Tiny tidbits from around the dial
Former “Doctor Who” star Christopher Eccleston has been added to the cast of writer-producer Damon Lindelof’s HBO drama “The Leftovers.” The series, which stars Justin Theroux (Mulholland Drive, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle), is based on Tom Perrotta’s 2011 novel about life on Earth after The Rapture. Lindelof, who is most famous for his work on “Lost,” was one of the writers and producers of this summer’s Star Trek Into Darkness. No word yet on when the pilot might air.
Speaking of “Doctor Who,” fans of the hit BBC series know that current star Matt Smith is leaving at the end of this (50th anniversary!) season. Officials at the BBC say “the search is on” for the show’s new lead actor. Rumor is, however, that actor Rory Kinnear (who played M’s chief of staff in the most recent James Bond movie, Skyfall) is at the top of the list. “He has been offered the part and we are waiting to hear if he will accept,” an anonymous source told London’s Telegraph newspaper. Anonymous sources and British newspapers aren’t the most reliable of informants, but Who fans are welcome to begin the online debate over who the 12th Doctor should be.
Harris the host
Broadway Baby (and Burque Boy) Neil Patrick Harris did a bang-up job hosting the Tony awards on June 9. The multitalented star sang, danced and quipped his way through the evening. According to the Nielsen ratings figures, CBS’ telecast of the show was watched by 7.24 million people. That’s 20 percent more than last year’s show and the largest audience in four years. This, despite—as several observers pointed out—an NBA finals game. (That must have been hell for all the people who love basketball and Broadway.) Believe it or not, Harris has won two Emmy awards as a TV host, but only one as a TV actor. You won’t have to wait all that long to check out his next hosting gig either. He’ll be taking over the Emmy Awards (for the second time) on Sept. 22.
The Television Critics Association announced its 2013 award nominees on Monday June 10. Among the usual suspects (“Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men,” “Game of Thrones”) were some interesting newcomers. FX’s Cold War spy drama “The Americans” led the way with four nominations, including Program of the Year. BBC America’s sci-fi conspiracy “Orphan Black” nabbed a couple of big ones including “Best Individual Achievement in Drama” for star Tatiana Maslany. But the most surprising nominations (Best New Program, Program of the Year) came for the political drama “House of Cards”—which isn’t even on a network. It comes to viewers through the download service Netflix. Could these out-of-the-box nominations mark a major turn in the future of “television”? Winners will be announced on Aug. 3.