The casts are shaping up for a couple of faith-adjacent CBS and Fox TV pilots already announced, and for a new CBS sitcom starring one of our favorite Catholic performers, Patricia Heaton.
Filthy Rich (FOX)
Gerald McRaney — beloved for Simon & Simon and as Dr. K on NBC’s This Is Us — has joined Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall in the primetime soap, based on a New Zealand series.
Written and to be directed by Taylor based on the New Zealand series, Filthy Rich is described as a larger-than-life Southern gothic dramedy that revolves around two strong, sharp women who will go to any length to protect their loved ones and get their due. When the wealthy CEO of the world’s largest Christian network dies in a plane crash, his wife and adult children are stunned to discover he has grown, illegitimate kids who are also in his will. When the steel azalea matriarch of the family tries to pay them to go away, these newly legitimized heirs have very different ideas and insist on not only staying in town but becoming part of the family empire.
McRaney, who is a Southerner himself, hailing from Mississippi, will play Eugene Monroe. An extremely southern, charming, charismatic man, he is Margaret’s (Cattrall) husband, one half of the Christian powerhouse couple that runs the Sunshine Network.
Among the producers for the show is Brian Grazer, whom I’m told is known to attend Mass at St. Monica’s Church in Santa Monica (which I first reported in January).
Here’s an interview he did with St. Monica’s pastor, Monsignor Lloyd Torgerson.
Former Luke Cage star Mike Colter joins Katja Herbers in the drama from The Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King.
Written and executive produced by the Kings, Evil is a series about the battle between science and religion. It focuses on Kristen Benoist (Herbers), a skeptical female clinical psychologist who joins David Dacosta (Colter), a Catholic priest-in-training, and a blue-collar contractor as they investigate supposed miracles, demonic possessions and other extraordinary occurrences to see if there’s a scientific explanation or if something truly supernatural is at work.Colter’s Dacosta is tasked by the Church to assess unexplained phenomena to see if there is a supernatural or scientific explanation.
If by “priest in training,” they mean seminarian, I’m not too clear on why he’s still a blue-collar contractor, since he should be in, you know, seminary, But, maybe he’s on a break, who knows — it’s TV. I just hope that he’s actually a believing, orthodox and practicing Catholic, not the tiresome troubled skeptic that usually pops up in shows like this.
And wouldn’t it be great if he’s not having premarital sex or otherwise flaunting Church teaching? That may be too much to ask.
But it’s not like the Kings are unfamiliar with faith, since Robert King is Catholic, and Michelle King is Jewish.
At the recent TV Critics Association Press Tour, I asked Robert King about Evil:
There just seem to be these elements in the world that are transferred through social media. And the show is really about whether you address evil through religion, or do you address it through science? Is someone bad because of their genetic makeup or their upbringing, or is there a spiritual element?
Carol’s Second Act (CBS)
Catholic and outspoken pro-life advocate Patricia Heaton stars and is an executive producer for this comedy from her company (with husband David Hunt) FourBoys Entertainment and CBS TV Studios. She plays Carol Chambers, a retired teacher, who, having raised two children, decides to return to school to become a doctor. There’s been a new addition to the cast, Kyle McLachlan.
MacLachlan will play Dr. Frost. Handsome, affable and accomplished, he is the Senior Attending Physician on the ward (as well as the Department Chair) and thinks he’s funnier than he is. Considerably more empathetic than Dr. Maya (Ito Aghayere), Dr. Frost takes an immediate shine to Carol. Bonnie Dennison also co-stars.
More when we have it!