PASADENA, Calif. — Resistance is the theme when “The Handmaid’s Tale” returns this summer with 13 episodes for its third season, but the Hulu drama is avoiding a collision with the final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
The dystopian drama will debut three new episodes on June 5, streaming service Hulu said. Other episodes will follow on subsequent Wednesdays.
The return date contrasts with the previous seasons’ April debuts and puts the drama outside the eligibility window for this year’s Emmy Awards. It also keeps “The Handmaid’s Tale” out of the path of juggernaut “Game of Thrones,” which starts April 14.
The latter wasn’t a consideration, Craig Erwich, Hulu’s vice president for original series, told TV critics Monday.
“We simply wanted to give the show as much time as possible to maintain the quality it has,” Erwich said. As for the Emmys, he said, TV academy voters will be able to consider the series as a whole when it competes.
The Hulu drama collected six Emmys for its first season, including best drama and best lead actress for Elisabeth Moss, who stars as June. Although it earned three awards in 2018, it lost the top trophy to “Game of Thrones,” while Claire Foy of “The Crown” won the top drama acting trophy.
The new season of “The Handmaid’s Tale” will focus on June’s struggle against the repressive regime of Gilead, Hulu said in a release.
Other characters will be forced to take a stand as well, with “blessed be the fight” the guiding prayer for rebels. Hulu also promised “startling reunions” and betrayals in the upcoming season.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” is based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name. Its cast includes Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Alexis Bledel, Ann Dowd and Samira Wiley.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., hopes this season of his popular PBS series “Finding Your Roots” helps a divided U.S. see how all Americans have unique family links and how those family histories tell the story of the country.
Now in its fifth season, the series takes advantage of new advancements in genealogy and genetics to look into the history of American celebrities. In upcoming episodes Gates and his team investigate the pasts of diverse subjects like former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and “Game of Thrones” author George R. R. Martin.
“I get lots of letters and lots of comments and they tell me they love the way we can use DNA in combination with the paper trail to solve family mysteries,” said Gates, director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University. “We couldn’t do this 10 years ago.”
Gates said investigators were able to locate some of Ryan’s ancestors in Germany back to 1531. They also found that the former Republican leader is a descendant of Ashkenazi Jews, based on his DNA. “He almost fell over,” Gates said. “As the brothers on the streets say: DNA don’t lie.”
The show on Ryan and Gabbard, who is running for president, airs on most PBS stations on Tuesday.
Gates said he’s especially proud that a previous show this season was able to help former “Saturday Night Live” star Andy Samberg find his biological grandmother and grandfather. His mother, who was adopted, never knew her biological mom. She turned out to be from a German-Jewish family that emigrated to Berkeley, California, during World War II.
But the show’s detectives not only located photos of the missing couple but also found half-siblings and cousins. The series filmed an emotional reunion with Samberg, his mother and their family.
PASADENA, Calif. — George Clooney says he never expected his next project to be a miniseries based on a novel he read in high school.
But against his initial inclination, he’s directing and starring in Hulu’s series “Catch-22,” drawn from Joseph Heller’s classic work about the insanity of war. The streaming service Hulu will release it this spring.
Clooney said Monday that the longer format allowed them to develop the characters beyond what could be done in Mike Nichols’ 1970 classic movie. Adopted at the time by opponents of the Vietnam War, he said the story making fun of the red tape and bureaucracy of war is relevant today and not tied to a particular conflict.
Series makers say the mixture of horror and hilarity becomes more pronounced as the series goes on.
PASADENA, Calif. — “Saturday Night Live” star Aidy Bryant says she was drawn to the Hulu series “Shrill” because of the chance to play a woman who is more than her weight.
The six-part comedy is based on Lindy West’s memoir, “Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman,” which Bryant said struck a chord with her.
Bryant said she identified with the book’s portrayal of a world that tells a heavy woman she’s wrong for existing the way she does, even if she has a lot to offer.
