Emmy Magazine Features
"She’s the first and only actor I wanted,” says the showrunner of Nat Geo’s Genius: Aretha. And just like that, Cynthia Erivo — the feisty phenom who wowed in Harriet and belted her heart out on Broadway — became the Queen of Soul. “She’s tiny, but she’s got so much power,” says the director of Harriet . “She’s a force of nature.”
Now soaring to new altitudes, Kaley Cuoco stars in — and executive-produces — The Flight Attendant for HBO Max. But she’ll always cherish her long run on The Big Bang Theory, as well as that too-brief time on 8 Simple Rules with John Ritter, who taught her leadership and respect on the set.
When he read The Good Lord Bird, Ethan Hawke felt the pull of history, and it led him to his starring role as abolitionist John Brown. “A large portion of this country doesn’t want to talk about the Civil War being about slavery,” Hawke says. But “with love and wit,” the Showtime series takes up this “serious American conversation” about life and liberty.
How does a series about the roots of evil engender so much goodwill? Ask Tom Ellis of Netflix’s Lucifer, now starting season five. “Even though it’s about the Devil, our show has a really good message,” he says. “It’s about people taking responsibility for their actions and trying to accept everyone around them.”
In the time of Covid, what more could we want to hear from our lab-coated healers than “How can I help?” On NBC’s New Amsterdam, the devoted doctors say that — and mean it. And though the creators never conceived of the coronavirus when the series debuted, they now find themselves with one of the most relevant shows around.
As a wee boy in Wales, Matthew Rhys was already working on his American accent when he and his pals played The A-Team. Some three decades on, that accent perfected, he awed audiences in The Americans as a Russian spy in deep cover. Now, in HBO’s new Perry Mason, he returns to TV with the origin story of the dogged defense lawyer, a staple of U.S. pop culture for almost a century.