In season two of American Crime (ABC, Wednesdays, 10/9C), the story will have resonance for a lot of people. When lurid photos of a high school boy are posted on social media following a school party, he accuses two popular members of an elite high school’s championship team of drugging and assaulting him – then posting the photos online.
Timothy Hutton and Felicity Huffman, in new roles, lead a talented cast that also includes Lili Taylor and Regina King.
Season two of american Crime premiere on Wednesday, January 6, 2016. Follow the jump for further details.
As it prepares to launch its new series, American Crime, next Thursday, ABC has announced the American Crime Podcast, a post-show online series that will allow for discussions of each episode with cast and executive producers John Ridley and Michael McDonald.
Hosted by noted critic and interviewer Elvis Mitchell, the American Crime Podcast will also do something that’s never been done before – debuting today with special edition that looks at what to expect in the show. The American Crime Podcast will be available on PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and iTunes through to the show’s final episode. Follow the jump for further details.
Ten years ago, ABC premiered a new half hour series the likes of which had never been seen before. With its single-camera walk-and-talks and three camera set pieces, it was a hybrid both in terms of style and content, being both dramatic and comedic in equal measure. Sports Night, which chronicled the behind the scenes goings on of running an ESPN/Sports center type of show, introduced the television audience to the unique perspective of creator Aaron Sorkin and his quintessential director, Thomas “Tommy” Schlamme.
With an ensemble cast of first-rate actors [Robert Guillaume, Josh Charles, Peter Krause, Felicity Huffman, Sabrina Lloyd and Joshua Malina as the main characters and recurring players including Greg Baker, Kayla Blake, Timothy Davis-Reed, Suzanne Kellogg, Jeff Mooring and Ron Ostrow] who could shift from drama to comedy [and vice-versa] in the middle of a line – hell! In the middle of a word!; dialogue-heavy scripts that could be as much as sixty-to-seventy pages for a thirty-minute show, and that unique shooting style, Sports Night became a cult hit even while it was airing – and it influenced an entire wave of single-camera shows. It’s safe to say that The Office and Arrested Development would probably not have been sold if Sports Night hadn’t laid the groundwork.
The show was groundbreaking in content as well as style. Some of the best episodes carried controversy lightly on their shoulders – The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee dealt with race and the Confederate flag; Jeremy Goodwin dated an “adult film actress” over a four-episode arc; The Head Coach, Dinner and the Morning Mail dealt with date rape by a sports star; co-anchor Dan begins therapy, and so much more – not for the sake of controversy, but always in service of telling a compelling story.
In a momentary burst of controversy, I’m going on record as saying that Sports Night is the only series I’ve ever seen that produced no bad eps. None. Zero. Nada. Bupkiss. Zilch. It is a series that I can watch over and over and enjoy as much as I did the first time I saw it. Most eps of Sports Night are such works of beauty that I even mist over – made melancholy by the way the series died early, while far lesser programs flourished [I’m looking at you, According to Jim!] . For me, Aaron Sorkin will always the creator of Sports Night and those other two shows.
The six-disc Shout!Factory box set does it justice.
Features include: two excellent commentaries by Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme for the series premiere, Pilot, and the series finale, Quo Vadimus; a terrific commentary by editor Jane Ashikaga for Small Town; two decent commentaries for The Six southern Gentlemen of Tennessee by Josh Charles, Peter Krause, Sabrina Lloyd and Robert Berlinger, and Eli’s Coming by Peter Krause and Robert Berlinger; three so-so-to-awful commentaries by various cast members for Sally, Kafelnikov and The Local Weather; Season One Bonus Disc: The Show – new interviews with cast and crew; Face-Off – ESPN’s Sports Center vs. Sports Night – the pros talk about what the show got right and… not so much; Season One Gag Reel; Season Two Bonus Disc: Looking Back – an intimate conversation with Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme; Inside the Locker room – a look at the technical innovations of Sports Night, and the Season Two Gag Reel.
Last season’s addition of two new couples [one gay] to the inhabitants of Wisteria Lane sparked a season of television that ranked right up with the first season’s deliriously/deliciously funny first year. Of course, one member of one couple was a former resident of Wisteria Lane who was returning after a dozen years. Katherine [Dana Delaney] and Adam [Nathan Fillion] Mayfair and her daughter, Dylan Davis [Lyndsy Fonseca] brought one of the season’s darkest secrets with them, while the gay couple, Bob Hunter [Tuc Watkins] and Lee McDermott [Kevin Rahm] brought the world’s ugliest lawn ornament.
Katherine brought one other thing to the show – competition for Bree in the Make-Martha-Stewart-Look-Like-a-Piker Sweepstakes and Adam’s profession [gynecologist] led to some unusual [and unusually funny scenes early in the season. Meanwhile, Lynette [Felicity Huffman] and Tom Scavo [Doug Savant] had to deal with Tom’s daughter from his first marriage, Kayla [Rachel Fox] – a true demon seed if ever there was one. Add to that the Carlos-Gaby-Victor triangle; prospective in-laws; Edie’s usual machinations and the drama of a gay wedding… sorry, commitment ceremony… and that would do for an entire season on any other show. Then, there was the tornado…
The balance between the dramatic and comedic aspects of the series has never been better and the cast really tore into the material. Season four even spawned an episode that could contend for FX and set design Emmys with the tornado and aftermath episodes. If Marc Cherry decided to end the series tomorrow, it could have no better send-off.
Continuing his innovations, Marc Cherry came up with a great concept for the DVD package for season four: Couples’ Commentaries. Each of five episodes has a commentary track by the actors who play one of the main couples on the show, plus there are two additional commentaries of the traditional nature.
Features: Audio Commentaries: Marc Cherry, Bob Dailey and Jeff Greenstein on the season premiere, “Now You Know,” and Marc Cherry, Nicollette Sheridan and David Warren on Mother Said; Couples’ Commentaries: Marcia Cross and Kyle MacLachlan on Now I Know, Don’t Be Scared; Dana Delaney and Nathan Fillion on Distant Past; Eva Longoria Parker and Ricardo Antonio Chavira on Something’s Coming; Felicity Huffman and Doug Savant on Welcome to Kanagawa, and Teri Hatcher and James Denton on Mother said; Getting Desperate: From Beginning to End – following the making of Something’s Coming; Spare Time: Hanging With the Men of Wisteria Lane; Cherry-Picked: Creator Marc Cherry’s Favorite Scenes [with optional commentary]; Alternate ending [with optional commentary]; Deleted Scenes [with optional commentary], and a Blooper Reel. There is also an eight-page booklet designed as a Fairview Reality flyer with realtor’s descriptions of the eight houses we’ve seen in the show, along with ads for local businesses and a list of episode titles and some [but not all] of the bonus features [at the least, they could have included the list of commentary tracks].