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News Briefs: Walton Goggins Is Guesting on Community

September 5, 2013 Leave a comment

… Get ready for awesome news in 3… 2… 1… Justified‘s Walton Goggins will guest-star on Community. He’ll play Mr. Stone, a mysterious man who tempts the study group with an interesting offer. Could it be… the opportunity to erase Season 4 from memory? Community still doesn’t have a return date, but now it has Goggins, making the wait even more painful. [TV Guide]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… A&E has ordered the reality series Crazy Hearts: Nashville. It’s another one of those shows that follows musicians as they try to “make it.” [A&E via press release]

… NBC is developing Former Fat Girl, a comedy based on the book 10 Lessons from a Former Fat Girl. The series is being produced by Jason Katims’ True Jack Productions, and would center on a woman in her mid-30s who’s lost a lot of weight and is entering the dating scene with her new trim body. [Deadline Hollywood]

… Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage are responsible for fifty percent of television created today, and that figure might increase now that ABC has purchased First Timers, a comedy from The Neighbors producers Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker. The series would follow a guy and a gal who form a business partnership. [Deadline Hollywood]

 

CASTING NEWS

… The likable Jason O’Mara has time-traveled for three of his biggest gigs, warping back to prehistoric days and fighting dinosaurs (and viruses and birds) on Terra Nova, zapping back to the 1970s in the occasionally outstanding U.S. remake of Life on Mars, and whooshing over to the 1960s in CBS’s Vegas, but his next role will see him journey all the way to 2013! O’Mara has landed an important recurring role on CBS’s legal drama The Good Wife, playing an Irish lawyer looking to join the corporate ranks. You know what this means: native accent! [Deadline Hollywood]

… More native accents! Starz has added a pair of Scottish actors to its upcoming series Outlander, a drama about a WWII nurse who time-travels back to the days of highland warriors in Scotland. Graham McTavish (The Hobbit) and Gary Lewis (Billy Elliot) will play nephew and uncle in Clan MacKenzie. [Starz via press release]

… Elizabeth Hurley will next be seen on E!’s pilot The Royals. The drama is a rare foray (for E!) into scripted television, and follows a fictional royal family. Hurley will play the Queen. And because Hurley is British, you know what that means… another native accent!!! She last appeared on Gossip Girl. [Deadline Hollywood]

The Arsenio Hall Show returns to televisions on Monday, September 9 (check your local listings for channels), and he’ll have guests! Including Chris Tucker (Monday), Ice Cube and Lisa Kudrow (Tuesday), Magic Johnson and George Lopez (Wednesday), Mark Harmon and Penn & Teller (Thursday), and Angela Bassett (Friday). And they’ll all be using their native accents! [Arsenio Hall Show via press release]

 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

… Remember! It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, and Totally Biased with W. Kumau Bell return tonight on FXX (the second X is bolded for effect). So reroute your DVRs, search your cable guides for FXX, and don’t panic. There’s a good chance FXX is still listed as Fox Sports Soccer. [A message from me to you]

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: LeBron James Fancies Himself a Producer Now, Is Developing a Sitcom at Starz

September 5, 2013 Leave a comment

YOU DON’T GET RINGS FOR TV, LEBRON

… Traitorous NBA superstar LeBron James will executive-produce Survivor’s Remorse, a scripted half-hour comedy series he’s developing with Starz about two men from the streets of Philadelphia who rise to fame and then must deal with the consequences and hardships of being famous.  [Starz via press release]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… In case you were having too much Labor Day fun and missed CBS’s big news yesterday, the network and Time Warner have finally reached an agreement after what felt like a bajillion years, ending the weeks-long blackout. Programming resumed just in time for everyone to sit down and wonder what the hell is happening on Under the Dome. [CBS via press release]

… Fox officially announced today that “Grammy- and Emmy Award-winning multi-platinum singer, musician, songwriter, composer and film/television and Broadway actor” Harry Connick Jr. will join Season 13 of American Idol as the third and final judge alongside Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban.  [Fox via press release]

… TV fans in New York, it’s your lucky day. Paley Fest, the TV festival held annually in Los Angeles by the Paley Center for Media, is coming to New York this year, from October 2-6. But there’s a twist: Only series that are produced in New York will be there. Confirmed panels include Orange Is The New Black, Elementary, The Americans, Small Empires With Alexis Ohanian, The Outs, and Boardwalk Empire. [Paley Center for Media via press release]

… Production on One Life to Live has been suspended indefinitely while Prospect Park, the company that produces the newly revived online version of the soap, settles a lawsuit with ABC. Meanwhile, All My Children, which was also rebooted by Prospect Park, is still chugging along. [LA Times]

 

CASTING NEWS

Pretty Little Liars’ Lucy Hale will guest-star in the third season of ABC Family’s comedy series Baby Daddy, airing sometime in 2014. There’s no word yet on who she’ll play, but we do know that Hale was cast after she mentioned to series star Tahj Mowry that she’d like to appear on the series. Baby Daddy will air its summer finale on September 4 at 8:30pm. [ABC Family via press release]

… Gil McKinney, most recently seen as Sam and Dean’s grandfather on Supernatural, has been cast in the recurring role of Prince Eric on Once Upon a Time. He and Ariel (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) will both first appear in Episode 6, aptly titled “Ariel.” [TV Line]

… Jason Priestley has now joined the ever-growing cast of CSI‘s 300th episode. He’ll play a casino mogul whose reputation was ruined so badly that he became a crazy recluse. Bethany Joy Lenz of One Tree Hill signed on last week, not long after it was announced that Marg Helgenberger would be reprising her role as Catherine Willows in honor of the milestone event. [EW]

… Broadway vet Will Chase (Smash) is joining Nashville as Luke, a country music star and potential love interest for Connie Britton’s Rayna Jaymes, because that girl apparently doesn’t already have enough men in her life. [Broadway.com]

… Gregor Clegane, a.k.a. the Mountain a.k.a. the Super Mean Older Brother of the Hound, has been recast  on Game of Thrones. Again. After a brief portrayal by Conan Stevens in Season 1, and by Ian Whyte in a few episodes of Season 2, the latest iteration of the character will be played by Hafthor Julius Bjornsson in Season 4.  [Zap2It]

… Ben and Kate’s Dakota Johnson and Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam have landed the coveted roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. Not long after the announcement was made, the internet did what the internet does and now a bunch of crazy people have signed a petition to recast the leads because they’re not the actors the fans wanted. Internet, you so crazy. [Variety]

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: J.J. Abrams Is Developing Westworld for HBO

September 2, 2013 Leave a comment

WESTWORLD IS THE BESTWORLD

… J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan (the executive producer of Person of Interest, and also the brother Christopher Nolan) are developing Michael Crichton’s cult film Westworld for HBO and probably a lot of money. Westworld was a 1973 film about an android in a futuristic Western-themed amusement park, for those of you (me) who have no idea what the hell I’m talking about. Someone in the know, please tell me if I’m missing out by never having seen this film, and whether or not you are excited by the prospect of it coming to your TV. [Variety]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… Former Chuck executive producer Matt Miller is re-teaming with Zev Borow, a former writer for the NBC series, for a new cop drama. Bad Guys is about an NYPD detective named Lea Morris who is also a single mother, and her father, a recently paroled ex-con who wants back in to her life. The project just landed at Fox. [Deadline Hollywood]

… Showtime has acquired Jay-Z’s Made in America documentary about the two-day Budweiser “Made in America” festival he organized in Philadelphia last year. It will premiere Friday, October 11 at 9pm, for those so inclined. [Showtime via press release]

… The series finale of Futurama on September 4 will be validated by an online pre-show and a post-show, both hosted by Chris Hardwick because duh. The pre-show will feature series creator Matt Groening and executive producer David X. Cohen, as well as several cast members. It will begin at 9:30pm. The second half-hour will feature co-executive producer Patric M. Verrone and supervising director Peter Avanzino, and will be available immediately after the series finale ends. [THR]

… Robin Wright has directed an episode of Season 2 of House of Cards [Indiewire]

 

CASTING NEWS

… Ben Feldman (Mad Men) is, much like every other good-looking male these days, heading to The Mindy Project. He’ll appear in multiple episodes as an arts and culture writer who thinks Mindy’s tastes are kind of terrible. But because this is The Mindy Project, he’s also a love interest for Mindy. I’m not keeping track of how many that is this season, but me thinks it’s time to create a chart. [TV Line]

… Josh Groban will guest-star in an upcoming episode of The Crazy Ones, CBS’ new comedy starring Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and James Wolk. Groban will not be playing himself like Kelly Clarkson does in the pilot. He’ll be playing a character from Sydney’s (Gellar) past named Richie. [EW]

… Russell Tovey (UK’s Being Human) has been cast in Looking, HBO’s new half-hour comedy about a group of gay men living in San Francisco. He’ll play the recurring role of Kevin, a kind of video-games wunderkind who achieved financial success at a young age.  [THR]

 

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: Rob Thomas Is Bringing Les Misérables to TV

August 31, 2013 Leave a comment

DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING?

