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TVLine Items: Downton 'Recast' Explained, Affair Hubby Set and More


Turns out the forthcoming Downton Abbey movie underwent an 11th hour director switch.

Just days before cameras started to roll on the project in September, Downton vet Brian Percival stepped down from the helm for “personal reasons,” a Focus Features rep confirms to TVLine. Michael Engler, who directed Downton‘s two-hour series finale back in 2015, was brought in to fill the void.

Percival, meanwhile, will remain an EP on the film.

The Downton pic will be released stateside on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, one week after its international drop (on Friday, Sept. 13).

Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well….

* Lyriq Bent (She’s Gotta Have It) has been cast on The Affair as the husband of Anna Paquin’s ‘Adult Joanie’, per Deadline.

* Survivor‘s “David vs. Goliath” finale on Wednesday night drew 7.6 million total viewers and a 1.5 demo rating, ticking up from May’s “Ghost Island” closer; the reunion special (5.1 mil/1.0) similarly was up. Versus a year ago (8.7 mil/1.9), however, the finale was down sharply.

* Comedy Central has acquired all seven seasons of Parks and Recreation. Look for Leslie Knope & Co. to make their CC debut with an all-day marathon on Jan. 21 (aka Martin Luther King Jr. Day).

* Olympic figure skater-turned-NBC correspondent Johnny Weir is joining the cast as Netflix’s Spinning Out as Gabe, a cutthroat competitor who hides his desire under an affable, laidback exterior. Other new cast additions include Sarah Wright Olsen (Parks and Recreation), Kaitlyn Leeb (Shadowhunters), Mitchell Edwards (All American) and Will Kemp (Reign).

* Syfy has made the first episode of Deadly Class available online ahead of its Jan. 16 premiere. The first installment of the drama, based on a graphic novel by Rick Remender and Wes Craig, will be available via SYFY On Demand, at SYFY.com and on the SYFY and USA Network apps.

* Tony winner Katrina Lenk (The Band’s Visit) has been tapped for a “key” recurring role in NBC’s midseason drama The Village, per THR.