Another week begins as the year winds down to a close. Here are a few stories of interest that happened over the weekend that we didn't cover.
1 - AMC has canceled its new original series Low Winter Sun after one season. The Ernest Dickerson-directed series (he directed 2 episodes, including the pilot) starred Mark Strong, and Lennie James, with Ruben Santiago Hudson and Erika Alexander in supporting roles. It might be one of those shows that finds a larger audience when it's streaming on Netflix #Bingewatching.
The series - based on the U.K. effort of the same name - averaged a modest 1.194 million viewers during its 10-episode run with a 0.45 rating among adults 18-49.
2 - Danny Glover was honored with the Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) Career Achievement Award on December 6th at the Atlantis Theater. In a conversation during the evening, Glover reflected on his playing Nelson Mandela (in light of his death) in the 1987 TV movie. He talked about being moved by Mandela's writings as a student in the 1960s.
"There's a great deal that comes back over a period of time, those great moments when you thought you were doing something of value, and that the work you were doing as an artist was changing the world," Glover said. "I think this is particularly special because it comes the day after the transition of someone who I never in my lifetime thought I would get the chance to meet, and someone who became a friend. He used to affectionately call me, 'Danny boy'... It allows you ... to reflect on this absolutely wonderful opportunity I've had, what are the elements that went into that, to not only allow me to be the artist I've hopefully grown to be, but also the human being and the citizen, which is much more important."
Celebrating its 10th year, the Bahamas International Film Festival closed last night, Sunday, December 8th with the Bahamian film, Black Moses, starring Dennis Haysbert.
3 - After taking over Pixar, Marvel & Lucasfilm, Disney has now taken over the Indiana Jones franchise, in a deal with Paramount. So expect new Indiana Jones movies and probably TV shows, just like they're doing with the Star Wars franchise.
4 - Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill and Darlene Love, the backup singers who are at the center of the Oscar documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, will sing the National Anthem at the 100th Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day 2014, which will feature Stanford taking on Michigan State.
5 - Fox hit drama Sleepy Hollow will culminate its "must-be-seen-to-be-believed" first season with a special two-hour season finale event Monday, Jan. 20 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). The series was renewed for a second season after just 3 episodes.
In the first hour of the two-hour Sleepy Hollow season finale event, "The Indispensable Man," airing Monday, Jan. 20 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Abbie (Nicole Beharie) discover a massive secret buried within the pages of George Washington's Bible and unearth the shocking true nature of the founding father's death. Meanwhile, Captain Irving (Orlando Jones) makes a near-impossible decision for the sake of his beloved family that drastically changes his future. Then, in the second hour, in "Bad Blood" (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), the battle between good and evil comes to an explosive head - sacrifices must be made, worlds collide, loyalties are tested and the town of Sleepy Hollow will never be the same - resulting in a haunting first season finale.
6 - ABC announced midseason premiere dates for new series including Mind Games (Cedric Sanders and Megalyn Echikunwoke co-star), and Resurrection, which Omar Epps stars in. The series is based on Jason Mott's novel The Returned.
Mind Games will premiere on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 10pm, while Resurrection will premiere at 9pm, on Sunday, March 9, 2014.
Descriptions for both shows follow.
MIND GAMES: With a little bit of science, a dash of con artistry, plus a smattering of Jedi mind tricks -- brothers Ross (Christian Slater) and Clark Edwards (Steve Zahn) can tailor a plan to influence any life-altering situation, thereby making their clients' dreams come true and their nightmares go away. They are partners in The Edwards Agency, an unusual business based on the belief that people's decisions are influenced by their environment in ways they're not aware. Clark is a former university professor and world-renowned expert in the fields of human behavior, psychology and motivation. But Clark has mood swings which are a result of him not taking his meds for a bipolar condition, sometimes resulting in quirky, manic episodes. Older brother Ross, a brilliant schemer recently out of prison after a two-year stint for fraud, has come up with the business model that he believes can make him and his team millions of dollars. Although his energy is infectious, his tactics can be questionable and his strategies border on the illegal. Now, if he can just avoid letting his manic brother from going off the rails... Their team of master manipulators include the serious Latrell Griffin (Cedric Sanders); the geeky, trust fund baby Miles Hood (Gregory Marcel); Samantha "Sam" Gordon (Jaime Ray Newman), an ex-con who Ross met during his court mandated group therapy and rehabilitation sessions; Megan Shane (Megalyn Echikunwoke), a former infomercial actress; and Beth Scott (Katherine Cunningham), Clark's former grad student with whom he had an affair. "Mind Games" stars Steve Zahn as Clark, Christian Slater as Ross, Megalyn Echikunwoke as Megan, Gregory Marcel as Miles, Jaime Ray Newman as Sam, and Cedric Sanders as Latrell. Written and executive-produced by Kyle Killen, the series is also executive-produced by Keith Redmon, Timothy Busfield and Donald Todd. "Mind Games" is a 20th Century Fox Television production.
RESURRECTION: The people of Arcadia, Missouri are forever changed when their deceased loved ones suddenly start to reappear. An 8-year-old American boy (Landon Gimenez) wakes up alone in a rice paddy in a rural Chinese province with no idea how he got there. Details start to emerge when the boy, who calls himself Jacob, recalls that his hometown is Arcadia, and an Immigration agent, J. Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps), takes him there. The home he claims as his own is occupied by an elderly couple, Henry (Kurtwood Smith) and Lucille Langston (Frances Fisher), who lost their son, Jacob, more than 30 years ago. While they look different, young Jacob recognizes them as his parents. Those closest to the family try to unravel this impossible mystery, including Sheriff Fred Langston (Matt Craven), whose wife Barbara, drowned 30 years ago while trying to save Jacob. But this boy, who claims to be the deceased Jacob, knows secrets about his own death that no one else knows -- secrets that Fred's daughter, Maggie Langston (Devin Kelly), will begin to investigate and discover to be true. "Resurrection" stars Omar Epps ("House") as J. Martin Bellamy, Matt Craven ("Crimson Tide," "A Few Good Men") as Fred Langston, Devin Kelley ("Chernobyl Diaries," "The Chicago Code") as Maggie Langston, Frances Fisher ("Titanic") as Lucille Langston, Kurtwood Smith ("That '70s Show") as Henry Langston, Sam Hazeldine ("The Raven") as Caleb Richards, Samaire Armstrong ("Entourage," "The O.C.") as Elaine Richards, Mark Hildreth ("Dragon Ball Z") as Tom and Landon Gimenez as Jacob. Written by Aaron Zelman ("Damages," "The Killing"), "Resurrection" is executive-produced by Aaron Zelman, JoAnn Alfano, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Jon Liebman, Brillstein Entertainment and Plan B. The pilot was directed by Charles McDougall. "Resurrection" is produced by ABC Studios.
7 - Reviews were mostly negative, especially on star Carrie Underwood's performance. But Tony Award winner and stage veteran Audra McDonald, shined during NBC's live production of The Sound of Music. McDonald, who has won five Tonys, as well as two Grammy Awards, played Mother Abbess in the TV production.
McDonald's Mother Abbess is the head of Nonnberg Abbey. She convinces Maria to leave the Abbey and explore life as a governess. She also later convinces Maria to return and face her fears, to see what might come of them (including falling in love with Von Trapp), when she comes back to the Abbey.
The three-hour production was based on the original 1959 Broadway production of The Sound of Music, which starred Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel.
Watch a clip featuring Audra's shining moment: