Sci-fi binge: '12 Monkeys' returns for an action-packed weekend

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Andrew Warren / TV Media
Emily Hampshire stars in "12 Monkeys"

Emily Hampshire stars in "12 Monkeys"

Sci-fi binge: Syfy's time-bending hit gets all meta as "12 Monkeys" returns with its 10-episode third season starting Friday, May 19, and its release schedule is far from normal.

Instead of airing an episode every week, as is the norm for pretty much every show out there, Syfy is instead airing the full season in a big, bingeable weekend block. From Friday to Sunday, May 21, Syfy's evenings belong to "12 Monkeys'" third season.

Fans of the show, which is loosely based on the 1995 movie of the same name, don't need to worry that this is some sign that the channel has lost confidence in it; a fourth and final 10-episode season has already been greenlit, with plans for it to broadcast next year -- no word yet on whether it will also be aired in such an unconventional, time-twisty way.

"12 Monkeys" stars Aaron Stanford ("Nikita") as James Cole, a man from the year 2043 who is sent back in time to 2015 to try to stop a mysterious organization called the Army of the 12 Monkeys from releasing a deadly virus that causes the death of most of humanity. He stars alongside Amanda Schull ("Suits"), who plays virologist and Cole's love interest Cassandra Railly.

Other cast members include Kirk Acevedo ("Fringe"), Barbara Sukowa ("Europa," 1991), Emily Hampshire ("Schitt's Creek") and Todd Stashwick ("You, Me and Dupree," 2006) as characters in both timelines -- past and future, from our perspective.

It's a weekend of time-traveling, mind-bending science fiction when the full third season of "12 Monkeys" airs over three nights. The bingeing starts Friday, May 19, on Syfy.


Liar, liar: One of the biggest investment frauds in history comes to HBO Saturday, May 20, in the form of "The Wizard of Lies," an original dramatic film that peels back the layers of the Madoff family, who got swept up in family patriarch Bernard's incredible Ponzi scheme.

Academy Award winner Robert De Niro stars as Bernie Madoff, the stockbroker and financier whose arrest in 2008 sent shockwaves reverberating through markets around the world. De Niro certainly needs no introduction. His roles in 1974's "The Godfather: Part II" and 1980's "Raging Bull" earned him Oscars, and he's been nominated for five more -- most recently for his supporting role in 2012's "Silver Linings Playbook."

Fellow Oscar nominee Michelle Pfeiffer stars as Bernie's wife, Ruth, who serves as Madoff's unwitting partner in his financial schemes. Beyond her three Oscar nominations, Pfeiffer earned a Golden Globe for her performance in 1989's "The Fabulous Baker Boys," and has starred in "Scarface" (1983) and "Batman Returns" (1992).

The HBO special is based on the book "The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust," by New York Times reporter Diana B. Henriques, who led the team at the Times that covered the Madoff story, and was the first writer to be granted an interview with the former stockbroker in prison.

Filling out the cast are Alessandro Nivola ("Jurassic Park III," 2001), Kristen Connolly ("The Cabin in the Woods," 2012), Nathan Darrow ("House of Cards") and Sydney Gayle ("Orange Is the New Black") as the remaining members of the Madoff family, along with Hank Azaria ("The Simpsons"), Lily Rabe ("American Horror Story") and Kelly AuCoin ("The Americans") in other supporting roles.

The Bernie Madoff scandal comes to the small screen in "The Wizard of Lies," premiering Saturday, May 20, on HBO.


Repopulating: Four people didn't make it through season 7 of "The Walking Dead," but there are a few others ready to fill the void their departures have created in the AMC zombie drama's lineup.

Three cast members have been promoted to series regulars in the down time between seasons, as fans continue to reel from the shocking events that brought season 7 to a close. The eighth season's premiere date will be announced in July, but is expected to be sometime in October.

Earning promotions for the upcoming season are Katelyn Nacon ("T@gged"), Steven Ogg ("Westworld") and Pollyanna McIntosh ("Hap and Leonard"), who play Enid, Simon and Jadis, respectively.

The Golden Globe-winning series has been a massive hit for AMC, drawing an unprecedented number of viewers for a cable series week to week. Based on the comic book series of the same name, the show follows Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln, "Love Actually," 2003), who wakes up from a coma to discover that the world has been overrun by zombies.

Chandler Riggs ("Get Low," 2009), Melissa McBride ("The Mist," 2007), Norman Reedus ("The Boondock Saints," 1999) and Lauren Cohan ("Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," 2016) are also among a cast of series regulars that now numbers 19.

"The Walking Dead" returns to AMC this fall.