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SYFY WIRE Batwoman

WIRE Buzz: Batwoman Season 2 taps Shivaani Ghai; The Boys connects dots with 'Butcher' short; more

By Josh Weiss
Shivaani Ghai

Javicia Leslie won't be the only newcomer in Season 2 of The CW's Batwoman.

Leslie, who is replacing Ruby Rose in the titular role, will be joined by Dominion vet Shivaani Ghai. Per Deadline, she'll be playing Safiyah, "the fiercely protective ruler of a small community on the island of Coryana. A woman with as many enemies as aliases, she is compassionate and charismatic with both physical and psychological prowess. She is beloved by her people and will stop at nothing to protect what’s hers. No one goes unnoticed by Safiyah, specifically when it comes to those who have encountered the Desert Rose."

Shivaani Ghai

Not much else is known about Safiyah's role beyond this initial character description, although she was briefly mentioned in Episode 7 of Season 1. Ghai is also known for ABC's The Catch, HBO's Five DaysLondon Has Fallen, Cleanskin, and Fireflies

As for Leslie's part, the God Friended Me star won't be playing Kate Kane, but a new Batwoman vigilante inspired by her.

Batwoman returns to The CW this January. 

In early July, we told you that Amazon was going to release a short film that fills in the gaps of what Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) got up to for most of the The Boys' Season 2 premiere. Well, now we have the 5-minute chunk of footage that explores the events immediately following Butcher's surprise visit to the home of his still-living wife Becca (Shantel VanSanten) and the bastard son (Cameron Crovetti) she had with Homelander (Antony Starr). 

After waking up in a parking lot and jotting down the memorable landmarks and signifiers of Becca's house, Billy hotwires a car and seeks refuge in the home of a fellow ex-CIA agent. His old friend lends him a spare track suit and agrees to help find Becca. So far so good, until Billy's chum tries to turn him in for the murder of Madelyn Stilwell.

"In Episode 2, we originally had shot something that revealed where he went and what his experiences were," showrunner Eric Kripke said over the summer. "But it ultimately didn't end up fitting that well into the episode because it made Butcher's story a lot less mysterious and intriguing, and it slowed down the rhythm."

The first three episodes of Season 2 are now streaming on Prime Video. Episode 4 drops tomorrow (Friday, Sep. 11).

ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth Group and iHeartMedia have signed a 3-year partnership to create dozens of new podcasts based on existing and fresh IPs. Podcasts inspired by SpongeBob (SpongeBob BingePants: The Rewatch), the Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra universe (title is TBD), and Paw Patrol (title is also TBD) are among the confirmed Nickelodeon projects under the deal, reports Deadline.

"We are excited to partner with iHeartMedia, the leading global commercial podcast publisher to expand our hit shows and IP into hit franchises," Keyes Hill-Edgar, Chief Operating Officer, Entertainment & Youth Group, ViacomCBS said in a statement. "iHeart’s wide distribution and availability across a number of leading platforms align well with our global reach and audiences."

SpongeBob SquarePants

"These are some of the most iconic brands in the world. First and foremost – as fans of these brands – we wanted to see them have a really strong presence in podcasting,” added Conal Byrne, President, the iHeartPodcast Network. “So our plan is simple: We will swing all of our resources behind these incredible brands – with support from our production teams, our huge distribution and marketing muscle, and the biggest and best audio sales team in the country – to make sure they get the audience they deserve in this incredible new medium."

“Powered by an expansive portfolio of leading brands and iconic IP, ViacomCBS is accelerating its fortified momentum in the podcasting space,” Domenic DiMeglio, EVP, Head of Operations and Chief Marketing Officer for ViacomCBS Digital, said in a statement run by Deadline. “With a robust slate of new and returning series, we are building from an incredible foundation to super serve our global audiences wherever they choose to listen."