In the works for ages now, HBO’s upcoming small screen take on Michael Crichton’s Westworld has been plagued by problems and delays, but none so bad that the sci-fi drama was put aside permanently. In fact, the network has made the announcement that Westworld will indeed be a star-studded part of the schedule this fall, along with Sarah Jessica Parker’s new show Divorce and a couple of comedies. What part of the fall? Well…
HBO really didn’t want potential viewers to have too much information about Westworld’s debut, as “fall” was as specific as it got in the press release. The fall season is generally when TV’s biggest (and sometimes worst) series kick off, so it speaks to how highly HBO thinks of it, seeing as how it will probably be put up against The Walking Dead Season 7 for at least a chunk of its run. But maybe the “fall” will mean a December Sunday the week before winter begins, pitting Westworld against some midseason debuts from other networks. Hard to tell without more information, HBO.
Westworld is one of the more promising projects yet to premiere in 2016, taking place in a world where anyone’s desires can be turned into reality at the titular theme park, where the theme is heavily influenced by sin. Based on the 1973 film, the new series will expand and darken the original tale of artificially intelligent people succumbing to the paying public’s wicked interests, in which one of Westworld’s “acts” gains the knowledge of what she truly is. It will hopefully be solid enough to get more heady sci-fi on TV in the future.
The giant cast of familiar faces doesn’t hurt Westworld’s chances at taking over the end of 2016. Sir Anthony Hopkins stars as Dr. Robert Ford, the genius who created Westworld and has to deal with the problems that occur. Evan Rachel Wood is the Western girl who gains quasi-sentience, while Jeffrey Wright plays the creator of all the A.I. bot-ployees. Ed Harris is the villainous Man in Black, and the rest of the cast is filled out by Thandie Newton, James Marsden, Rodrigo Santoro, Clifton Collins Jr., Jimmi Simpson, Tessa Thompson, Ben Barnes and more.
Westworld will be joined in the fall premieres by the Sharon Horgan-created half-hour comedy Divorced, Sarah Jessica Parker’s return to TV that has her playing a woman who decides ending her marriage and starting a new life is harder than she expected. The Issa Ray-created comedy Insecure centers on two black women dealing with racy and unsettling experiences, and Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair’s former web series High Maintenance will follow a pot dealer and the wide variety of personalities that make up his client list in Brooklyn.
Will we hear in June that HBO is pushing the Westworld premiere to late winter? We’ll just have to wait and see. But until then, check out everything that’s coming to TV this summer in our premiere schedule.