A+E Networks Presents ‘The Returned,’ ‘UnREAL,’ ‘The Lizzie Borden Chronicles’ & ‘Texas Rising’ [TCA 2015]

ae networks tca 2015

Welcome to Day Three of the Televisions Critics Association Winter 2015 Press Tour, A+E Networks had tons of new series to present.

Lifetime – UnREAL


Lifetime’s new series, UnREAL, gives a behind-the-scenes look at what happens on reality dating competition series such as The Bachelor. The series follows staffer, Rachel (Shiri Appleby) whose job is to manipulate the contestants and their relationship in order to create drama and as a result better TV.

Here are some highlights from the panel:

– The show is based on a short film from co-creator Sarah Gertrude Shapiro.

– Shapiro also shared that they wanted the show to be very truthful and they make sure to keep it grounded. They didn’t want to do a spoof.

– “It’s a character drama that happens to be set in that world,” Shapiro said.

– They wanted for the audience to have equal compassion for characters in front and behind the camera.

– We will find out that Rachel’s life is not really great.

– “It doesn’t feel like anything else on TV right now,” co-creator and executive producer Marti Noxon said.

UnREAL premieres Summer 2015.

Lifetime – The Lizzie Borden Chronicles

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles

Lifetime’s limited series The Lizzie Borden Chronicles is a sequel to the Lifetime Original Movie Lizzie Borden Took an Ax, with Christina Ricci reprising her role as the notorious murder suspect Lizzie Borden.

Here are some highlights from the panel:

– This is a fictionalized version of what happens after the trial “as she continues to misbehave,” Christina Ricci explained.

– “He’s really bad but he’s not bad enough,” Jonathan Banks said about his character Mr. Flowers. He added, “he’s a terrible human being.”

– She doesn’t always use an axe.

– Cole Hauser joins the cast as Pinkerton detective Charlie Siringo who is determined to put a stop to Lizzie’s killing spree.

– There won’t be any flashbacks to explore the original murder.

– Clea Duvall finds the relationship between Emma and Lizzie Borden really fascinating. She also explained that Emma turning a blind eye to Lizzie’s killing will contribute to what happens in the end.

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles premieres April 2015.

A&E Network – The Returned

Based on the French series of the same name, A&E’s new drama series, The Returned, focuses on a small town and what happens when local people who have been dead for while return looking exactly the same as the day they died. The cast includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Mark Pellegrino, Jeremy Sisto, India Ennenga, Sandrine Holt, Agnes Bruckner, Sophie Lowe, Tandi Wright, Mat Vairo, Kevin Alejandro, Dylan Kingwell, Aaron Douglas, Dakota Guppy, Leah Gibson, Michelle Forbes, Rhys Ward, Scott Hylands, Terry Chen and Roger Cross.

Here are some highlights from panel:

– Executive producer Carlton Cuse says that even though the show starts off the same as the original series, they diverge on episode 6.

– Cuse said that they didn’t watch ABC’s Resurrection (which also deals with people coming back from the dead), because it wouldn’t be good for their creative process.

– “This show going forward will be wholly original,” Cuse explained because there is only one season of the French series so far and they will not base their series on anything that happens after that.

– Mary Elizabeth Winstead said that everyone reacts differently when something shocking happens, so it’s hard to know what the proper reaction is.

– Even though they didn’t mean to cast actors that looked like the original ones, it just ended up that way a lot of the time.

– When asked why people who have seen the original series should tune in to this one, Cuse explained that they wanted to take something that they would eventually make their own. He also added that there are choices made in terms of what happens at the end of the original series, that do not happen in this version.

– “Always call the police. When in doubt just call the police,”Jeremy Sisto (who plays Peter) joked when asked what he would do if someone he knew came back from the dead.

The Returned premieres Monday, March 9th at 10pm.

History Channel – Texas Rising

texas rising cast tca winter 2015

History’s eight-hour television event series, Texas Rising, details what followed the Alamo in the fight for an independent Texas. The cast includes Bill Paxton, Brendan Fraser, Ray Liotta, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Olivier Martinez, Thomas Jane, Christopher McDonald, Jeremy Davies, Chad Michael Murray, Max Thieriot, Robert Knepper, Rhys Coiro, Crispin Glover, Jeff Fahey, Rob Morrow, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, and Kris Kristofferson.

Here are some highlights from the panel:

– Director Roland Joffe wanted to bring the movie experience to TV. In fact, the first episode of the series will be released in theaters.

Texas Rising is shot in CinemaScope ratio.

– “The joy of this movie is that it’s a Western,” Jeffrey Dean Morgan (who plays Deaf Smith) said.

– They built an Alamo set in Mexico.

– In the first 5 minutes you see the Alamo and then it progresses from there.

– Joffe explained that the most important thing they wanted to capture was to show the audience what it felt like to be there at that time.

– Ray Liotta plays a character name Lorca who didn’t really exist at the time.

Texas Rising premieres on Monday, May 25, 2015.