Stay Tuned: ‘The Walking Dead’ expands its storytelling

Melissa Crawley More Content Now
“Walking Dead’s” chief content officer Scott Gimple announced that Rick Grimes will live to see another day in a series of AMC Studios original films that he will write, and Andrew Lincoln will star in. [AMC]

It’s a surprise for fans of “The Walking Dead,” and a quiet week for returning series, as midterm election coverage takes center stage.

Dispatches: Weekly TV news

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) may be down but he’s not out. After suffering a severe wound in last week’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” this past Sunday was the iconic character’s farewell … to that show. “Walking Dead’s” chief content officer Scott Gimple announced that Rick will live to see another day in a series of AMC Studios original films that he will write, and Lincoln will star in. The first film is expected to begin production as early as 2019.

Cate Blanchett has signed on to star in her first role in an American television series, playing Phyllis Schlafly in “Mrs. America.” Based on a true story, the series explores the culture wars of the 1970s and the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, which conservative activist Schlafly successfully fought against. The nine-episode limited series is scheduled for 2019 on FX.

“Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune” will continue to air on ABC-owned television stations until 2023. The agreement takes “Jeopardy” to season 39 and “Wheel” to its 40th season.

Contenders: Buzz worthy shows to watch this week

With midterm elections on Nov. 6, and no new broadcast premieres, TV viewing this week is mostly about political winners and losers. The broadcast networks are covering election results during much of primetime, while “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” (CBS), “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” (ABC) “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” (Comedy Central) and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” (NBC) are all live on election night.

Anthology series “Room 104,” (Nov. 9, 11:30 p.m. ET, HBO) returns with more stories that take place in a single motel room over several decades. Some of the tales are scary. Some are suspenseful, and some are hard to forget. All offer a compelling and creative way to spend 30 minutes.

If you’re not watching “Bodyguard,” you should be (Netflix, streaming now). A hit in England, the show stars Richard Madden (Robb Stark, “Game of Thrones”) as an Afghanistan vet suffering from PTSD who is assigned to guard the Home Secretary (Keeley Hawes). The plot is full of paranoia, tension and satisfying twists and turns as the bodyguard tries to figure out who he should fear the most, his client, the people trying to assassinate her or the secret service officials who want to set him up.

“The Last Ship” (Nov. 11, 9 p.m. ET, TNT) sets sail for the last time in its Sunday night series finale, while “Mayans M.C.” (Nov. 6, 10 p.m. ET, FX) says goodbye for now. Season one ends with the club celebrating but also facing an uncertain future.

Report Card: A look at ratings winners and losers

Winners: ABC has given “The Rookie” a full-season order. “God Friended Me” has been CBS’ highest-rated scripted show on Sunday nights this season.

Losers: Solid ratings for “Mickey’s 90th Spectacular” didn’t help “The Alec Baldwin Show,” which remained low.

— Melissa Crawley is the author of “Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television’s ‘The West Wing.’” She has a Ph.D. in media studies and is a member of the Television Critics Association. To comment on Stay Tuned, email her at staytuned@outlook.com or follow her on Twitter at @MelissaCrawley.