Showtime took over the stage later in the day at TCA today, with panels from David Nevins, the president of the network, Penny Dreadful, and Nurse Jackie. Nevins got interrupted at the very beginning of his talk by a very dapper Kyle MacLachlan, who walked onstage and handed Nevins a cup of coffee, thus giving him an opportunity to confirm that MacLachlan would indeed be returning for the new “Twin Peaks.”
He also talked about the increased love for genre program (like the horror of “Dexter” or the supernatural “Penny Dreadful”), saying, “There’s an appetite and you can get adults to watch it,” but “I’m not going to chase ‘Game of Thrones.’”
He also addressed the showrunner change for “Ray Donovan,” saying that former showrunner Ann Biderman had done a good job, but that the show was one they thought had legs, and that he felt that “for the health of the show you need to make some moves.”
One big takeaway from the “Penny Dreadful” panel was that the new season of the show will be embracing witchcraft more, and also that Helen McCrory’s Evelyn Poole would be the first “actual antagonist who can speak.”
Josh Hartnett, who plays Ethan Chandler, said that he knew that his character would be a wolfman “from the get go.” The new season will be exploring exactly what it means, and show creator John Logan said “How we treat lycanthropy is an ongoing part of the season.”
A fun bit of trivia – if you see the trailer for the new season where McCrory seems to be floating in a bathtub of blood, know that she had to be weighted down for the scene. Apparently, fake blood makes you pretty buoyant.
Next up was the most nominated actor in SAG history, Edie Falco, for the final season of “Nurse Jackie.” When asked if we’d see a happy ending for Jackie, showrunner Clyde Phillips said, “I’m a believer in authentic endings. I think the ending of this season is as authentic as it can possibly be, and will be really satisfying to viewers.”
Falco had some interesting insight into what it’s been like playing an addict. “I have known and loved many addicts in my life and it is a frustrating and no win proposition and it has been very interesting to be on the other side of it and to kind of get a taste of what they have to go through, kind of being at the mercy of something bigger than them.”
As to the ongoing appeal of the show, Phillips and others pointed to Falco’s work in the title role.
“Edie invites you in and makes your own pain recognizable,” said Phillips.
For her part, Falco was very humble about her ongoing TV success. “I’ve had some exquisite good fortune.”
And if you’re wondering why Jackie’s hair is long this season, it’s because Falco got tired of short hair. There’s no real plot significance.
“That’s the fascinating story of my hair,” as Falco put it.