A bunch of small screen news cropped up over the past week, so let's just take a little breather on the first day of summer to round it all up...
First up, the Sam Mendes and John Logan produced Showtime series "Penny Dreadful" has found a helmer to get it off the ground. "The Impossible" director Juan Antonio Bayona will get behind the first two episodes of the eight-episode season. The psychological horror drama series weaves together classic characters -- Dracula, Dorian Gray, Dr. Frankenstein -- into a wholly original tale. Ambitious stuff indeed. A first season order is already on the books and production will begin in the fall. [THR]
Jonathan Demme has been doing some small screen work of late, helming episodes of "Enlightened" and "A Gifted Man," and now he's jumping over to AMC. The network is headed into sci-fi territory with "Line Of Sight," with the story following " Lewis Bernt, a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator who survives a mysterious plane crash, bringing him on an emotionally disorienting quest to discover the accident’s cause." Demme will direct the pilot. [Deadline]
On the acting side of things, Liv Tyler has joined Damon Lindelof's brewing HBO effort "The Leftovers." She'll join Justin Theroux in the series, which is based on the book by Tom Perrotta ("Little Children"), set in the town of Mapleton, whose citizens have survived The Rapture, and continue to live on, while hundreds of their neighbors have disappeared....to somewhere. Tyler will play a young woman, about to get married, who becomes the ensnared in a cult. Peter Berg will helm the pilot. [Deadline]
Lastly, John Hurt is reteaming with his "Hellboy" director Guillermo Del Toro, and joining Corey Stoll and Mia Maestro in "The Strain." Based on the novels by Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, the show will focus on a vampire outbreak in the United States and those trying to contain it. Hurt will play a Holocaust survivor and pawn shop owner who may have the answers. Production begins later this year. [Deadline]