In today’s TV news roundup, Freeform ordered “Last Summer” to pilot and PBS announced five new members of its board of directors.
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“The Real Housewives of New Jersey” will return to Bravo for its 10th season on Nov. 6 at 9 p.m. Teresa Giudice, Melissa Gorga, Margaret Josephs, Dolores Catania, Jackie Goldschneider and Jennifer Aydin return as cast members. Danielle Staub will make appearances this season, as well.
Susan Sarandon has lent her voice to the 10th season of Adult Swim‘s “Robot Chicken“ in a sketch that sees beloved characters from “Popeye” get tips on how to engage Generation Z, which Variety has obtained exclusively. The stop-motion animated comedy returns for this milestone season Sept. 29 with two back-to-back episodes.
Freeform has ordered the one-hour thriller “Last Summer” to pilot from eOne. Taking place in the summers between 1993-95, the drama details the abduction of a beautiful and popular teen named Kate, while another girl, Jeanette, goes from being an awkward outlier to the most popular girl in the small Texas town, to the most hated person in America in the same year. “Last Summer” is written and executive produced by Bert V. Royal (“Easy A”), with Iron Ocean Productions’ Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple (“The Sinner”), and Max Winkler (“Jungleland”) who will also direct.
An anthology series inspired by the music of Billy Joel is in the works at MGM Television, Variety has learned. The project, named after Joel’s song “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” will be populated by characters from Joel’s music catalogue and based on the lyrics of many of his most popular works. The series hails from “Law & Order: SVU” producer Kevin Fox and has Joel and his longtime producing partner Steve Cohen on board as executive producers. Universal Music Publishing Group’s Jody Gerson and Marc Cimino will serve as associate producers on the series.
ABC News has promoted Maggie Rulli to correspondent based in London. The promotion is effective this week as she goes on location to cover the Duke and Dutchess of Sussex on their tour of Africa. After her departure from Channel One News, Rulli joined ABC News’ Washington Bureau in 2016 where she covered the 2016 presidential debates and President Trump’s inauguration and reported from the Supreme Court, Congress and the White House. Shortly after, she moved to the network’s New York office in 2017.
Catherine Robb, Geoff Sands, Rob Dunlop, Susi Elkins and Courtney Pledger joined PBS Board of Directors as newly elected members. Robb and Sands both come to the team as general directors. Station leaders Dunlop (Cascade Public Media), Elkins (WKAR Public Media) and Pledger (Arkansas Educational Television Network) join as professional directors. Other members reelected to the board include president and general manager of KSPS-TV Gary Stokes; former Secretary of Defense and Nebraska Senator, the Honorable Chuck Hagel; senior advisor at TalentQuest, Erroll B. Davis, Jr.; and Republic and Services, Inc. chairman of the board of directors and former CEO of Madsen Sapp Mena Rodriguez & Co, Ramon Rodriguez.