James McAvoy, Lin-Manuel Miranda to Return On-Screen for ‘His Dark Materials’ Series Finale (TV News Roundup)

The action-packed final season of “His Dark Materials” will debut its first two episodes in a back-to-back broadcast on HBO Dec. 5, according to a teaser that premiered at New York Comic-Con. Season 3 will also be available for streaming on HBO Max.

James McAvoy is making a significant resurgence in the series as Lord Asriel, who was absent from the screen for the majority of Season 2. The upcoming season largely focuses on Asriel rallying military forces to launch a holy crusade against the “Authority” — an antagonistic spiritual force that dictates his universe.

“I’m gathering the greatest from every world to help me wage war,” Asriel reveals in the trailer.

Also returning is Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby, who will no doubt have a fiery comeback after his character’s presumed death in the Season 2 finale.

Other cast members confirmed for the eight-episode season include series regulars Dafne Keen, Amir Wilson, Ruth Wilson, Simone Kirby and Will Keen. The series, which is being produced by Bad Wolf in association with New Line Cinema for BBC One and HBO, will release two new episodes each week of December leading up to the series finale Dec. 26.

The final season is based off of the novel “The Amber Spyglass,” the intense and antitheist conclusion to the “His Dark Materials” trilogy written by Philip Pullman.

Watch the trailer for Season 3 of “His Dark Materials” below.

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Also in today’s news:

SERIES

HBO Max’s “The Batman” spin-off series “The Penguin” has landed its first director.

Craig Zobel, who helmed all seven episodes of HBO’s acclaimed limited series “Mare of Easttown,” has signed up to direct the first two episodes of the limited series, which sees Colin Farrell reprising his role from 2022’s “The Batman” as organized crime figure Oswald “Oz” Cobblepot, aka the Penguin.

Zobel will also serve as an executive producer on the series, along with “The Batman” writer-director Matt Reeves, Dylan Clark and Farrell. Lauren LeFranc is the writer and showrunner.

PROGRAMMING

Upcoming public television series “Opportunity Knock$” aims to assist families experiencing financial deficits through action-based solutions. The ultimate goal for the first season’s six families — with each familial entity being considered one contestant — is to walk away with a clear roadmap toward financial independence.

To reach this goal, three opportunity coaches will be available to mentor families in managing their finances: Jean Chatzky, Louis Barajas and Patrice Washington. Whether it’s learning how to live with student loans or how to pay off a line of credit, these guides will work directly with participating families to identify and overcome their unique financial obstacles.

The show is available for streaming on PBS Passport effective Oct. 27 and will broadcast across the U.S. at the start of November.

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