… Rob Thomas, the creator of Veronica Mars and the man responsible for making Kickstarter a hot-button issue (but with good reason!), is now bringing a present-day version of Les Misérables to television. Whuck? Yeah, I know, but just hear me out. The project, which has landed at Fox, revolves around a lawyer who runs an exoneration program, all the while fighting to evade the consequences of his own wrongful conviction from a long time ago. He is, of course, constantly trying to remain one step ahead of a US Attorney who just refuses to let anything go. Now let’s play cast the pilot! Michael Muhney as the lawyer! Ken Marino as the US Attorney! Ryan Hansen as … anyone, I don’t really care! And of course, it goes without saying that Amanda Seyfried pretty much has to be in this, right? [Deadline Hollywood]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… NBC has purchased a new comedy project about a bowling league from Krysten Ritter, Liz Vassey, and Aaron Kaplan. The project centers around a group of friends who have a Wednesday-night bowling league, but after two of the members break up, neither wants to give up the league.  [Deadline Hollywood]

 


CASTING NEWS

… Back in July it was announced that Ellie Kemper would be guest-starring in Season 9 of How I Met Your Mother, but Kemper has since had to pull out due to a scheduling conflict. But before you go and get all sad, don’t. Because Anna Camp has graciously volunteered to take her spot as Cassie, one of the most attractive (duh) guests at Robin and Barney’s wedding. [TV Line]

… Casting for CSI‘s 300th episode is heating up. On the heels of the news that Marg Helgenberger is returning, is the announcement that One Tree Hill alum Bethany Joy Lenz will be guest-starring in the milestone episode. Lenz will play a “sexy, seemingly normal-looking mother of two.”  [TV Line]

… Casting for Ron Moore’s new series Outlander is also making headway. Stephen Walters (Layer Cake) and Annette Badland (Doctor Who) have each booked recurring roles on the series, adapted from the book series of the same name by Diana Gabaldon. Walters will play Angus Mhor, who drinks heavily and is always ready for a fight. Badland will play Mrs. Fitzgibbons, an intelligent woman who holds Castle Leoch together. [TV Guide]

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: Lisa Kudrow Is Joining Scandal

August 30, 2013 2 comments

JUST DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK

… Lisa Kudrow has joined ABC’s Scandal in a recurring capacity for Season 3. The Friends star and Mad About You scene-stealer will play … well, we don’t know because Shonda Rhimes doesn’t want us to know. But we can tell you that she’s going to be a politician.  [Deadline Hollywood]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… FX has ordered a drama pilot starring Paul Giamatti. Hoke, written and produced by Justified‘s Scott Frank, is based on Charles Willeford’s Hoke Moseley novels. It’s set in Miami in the ’80s and Giamatti plays the titular homicide detective who might just be a tiny bit off his rocker. Looks like it fits the FX Equation for Success: At Least One Recognizable Face + Dark Comedy + Some Sort of Crime Being Committed By Someone Who May or May Not Be the Lead = Success! Count me in!  [Deadline Hollywood]

… Valerie Harper, who was given three months to live after being diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this year, isn’t letting the cancer get the best of her. She’s joining Dancing With the Stars!  [TMZ]

… Andrew Lincoln of The Walking Dead does not watch the series because he claims he doesn’t really like looking at himself.  [EW]

… There’s going to be a Luther movie!  [Daily Mail]

… Attention all four people who watch Breaking Amish: LA! TLC has ordered two more one-hour episodes of the series. They’re set to air back-to-back on Sunday, September 29 at 9pm, and will serve as a season finale. The second hour will be a reunion show, hosted by NBC’s Michelle Beadle. [TLC via press release]

… Disney XD has renewed Crash & Bernstein, a live-action comedy about a boy and his puppet, for a second season, set to premiere October 7 at 7:30pm. [Disney via press release]

 

CASTING NEWS

Suits is in the middle of its summer half-season, but when the series returns this winter, you might recognize a familiar face in the mid-season premiere. Michael Phelps, bazillion-time Olympic medal winner, is guest-starring as himself when Scottie (Abigail Spencer) tries to land him as a client. Word on the street is Phelps is the one sports client Harvey could never close. Side note: If you follow series star Patrick J. Adams on Instagram, you already know that this is not the first time Phelps has visited the set. [EW]

… Mekhi Phifer has joined Showtime’s House of Lies as Dre, a successful business mogul.  [Deadline Hollywood]

…  John Noble is returning to The Good Wife in Season 5. But how? Isn’t he dead? Yep! Noble’s Matthew Ashbaugh was murdered in Season 4 and he appeared mostly through flashbacks in his episode, so how exactly does he return? Is he a ghost? Is this an entire flashback episode? All good questions. None of which I have the answer to. Sorry! [TV Guide]

… There’s about to be one less good-looking brunette for Rayna to make out with in Nashville, and one more person to keep track of in Westeros. Michiel Huisman has joined HBO’s Game of Thrones for Season 4.  [TV Line]

 

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: Walton Goggins Is Developing a Series for Fox

August 29, 2013 Leave a comment

I SUPPOSE HE KNOWS A THING OR TWO ABOUT DRUGS

… Walton Goggins, who is currently starring as Boyd Crowder on FX’s Justified, is developing a drama project about the world of Mexican drug cartels for Fox. Gringo, which Goggins is writing with Adam Fierro (The Shield), will follow an American cop and his Mexican wife as they move south of the border and become involved in the cartel wars. Goggins is not currently attached to appear in Gringo, so it doesn’t look like he’ll be leaving Harlan—alive or dead—any time soon. [Variety]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… Breckin Meyer, who created TBS’s Men at Work and who plays Franklin on TNT’s Franklin & Bash, has sold the single-camera comedy Thursdays to NBC. The project revolves around a group of guys—naturally—who have a weekly Thursday night guys dinner. I don’t want to play the girl card here, but seriously, bro? Would it kill you to create a series that isn’t just about dudes hanging out being dudes?  [Deadline Hollywood]

… Mark your calendars! FX announced today that American Horror Story: Coven will premiere October 9. Jessica Lange is playing the witchy mother of Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett is playing Marie Laveau, a character loosely based on an influential woman from the 1800s, and Kathy Bates is channeling the infamous 1830s New Orleans socialite/serial killer Madame LaLaurie. [TV Line]

… One might have expected Patrick Dempsey to finally announce his own decision regarding his future at Seattle Grace once co-star Sandra Oh announced she was leaving Grey’s Anatomy. But he remains cagey about whether or not he’ll return after his contract is up after Season 10.  [TV Line]

 

CASTING NEWS

… AMC has pulled the patented CW move of hiring from within. David Morrissey, who plays The Governor on AMC’s The Walking Dead, has been cast as the lead in the network’s new drama pilot Line of Sight, about a National Transportation Safety Board investigator who survives a horrific plane crash. AMC is claiming Morrissey will return for Season 4 of The Walking Dead, because both series film in Atlanta, but there’s no reason to believe the Governor won’t die simply because AMC made one simple statement. Come on, guys, this is The Walking Dead we’re talking about. [Deadline Hollywood]

… More details have emerged regarding Demi Lovato’s stint on Glee. It looks like the X Factor judge will be romancing Naya Rivera’s Santana in Season 5. Lovato will first appear in the Beatles tribute episode, and the duo are rumored to be performing “Here Comes the Sun.” [People]

… Zeljko Ivanek (Damages) is joining the cast of Revolution in Season 2. He’ll play the meticulous scientist Dr. Calvin Horn, per series creator Eric Kripke.  [TV Guide]

… Justin Bruening (Grey’s AnatomyAll My Children) has been cast in ABC Family’s new series Ravenswood as Benjamin Price, a teacher not completely unlike Pretty Little Liars Ezra Fitz, as it’s said Benjamin is able to connect with his students as both a teacher and a friend. Let’s hope Mr. Price steers clear of the whole teacher/student romantic relationship thing, though. We don’t want ABC Family to become that network. Bruening will first appear in the October 22 series premiere. [THR]

… Sarah Jane Morris (NCIS), who can be seen in A&E’s drama pilot Occult, will be guest-starring as the Victim of the Week on Criminal Minds this fall. She’ll appear in the sixth episode of Season 9. [TV Line]

 

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: Joshua Jackson Is Returning to TV in The Affair

August 27, 2013 Leave a comment

HE’S CHEATING ON OLIVIA NEWS

… Joshua Jackson has signed on to co-star in Showtime’s new drama pilot The Affair as Cole, a hard-edged cowboy (!!!). The project, from Sarah Treem (House of Cards) and co-creator Hagai Levi (In Treatment), is an exploration of two marriages and an affair that disrupts them. In the project, Jackson’s wife Allison, played by Luther‘s Ruth Wilson, has an affair with Dominic West’s Noah, whose family is vacationing on Long Island. Maura Tierney plays Helen, Noah’s long-time wife and the mother of his children. How anyone could cheat on Pacey Witter is beyond me, but then gain, Jimmy McNulty’s pretty great too. [Showtime via press release]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… Today’s all about (sorta)-big returns, I guess; Chris Carter, creator of The X-Files, has sold a pilot to Amazon. Titled The After, the project picks up immediately after the apocalypse. Not a lot is known about the project, but Carter is set to write and direct the pilot. [THR]

… Syfy has given a cast-contingent pilot order to 12 Monkeys, a drama series about a time traveler from a post-apocalyptic future (what is with all this end-of-the-world doom?) who returns to present day to eliminate the source of a plague that will eventually destroy the human race. It’s based on the 1995 film Twelve Monkeys starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, because we’re incapable of coming up with original ideas and have already remade everything worth revisiting. [Deadline Hollywood]

