Connie Britton Reunites With Ryan Murphy + More Projects and Casting News

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With dozens of castings announced and new projects coming down the pipeline each week across television, film, and theater, it can be near-impossible to keep up. Luckily, Backstage is here to help. Every Friday, we’re rounding up the week's industry news you shouldn’t miss so you can be sure you're firmly in the know!

We’re getting more Connie Britton on television.
The national nightmare that is Connie Britton not having a series regular role on television is over. The actor will reunite with Ryan Murphy (whose “American Horror Story” she previously starred on) for “9-1-1”,’ a drama heading to Fox in 2018. She’ll star alongside Angela Bassett and Peter Krause in the series, written and executive produced by Murphy and Brad Falchuk.

Leto steps into the Hef.
In a sad bit of irony, the Hugh Hefner biopic has found its lead—just days after the “Playboy” founder’s death. Oscar winner Jared Leto will don the silk robe in the currently-untitled project from Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment. Ratner will direct the feature, which is still in early pre-production. It had previously been in development at Universal Pictures, where Robert Downey Jr. was in talks to star.

From “Mad Men” to heaven...
Emmy winner Jon Hamm has lined up his return to the small screen. The former “Mad Men” star will play archangel Gabriel in the Amazon-BBC adaptation of “Good Omens.” Based on the novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, the six-part series has just gone into production. Starring alongside Hamm will be Michael Sheen, David Tennant, Michael McKean, Miranda Richardson, and others. Amazon Prime will release the project in 2019, before its release on BBC Two in the U.K.

Wilmore and Davis are the new dream team.
Viola Davis and Larry Wilmore have teamed to bring a comedy, “Black Don’t Crack,” to ABC. The multi-cam series will be written and executive produced by Regina Hicks, who co-executive produces HBO’s “Insecure” (which Wilmore co-created alongside Issa Rae). Davis has a long history with ABC, currently starring as the lead on “How to Get Away With Murder” for what is now several seasons. A production timeline has not yet been slated.

Michael B. Jordan lands a big project.
Michael B. Jordan will pull double duty directing and executive producing the superhero series “Raising Dion,” which has just been given a 10-episode pickup by Netflix. The project originated as a short film, focusing on a single mother coping with her young son Dion’s, supernatural capabilities. Jordan will play the titular character’s late father in the series, co-executive produced by showrunner Carole Barbee (“Unreal”).

“Bob’s Burgers” will order up on the big screen.
The animated series, which has been running on Fox since 2013 and just won a best-animated series Emmy Award this year, will get the feature film treatment. Series creator Loren Bouchard announced the news this week, and also revealed the feature has slated a July 17, 2020 release date.

“Sweetbitter” is heading to Starz.
After a months-long bidding war between several networks, Starz has won the battle for “Sweetbitter,” the series adaptation of the best-selling novel by Stephanie Danler. Depicting a 22-year-old who moves to New York City before quickly descending into a world of drugs, alcohol, and restaurant work, “Sweetbitter” will consist of six 30-minute episodes, the first of which has already been penned by Danler. No casting has been announced at this time.

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