Five takeaways from the week in TV:
1. Jake Tapper is a thorn in President Trump’s side? Yes. Jake Tapper is a novelist? Mmm hmm. The CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent has written a thriller called “The Hellfire Club” that’s due out in the summer of 2018 from Little, Brown and Company. The story is set in 1954 Washington, D.C., and it involves a young congressman from New York. Look for appearances by President Dwight Eisenhower, Senator Joe McCarthy, and Vice President Richard Nixon.
2. Ryan Murphy has announced the stars of “Versace: American Crime Story,” the third season of his ripped-from-the-headlines drama series (which will follow a second season about Hurricane Katrina). Edgar Ramirez will play Gianni Versace and Darren Criss will play his killer, Andrew Cunanan. Murphy also announced the subject of the fourth season: the Monica Lewinsky saga, based on Jeffrey Toobin’s “A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President.”
3. Oscar nominee Kenneth Lonergan, writer-director of “Manchester by the Sea,” has written a four-part miniseries based on the E.M. Forster novel “Howard’s End.” Starz is coproducing with the BBC, and the stars include Hayley Atwell as Margaret, Matthew Macfadyen as Henry, and Tracey Ullman as Aunt Juley. It’s hard to imagine an adaptation that will improve on the extremely fine 1992 film version, which starred Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter, Anthony Hopkins, and Vanessa Redgrave.
4. The latest from Cumbyland: “Sherlock” star Benedict Cumberbatch will star in an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s 1987 novel “The Child in Time,” a coproduction between BBC One and our own “Masterpiece.” In the story, Cumberbatch will play a children’s book writer who is faced with the loss of his own child. The screenwriter is Stephen Butchard and the director is Julian Farino.
5. I’m sure you know this already, because it’s such important news that even the president of the United States has been paying attention. This week, Matt Iseman, host of “American Ninja Warrior,” won “The New Celebrity Apprentice,” beating Boy George in the finale.