Story By: G. H. HARDING
Patrick Wilson

BIG FARGO NEWS --- The FX Emmy-winning crime anthology is filling out its second season cast with a star-studded array of well-known and award-winning talent. Ted Danson, Patrick Wilson and Jean Smart are joining in series-regular roles, while several other notably actors like Nick Offerman (Parks And Recreation; Annapurna) have been cast in recurring parts.

Wilson (Insidious; A Gifted Man) will star in the new season as Lou Solverson, a clean cut Minnesota State Patrolman, four years back from Vietnam, where he served in the Navy. He’s described as a humble and competent man, Lou is a devoted husband to his wife Betsy (yet to be cast), and father to four-year-old Molly (yet to be cast). This is the same character played by Keith Carradine (and, terrifically well) in the first season.

As previously stated: This season of the show is a prequel to its debut season.

Danson (CSI/Cheers) will play Hank Larsson, the Sheriff of Rock County, Minnesota. He’s an unflappable WWII vet who embodies certain cowboy poetry, Hank is Lou’s father-in-law.

Jean Smart (Frasier) will play Floyd Gerhardt, the matriarch of the Gerhardt crime family. She’s stood by her husband’s side for 40 years, but now that he’s out of the picture she thinks it’s her turn to run things.

In addition, Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond), Kieran Culkin (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Bokeem Woodbine (Southland), Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice) and Angus Sampson (Insidious) have been cast in recurring guest-star roles.

And if all that weren’t enough, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons were previously announced as playing a married couple in the series.

The 10-episode second season takes place in 1979 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Luverne, Minnesota.

As I said previously, I loved the original 1996 Coen Brothers movie, starring William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, and, Steve Buscemi, and didn’t see how it could be turned into a episodic TV show. Well, I was completely wrong, show-runner and creator Noah Hawley has crafted a brilliant and captivating show whose first season just blew me away. It was one of best things I’ve ever seen on TV and for FX, finally a worthy successor to The Shield.

A drifter named Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) arrives in small-town Minnesota and influences the population with his malice and violence, including put-upon insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman). The star-turns by both these actors were brilliant and rates as some of their best work ever.

I can’t wait for season 2.

NO MADONNA NO --- Madonna explained in two separate Facebook posts this week that the images she had been using of famous people such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Jesus bound in the same way that she is on her new Rebel Heart album cover were the works of her fans and not meant to compare her to those figures.

The first one: "I would like to thank all my fans for recreating my album cover with the Rebel Heart ribbon on the faces of so many Great Hero's. It shows that you are also celebrating and in admiration of these great freedom fighters! When I re post these images I am saying YES! These people are all Rebel Hearts in one way or another from Martin Luther King to Jesus to Nelson Mandela to John Lennon. Lets celebrate them! The world needs more people like them. I hope to one day accomplish 1 100th of what these Rebel Hearts have accomplished. As I said ‘I walk in the footsteps of Giants’ and I will continue to do so G*D willing. They are my guiding light. #rebelheart #livingforlove" -Madonna

And, the second: "I'm sorry. I'm not comparing myself to anyone I'm admiring and acknowledging there Rebel Hearts.This is neither a crime or an insult or racist! I also did it with Michael Jackson and Frida Kahlo and Marilyn Monroe. I'm saying they are Rebel Hearts too. And I didn't do it. My fans did. My fans aren't racist either; If they put me in the same category as these other people.

Thank you. I'm very flattered and I hope one day to live up to 1/100th of what those people accomplished." - Madonna

She then went on to continue posting more people with the bindings including John Lennon, Basquiat and Princess Diana.

Beyond the questionable taste of using some of these people to promote her upcoming album, there remains some question as to the legality of using the photos. Many of the images may be copyrighted and, while there is some precedent for allowing the altering of those images for artistic expression, it most likely is not an acceptable practice in the promoting of commercial products.

To me, this whole incident is a debacle. Guy Oseray, her manager, as well as U2’s manager … what’s going on here? All I can say in Madonna's case: this is a dismal way to close out a rather stellar career!

GLOBE GRABS --- Who'll win the major Golden Globe Awards this weekend, with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting (and, they'll be divine)? Here are our choices:

Best Movie/Drama: Birdman

Best Movie/Comedy: Into The Woods

Best Actor/Drama: Michael Keaton

Best Actress/Drama: Jennifer Aniston

Best Actor/Comedy: Bill Murray/St. Vincent

Best Actress/Comedy: Emily Blunt

Best Director/Drama: Alejandro González Iñárritu

Best Director/Comedy: Rob Marshall

CLOSING NOTES --- Funny predictions from the Hollywood Reporter's clairvoyant; here's a few:

*Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (director of The Interview) will have difficulty landing their next big deal, and it will be a while before we see studio alliances with them, while James Franco's career will take a bit of a hit.

*A platform will be unveiled that replaces Facebook, and stock values will plummet.

*Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will make controversial comments about Sony and, maybe, Bill Cosby.

*Neil Patrick Harris will be a huge success as Oscar host ... becoming the next Billy Crystal.

*Hillary Clinton will make her announcement for a presidential bid in March or April.

*Jack Nicholson will need to watch his memory and his health.

*50 Shades of Grey will do OK, but critics will be less impressed; and, the sequel will flop.

*Stars Wars: The Force Awakens (our in 2016) will have a major opening and be one of the biggest performers of the franchise and of all time.

*Tom Hanks will have a fall or early winter release that will earn Oscar nominations.

SIGHTINGS --- Soprano-Robert Fuanro on Lower-Broadway, filming his role in the new Marty Scorsese/HBO series.