… FX is jumping on the shows-that-talk-about-shows bandwagon by ordering three episodes of Anarchy Afterword, a half-hour series that will be released online immediately after the east coast airing of Sons of Anarchy. The installments will be released after the Season 6 premiere, the fifth episode, and the season finale. The series will be hosted by Chris Franjola (Chelsea Lately) with series creator Kurt Sutter, and various celebrity fans and cast members will stop by to discuss the episodes. If all goes well, there’s a possibility FX will follow suit with an online after-show for American Horror Story: Coven. [THR]

… Jay Baruchel (Undeclared) has sold a semi-autobiographical comedy to ABC. The project, which Baruchel will write with Jesse Chabot, follows a successful actor who shuns the life of the rich and famous to move back home to Vermont. He buys a house down the street from his mom and invites his childhood best friends to move in.  [Deadline Hollywood]

 

CASTING NEWS

Bunheads‘ Sutton Foster has been cast in the Season 8 finale of Psych as a middle-school teacher who might be hooking up with a middle-school gym teacher. The finale, which was voted upon by fans of the series, will see Gus (Dule Hill) visit a dream therapist in order to find out the source of his night terrors. [TV Line]

… Reeve Carney, most recently seen as Spiderman in Broadway’s Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, has been cast in Showtime’s Penny Dreadful alongside Timothy Dalton, Josh Hartnett, and Eva Green. Carney will play Dorian Grey in the eight-part drama series about the origin of some of literature’s most famous monsters. [THR]

 

TODAY IN BREAKING BAD NEWS

… Anna Gunn has had enough of the Skyler White hate and wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times shaming everyone who’s been hateful towards her, and towards Skyler. Anna Gunn: 1, The Internet: 0. [NY Times]

… Gennifer Hutchison, the writer of Sunday’s intense Breaking Bad episode, was interviewed about how the episode came to be. And trust me, if you’re a Breaking Bad fan and you’re not still talking about the episode, you might want to revisit it and then read her interview, because damn. [Vulture]

 

‘TIS THE SEASON FOR REUNIONS

… The cast of Bunheads reunited on August 17 to film one last dance number as a goodbye to the series, which was brutally canceled in July by the same network that allowed The Secret Life of the American Teenager to live for five seasons. [BuzzFeed]

The Shield‘s Strike Team reunited a few weeks ago. Michael Chiklis posted a photo on Twitter of himself, Kenny Johnson, and Walton Goggins at a friend’s birthday party. I guess Ronnie’s still in prison.

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: Ben Stiller Might Adapt Reality Bites for NBC

August 23, 2013 Leave a comment

TOTALLY GRUNGIFIED NEWS, DUDE

… Ben Stiller is trying to adapt his coming-of-age film Reality Bites into a single-camera comedy for NBC. The early-1990s film, which starred Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Steve Zahn, Janeane Garafolo, and Stiller, followed recent college grads trying to make it through real life and was part of a wave of Gen-X slacker grunge alterna-new wave indie flicks. The series would be set in the same time period. [Variety] 

 

BUSINESS TIME

… After poisoning the minds of our youth with pseudo-docs about giant sharks and fishy females, Discovery Channel will purposely dive into fiction. The network is developing North and South, based on the novel series of the same name by author John Jakes. Set in the 1860s, the project tells the story of two friendly families, one from Pennsylvania and one from South Carolina, who are ripped apart by the Civil War and all that slavery hullabaloo. The books were previously adapted into three successful miniseries for ABC, starting in the mid-1980s and concluding in the mid-1990s. [Discovery via press release]

… Bravo’s The Rachel Zoe Project is over, according to someone named Rachel Zoe. The reality series, in which Zoe put clothes on celebrities and delved into her personal life, ran for five seasons. Zoe got bummed about the fact that show became more about her and not about dressing up stars.  [Hollywood Life]

… FX has ordered a pilot for Bigfoot, a comedy produced by Seth Rogen. The animated series would be based on the very funny series of books from Graham Roumieu, in which a philosophizing Sasquatch seeks romance and understanding in a world that sees him as a beast. [EW]

… How’s this for efficiency? A future episode of the headline-ripping Law & Order: SVU will combine the Trayvon Martin case AND the Paula Deen scandal in a single hour! Cybill Shepherd will play a celebrity chef who shoots a teenager because she thinks he’s a rapist.  [EW]

 

CASTING NEWS

… Keith Carradine (Dexter, Deadwood) will be heading to Fox’s The Following next season in a recurring role. We don’t know much about the role he’ll play except that he’s a trusted friend of Kevin Bacon’s Ryan Hardy. [TV Line]

… Abu Nazir is going to terrorize Oliver Queen! Navid Negahban, who played the big bad in the first two seasons of Homeland, will guest-star on The CW’s Arrow as bad guy Al-Owal in the fifth episode of Season 2. [E! Online]

… Bryan Fuller’s Syfy pilot High Moon has booked Jonathan Tucker (Brotherhood) for a recurring role. The series follows colonies on the moon where residents dig up resources and find new life forms. Tucker will play a Russian miner. Also recently cast in the 90-minute pilot: Dana Davis (10 Things I Hate About You) and Peter Macon (Supernatural). [Syfy via press release]

… Jerry Springer will guest-star on the second season of ABC’s The Neighbors. [EW]

… Yo dog dog yo, Randy Jackson might be returning to American Idol, but not as a judge… as a mentor! He’d replace previous mentor Jimmy Iovine. [Deadline Hollywood]

 

SO CRAZY IT MUST BE TRUE NEWS!

… Okay it’s not that crazy. But the Belize Tourism Board has offered free Belize vacations to several Breaking Bad cast members in the wake of Saul Goodman using the phrase “send him on a trip to Belize” as a euphemism for murder. If they don’t take these freebies, they deserve “an all-expenses-paid trip to Tahiti,” if you catch my drift. (Tahiti Tourism Board, call me!) [New York Times]

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: Rashida Jones Has Ladyballs

August 22, 2013 Leave a comment

LOOKS WHO GREW A PAIR!

Rashida Jones, who is departing Parks and Recreation midway through Season 6, is developing a dramedy for The CW with her sister, Kidada Jones. The series, titled Ladyballs, revolves around two friends who have been estranged for a while, but are reunited when they realize they’ve been dating the same guy. So they decide to humiliate him on the internet instead of just argue-singing about it, and when the video goes viral, they make the truly American decision to turn the idea into a business.  [THR]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… Speaking of The CW, the network sure were busy today. It’s currently developing a Fame-esque series with Fame star Debbie Allen. The project will be set in Los Angeles, not New York, to set it apart from the original. Apparently the lack of ’80s fashion wasn’t enough. [THR]

… Sylvester Stallone is in talks to join a potential TV series based on his hit movie franchise Rambo. The project, from Entertainment One and Nu Image, is still in the early stages, but Stallone would work with the show on a creative level and could potentially reprise his iconic role. I don’t really want to be the person to say this, but isn’t it about time we stopped with the remakes, and the sequels, and the adaptations? Have we seriously run out of all the good ideas already? Oh wait, just kidding, we still have Ladyballs. [THR]

… Comedians Andy Samberg and Aziz Ansari will have the opportunity to poke fun at James Franco when the actor/director/artist/author/worst-Oscars-host-ever appears on Comedy Central for a roast in his honor. [Entertainment Weekly]

… Seriously? Of course this would happen now that I said that. You can add television host to that list of Franco’s titles, because he’s set to host a TV series about art on Ovation TV. Titled James Franco Presents, the series is a one-hour, 10-part series in which Franco will explore the world of art, from his gallery exhibits to his students’ films. It’ll also involve a bunch of other stuff that he thinks is important, like his own video diaries. [Deadline Hollywood]

… Disney made a string of announcements today, starting with a Season 4 renewal for the live-action comedy series Kickin’ It, which will premiere in 2014. Meanwhile, Season 2 of Disney’s hit series Dog With a Blog will premiere September 20 at 8:30pm with an episode about the first day of school.  [Disney via press release]

… Syfy is continuing to expand its reality programming slate with Camera Ready, an all-new reality competition series about costume designers stretching their imaginations as they compete in challenges to create outfits for film, television, and music videos. [Syfy via press release]

 

CASTING NEWS

… Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black‘s critical darling, will guest-star on NBC’s Parks and Recreation as a love interest for Aziz Ansari’s Tom Haverford. She’ll appear in the fifth and sixth episodes of Season 6. Something tells me she’s more than capable of handling Pawnee’s biggest man-boy. After all, once you cut off a man’s tail, there’s really nothing you can’t do. [THR]

… It’s a big day for Orphan Black actors, because Dylan Bruce has joined Lifetime’s new Flowers in the Attic adaptation alongside Kiernan Shipka and Heather Graham. He’ll play Bartholomew “Bart” Winslow, the husband of Graham’s Corinne.  [TV Line]

… Omari Hardwick (Dark Blue, Breakout Kings) has landed the lead in Starz’s new original series Power, about a Manhattan nightclub owner who caters to the city’s elite in a number of ways. In addition to running his after-hours establishment, Hardwick’s character, James “Ghost” St. Patrick, also leads the most lucrative drug network in New York. Oh, and the best part? The series is from executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. I bet you want to watch it now, huh? [Starz via press release]

… Hey, Chuck fans, listen up: Morgan Grimes is finally returning to your TV sets. Joshua Gomez, who played the terribly endearing best friend of Chuck Bartowski on NBC’s fan-favorite series, is guest-starring on the sixth season of Castle as a murder suspect who claims to have traveled from the future to prevent a cataclysmic event. Which, I guess, is probably better than trying to explain the Intersect. [TV Line]

… Stephen O’Reilly and Kimiko Glenn have been cast in Season 2 of Orange Is the New Black. O’Reilly will play Christopher, the fiancé of Lorna (Yael Stone) who was discussed throughout Season 1 but never seen, and Glenn will play someone named Brooke Soso. [Deadline Hollywood]

 

REQUIRED READING

Former Lost writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach has some great tips to help you determine whether you’re watching something that’s actually good, or something that’s just supposed to look like it’s actually good. Ray Donovan, Low Winter Sun, he’s talking about you.

