TV News: Rizzoli, Arrow, Trial, Till, Descendants

Rizzoli and Isles
TNT has renewed its long-running cop procedural “Rizzoli and Isles” for a seventh season which will kick off next Summer. The new order is for an abbreviated thirteen episodes, down from the eighteen ordered for the currently airing sixth season.

Despite the cutback, there’s no talk of the show’s seventh season being its last with the cast expected to renegotiate contracts for season seven. The series ranks as TNT’s second-most-watched show in history, behind only “The Closer,” and ranks as one of basic cable’s top five series amongst total viewers. [Source: The Live Feed]

Arrow
“Star Trek: Voyager” and “Boston Public” alum Jeri Ryan is set to guest star in the upcoming fourth season of The CW’s “Arrow”. Ryan will play Queen family friend Jessica Danforth, an original character with political ambitions that will make her a target of a formidable antagonist.

At the same time J.R. Bourne (“Teen Wolf,” “Stargate”) has joined the new season in the role of DC Comics villain Jeremy Tell a.k.a. Double Down. Both characters will first appear in the show’s third episode of the new season. [Source: THR]

The Trial
Billy Bob Thornton has signed on to star in David E. Kelley’s straight to series legal drama “The Trial” for Amazon, taking on a role Kevin Costner was previously in discussion for. The story centers on Billy McBride (Thornton), a once respectable lawyer who was ousted from the high-profile firm he co-founded.

Billy now spends his days getting drunk, with the occasional case tossed his way by his ex-wife. However, Billy is reinvigorated professionally when a young lawyer who has just been fired from his old firm brings him a wrongful death case that pits him against the head of his former firm. [Source: THR]

Emmett Till Mini-Series
Jay-Z, Will Smith and Aaron Kaplan are teaming to produce an HBO mini-series about Emmett Till, the black teen brutally murdered after allegedly flirting with a 21-year-old white female grocery store owner in Mississippi in 1955.

Tortured, shot through the head and dumped in a river, his mother insisted on an open-casket public funeral. The image of his mutilated body and the acquittal of the men responsible, galvanized the emerging Civil Rights Movement which was only fuelled further by the Rosa Parks incident three months later. A writer is being sought for the likely six-hour mini. [Source: Deadline]

Descendants
Disney has released the first six minutes of “Descendants,” the upcoming musical telemovie about a second generation of Disney villains being reintegrated into the happy kingdom. The program premieres on July 31st.