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Peacock TCA Announcements: Wan's Thriller, The Traitors, Resident Alien & More

Image courtesy of NBCUniversal Media, LLC

By Dolores Quintana

There were some exciting revelations during the NBC / Universal presentation at the Television Critics Association Spring Tour. We learned that in addition to the previously announced Peacock horror series from James Wan, known as Teacup, that was announced in December, James Wan’s original espionage techno-thriller series that will star Simu Liu has been ordered straight to series. 

The new show, Wan’s second with Peacock, is untitled, and the synopsis for the show states, “Five minutes in the future, a first-generation-American intelligence analyst Alexander Hale (Simu Liu) realizes his brain has been hacked, giving the perpetrators access to everything he sees and hears. Caught between his shadowy agency and the unknown hackers, he must maintain a performance 24/7 to flush out who’s responsible and prove where his allegiance lies.”

Other news includes the revelation that Lisa Frankenstein, the horror romance directed by Zelda Williams and written by Diablo Cody, will come to streaming on Peacock. No date was announced, but scenes from the film were part of the montage of projects and movies coming this year. 

Patrick Macmanus (Dr. Death, The Girl From Plainville) has a new series, Devil in Disguise: John Wayne Gacy, for true crime fans. The synopsis states, “Devil In Disguise: John Wayne Gacy peels back the twisted layers of John Wayne Gacy's life while weaving in the heartrending stories of his mostly gay victims, exploring the grief, guilt, and trauma of their families and friends; and exposing the systemic failures, missed opportunities and societal prejudices that fueled his reign of terror.  This is a scripted, dramatized series inspired by the 2021 Peacock docuseries produced by NBC News Studios: John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise.” 

The biggest news comes from two very popular shows now airing on Peacock: The Traitors: Season 2 and Resident Alien. Executive Vice President of Publicity Shannon Buck reminded the crowd that The Hollywood Reporter said, “The comeback kid of streaming services is Peacock.”

Image courtesy of NBCUniversal Media, LLC

During the presentation for The Traitors: Season 2, Host and Producer Alan Cumming, cast member Kate Chastain, Executive Producers Stephen Lambert and Sam Rees-Jones were there to field questions, and Alex Martinelli, the moderator, reminded everyone that The Traitors has already been renewed for a third season on the streaming service even though the second season hasn’t finished airing. The Traitors is a show with a lot of heat on social media, particularly with fans on TikTok doing recreations, recaps, and analysis. 

One of the questions Kate Chastain was asked was if she agreed that her character on the show is the reality TV version of Jennifer Coolidge on The White Lotus. Chastain responded, “I love that for me.” and Cumming agreed. Chastain has been called an agent of chaos and is one of the show’s fan favorites. 

Johnny Bananas, one of this season’s early victims, was referred to as the season’s “Drew Barrymore from Scream.” It does bring up the point that even after certain people exit the show after having been “murdered” and buried in a coffin, there might be a way to bring someone back if they are popular enough, especially when EVP Steven Lambert said, “But he could be revived for another season. Who knows?”

Alan Cumming was a delight, and people excitedly wanted to know if he got to keep his stylish wardrobe. 

EVP Sam Reiss Jones mentioned that they are already casting for season three, and, of course, someone asked which celebrities they would love to have as cast members on the show. Without hesitation, Cumming responded, “Beyoncé.” Lambert said, “Well, if we're aiming that high, I'll have Taylor Swift.” and Kate Chastain said, “I would like to see some of the cast from "Vanderpump Rules." I think they'd be well-suited for this game.” and Alan Cumming responded, “Interesting.” 

Vanderpump Rules cast members are under consideration for the third season of The Traitors. Reiss-Jones responded, “I don’t want to give it away.” to Chastain’s comment.  

Furthermore, Vanderpump Rules star Scheana Shay was asked who she thinks in the VP cast would make an excellent addition to The Traitors at the event by Entertainment Tonight, and she said she felt that Katie Maloney could pull it off. Other possibilities discussed by Chastain and Shay during the questioning were James Kennedy, Lala, and Tom Sandoval. 

Cumming said that he was terrible at keeping secrets when asked if he was ever worried about giving things away. He revealed, “I'm the most indiscreet person you can meet. When I was on "The Good Wife," and Will was murdered, remember, Will was shot? I told everyone. And I couldn't, I can't understand how it didn't get out.” He also confided that he doesn’t look at his hosting duties as being that much different when acting when asked if he felt it was different from acting in a Shakespearean play. 

Cumming said, “Well, actually, I do recite Shakespeare when I'm hosting "The Traitors." Fairly often, I'll quote some Shakespeare and all sorts in it. This is a sort of a heightened version of me, and a heightened, and a very heightened and sort of theatrical, dramatic show.”

Image courtesy of NBCUniversal Media, LLC

SyFy’s Resident Alien panel is brought stars Alan Tudyk (Harry Vanderspeigle), Sara Tomko (Asta Twelvetrees), Corey Reynolds (Sheriff Mike Thompson), Alice Wetterlund (D’Arcy Bloom), and Showrunner and Executive Producer Chris Sheridan. The panel was the most hilarious of the day, with the stars riffing with each other in an absolutely charming way. 

Isabelle Raab, Peacock publicity manager for scripted entertainment, introduced the show and said, “The show follows Harry, an alien who crash lands on Earth and passes himself off as a small-town doctor. Settling into his life, Harry finds himself balancing work, friendship, and love while fighting to save the planet from a new alien threat.”  Wednesday was the premiere of Resident Alien’s” third season, which airs at 10:00 p.m. on SYFY and streams next day on Peacock. 

The show has become a hit with its central and unusual performance by Tudyk as the alien who must learn to fit in with humans and has a bit of a hard time trying to accomplish that in a town full of unusual people. Guest stars who have worked in the horror and science fiction genres, like Linda Hamilton, Terry O’Quinn, George Takei, and Nathan Fillion, add their wonderful and unique talents to the show. 

Image courtesy of NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Showrunner and EVP Chris Sheridan said that he realized that sometimes, he might feel pressure to catch up with a show already in its third season. However, that has become easier with Resident Alien because the show has recently debuted on Netflix. Actress Sara Tomko let everyone know that even though the show had only been on Netflix for two days, the show had already reached the top ten. This weekend, Resident Alien is the number one television show on the streaming service.

Tudyk and Sheridan did let the audience know that they do believe that aliens exist and that people have been abducted, and Alan Tudyk quipped, “My people do not abduct. That is not our thing.” Sheridan asked all of the cast members to read Whitley Streiber’s novel “Contact,” and cast members said the book was very unsettling, especially the audiobook version read by Roddy McDowell. 

Sara Tomko reminded everyone, “We are floating on a ball in the sky, you know? Like in a giant galaxy, we are so, so, so tiny. There's no way it's just us. That's just so egotistical.”


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