The Watchman: Discovery Host Is ‘Hard to Kill,’ ‘Casual’ Looks to Future, Is ‘Sinner’ a Winner? - Broadcasting & Cable

The Watchman: Discovery Host Is ‘Hard to Kill,’ ‘Casual’ Looks to Future, Is ‘Sinner’ a Winner?

Deputy editor Michael Malone's weekly look at the programming scene
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Hard to Kill starts on Discovery July 31, with host Tim Kennedy tackling the toughest jobs — avalanche control expert, test pilot, bullfighter — around. Kennedy knows about tough jobs, as he’s a Special Forces sniper and professional MMA fighter.

Discovery's "Hard to Kill"

Discovery's "Hard to Kill"

“I’m good at a lot of things,” he said. “But I’m humbled by the profound commitment every one of these men and women have for their jobs.”

Kennedy likens being a test pilot to “brain surgery at 30,000 feet.” Avalanche control expert was a trying one, too. “Being cold really got to me,” Kennedy said. “Buried alive in an avalanche — that sucked.”

Commercial fishing was challenging as well. “That job sucks, by the way,” Kennedy said, mentioning “the worst weather imaginable.”

What does the viewer learn from Hard to Kill? “They put on a pair of boots they’ve never worn before, and they walk a mile,” he said. “That mile is painful.”

Hulu’s Casual walks its final mile starting July 31. Creator/showrunner/executive producer Zander Lehmann said he was pleased to know the end of the series was coming, instead of having it sprung on him. “I’m pretty happy to get to write an ending,” he said. “It’s something that I didn’t expect.”

The fourth season is set five years into the future.

Lehmann gives Hulu high marks for its support of Casual, which was nominated for a best comedy Golden Globe in 2016. “They saw the vision of the show from the beginning,” he said. “They trusted us to execute that vision.”

Lehman is pondering his next project, and catching up on TV he’s been meaning to watch. He loved The Sinner on USA Network. “Really well shot, beautiful,” he said. “I had no expectations and I got sucked in.”

USA Network's "The Sinner"

USA Network's "The Sinner"

He’s in luck — the new season of The Sinner starts Aug. 1. Showrunner/executive producer Derek Simonds said he’s “over the moon” with how the first season landed. “We were a little under the radar,” he added. “I hadn’t run a show, and Jessica [Biel] had not been on television in years.”

While Biel, an executive producer, had a key role in the first season, she won’t be on screen in season two. That decision was “to firmly establish The Sinner as an anthology series,” said Simonds, with new stories and characters each season.

That includes Carrie Coon as Vera Walker, who has a “very specific relationship” with this season’s sinner, the kid Julian, though Simonds won’t go into detail.

He promises an “ambitious” final season, with five principal characters getting a lot of screen time, including “complete emotional arcs.”

“There’s a lot more ground to cover,” Simonds added.

Hard to Kill starts on Discovery July 31, with host Tim Kennedy tackling the toughest jobs — avalanche control expert, test pilot, bullfighter — around. Kennedy knows about tough jobs, as he’s a Special Forces sniper and professional MMA fighter.

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