Julia Roberts and Sean Penn’s Starz Series ‘Gaslit’ Reveals Trailer and Key Art (TV News Roundup)

Starz has unveiled the trailer and key art for “Gaslit,” its limited series that tackles the Watergate scandal. The show focuses on the perspective of Martha Mitchell (Julia Roberts), the wife of Richard Nixon’s attorney general, John Mitchell (Sean Penn). “Gaslit” will debut on Starz’s digital platform at midnight on April 24, with a linear debut the same day at 8 p.m. ET.

Roberts is on fire in the trailer, Arkansas accent and all, as a political storm swirls around her, and Penn is nearly unrecognizable in his prosthetics and hair pieces. At one point, John slaps Martha across the face, to which she responds by slapping him back, adding, “My momma slapped me harder than that.”

Martha was the first person to publicly blow the whistle on Nixon’s involvement in the infamous scandal, which kicked off an avalanche of political and personal consequences. John was Nixon’s close advisor and friend, and was forced to take sides between his wife and the president. The series is based on the critically acclaimed Slate podcast “Slow Burn.”

“Gaslit” also stars Dan Stevens as John Dean, Betty Gilpin as Mo Dean, Shea Whigham as G. Gordon Liddy and Darby Camp as Marty Mitchell. The series was created by Robbie Pickering, who is also the showrunner. Additional executive producers include series director Matt Ross, Esmail Corp’s Sam Esmail and Chad Hamilton, Anonymous Content and Slate’s Gabriel Roth and Josh Levin and Roberts under her banner Red Om Films. Co-executive producers are Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill. Leon Neyfakh, who created the podcast, consulted on the project. “Gaslit” is produced by UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, for Starz.

View the trailer and key art below.

Also in today’s TV news:

DEALS

Dorsey Pictures has acquired the unscripted rights to the life story of the Wright brothers, via The Wright Brothers USA. The company will produce a limited series about the brothers, “The Fight to Flight,” which looks at their race with the Smithsonian family to develop the first successful aircraft. Chris Dorsey and Matt Assmus of Dorsey Pictures will executive produce the limited documentary series.

PROGRAMMING

Disney Plus is launching the six-part series “Sketchbook,” which is set to stream April 27. Hailing from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Supper Club, “Sketchbook” will give audiences an inside look into the animation and drawing process of some of Disney’s most beloved characters — including Mirabel from “Encanto,” Kuzco from “Emperor’s New Groove,” Olaf from “Frozen,” Genie from “Aladdin,” young Simba from “The Lion King” and Captain Hook from “Peter Pan.” The instructional documentary series will feature artists/animators Gabby Capili (“Emperor’s New Groove”), Hyun Min Lee (“Frozen”), Eric Goldberg (“Aladdin”), Jin Kim (“Peter Pan”), Samantha Vilfort (“Encanto”) and Mark Henn (“The Lion King”).

EXECUTIVES

Hillman Grad Productions, a development and production company founded by Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani, unveiled the next class of up-and-coming filmmakers for its 8-month, tuition-free Mentorship Lab program. The lab’s goal is to provide career opportunities for marginalized creatives in television and film through workshops, networking opportunities and professional resources.

“As long as I can recall, my heart has always been about giving back to the next generation of storytellers, whether hosting writing workshops, coffee meetings on Saturdays to lend advice, or doing table reads on scripts,” said Waithe. “The diversity of the Mentorship Lab is unlike any other room in Hollywood where all voices are welcome.”

The program is led by executive director Lacy Lew Nguyen Wright and senior advisor Justin Riley and is self-funded by Waithe. Below, read the full list of the 22 filmmakers selected from a list 1,700 applicants.

Creative Executives

Andy Park (Los Angeles)
Franco Chacon (Los Angeles)
Geralyn Smith (Los Angeles)
Jocelyn Waddell (Los Angeles)
Wai Wing Lau (Los Angeles)

Writers

Abi Rich (Boston)
Blake Williams (Los Angeles)
Charlene Little (Douglasville, Ga.)
Cydney Fisher (Los Angeles)
Emily Teerasuphaset (Los Angeles)
Luveza Mubashar (New York)
Rubén Mendive (Los Angeles)
Van Newman (New York)
Victoria George (Los Angeles)

Actors

Donnevan Tolbert (St. Clair Shores, Mich.)
Jonny Williams (Los Angeles)
Kashayna Johnson (New York)
LaNora Terraé Hayden (Los Angeles)
Lee Hubilla (New York)
Lynnese Page (New York)
Michaela Obro-Ababio (New York)
TJ Chester (West Palm Beach, Fla.)

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