Features editor

Jeff Korbelik is the features editor and covers dining, performing arts, TV and local media. Follow him at @LJSjeffkorbelik.

The Preacher

Dominic Cooper is Jesse Custer, a preacher in West Texas who comes by unusual powers in AMC's "The Preacher."

Who better to adapt a darkly funny (and extremely violent) comic book for television than Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg?

The comedic duo who brought “Superbad” and “Neighbors” to the big screen, are executive producers of AMC’s new, 10-episode supernatural thriller “Preacher,” which is based on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s popular 1990s comic book franchise.

It premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday, following the season finale of “Fear the Walking Dead,” and will move into “Dead’s” 8 p.m. time slot next Sunday.

“Preacher” stars Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer, who, feeling an obligation to his father, returns from a wild and wooly past to lead a congregation in hot and dusty West Texas. It’s then that he becomes inhabited by a mysterious entity that gives him unusual powers.

Coming together with his criminal ex-girlfriend, Tulip (Ruth Negga), and Irish vagabond Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun), the preacher and his posse begin to confront one baddie -- supernatural or otherwise -- after another.

“Breaking Bad’s” Sam Catlin is Showrunner, and the series has that “Breaking Bad” feel, which comes to light in the second episode with an opening scene that seems to have no connection whatsoever to what’s happening. But, as we know from “Breaking Bad,” it will be of some great importance later.

What struck me is the humor, sometimes subtle (a teenage female parishioner soloing “Amazing Graze” on an electric guitar), sometimes overt (vandals rearranging letters on the church’s marquee to form dirty sayings), which is a credit to funnymen Rogen and Goldberg. I expected the violence and the drama, but not to laugh out loud. Watch for the Tom Cruise reference in the opener. That one drew a big chuckle from me.

Pulling it all together is the cast. Cooper is fierce and weathered, Negga is spunky smart and Gilgun is just a joy to watch and hear, with that thick Irish accent of his. “Preacher” is going to be big for AMC, really big. Grade: A.

Across the remote

* Also debuting this week is the first of the six-episode true-crime series “Missing Dial,” which chronicles the search for Roman Dial by his parents. Dial disappeared after embarking on an expedition through the Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica. “Missing” begins at 9 p.m. Sunday on National Geographic (Time Warner Cable channels 49, 129).

* Here’s the final tally of non-summer shows canceled following last week’s upfront presentations by the broadcast networks.

ABC: "Blood & Oil," "Castle," "The Family," "Galavant," "Marvel’s Agent Carter," "The Muppets," "Nashville," "Of Kings and Prophets," "Wicked City"

CBS: "Angel From Hell," "CSI: Cyber," "The Good Wife," "Mike & Molly," "Person of Interest," "Rush Hour"

Fox: "American Idol," "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader," "Bordertown," "Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life," "Grandfathered," "The Grinder," "Minority Report," "Second Chance"

NBC: "Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris," "Crowded," "Game of Silence," "Heartbeat," "Heroes Reborn," "The Mysteries of Laura," "The Player," "Telenovela," "Truth Be Told," "Undateable"

The CW: "Containment"

Note: “Supergirl” moves from CBS to the The CW, and “America’s Next Top Model” leaves The CW for VH1. CBS has yet to make a decision on “Limitless.”

* My guess is a few “NCIS” fans shed a tear or two as Michael Weatherly’s Tony DiNozzo left to take care of the daughter he had with Ziva. Weatherly won’t be gone for long. He’ll return this fall in the new CBS drama “Bull.” He plays the title character inspired by the early career of Dr. Phil McGraw, when he ran a trial consulting firm. It’ll air Tuesdays between “NCIS” and “NCIS: New Orleans.”

* CBS plans to launch a spin-off of “The Good Wife” on its streaming service, CBS All Access. The series will star Christine Baranski (Diane) and Cush Jumbo (Lucca) and will begin one year after the events on the series finale of “The Good Wife.” It’s expected to air in Spring 2017. This will give the streaming service its second original series, in addition to a new “Star Trek” series.

* Quick hits … Showtime canceled Don Cheadle’s “House of Lies,” with the series finale airing June 12 … TNT greenlighted “Will,” a period drama about the early years of William Shakespeare … “Wayward Pines” begins its second season at 8 p.m. Wednesday on Fox, while Netflix releases the second season of “Bloodline” on Friday.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7213 or jkorbelik@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSjeffkorbelik.


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