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: A Breaking Bad Fave Is Enrolling at Greendale Community College

August 22, 2013 Leave a comment

I GUESS HE’S NOT IN BELIZE AFTER ALL

Jonathan Banks, most recently seen on Breaking Bad and Parks and Recreation, has been cast in a recurring role on Season 5 of Community. He’ll play Pat Nichols, a criminology professor with a background in the military and police work. Banks is signed on for 11 episodes and is first slated to appear in the second episode of the season. Considering the fact that Michael Kenneth Williams’s professor charactor got to say Omar’s famous “A man’s gotta have a code” line from The Wire when he guest-starred in Season 3, what do you think the Community writers will do to honor Breaking Bad? [Entertainment Weekly]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… NBC has renewed Hollywood Game Night for a 10-episode second season. The series, created by Sean Hayes and hosted by Glee‘s Jane Lynch, gives regular, people like you and me the chance to hang out and play games with celebrities.  [NBC via press release]

… Is it possible that the world has collectively stopped caring about Lindsay Lohan and her ongoing struggles? Her post-rehab interview with Oprah Winfrey scored only modest ratings for Winfrey’s network, clocking in at just around 900,000 viewers on Sunday evening. To be fair, the world was really busy watching Walter White attempt to clean up his life at that exact same time, so Lohan probably never stood a chance anyway. [Variety]

… Starz’s imported BBC miniseries Dancing on the Edge will premiere October 19 at 10pm following the finale of The White Queen. The five-part series, which will then continue to air on Saturdays at 9pm, follows the story of a group of Black jazz musicians—the Louis Lester Band—as they rise to stardom in London during the 1930s. It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Goode, Jacqueline Bisset, and John Goodman.  [Startz via press release]

… AMC’s Low Winter Sun must be really terrible if it can’t even hold half its lead-in from one of the most highly anticipated final seasons of a television series ever. LWS only managed a 0.5 rating in AMC’s target demo on Sunday evening, bringing in a paltry 1.5 million viewers. Considering Breaking Bad pulled in 4.8 million viewers (down from 5.9 million for last week’s premiere) and scored a 2.4 rating in adults under 50, well that’s saying something. And believe me, it isn’t saying anything good. [Vulture]

 

CASTING NEWS

Justified‘s Timothy Olyphant is headed to Fox’s The Mindy Project to romance everyone’s favorite doctor. Just kidding, no one likes doctors. Olyphant will play a professional skateboarder who almost runs Mindy over in Union Square. Naturally, this leads to a date because Mindy lives in a world that most of us only dream of living in. [E! Online]

… Marg Helgenberger is returning to CSI for the show’s landmark 300th episode. No, that’s not a typo; the series really is about to reach 300 episodes. Helgenberger left the series in Season 12 (still not a typo), but will appear once again via a series of recreated flashbacks that take the cast back 14 years, to a fictional cold case that has resurfaced in the present day. [TV Line]

… Rob Corddry is reprising his role as Jeff Winger’s law-firm buddy Alan Connor in Community‘s Season 5 premiere. There’s not much info out there about what brings him back to Greendale, but one might assume it has something to do with Jeff returning to campus after graduating in Season 4. Just a shot in the dark, though. [TV Line]

… Ben Rappaport (Outsourced) has booked the lead in USA’s new single-camera comedy Love Is Dead, which tells the story of a romance in reverse, starting with the break-up. Rappaport plays Alex, who’s been dumped via a representative of an agency that will break up with someone for you if you’re willing to pay enough. Apparently there is something worse than being dumped via text. [Deadline Hollywood]

… I think I’m the only person in my age group who doesn’t care for the Boy Meets World spin-off Girl Meets World, but that’s okay because I have absolutely no control over what the world does anyway. Like the fact that the series has added two new cast members without consulting me. The first is Peyton Meyer (Dog With a Blog), who plays Tristan Friar and is Riley Matthews’ first crush. The second is August Maturo (How I Met Your Mother), who will play her little brother Louis. Call me when Rider Strong officially decides to return and maybe we can talk about this whole spin-off again. [TV Line]

… 90120 star Jessica Stroup has landed a series regular role on Fox’s The Following for Season 2. She’ll play Max, the niece of Kevin Bacon’s Ryan Hardy. Max works for the NYPD in the Intel Division. Hmm, I wonder how those two reconnect? Also signing on to the series is Tiffany Boone (Beautiful Creatures), who becomes the newest member of Joe Carroll’s cult, possibly against her own wishes. [Entertainment Weekly]

… Judd Nelson has joined the final season of The CW’s Nikita in a major role. He’ll play a deep-cover operative working for Amanda who has ties to a plot that only Nikita and Co. can stop. Apparently his role is also really important because he’s the keeper of a secret that is threatening to change the fabric of the entire Nikita universe. If Harry Potter taught me anything, it’s that you never want to be a secret keeper. Just saying. [TV Line]

 

SAD NEWS

Elmore Leonard, the author of several crime novels and short stories that’ve been adapted into movies and TV series, including FX’s Justified, died today, three weeks after suffering a stroke. He was 87. Justified executive producer Graham Yost said the series is planning a tribute to Leonard, who was also an executive producer on the series. The tribute will appear on the Season 4 DVD, as well as in the Season 5 premiere in January 2014. [Deadline Hollywood]

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: Demi Lovato Is Joining Glee

August 20, 2013 Leave a comment

SHE LOVES YOU LIKE A LOVE SONG

Demi Lovato has signed on for a significant role in Glee‘s upcoming fifth season. She’ll play Dani, a struggling artist type in New York who’s friends with Rachel and Santana, and who will be spending a lot of her time with Adam Lambert’s incoming character. Lovato is signed on for at least six episodes and will first appear in the October 3 Beatles tribute episode. And because I know you’re all worried, fear not: She’ll carry on her X Factor judging duties as normal. [TV Line]

BUSINESS TIME

… In the wake of the sudden suicide of Lee Thompson Young this morning, TNT has halted production on its hit series Rizzoli & Isles in order to give the cast and crew time to grieve the loss of their colleague and friend, and to give the writers time to chart a proper course of action for the series. Young played Detective Barry Frost, the partner of Angie Harmon’s Jane Rizzoli. [Deadline Hollywood]

… On a much happier note, Sophie Turner, the actress who plays Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones, has adopted her character’s “direwolf.” Fans of the series know that Lady went to direwolf heaven in Season 1, but when the owners of the dog who played her were looking to re-home the pup, Turner’s mom convinced them to let her adopt the animal instead. [The Coventry Telegraph]

… The History Channel has greenlit a four-hour miniseries about Harry Houdini, creatively titled Houdini. The miniseries will trace Houdini’s life from extreme poverty to extreme famousness. Adrien Brody is set to star as the magician, while House of Cards‘ Kristen Connolly will play his wife Bess. [Deadline Hollywood]

… Forty-one percent of people recently polled in Louisiana think Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson should not run for Congress.  [Politico]

… In an attempt to beef up FXX, the new sister channel to FX that will launch on September 2, FX Networks is developing a new comedy series with comedian D.L. Hughley. The deal was just closed last week so there’s not much info available, but Hughley says it’s a series about doing a radio show. If you’re confused, it’s probably because Hughley’s actual radio show, The D.L. Hughley Show, launched today in five cities, and hits 45 other markets in the near future. FXX will also begin airing re-runs of The Hughleys this fall.  [Laughspin]

… Beginning September 17, you can watch The Middle every day at 5pm on ABC Family. If you’re on the fence about whether you want to make such a big commitment, ABC Family is airing an eight-hour marathon on September 16, starting at 11am. Episodes airing during the marathon include the pilot, “The Bee,” “Average Rules,” “A Birthday Story,” and “The Sit Down.” [ABC Family via press release]

 

CASTING NEWS

… Rachel Dratch will guest-star on The Middle as Brick’s new middle school principal. She’ll appear early in Season 5. [TV Line]

… Dana Davis (Franklin & Bash) and Peter Macon (The Shield) are joining Jake Sandvig and Chris Diamantopoulos in the cast of Bryan Fuller’s High Moon. Davis plays Yama Winehart, the one and only human to be born on the moon, and she can never leave it because something about gravity. Macon plays her father, General Gale Lynn Winehart, a wary army general with years of battle experience. [Deadline Hollywood]

… Sarah Clarke (24, The Tomorrow People) has landed a lead role in a new drama pilot from AMC. The project, Line of Sight, is about Lewis Brent, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator who survives a horrific plane crash. This leads him on a personal quest to discover the cause of the accident. Clarke will play Lewis’s wife Dot, who is attempting to save both her marriage and her husband’s life. [Deadline Hollywood]

