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Development: Counterpart seeks new home; Pet Graveyard breaks ground; Epix streaming

By Benjamin Bullard
Counterpart JK Simmons via Starz website 2019

Counterpart may not be finished exploring the meaning behind Howard Silk’s freaky doppelganger…but if the show keeps delving deeper to find the answers in a new third season, it won’t be seeing Starz

Starz reportedly has decided not to renew the inter-dimensional sci-fi drama following its second season, which will end with the “Better Angels” season (and possibly series) finale on Feb. 17.

Media Rights Capital (MRC), which produces Counterpart, is already hoping to find the critically-adored series a new home, reports Deadline. Shortly after the news broke that the show is done at Starz, series creator and executive producer Justin Marks tweeted his optimism that Howard (J.K. Simmons) might not be done sleuthing for good:

According to the report, Counterpart consistently drew a loyal fan audience, but one that simply wasn’t large enough to exert the kind of broad appeal that would propel the show into a third season. MRC is reportedly eyeing streaming services that might be interested in salvaging the show — much in the same fashion as Lucifer and other canceled series with a vocal fan following — though it isn’t clear at this point which platforms the studio might be targeting.

With any luck, the door to the other side won’t be closing for good just yet. But in the meantime, you can check out both seasons of Counterpart, including the upcoming Season 2 finale, at Starz.

Of all the sci-fi wishes that are probably best left unfulfilled, reanimating your beloved (but very conclusively dead) pets probably takes the top prize. As Stephen King’s Pet Sematary showed, some things are better left in the ground. 

That’s why we’re kind of amped to see what kind of unholy terrors Pet Graveyard, a knowing straight-to-home release nod to the pet-resuscitation horror sub-genre that King’s classic novel spawned, might unleash. Set to release in April, the recently-revealed movie is out with a new trailer, and let’s just say that there might be something to the idea that some people are willing to die to see what things look like from the other side. 

A group of friends with serious closure issues finds a dangerous end-run around the rules of the afterlife, thanks to a visit from the Grim Reaper. Bestowed by death himself with the new ability to cross over by “brinking,” or flirting perilously close with your own death as a means of bridging this life and the next, they hope to make contact with departed loved ones — but they end up getting a dose of reanimated fangs and claws (and evil hairless cat stares) instead.

Like the kid in the clip says, you can’t cheat death. But we’re just fine watching gullible victims give it their best shot anyway, even if they discover that nothing that dies ever comes back the same. Directed by Rebecca J. Matthews, Pet Graveyard puts shovel to dirt on DVD and digital streaming beginning April 2.

With at least one DC Comics-inspired show in its lineup of original offerings, Epix is striking out into the subscription streaming space with the launch of Epix Now, a $5.99 per-month platform that just went live for Apple TV, iOS and Android.

The MGM-owned network has just announced the app-based launch of its own streaming platform, giving subscribers always-on access to the Batman butler backstory series Pennyworth, as well as the handful of other Epix originals like Godfather of Harlem, Perpetual Grace, LTD., and docuseries like PUNK and Elvis Goes There.

Subscriptions to Epix Now are already available directly from your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or Android device; the network promises that support for Roku Devices and Amazon Fire TV is coming soon.

Finally, what’s better than a horror movie with a little stately, mannered detective work from an all-British cast? Variety reports that former X Factor star Shayne Ward will lead Skendleby, a haunted-house mystery set to begin filming next April.

Set in Skendleby Hall in Lincolnshire — a real place you can actually book for an overnight stay — Skendleby reportedly will strand its cast on the grounds of the estate, where they must get to the bottom of “an ancient curse lurking within.” 

Details are still light, and no release date’s yet been announced. In addition to Ward, who’ll star as archaeologist Giles Glover, Skendleby reportedly will also feature The Orville’s Mark Jackson and The Fall’s Niamh McGrady.