The Watchman: CBS Goes Crazy with Prince Special, Potent Paranormal Premiere on Travel and ‘Penny Dreadful’ Reboots in Vintage L.A.

CBS Goes Crazy with Prince Special

Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince airs on CBS April 21. Maya Rudolph, who plays in a Prince cover band called Princess, will host. The special was filmed Jan. 28; its airing coincides with Prince’s death four years ago.

'Let's Go Crazy' on CBS

'Let's Go Crazy' on CBS

There’s a tribute concert done after the Grammys every year, but this one stands out, said Ken Ehrlich, executive producer. “I don’t know that we’ve had a more excited or involved audience,” he said. “They just never had a chance to settle.”

Foo Fighters play “Darling Nikki,” Common does “Sign o’ the Times,” John Legend performs “Nothing Compares 2U” and Chris Martin and Susannah Hoffs share “Manic Monday.”

“They do it very intimately,” Ehrlich said of the duet.

The pandemic might make people more eager for a special such as this. “There might be a thirst to see something with a live audience,” he said. “It’s uplifting.”

Potent Paranormal Premiere on Travel

Season two of Ghost Nation begins April 22 on Travel Channel. The season starts with a two-hour premiere, a first for the series, titled “The Witching Tree.”

“We wanted to have a really big kickoff for the season,” Travel Channel general manager Matt Butler said.

'Ghost Nation'

'Ghost Nation'

Ghost Nation sees Jason Hawes, Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango check out paranormal situations. Travel promises bigger, more chilling mysteries. “More emphasis on story,” Butler added.

Audiences respond to the hosts because they are “skeptical believers,” said Butler, their doubtful nature often matching the viewer’s. “Their first instinct is to dismiss,” Butler said. “They challenge what is happening, and I think the viewer responds to that.”

‘Penny Dreadful’ Reboots in Vintage L.A.

And Penny Dreadful is back! Penny Dreadful: City of Angels premieres on Showtime April 26. Showtime calls it “a spiritual descendant of the original Penny Dreadful,” which was set in Victorian-era London.

City of Angels takes place in Los Angeles in 1938. A horrific murder shocks the city, and Detective Tiago Vega and partner Lewis Michener “become embroiled in an epic story that reflects the rich history of Los Angeles,” per Showtime. John Logan returns to executive produce.

Daniel Zovatto plays Vega and Nathan Lane plays Michener. Zovatto called City of Angels “a completely different world” from the previous Penny Dreadful. “That was more about a monster,” he said. “This is about the monsters that live within us.”

Mexican-American folklore flows throughout the series, which touches on how L.A.’s infamous freeways divided up the city and sectioned off poorer neighborhoods. “People get to see how the city was built, and how neighborhoods were gentrified,” said Zovatto.

Zovatto said working on the project was the best eight months of his life. “It’s one of those shows that’s able to capture you, and take you to a whole different world.”

Michael Malone

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.