Big Shot, with John Stamos as Marvyn Korn, a hotshot college hoops coach who ends up coaching a girls high school team, premieres on Disney Plus April 16. Stamos said he was pumped to play a bit of a jerk. “It was the first character that I’ve been offered that everybody is talking about him like how unlikable he is and what a crab he is,” he said during the TCA Press Tour. “So I dug into that.”
ABC bought the show years ago, but it never got made. Fittingly enough, Big Shot is about second chances, said executive producer/showrunner Dean Lorey. “Marvyn was a guy who was enormously successful in college ball and saw players as X’s and O’s,” he said. “We wanted to put him in a situation where, in order to be successful, he was going to have to start getting personally involved in the lives of the players.”
Mare of Easttown, a drama with Kate Winslet as a detective in a small Pennsylvania town investigating a murder and sorting out her own life, begins on HBO April 18. It’s “an exploration into the dark side of a close community,” HBO says.
Brad Ingelsby, creator and executive producer, said Easttown is an amalgam of various Philly exurbs working through various problems. “It’s a working-class community, a community that is dedicated to each other,” he said.
It’s also a community where the people who grew up there don’t typically leave, he added. “There’s a lot of shared history,” Ingelsby said. “That is what the show is speaking to.”
Early on, someone had suggested Winslet to play Mare. Ingelsby’s reaction? “Yeah, right,” he said. “Never in our wildest dreams.”
Winslet signed up. “She was looking to do something different, take on a part she never played before,” Ingelsby said. “She was looking to take on a role that is nothing like her.”
For her part, Winslet had other motivations to get on board with Mare. “Wawa was a big part of my life for well over a year,” she said during the TCA Press Tour of shooting in Pennsylvania.
Ingelsby called it “a game-changer” when your series picks up a Kate Winslet.
He said Mare of Easttown was shaped during what he called a dark time, in 2018. “It’s a show that I wanted to speak to mercy and compassion and empathy, things I felt you were not seeing a lot of in the country,” Ingelsby said.
He mentioned more optimism around these days: “We’re out of a dark time, in a way, but the themes of the show still resonate.”
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.
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