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The Watchman: 'All American' Kicks Off; Edward Burns Is Back

The CW's 'All American'
The CW's 'All American' (Image credit: The CW)

‘All American’ Kicks Off on The CW

Season three of All American, about a kid from Crenshaw who plays football for, and attends, Beverly Hills High, begins on The CW Jan. 18. The students are in their senior year, the football guys have their eye on a state championship and they’re thinking about college. 

“It’s the biggest pressure cooker-melting pot we could’ve put them in,” said showrunner/exec producer Nkechi Okoro Carroll. 

Daniel Ezra, Bre-Z and Greta Oniegou are in the cast. All American is based on the life of footballer Spencer Paysinger. Carroll aims to tell “an authentic story of what it’s like to be a Black youth in America today.”

There will not be mention of COVID, or characters wearing masks other than a football face mask, in the new season. It’s a “pre-COVID world,” Carroll said. 

All American shoots in Los Angeles, with football action filmed both in South Crenshaw and in Beverly Hills. 

Carroll promises tense moments when everyone returns to Beverly Hills High at the start of the school year. “The summer secrets slowly unfold in the first half of the season,” she said, “and everyone has to deal with the ramifications when the secrets come out.”

Epix's 'Bridge and Tunnel'

Epix's 'Bridge and Tunnel' (Image credit: Epix)

Edward Burns Back on Long Island 

Bridge and Tunnel, an Edward Burns dramedy about recent college grads on Long Island in 1980, starts on Epix Jan. 24. The project came to be when exec producer Burns was having dinner with Epix president Michael Wright. The pair lamented the “terrible state of the world,” Burns said, and thought about a series looking at a happier time. 

“We both thought it would be great to create a show that put a smile on your face,” said Burns. 

The characters seek their dreams in Manhattan while clinging to the familiarity of their hometown. Burns was curious to dive into early ’80s Manhattan, with its lively music scene, including punk and the early days of hip-hop. He envisioned a series set half in Manhattan and half on the Island. When COVID struck, much of the budget was eaten up by pandemic protection, and New York City was not handing out permits to film. So Burns set it all on Long Island. The eight-episode season shrunk to six. 

A Long Islander, Burns demanded authentic Noo Yawk accents from his cast, which includes Sam Vartholomeos and Caitlin Stasey. “I’ve always been
a stickler for New York accents,” he said. “There’s nothing I hate more than hearing a bad New York accent.”

Most of the cast is from New York. Stasey is Australian, but stayed in character throughout
the shoot. 

Life was different back in 1980. “We look back at a more simple time,” said Burns. “We weren’t tethered to our phones and maybe we talked to each other a little more.”