But Bryant said “Shrill” isn’t what she called “a fat festival.” Instead, she said, it’s like any TV show that follows the life of its character, she said Monday.
It also addresses the issue of abortion, as does West’s memoir.
“Shrill” debuts March 15 on Hulu.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Denmark’s oldest shopping mall has removed a wax statue of Michael Jackson out of fears it could offend customers and may be vandalized because of accusations that the late pop star molested boys.
Charlotte Andersen, marketing manager for the Roedovre Centrum mall in suburban Copenhagen, told Denmark’s TV2 broadcaster that they had received about 15 complaints about the Jackson statue, mostly from families with children.
The mall had announced an exhibition with wax statues of major stars, including Marilyn Monroe and Julia Roberts, to coincide with Danish schools’ weeklong winter holiday that started Monday.
Jackson’s statue was replaced with one of Brad Pitt.
The 810,000-square-foot mall was the first to open in Denmark in 1966.
On Feb. 12, 1999, the Senate voted to acquit President Bill Clinton of perjury and obstruction of justice.
On this date:
In 1809, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was born in a log cabin in Hardin (now LaRue) County, Kentucky.
In 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded.
In 1912, Pu Yi, the last emperor of China, abdicated, marking the end of the Qing Dynasty.
In 1914, groundbreaking took place for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. (A year later on this date, the cornerstone was laid.)
In 1924, George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” premiered in New York.
In 1959, the redesigned Lincoln penny — with an image of the Lincoln Memorial replacing two ears of wheat on the reverse side — went into circulation.
In 1963, a Northwest Orient Airlines Boeing 720 broke up during severe turbulence and crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 43 people aboard.
In 1973, Operation Homecoming began as the first release of American prisoners of war from the Vietnam conflict took place.
In 1980, the FBI announced that about $5,800 of the $200,000 ransom paid to hijacker “D.B. Cooper” before he parachuted from a Northwest Orient jetliner in 1971 had been found by an 8-year-old boy on a riverbank of the Columbia River in Washington state.
In 1993, in a crime that shocked and outraged Britons, two 10-year-old boys lured 2-year-old James Bulger from his mother at a shopping mall near Liverpool, England, and beat him to death.
In 2000, Charles M. Schulz, creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip, died in Santa Rosa, Calif. at age 77.
In 2008, General Motors reported losing $38.7 billion in 2007, a record annual loss in automotive history, and offered buyouts to 74,000 hourly workers.
Ten years ago: Saying he’d made a “mistake” by agreeing to serve, Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire abruptly withdrew his nomination as President Barack Obama’s commerce secretary.
Five years ago: Legislation to raise the U.S. federal debt limit and prevent a crippling government default cleared Congress.
One year ago: In a retreat from promises to balance the budget, President Donald Trump unveiled a $4.4 trillion plan that envisioned steep cuts to America’s social safety net but mounting military spending; the outline acknowledged that the 2017 Republican tax overhaul would add billions to the deficit.
Thought for Today: “Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.” — Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865).
Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell is 85. Author Judy Blume is 81. Actress Maud Adams is 74. Actor Cliff DeYoung is 73. Actor Michael Ironside is 69. Rock musician Steve Hackett is 69. Rock singer Michael McDonald is 67. Actress Joanna Kerns is 66. Actor Zach Grenier is 65. Actor-talk show host Arsenio Hall is 63. Actor John Michael Higgins is 56. Actor Raphael Sbarge is 55. Actress Christine Elise is 54. Actor Josh Brolin is 51. Singer Chynna Phillips is 51. Rhythm-and-blues musician Keri Lewis is 48. Actor Jesse Spencer is 40. Rapper Gucci Mane is 39. Actress Sarah Lancaster is 39. Actress Christina Ricci is 39. NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III is 29. Actress Jennifer Stone is 26. Actresses Baylie and Rylie Cregut (TV: “Raising Hope”) are 9.