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'The Butler'-Esque Drama Heads To ABC, Kevin James Returns To Sitcoms & More

The Playlist By Cain Rodriguez | The Playlist October 3, 2013 at 11:38AM

As “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” continues its sleeper hit success, ABC has decided (per Deadline) to produce a limited series focused on a different White House servant, Paul Jennings. Adapted from Elizabeth Dowling Taylor’s “A Slave in the White House,” the show would focus on Jennings, a Virginia-born slave, as he simultaneously acts as President James Madison’s personal valet and as an anti-slavery activist. The show will be written and co-executive produced by “LUV” filmmakers Sheldon Candis and Justin Wilson, with Candis also handling directorial duties as he did on their first film. For now, the show’s only eyed as a 12-hour limited series though, as “Under the Dome” showed, the life of the show can always be extended in the event of runaway success.
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Lee Daniels' The Butler

As “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” continues its sleeper hit success, ABC has decided (per Deadline) to produce a limited series focused on a different White House servant, Paul Jennings. Adapted from Elizabeth Dowling Taylor’s “A Slave in the White House,” the show would focus on Jennings, a Virginia-born slave, as he simultaneously acts as President James Madison’s personal valet and as an anti-slavery activist. The show will be written and co-executive produced by “LUV” filmmakers Sheldon Candis and Justin Wilson, with Candis also handling directorial duties as he did on their first film. For now, the show’s only eyed as a 12-hour limited series though, as “Under the Dome” showed, the life of the show can always be extended in the event of runaway success.

Fans of fat men falling down, rejoice! Variety is reporting that Kevin James has worked out a deal with Lionsgate to return to the small screen for “a multi-camera comedy series”—so, a sitcom—under the same “10/90” deal that led to Charlie Sheen’s “Anger Management.” That means James’ sitcom has 10 episodes to find an audience and if it does, the network will accelerate production for an additional 90 more episodes to hit that syndication-friendly number of 100. This marks James’ first small-screen endeavor since CBS’ “The King of Queens.”

Earlier this summer saw news that Robert Rodriguez is launching new series based on “From Dusk Till Dawn.” Though we still don’t much about it—does it hew close to the canon as set forth by the two DTV sequels “From Dusk TIll Dawn 2: Blood Money” and “From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter”?—we do know which character will return. We Got This Covered caught up with Machete himself, Danny Trejo, to ask him about reprising his bartender role from the films. Trejo confirmed he would indeed appear on the show, saying “Absolutely! They can’t do that without me!” before adding that he had “already collaborated on that” with Rodriguez. No word yet on when the show will air.

Despite all the vitriol spilled over the “Lost” series finale, showrunner Carlton Cuse hasn’t slowed down his creative output. After overseeing A&E's surprise hit “Bates Motel,” Deadline is reporting Cuse will team up with the network again for another horror-themed series, the American remake of French series “The Returned.” The original series was inspired by a 2004 film of the same name that focused “on a small town that is turned upside down when several local people who have been long presumed dead suddenly reappear, having not aged and unaware of their own fatality. As they attempt to resume their lives, strange phenomena and gruesome murders begin to occur.” No timeline is set for the American remake yet but you’ll be able to see the original series—which will air its second season next year on French airwaves—for yourself when the Sundance Channel begins airing the first season beginning this Halloween.

This article is related to: Television, TV News, Kevin James, Danny Trejo, From Dusk Till Dawn, Carlton Cuse, The Returned


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