two sex therapists, and Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files”) as Jean Milburn, his mother, a larger-than-life sex therapist with no filter. The series is created and written by Laurie Nunn and executive produced by Jamie Campbell, and co-executive produced by Sian Robins-Grace. The series is a production of Eleven Film for Netflix.

CASTING

OWN’s Ambitions” has announced new recurring additions for the cast. Steven Williams (“Yellowstone”) will star as Stephen Carlisle, a powerful attorney and Stephanie’s (Robin Givens) father. Christina Kirkman (“All That”) has been cast as Lori, a smart and challenging PR exec at Purifoy Pharmaceuticals, owned by her father, Hunter Purifoy. “Ambitions” is a family drama that will debut in 2019 and is produced by Will Packer Media. Williams is represented by Kerner Management Associates and Abrams Artists. Kirkman is represented by Eris Talent and PB Management.

Polly Walker (“Line of Duty”) has joined the cast in the recurring role of Peggy Sykes for the upcoming Epix drama series “Pennyworth,” from Warner Horizon Scripted Television. The 10-episode, one-hour drama series follows Bruce Wayne’s legendary butler, Alfred Pennyworth (Jack Bannon), in his 20s. Peggy is a successful dominatrix, and the sensible matriarch in a family of maniacs. She is fiercely loyal, endlessly resourceful, and lives by her own strange but rigorous moral code.

Production is underway in Atlanta on “Amazing Stories,” Steven Spielberg’s anthology series for Apple. Edward Burns (“Saving Private Ryan“) will star in and executive produce an episode of the series. He will play Bill Kaminski, a government agent. Austin Stowell (“Bridge of Spies”) and Kerry Bishé (“Halt and Catch Fire”) will also star.

RATINGS

The fall finale of “The Good Doctor” on ABC is currently up significantly over last week’s episode. The medical drama nabbed a 1.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.2 million viewers. That is up over 40% in the key demo week-to-week. However, due to NFL preemptions in certain large markets, those numbers will likely adjust down.

EXECUTIVE NEWS 

Alan Braverman, Walt Disney Co.’s longtime senior executive VP and general counsel, has extended his contract through the end of 2020. Braverman’s previous deal had been set to expire in July.

Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios has announced that Amy Muhlstock has been hired as vice president of portfolio advertising sales. Muhlstock will now be responsible for managing the portfolio ad sales group, which represents Entertainment Studios’ broadcast syndicated programming, as well as the entire suite of all eight Entertainment Studios Networks, including The Weather Channel, as well as the streaming service Local Now.

INITIATIVES 

NBC has announced the inaugural class for its Alternative Directors Program, the first directing pipeline program for unscripted shows. It gives experienced female and minority directors the opportunity to shadow a seasoned director on an NBC show over several weeks, with the goal to extend the industry’s pool of experienced diverse directors in alternative formats. The seven program finalists and the directors who will serve as their mentors are: Madeline Fuste (“Hollywood Game Night,” Ivan Dudynsky), Sarah De La O (“The Voice,” Alan Carter), Sharon Everitt (“The Wall,” Alan Carter and “World of Dance,” Alex Rudzinski), Carrie Havel (“The Voice,” Alan Carter), Annetta Marion (“Making It”), Cari Townsend (“American Ninja Warrior,” Patrick McManus) and Lizz Zanin (“America’s Got Talent,” Russell Norman).

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