Ravenswood, the Pretty Little Liars spin-off has cast two of its parental figures. Henry Simmons (NYPD Blue) and Sophina Brown (Numb3rs), who are married in real life, will play Simon and Terry Beaumont, the parents of Remy (American Horror Story). Simon runs the local paper, and Terry is a war veteran struggling with survivor’s guilt.  [TV Line]

 

TODAY IN BREAKING BAD NEWS

… A bunch of crazy people in southern Connecticut dialed 911 on Sunday night when their cable went out during Breaking Bad. Look, I get that you’re upset—I probably would’ve burned a bunch of my roommate’s stuff in a blind rage—but let’s save the 911 calls for real emergencies, like if Jesse Pinkman dies. [NY Daily News]

… The coordinates in Walt’s lottery numbers from last night’s episode actually direct you to Albuquerque Studios, where the series is filmed. So please stop digging holes in the desert like a meth addict. [Wired]

 

AND IN THE HOLY CRAP COLUMN…

… Television legend Dick Van Dyke had to be rescued from his car today; the vehicle had burst into flames on the 101 in Los Angeles. The 87-year-old actor is said to be doing fine. [THR]

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: Lauren Graham Is Returning to The CW to Produce a Semi-Autobiographical Series

August 17, 2013 Leave a comment

WELCOME BACK, MISS GILMORE

What’s that saying about going home again? Never mind, it doesn’t matter, because Lauren Graham is reuniting with The CW to executive-produce a new series based on her semi-autobiographical first novel, Someday, Someday, Maybe, about a young actress nearing a self-imposed deadline to find success in New York. Graham is also writing the pilot. Hey, I hear Amy Sherman-Palladino is free if you need any tips, Lauren!  [Deadline Hollywood]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… That Tina Fey and Matt Hubbard comedy about a women’s college starting to admit dudes now has a home: The multi-camera sitcom has landed at Fox after a bidding war. That makes two new shows for Fey this week; the other one is in the works at NBC. [Variety]

… FX’s new spin-off network FXX will launch with a Parks and Recreation Treat Yo’ Self marathon on September 2. Beginning at 7am Eastern, the network will showcase the best that Pawnee has to offer. Unfortunately, someone at FXX didn’t get that memo in time, because the marathon kicks off with the pilot, and we all know Season 1 of Parks and Rec was basically the pits. [FX via press release]

… ABC Family has paired with Wet Seal to launch a new clothing line based on the fashions seen on Switched at BirthThe Fosters, and Twisted. The line will include clothing inspired by three different characters: Bay Kennish (Vanessa Marano) from Switched at Birth, Callie Foster (Maia Mitchell) from The Fosters, and Lacey Porter (Kylie Bunbury) from Twisted. Call me crazy, but if you were going to develop a fashion line from an ABC Family series, wouldn’t Pretty Little Liars be the way to go?  [Entertainment Weekly]

… MTV is boldly going where MTV has gone before—specifically in 2004, 2007, and 2011—by opting to forgo a host for this year’s Video Music Awards, which will be broadcast live from Brooklyn on August 25 at 9pm. Maybe Neil Patrick Harris was busy that night. [NY Post]

… Speaking of MTV, the network that brought you The Tom Green Show and Punk’d has ordered Jerks With Cameras, a half-hour “unhidden” camera series in which comedians will prank ordinary people on the street… on film. Apparently, celebrities are too smart to fall for hidden-camera tricks these days, but everyday people, we’re all still really gullible and stupid! The series is executive-produced by Jersey Shore producer SallyAnn Salsano. [THR]

… CBS is developing a drama series about a fictional female Secretary of State. The series, Madame Secretary, from Joan of Arcadia‘s Barbara Hall and  Morgan Freeman, explores the personal and professional life of the Secretary of State. Meanwhile, NBC’s miniseries about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is looking for a new home, because Fox TV Studios has dropped the project after the Republic National Convention banned NBC and CNN from the 2016 presidential primary debates. [Deadline Hollywood]

 

CASTING NEWS

… If you had JoAnna Garcia in your Once Upon a Time Ariel pool, please come collect your winnings. ABC announced today that the former Privileged star—don’t even mention Animal Practice around me—has been cast in the coveted role.  [TV Guide]

… Valerie Cruz (Homeland) has been cast in a recurring role on Fox’s The Following. She’ll play Gina Mendez, an NYPD detective who works with Shawn Ashmore’s Mike Weston to solve a new string of murders. Cruz will first appear in the Season 2 premiere, which picks up a year after the finale. [E! Online]

… James Remar, most recently seen as Dexter Morgan’s late father on Dexter, is joining Grey’s Anatomy in a super-secret role for Season 10.  [TV Line]

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: Tina Fey Is Returning to NBC to Produce a Workplace Comedy

August 15, 2013 Leave a comment

YES, PRAYER WORKS!

Tina Fey is set to return to NBC, this time as an executive producer on an as-yet-untitled new project from 30 Rock writer-producer Colleen McGuinness. The project is a character-driven workplace comedy about a young woman who’s searching to reconnect with her father. She eventually finds a new home and a new family on Fire Island in New York. Also producing is 30 Rock co-showrunner Robert Carlock.  [Deadline Hollywood]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… NBC certainly has been busy lately. In addition to the Tina Fey-produced project mentioned above, the network has ordered three other more comedies to its development slate for next season. The first one is an untitled half-hour from Harris Wittels (Parks and Recreation) and Ali Rushfield, about a man-boy who lives with his parents and clashes with them on the matter of raising his little brother… who is apparently a multimillionaire high school entrepreneur? The second one, which is also untitled, is a multi-camera adult relationship comedy from Dan Mazer, and there isn’t much detail available. And the third one, a multi-camera project called Gifted, centers on two average parents and their genius kid and is described as “Family Ties meets Big Bang Theory in a family setting” . [Deadline Hollywood]

… Remember that forthcoming e-book that will wrap up Showtime’s The Borgias, which we literally told you about yesterday? It’s now available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and SmashWords. The title is The Borgia Apocalypse: The Screenplay, and it’s basically the script of what was originally conceived as a two-hour movie to cap off the series, and which Showtime ultimately decided not to make. [Showtime via press release]

… Lifetime has renewed its summer drama series Devious Maids for Season 2. The series, from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, is Lifetime’s fasting-growing drama ever, and hit a 2.9 million viewer high two weeks ago. The series will return with 13 additional episodes in 2014. [THR]

… Because IFC knows we don’t like to go a single day around here without mentioning Breaking Bad in some way, shape, or form, the network announced today that Bob Odenkirk will appear in every episode of its upcoming sketch show The Birthday Boys, which premieres October 18 at 10:30pm.  [Splitsider]

… Mischa Barton is throwing some major shade at The O.C., guys, and it’s not cool. Not only has she said that it doesn’t feel right to do a reunion—apparently forgetting the fact that her character, Marissa Cooper, died in Season 3 and probably wouldn’t factor heavily into such an event—she would also prefer not to be sucked back into the limelight by the series. So I skimmed her recent acting credits, and as exciting as Cyberstalker and Gutsy Frog sound, I’m pretty sure her career could probably use the boost more than, say, Rachel Bilson’s. [US Weekly]

… Proving that Syfy loves foreign relations as much as shark-infested weather phenomena, the network has acquired the first two seasons of the New Zealand series The Almighty Johnsons. The series, about four brothers who inherit the powers of Norse gods, will debut on Syfy in 2014[Syfy via press release]

 

CASTING NEWS

… Nick Jonas will guest-star on an upcoming episode of CBS’s Hawaii Five-0 as a computer hacker with complicated motives. Jonas has stopped by Smash and Last Man Standing, as well as starred in several Broadway productions. [CBS via press release]

… Leslie Hope, who has a pivotal role in the upcoming season of NCIS, has been cast in FX’s The Strain, Guillermo del Toro’s new thriller about a viral outbreak that has all the markings of an ancient strain of vampirism. Hope will play Joan Luss, one of the few survivors of the outbreak. [TV Line]

… British actor Ian Hart, known for playing Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and, more recently, Lonnie on HBO’s ill-fated Luck, has been cast in ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. But you shouldn’t expect to find out any more details about his role. As with everything else regarding the heavily anticipated series, information about Hart’s recurring character is being kept under wraps. [Entertainment Weekly]

… It’s a big day for Harry Potter actors. Mad-Eye Moody himself, Brendan Gleeson, has landed the lead role in David Milch’s The Money, which was just earned a pilot order from HBO. The series is about wealth and corruption and will focus on Gleeson’s dynastic media family. [Deadline Hollywood]

… It’s official: Casting for Cote de Pablo’s replacement on NCIS is underway. The new character—named Bishop—is said to be intelligent, educated, athletic, fresh-faced, attractive, well-traveled, and a tad socially awkward, because CBS law dictates that she must have some sort of ridiculously stupid flaw. Boy, that shouldn’t be hard to find. I’d hate to be the person to have to fill Ziva’s shoes. [TV Line]

