Season three of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is on Amazon Prime Video December 21. Ryan is a CIA case officer in Rome who gets tipped off about a secret plan to restore the Soviet Empire. Ryan sets out to confirm the tip and gets wrongly implicated in a larger conspiracy. Accused of treason, he’s on the run from the CIA.
“He’s doing what Jack Ryan does so well — believe in himself, believe in what he’s uncovered and discovered,” executive producer Vaun Wilmott said. “Bad guys are carrying out a plot. He believes in [the tip] and goes after it.”
John Krasinski plays Ryan and is an executive producer, too. Wilmott singled out Krasinski, formerly Jim on The Office, for helping “shape the world, the storyline and the episodes.”
That, and he inhabits Ryan quite nicely. “He brings a real humanity, a likeability, a believability to the character,” said Wilmott.
The show shot all over Europe, including Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria.
Wendell Pierce plays CIA officer James Greer and Michael Kelly portrays former CIA officer Mike November. There’s plenty of intense action, but Wilmott likes the quiet scenes, too. Asked about a season three highlight, he mentioned “when things slow down and there’s a fun moment between friends.”
PBS Kids premieres City Island, a series of animated shorts for early elementary-
school children, on December 26. The title shares its name with a waterfront neighborhood in the Bronx, but creator Aaron Augenblick says City Island is its own burg.
That’s not to say New York has not been an influence. “I have great, great love for New York City,” said Augenblick, who runs Augenblick Studios in Brooklyn. “As I created the idea for City Island, it bloomed into a love letter for this city.”
Augenblick stressed that City Island’s influences don’t come from New York alone. “New York is definitely a big inspiration,” he said, “but the whole country is an inspiration.”
The shorts star Watt, a little lightbulb with big ideas. Watt meets members of the community and learns about how they make the city run, exploring locations such as the library, airport and museum.
Augenblick cited Sesame Street, The Muppets and Peanuts as influences. He mentioned how Sesame taught kids valuable lessons without them necessarily realizing they were learning. “When I watched Sesame as a kid, I just thought I was watching an awesome show,” he said. “I wasn’t thinking I’d turned on the show to learn my ABCs and learn how to count.”
Viewers may see some New York architecture, geography and attitude in City Island. Said Augenblick, “The show is New York City on its very, very best day.” ▪️
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.