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News Briefs: Comedy Central Renews Key & Peele for Season 3

LET’S START WITH RENEWALS, SHALL WE?

… Comedy Central has awarded a third season to sketch show Key & Peele, which gets two thumbs up from me. Look for 13 episodes per usual for the third round. This is a show that I dismissed at first, but it found its way into my rotation recently thanks to this sketch about ridiculous football player names (one of which is the name of my first-place fantasy football team). These dudes are funny, and Jordan Peele might be one of the most talented comedians working in show business these days. [Comedy Central via press release]

… FX has ordered more of Brand X with Russell Brand and Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell to beef up its late-night lineup. Both shows have been asked to produce 13 more episodes for the network. And just because you can never have too much Russell Brand, FX has extended his show from 30 minutes to an hour. [FX via press release]

… USA Network’s Necessary Roughness, thought to be a goner, is now close to earning a Season 3 renewal. But it will return with fewer episodes, as the order would be for just 10 episodes. We’ll let you know when this is official. [Deadline Hollywood]
EVERYONE LOVES PERIOD PIECES EXCEPT FOR MASS AUDIENCES

… Julian Fellowes, the creator of the hit British drama Downton Abbey, is developing a project for NBC that sounds like the same thing but with slightly different accents. The Gilded Age would follow the richest of the rich in 1880s New York as they make it rain all over the place with their monocles and fancy tea cups. Fellowes will write the project, which will come with great expectations but fall on its face because honestly, does NBC think the general public will like this stuff? Stop trying to be cable, NBC. [NBC via press release]

… But AMC, now there’s a place for period dramas! The network has ordered the pilots Turn and Halt & Catch Fire. Turn, from the creative team behind Nikita, is set in 1778 ‘Merica and follows a farmer who creates a band of spies that helps shape the Revolutionary War. Halt & Catch Fire is set in the early 1980s and follows the computer boom. [AMC via press release]

… Okay these next projects aren’t period pieces, but Atlanta is kind of stuck in its own time warp so I’m putting them in this section, too. Kidding, Atlanta! You have your collective finger on the pulse of 2005. Bravo has ordered a pair of reality shows set in the ATL: Taking Atlanta, about a bunch of socialites in the city, and Married To Medicine, which follows doctors and doctors’ wives. Both of these sound positively horrible. [Deadline Hollywood]
WHY IS THIS MAN BEING HIRED? NEWS

… Jeff Zucker, the man who was behind the wheel when NBC flipped over and sped off a cliff and tumbled end over end, killing everyone inside, will be the new head of “news” network CNN, according to a report. Given that CNN is already dead inside, this is a step sideways. Can’t wait to see two hours of Jay Leno’s “Headlines” segment. [New York Times]
CASTING NEWS

… David Anders, the rent-a-villain for many shows like Alias and Heroes, is joining The CW’s Arrow. He’ll play… a villain! [Zap2It]

Touch is bringing D.B. Sweeney on board for a guest role. He’ll play an enforcer for Aster Corps. This move is being heralded as a 24 reunion with Kiefer Sutherland, but Sweeney should only be remembered as that guy from The Cutting Edge. [THR]

White Collar‘s Natalie Morales is joining ABC’s comedy pilot Trophy Wife, starring Bradley Whitford and Malin Ackerman. In it, Ackerman plays a party girl who shacks up with an older man. Morales will play one of her hard-partying friends. [THR]

… Martin Short (a.k.a. Ned Nederlander) will host the Saturday Night Live Christmas episode on December 15. He’ll be joined by musical guest Paul McCartney, the guy who played in some band old people listen to. [NBC]

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