The Emmy-winning The Americans alum has signed on to take on the role of the iconic fictional criminal defense lawyer, who was famously played by Raymund Burr from the 1950s through the 1990s. Robert Downey Jr., who was originally eyed to play Mason when the reboot was first revealed in August 2016, will serve as executive producer. Rhys will play Mason as a low-rent private investigator who is living check-to-check in 1932 Los Angeles. Here is the official logline: "While the rest of the country recovers from the Great Depression, this city is booming! Oil! Olympic Games! Talking Pictures! Evangelical Fervor! And a child kidnapping gone very, very wrong! Based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner, this limited series follows the origins of American Fiction’s most legendary criminal defense lawyer, Perry Mason. When the case of the decade breaks down his door, Mason’s relentless pursuit of the truth reveals a fractured city and just maybe, a pathway to redemption for himself."
The actor and rapper will both make their Saturday Night Live debut on Jan. 26.
NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke promises the new streaming service "will be different than those presently in the market." The new service will come soon after the launch of streaming services from Disney, WarnerMedia and Apple, in a test of whether so many streaming services are viable. According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBCUniversal "hopes to strike deals with other pay TV providers to offer it for free to their customers, too. An ad-free tier and a version of the service for non-pay TV customers will also be offered at a price in line with other subscription services like Netflix."