… Chris Diamantopoulos (most recently seen as Brian the camera guy on The Office and Marky Bark on Arrested Development) and Jake Sandvig (Twenty Good Years, Weeds) will star in High Moon, a 90-minute pilot that’s being executive-produced by Bryan Fuller (HannibalPushing Daisies) for Syfy. The project, which was first announced last August, is based on the novel The Lotus Caves by John Christopher. Diamantopoulos plays Ian, a chief investigator for the government who’s been dispatched to the moon to figure out the cause of an explosion, while Sandbig is Marty, his felonious younger brother who’s serving prison time as a moon laborer. [Syfy via press release]

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: Breaking Bad’s Return Smoked the Show’s Ratings High

August 13, 2013 Leave a comment

THE ONES WHO WATCH

… If your eyes and ears were open for more than 30 seconds at some point the last two weeks, then you know Breaking Bad returned for its final season last night. And apparently the marketing avalanche worked: 5.9 million viewers tuned in, crushing the series’ previous high of 2.9 million viewers for the Season 5A premiere. Breaking Bad probably has Netflix to thank for the jump, as many shows are using the video-streaming service as a way to hook new viewers. AMC’s new series Low Winter Sun  used its Breaking Bad lead-in to draw 2.5 million viewers, and Talking Bad, the new post-Breaking Bad chat show, grabbed 1.2 million viewers. [AMC via press release]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… Showtime’s The Borgias will get some closure, but only if you know how to read. The canceled series will wrap things up with an e-book based on a script from show creator Neil Jordan that was originally intended to serve as the backbone of a two-hour movie. The Borgias Apocalypse will be available on the internet sometime this week. [Showtime via press release]

… NBC has issued a put-pilot commitment (meaning the network will pay heavy penalties if it doesn’t order it) to a new drama called Paradise. It’s one of those ironic titles because the show is set in the world’s most maximum-security prison in future Las Vegas. And because it’s a prison story, the standard cliches apply: The main character is guy who didn’t do it and must find a way to escape. Greg Berlanti (Arrow) and Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) are producing the thing. [Deadline Hollywood]

… Casey Wilson (Happy Endings) and her best friend June Diane Raphael (Burning Love, NTSF:SD:SVU::) are developing a comedy starring Raphael at ABC, but there aren’t any details yet because the two funny ladies haven’t even started writing it. The ol’ risky blind script deal! [Deadline Hollywood]

… ABC has also thrown some more cash at Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, this time for a comedy. Rhimes’ production house Shondaland (so modest) would produce the series, written by Cougar Town producers Christine Pietrosh and Jessica Goldstein, about friends who come together under an unfortunate circumstance. [THR]

… Fox has put into development The Henchman, a comedy that follows a supervillain’s henchman as he approaches middle age and a single-parenting situation. Dan Kopelman (Rules of Engagement) is behind the project. [Deadline Hollywood]

… CBS is developing Gorgeous Morons, a multi-camera comedy about two extra-hunky brothers who are total idiots who have their world turned upside down when a hottie female PhD moves in with them. It’s like the reverse The Big Bang Theory. [Deadline Hollywood]

 

CASTING NEWS

… Ryan Hardy might get a new girrrrrrrrlfriend *tee hee*! Fox’s The Following has cast Law & Order: SUV and Boss actress Connie Nielsen to play a potential romantic interest for Kevin Bacon’s character. Nielsen will play an art dealer who is rescued from trouble by Bacon’s Hardy. [TV Line]

… The second episode of the third season of Fox’s New Girl will feature appearances by Angela Kinsey (The Office) and Eva Amurri (Californication). Kinsey will play a teacher at the school Jess subs at, and she will not like Miss Day! Amurri will reprise her role as Schmidt’s competitive coworker Beth. [TV Guide]

 

OMG YOU GUYS!

… Life has imitated art for Kit Harrington and Rose Leslie, better known as Game of Thrones‘ Jon Snow the Sexy Member of the Night’s Watch and Ygritte the Sexy Wildling Redhead. The two have broken up in real life after breaking up in fake life on the show! And now Rose is already dating someone else.  [Yahoo! UK]

 

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: Alec Baldwin Will Continue Yelling at People, Now on MSNBC

August 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Alec Baldwin the former 30 Rock star has teamed up with MSNBC to develop a weekly news series slated to air on Fridays at 10pm. The show will feature a large dose of Baldwin’s liberal and often combative political opinions.  [Mediaite]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… Orphan Black executive producers Graeme Manson and John Fawcett won’t officially confirm that we’ll meet Clone Number 8 during Season 2, but they definitely haven’t said we won’t be coming face-to-face with yet another reason to give Tatiana Maslany all the awards. Of course, with that said, Alison is still the best clone and I’ll fight anyone who even tries to say it’s Cosima. [TV Line]

… Fox has a stage production of Glee in the works. It’s sort of funny when you recall that several members of the cast were Broadway stars before making the leap to TV on the series. I wonder how they’ll feel about this not-at-all surprising turn of events? Glee returns for Season 5 on September 26. [Playbill]

… Michael C. Hall has revealed that he almost turned down the role of serial killer Dexter Morgan on Showtime’s Dexter, a part that has earned him five Emmy nominations. Apparently, he had no desire to do another TV series, let alone one where he once again had to spend a lot of time around fake dead bodies (Six Feet Under had wrapped production a few months before he received the Dexter script). It’s cool, dude, we get it. Dead bodies are creepy. But thank goodness you got over that real quick. [E! Online]

… They say that if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. And NBC is once again trying to say goodbye to Jay Leno. The network announced today that Leno’s tenure as host of The Tonight Show will officially be over as of February 6, 2014. Of course, we all know what happened last time, so I won’t rehash it for fear of jinxing Leno’s exit, but here’s hoping Jimmy Fallon gets to stay longer than nine months. [Deadline Hollywood]

… Isaiah Washington  the former Grey’s Anatomy star told TV Line that his new series, The 100,  is going to take The CW to the next level. And while I’m all for The CW getting some respect—Arrow is fantastic, guys—Washington went on to equate the series with the AMC dramas Mad Men and Breaking Bad. While The 100 might have promise, I don’t necessarily think it’s on par with Don Draper and Walter White’s starring vehicles. [TV Line]

… WWE is very proud because it reached a record 20 million viewers in a single week. This is across all WWE programming, from SmackDown to Raw to Wrestlemania 29 to Main Event to something called Total Divas on E!  [Variety]

 

CASTING NEWS

… Casting is really heating up for M. Night Shyamalan’s Wayward Pines. On the heels of yesterday’s announcement that Greta Lee had joined the project comes the news that Juliette Lewis has also signed on. She’ll play Beverly, a bartender who speaks her mind and doesn’t necessarily trust the town of Wayward Pines.  [Deadline Hollywood]

… Lost alum Rebecca Mader is set to guest-star in the Season 5 finale of Drop Dead Diva, as a dominatrix who hires Grayson to represent her when a client tries to get away without paying. [TV Line]

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: The Friday Night Lights Movie Is One Step Closer to Being Real

August 9, 2013 Leave a comment

TEXAS FOREVER, Y’ALL

Connie Britton told Ladies’ Home Journal that she is in possession of the script for a potential Friday Night Lights movie. There’s no word on what such a film would be about, but if it’s not Matt and Julie’s wedding, with Landry on guitar and Riggins standing around looking handsome, then I don’t really see the point—can you imagine what that father-of-the-bride speech would be like?  [Huffington Post]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… The twittering public has spoken, and apparently we used up all our funny during the first wave of the Sharknado craze: Syfy announced today that after reviewing 5,000 Twitter submissions, the sequel to Sharknado will be called Sharknado 2: The Second One. Is it Sharknado fatigue or are we really just that unimaginative? As previously announced, the sequel will be set in New York City and air sometime in July 2014. I hope the network lets Twitter help cast the film, too, because that would make this whole disaster worth it. [Syfy via press release]

… Parks and Recreation executive producer Mike Schur has assured fans that no one person is going to swoop in and attempt to replace Ann Perkins in Leslie Knope’s heart. Several characters will try to fill the holes left by Ann’s departure, including Retta’s Donna, who will be seeing a lot more screen time in Season 6. I can’t think of a single thing that is wrong with this situation. [TV Line]

… Katherine Heigl is finally ready to return to TV. She’s signed on to star in and produce a new drama from Alexi Hawley, who has written for Castle and Body of Proof. [USA Today]

… GSN has renewed the Jeff Foxworthy-hosted The American Bible Challenge for Season 3. It is an hour-long program and, apparently, GSN’s highest-rated series of all time.  [GSN via press release]

… Hell hath no fury like scorned Time Warner Cable customers! But not even the CBS blackout can keep fans in New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles from watching Under the DomeApproximately 14.6 percent of the illegal downloads of Monday’s episode were torrented in those three markets, an increase from last week’s 10.9 percent.  [Variety]

… Eva Longoria is executive-producing a new multi-camera comedy that’s in development at NBC. The project is currently untitled, but was inspired by the life of Laura Berman, a sex educator and relationship therapist on the Oprah Winfrey Network (or so Google tells me). As such, the series will follow a sex and relationship therapist’s attempts to navigate a relationship with her ex-husband, his new girlfriend, and her own mother.  [Deadline Hollywood]

 

CASTING AND MORE CRAZY EYES YESSSSS MORE CRAZY EYES NEWS 

… Bobbi Bernstein’s got nothing on Uzo Aduba Crazy Eyes; Aduba has been upped to a series regular for the second season of Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black. The news comes not long after her cast mates Taryn Manning and Danielle Brooks were also promoted to series regular status. [Deadline Hollywood]

