Paused 'Playlist': NBC, Peacock pass on 'Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist'

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Michelle Rose / TV Media
Jane Levy and Peter Gallagher as seen in "Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist"

Jane Levy and Peter Gallagher as seen in "Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist"

Paused 'Playlist': Despite hitting all the right notes with fans and critics, "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" won't be back for a third season -- at least, not on NBC. And it won't be popping up on Peacock, either.

Back in May, NBC quietly decided it wouldn't be renewing the musical dramedy for a third season (fans got the bad news last month). The second season averaged a little over 2.5 million live viewers, but it had a huge digital fan base, making it a prime contender for Peacock to swoop in and keep it going.

Even the cast, led by Golden Globe nominee Jane Levy ("Evil Dead," 2013), seemed to think the switch to streaming was a sure thing. In an interview with Vanity Fair last month, Levy explained, "When we finished [shooting] Season 2, I put all my stuff in storage in Canada [where the show films]. I was like, 'Of course we're coming back.'"

Then came the news that Peacock wouldn't be reviving it: "Last Friday it seemed like it was a green light. And then Monday morning, it was a red light."

Understandably, that came as a shock to the cast and its passionate following once the news broke. Still, there's hope the cast -- Levy, Skylar Astin ("Pitch Perfect," 2012), Alex Newell ("Glee"), John Clarence Stewart ("Luke Cage"), Mary Steenburgen ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") and more -- haven't performed their last number together. Lionsgate Television, which co-produced the series, is reportedly shopping the series elsewhere, similar to when it successfully relocated "Nashville" to CMT after ABC cancelled that series.

"I guess we're holding on to a little hope," said Astin in a recent interview with EW. "But the Peacock play was looking very optimistic ... down to details of what it would look like and shoot like and how it would be transitioned. It was actually a very exciting notion, which probably made it harder because that carrot was dangled in front of our face and then the rug was completely pulled, kind of at the last minute. So that's why it feels more surreal."


New to 'NCIS': The upcoming season of "NCIS" will features a few new faces and fewer appearances by at least one cast member.

Long-time star Emily Wickersham ("I am Number Four," 2011), who has played Ellie Bishop since Season 11, confirmed in May (via Instagram) that she was exiting the crime procedural. That opened the door for a minor cast shake-up and the addition of two new series regulars ahead of Season 19.

After starring on ABC's "Mixed-ish" for two seasons, Gary Cole ("Veep") is set to join the "NCIS" cast as FBI Special Agent Alden Park. Executives have been pretty tight-lipped about his character; they haven't released a lot of information about him, but they did point out that he wasn't replacing Mark Harmon's character, Special Agent Gibbs. Not completely, anyway.

There has been a lot of speculation about Harmon's involvement in the new season, and it seems he won't be appearing in a lot of episodes. The exact number of episodes involving Gibbs hasn't been confirmed (Deadline suggested it might be "just a handful"), but it would make sense for Cole's new character to be brought in to help fill the void.

In an interview with Deadline, CBS President Kelly Kahl explained, "We take it year by year with Mark, we'd love to have him as long as he'd like to be here. Even in this past season, he might have been light in a couple of [episodes], so we're happy to work around his schedule."

As for the other new series regular, Katrina Law ("Arrow"), she'll be playing Special Agent Jessica Knight. She's not exactly new, though: Law was a recurring guest star last season, but Wickersham's departure left a vacancy for a strong female character.

Law's character has been described as "a formidable REACT (Regional Enforcement Action Capabilities Training Team) agent who specializes in hostage negotiations and handles daily high-risk operations with skill and precision. Sharp, athletic and tough, she is fiercely tenacious and with a wry sense of humor."


More 'Ziwe': In a changing late-night TV landscape, it seems Showtime likes what it sees in comedian Ziwe Fumudoh ("Our Cartoon President") and her eponymous variety show.

A late-night TV newcomer, "Ziwe" debuted in May and wrapped its six-week run last month, but Showtime has already renewed it for a second season. Not only that, Showtime has ordered 12 episodes, effectively doubling up on the skits, songs and interviews that caught the attention of critics.

"This show has exceeded my wildest imagination thanks to my brilliant cast, crew and iconic guests," said Ziwe, in an official statement. "I am famously delighted to continue my collaboration with Showtime and [producer] A24."

Season 2 will be divided into two installments, and it should be interesting to see who the guests will be after Season 1 featured author Fran Lebowitz, New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, journalist Gloria Steinem and popular Georgia state politician Stacey Abrams.

With Emmy nominations set to be announced on July 13, it will be interesting to see if 'Ziwe' picks up a nod in the Outstanding Variety Sketch Series category. In the meantime, the host is already looking ahead to the new season.

"Is there a season where I interview Hillary Clinton and Kim Kardashian or talk to the Obamas? What's nice about the show is that I can talk to anyone," said Ziwe, in an interview with Deadline. "I can talk to 'Duck Dynasty' or the president of Morehouse. I just look forward to meeting new people and having more compelling, interesting conversations and constantly pushing the boundaries."

"This is a variety show in the truest sense of the word" she continued, "because there's music, guests, field pieces, sketches and fake commercials. I am just making important work that is hopefully funny, so the show is what you interpret, it fits into several genres. It's stretching the definition of what comedy means."