Game of Thrones alum Tobias Menzies has been cast in Ronald D. Moore’s new drama series Outlander. He’ll play two characters, one by the name of Frank Randall in 1945, and one bye the name of Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall—one of Frank’s ancestors—in 1743. Outlander is based on a series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. [THR]

… Syfy’s Haven is adding two recurring guest-stars. Emma Lahana (Emily Owens, M.D.) and Christian Camargo (Dexter) will join the cast when the series returns for Season 4 on September 13 at 10pm. Lahana plays Jennifer Mason, an off-kilter young woman who begins hearing voices in her head, and Camargo is Wade Crocker, the charming estranged half-brother of Eric Balfour’s Duke. [Syfy via press release]

… Also adding a double dose of new blood is Covert Affairs. The USA drama has cast English actress Sheeta Indrani and actor Richard Short (666 Park Avenue) as Sana and Reese, respectively. Sana is a sophisticated Indian woman befriended by Annie, and Reese is an Irish rocker who somehow gets mixed up in Annie’s world. [Deadline Hollywood]

… Adam DeVine of Workaholics has been cast in a recurring role on Modern Family as a male nanny for Baby Joe. DeVine’s character,  might soon be involved with Sarah Hyland’s Haley. [TVGuide]

… Greta Lee (Girls) has been added to the cast of Fox’s miniseries Wayward Pines. Lee will play Ruby, a waitress at the only coffee shop in the town of Wayward Pines. Personally, I don’t trust towns that only have one coffee shop. Seems very suspicious. [Deadline Hollywood]

… Kathy Griffin is set to guest-star in an upcoming episode of Kirstie Alley’s new TV Land series Kirstie. She’ll play herself. The episode will find Kathy moving in to the same apartment complex as Alley’s character Maddie, and apparently some paranoia about not being the most famous person living there ensues.  [The Wrap]

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: MTV Forced Daft Punk to Cancel on Colbert, So Colbert Threw a Celeb-filled Dance Party

August 8, 2013 Leave a comment

NOT SO LUCKY NEWS

… French house music duo Daft Punk was all set to make a rare appearance on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report last night when all of a sudden MTV nosed its way in and said “adieu” to that. Daft Punk is also scheduled to perform on MTV’s Music Video Awards, and network, upon realizing that DP was booked on The Colbert Report, threatened to boot them from the much higher-profile VMAs if they stopped by Colbert’s show. Why? Greed and exclusivity, if I’m getting this story straight. The last-minute cancellation forced Colbert to think on his feet, so instead of going with five minutes of dead air he held a celeb-filled dance party to one of Daft Punk’s songs. Look out, Ellen! [New York Times]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… VH1 is sticking with its business plan of putting celebrity couples in front of cameras and editing in some drama with LeAnn & Eddie, starring pop-country star LeAnn Rimes and her actor-husband Eddie Cibrian of CSI: Miami and The Playboy Club. The reality show will follow the controversial couple—Rimes was married to another man when she started seeing Cibrian. You have to wonder about an actor whose acting career isn’t completely over taking part in a VH1 reality show, because the offers are going to dry up once his private life is plastered all over VH1, right? As for Rimes, this makes total sense for her because, well, she’s not the little starlet she once was. [VH1 via press release]

… Fox has ordered a pilot for Stuck, a comedy from Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation). The series, which Jones would executive-produce, is about a middle-aged woman stuck in a rut who gets her daughter hired at the bank where she works, and instantly sees her daughter become her boss. Jones, who will be leaving Parks and Recreation in its upcoming sixth season, will not star in Stuck. [TV Guide]

… Shonda Rhimes has another TV show cooking at ABC. Rhimes is working with Made in Jersey creator Dana Calvo on a new detective series set in Miami. Annnnnnd it sounds pretty rote: An unorthodox male detective is partnered up with a by-the-book female detective and they do some detecting. [Deadline Hollywood]

… Fox is eying another miniseries, this one called World War III. And it’s about World War III. There’s not much to detail here; a bunch of countries get pissed at each other and go to war against each other. [Deadline Hollywood]

… That TV adaptation of Heathers is dead. Bravo fed it bleach and isn’t moving forward with it. [Buzzfeed]

… Fox is developing a single-camera comedy from Ken Marino (Childrens Hospital, Burning Love) and his wife Erica Oyama (Burning Love) that’s based on the life of Dogfish Head Brewery owners Sam and Mariah Calagione. It will follow a couple that builds a company together from the ground up. [Deadline Hollywood]

… You were busy today, Fox! The network also bought a new comedy called… F.O.M.O., which the kids today tell me stands for Fear of Missing Out, a mantra for going out every night just in case something really amazing happens when you decide to stay in like a responsible adult. How to Make it in America creator Ian Edelman is behind the project, which follows a group of youngish people looking for more in life than their insurance sales jobs. [Deadline Hollywood]

… Pee-Wee Herman will be back on TV, sort of! Paul Reubens told The LA Times that he’s working on a new show that’s kind of like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and due in 2014. He said an official announcement was imminent. [LA Times]

 

CASTING NEWS

… Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia) has landed the big role of Charlie’s long-lost lesbian daughter in Two and a Half Men. Right now the character is only slated to recur, but if things go well, Tamblyn will be promoted to series regular and make the big bucks. [TV Line]

… Jordana Spiro, who we’ll try to remember from My Boys and not The Mob Doctor, has been cast in FX’s pilot Tyrant. The much-anticipated Tyrant comes from Homeland‘s Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff and follows an American family that lives in the Middle East. She’ll play the wife of Justin Kirk’s character; Kirk’s casting was announced yesterday. [THR]

Last Man Standing will welcome a pair of guest stars from everyone’s favorite fowl-murdering family, the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty. Si and Willie Robertson will drop by the Tim Allen comedy’s season premiere on September 20. This will be their acting debut if you don’t count all the faked stuff from their “reality” show. [ABC via press release]

… Mindy of The Mindy Project is gonna see firsthand how the D.E.N.N.I.S. system works. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Glenn Howerton will guest-star on the Fox comedy as a mellow attorney who romances Mindy over multiple episodes. He’ll first appear in the fourth episode of Season 2. [E! Online]

… Sundance Channel’s The Red Road has added the fiery Tom Sizemore to its cast. The drama is about a cop who’s caught between a small town and a Native American tribe. Sizemore will play a scary drug dealer. Don’t get high on your own supply, Sizemore. [Deadline Hollywood]

Veronica Mars‘ Jason Dohring (Logan!) will make at least a guest appearance on The CW’s upcoming sci-fi series The Tomorrow People. In the series about teens with superpowers, Dohring will play an operative who used to work for the bad guys. [EW]

… Rachael Harris (The Hangover) has taken over the female lead in Fox’s upcoming comedy Surviving Jack. She replaces Alex Kapp Horner as the wife of Christopher Meloni’s character, a dad who gets hands-on with raising his son after his wife goes back to school. [Deadline Hollywood]

Chuck‘s Captain Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) will drop by Hart of Dixie next season. He’ll play a handsome guy who gives the women of Bluebell the vapors, I do declare. [TV Guide]

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: Sci-fi Fave Tahmoh Penikett Is Headed to Supernatural

August 8, 2013 Leave a comment

THANK THE GODS

… Continuing his quest to guest-star on literally every science-fiction series ever made, Tahmoh Penikett has booked a multi-episode arc on Supernatural‘s upcoming ninth season as the fallen angel Ezekiel. The Battlestar Galactica and Whedonverse alum will first appear in the season premiere, which series star Jared Padalecki was bursting at the seams to talk about at Comic-Con. Look, I’m happy Penkiett is making the science-fiction rounds, but is it too much to ask that he land a series regular role? Two words: Orphan Black. [Huffington Post]

 

BUSINESS TIME

…  Since Peter Capaldi was announced over the weekend as the next doctor on Doctor Who, the internet has erupted into chaos over the fact the producers have once again cast a white male in the role instead of joining the 21st Century. Today, author Neil Gaiman, the man responsible for “The Doctor’s Wife” and “A Nightmare in Silver,” announced on his blog that he knows of one black actor who has already turned down the role of the Doctor. Now, before we discuss anything else, I have one question: Who the hell would turn down a chance to be the Doctor? [Zap2It]

PBS announced today that Downton Abbey will return to the U.S. on January 5, 2014. If you’re a fan of the series, you know that means the show is still on a long delay from its across-the-pond airing. So if anyone dies in the Christmas episode, can you guys please just keep it quiet for, like, four months after it airs? Spoilers, man. [EW]

… Bravo continues to attempt to make the bold choice to leap from trashy reality TV to maybe-trashy scripted drama. The network has greenlit the new pilot Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, based on the Girlfriends’ Guide… book series by Vicki Iovine. It’s exactly what it sounds like, but in case you need me to explain it to you, I will. The series is about a self-help book author who is hiding the fact that she’s separated from her husband. She starts soliciting advice from her married friends and as they say in show business, the rest is history. [Bravo via press release]

… As you know, yesterday marked the tenth anniversary of Fox’s teen soap The O.C. Seth Cohen himself, Adam Brody, has stated that if there was ever to be a reunion, he’d like it to happen on a stage. We’re pretty sure he meant a theater stage and not a soundstage, because sure, that makes a lot of sense. [E! Online]

… Speaking of anniversaries, the 25th anniversary of Roseanne—yes, you read that right—is coming up, and WEtv is celebrating the occasion by airing what the it’s calling mini-marathons of the beloved sitcom for an entire month. Beginning August 12, you can hang out with the Connors from 5pm to 8pm Monday through Friday, and again on Sundays from 10am to 4pm. Let’s reconvene here a month from now to discuss how old we all are. [WE tv via press release]

 

CASTING NEWS

… Perennial guest-star Mark Sheppard, most recently seen as Crowley on The CW’s Supernatural, will reprise his role from the White Collar pilot for seven of Season 5’s episodes. If you’ll recall, Sheppard played an art forger by the name of Curtis Hagen, who was apprehended by Peter with a little help from Neal. Ah, memories.  [Huffington Post]

… If you’re currently acting on a series that’s heading into Season 6, you may want to call your agent and make sure you’re still employed. Right on the heels of the announcement that Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe are exiting NBC’s Parks and Recreation comes the announcement that Amanda Righetti and Owain Yeoman will be departing CBS’s The Mentalist toward the end of Season 6. [TV Line]

… 24 alum Leslie Hope has booked a role of “tremendous importance” on NCIS. She’ll play Sarah Porter, a high-ranking Navy official, in the second episode of the new season, “Past, Present, Future.” She’s only around for hour, though, so don’t get too upset (yet), Tiva fans. [TV Line]

… Justin Kirk has joined FX’s in-development drama series Tyrant. I’ll watch anything from FX without any further explanation, but in case you’re less trusting than I am, here’s the rundown: Tyrant is about an American family who finds themselves drawn in to the workings of a turbulent Middle East nation. Kirk, who was the best thing about the later seasons of Weeds and who starred opposite a monkey in last year’s failed NBC sitcom Animal Practice, plays a sexy and mysterious American diplomat who may not be everything he seems. If the show sounds at all like the distant second cousin of Showtime’s Homeland, it’s probably because it’s from two of the series’ producers, Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff. [Deadline Hollywood]

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: MTV Orders a Reality Series About Virgins

August 6, 2013 Leave a comment

THE FUN IS IN THE CHASTE NEWS

… MTV has ordered four new reality series. The most exciting one follows young adults who remain unsexed and live their lives as virgins, whether they want to or not. It’s currently untitled. Also coming to MTV are MTV’s House of Food, where aspiring chefs compete against each other in cooking challenges and live in the same house; Snackdown, an afternoon series in which amateur chefs cook up regular snacks with panache; and The Ex and the Why, a talk show allowing former lovers to air out their grievances over their past relationships in front of the world. [Deadline Hollywood]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… Shark Week is still swimming strong, and last night’s kick-off drew the event’s largest audience ever. Except it was for a fake show about a shark that no longer exists. Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives drew 4.8 million viewers (or roughly three Sharknados) to put itself atop the list of the most-watched Shark Week programming in history. However, the whole thing—which was presented as a real documentary with only a confusing disclaimer—was a sham starring actors lying about a monster shark biting whales in half and eating fishing boats. Discovery Networks is loving fake science lately; another bogus “doc,” about mermaids, also earned huge ratings.  [Discovery via press release]

… Disney’s Teen Beach Movie isn’t doing too shabby either. The made-for-cable movie is now the second most-watched cable movie of all time (right behind High School Musical 2) after raking in 13.5 million viewers once delayed viewing numbers were factored in. Though to be fair, when High School Musical came out, there weren’t as many DVRs to bloat the numbers.  [The Wrap]

… The guys behind Last Resort are working on a new project at ABC. Karl Gajdusek and Shawn Ryan are teaming up for Freedom, a drama about a group of Ivy Leaguers who start the next activist movement against the government and corporate entities.  [Deadline Hollywood]

… E! is working on a new reality series following super rich 20-somethings from Beverly Hills found on the Tumblr blog Rich Kids of Instagram. [Deadline Hollywood]

… ABC has announced the premiere dates for a couple of midseason series. Resurrection, an emotional drama about the dead coming back to life (but not wanting to eat you), will debut March 9 at 10pm, taking over for fellow new drama Betrayal after it finishes its run. Also getting a premiere date: the reality competition The Quest, which will feature contestants running around in a fake Middle Earth-type land, fighting fake monsters and saving fake princesses. It starts January 2 at 8pm. [ABC via press release]

 

CASTING NEWS

… Ryan Seacrest needs to be working every minute of his life, so he has accepted the job as host of NBC’s game-show experiment The Million Second Quiz. The series features contestants competing on a trivia show for 11 days, 13 hours, 46 minutes, and 40 seconds while they answer questions live from an hourglass-shaped structure in midtown Manhattan. A contestant who sits in the “money chair” will accrue 10 dollars for each second he occupies the seat, while another contestant sits opposite him. Viewers at home can also answer questions and face off against the person in the money chair by approaching the hourglass-shaped structure in person or answering questions online. [NBC via press release]

… Jaime Pressly of My Name is Earl fame and I Hate My Teenage Daughter infamy is headed to TV Land. Pressly will star in the multi-camera TV Land pilot Jennifer Falls, playing a mother who moves in with her own mother after getting laid off from a cushy job.  [TV Land via press release]

… All American Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter has landed a recurring role on NBC’s Parenthood. He’ll play a rocker with an attitude problem who records at The Luncheonette. [TV Line]

… Showtime’s upcoming adult drama pilot The Affair has booked Maura Tierney as a nice lady who gets cheated on. She’ll play the wife of Dominic West’s character in the pilot about an affair that ruins a pair of marriages. How could anyone even pretend to cheat on Maura Tierney? She’s adorable! [TV Line]

… FX’s Anger Management found a replacement for the fired Selma Blair (don’t you mess with, Charlie!) in Laura Bell Bundy. The blonde won a Tony for playing the lead in Legally Blonde: The Musical and has been featured in Hart of Dixie and How I Met Your Mother. [THR]

Categories: :: News Briefs

News Briefs: Billy Bob Thornton Joins FX’s Fargo Adaptation

August 4, 2013 Leave a comment

YOU BETCHA NEWS

… FX’s long-gestating adaptation of the Coen brothers’ Fargo finally has a leading man. Billy Bob Thornton will play Lorne Malvo, a troublemaker who makes life for an insurance salesman really tough. The role is similar to the one Steve Buscemi played in the film. FX’s version is planned as a 10-episode limited run that’s inspired by the movie and features new characters and crimes. [FX via press release]

 

BUSINESS TIME

… The feud between CBS and Time-Warner Cable rages on and the losers are YOU. Well, if you’re a Time-Warner Cable subscriber, that is. As of this afternoon, several TWC markets have dropped CBS and its sister channels Showtime, TMC, Flix, and Smithsonian after a dispute over carriage fees. CBS has reportedly demanded a 600-percent increase in fees from TMC, and TMC is saying “No way, Jose.” Spats between networks and cable companies have happened before, but they’re usually resolved quickly when one mega-corporation budges. [Deadline Hollywood]

… What is it with you people and Sharknado!?!?!? After a decent run on television, the Syfy sharksploitation movie was promoted to special single-screening events in Regal cinemas in major cities, and those screenings have now sold out… prompting theaters to add more dates. Though it initially wasn’t a hit on Syfy, the movie, which is obviously about a tornado full of sharks, has increased its viewership in each of its two encore airings. [The Wrap]

… Great TV Alert: The most recent half-season of Breaking Bad is now available on Netflix. The final episodes begin next Sunday, August 11. [Netflix]

… CBS really wants to work with comedian Jim Gaffigan. After passing on Gaffigan’s single-camera family comedy last season, the network wants to redevelop the series and give it another shot. The scrapped plan means that the cast members who were originally slated for the pilot, except for Gaffigan obvs, have been let go. [Deadline Hollywood]

… A sci-fi drama pilot from newcomer writer Mickey Fisher has a bunch of TV types spinning their bow ties with excitement. Extant tells the story of a family with an android son and a possible alien baby on the way. [Deadline Hollywood]

 

CASTING NEWS

True Blood‘s Janina Gavankar is ditching the sexy vampires of Bon Temps for the sexy vampires of Mystic Falls, and who can blame her? Gavankar, who got butt nekkid on the HBO series as a shapeshifter, will play a character named Tessa who arrives in Mystic Falls ready to re-spark an old love. [TV Line]

… Why don’t you have a seat over here, Chris Hansen? You’re fired. NBC News hasn’t renewed the To Catch a Predator host’s contract, ending his relationship with the network that he’s been part of for 20 years. Now Hansen is free to interview with other outlets [TV Guide]

… Antonio Sabato Jr. will guest-star on an episode of Castle in the series’ spoof on a murder involving a cast member on a Saved By the Bell-type show. Antonio will play the grown-up version of the boy-hunk from a fake series called 2 Cool for School. [TV Guide]

… Comedy Central’s roast of James Franco will be hosted by one of Franco’s good buddies, Seth Rogen. The special will air on Labor Day—Monday, September 2. Sample roast: “James Franco you’re so cool and handsome that you can have any girl or role you want.” Because come on, how do you make fun of James Franco? [Comedy Central via press release]

American Horror Story: Coven, the next incarnation of the FX horror series, will bring back Alexandra Breckenridge. You may recall that she played the sexy young housekeeper who waved her ass in the air in Season 1. [Ryan Murphy's Twitter]

Categories: :: News Briefs
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