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Friday, November 30, 2012
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TV Rewind: ‘Dallas’ Loses A Legend, Zucker Heading To CNN, ‘SNL’ Christmas Episode Host And Performer Named

By Rachel Bennett
Television Editor & Columnist

Every Friday, Rachel recaps the week’s major TV-related news, announcements and gossip!

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TOP STORIES

• CBS and TNT’s Dallas star Larry Hagman, the man at the center of “Who shot J.R.?”, passed away Nov. 23 at the age of 81. A statement from his family reveals he died due to complications from cancer.

• Come January, former NBC universal chief executive Jeff Zucker will be the new president of CNN Worldwide. “I am thrilled to join the distinguished team of journalists across the worldwide platforms of CNN,” Zucker says.

• An interview with CBS’s Two and a Half Men star Angus T. Jones came out this week in which the actor pleads viewers to stop watching his show, calling it “filth.” He since apologized, saying, “I apologize if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed.” Nevertheless, a CBS source divulged that Jones will “most likely” not return to the series if it gets another season.

• In happier news, Martin Short and Paul McCartney have been tapped to host and perform, respectively, on the Dec. 15 Christmas episode of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. It may not be Jennifer Lawrence, but I’ll take it.

• Here’s your Girl Meets World, Disney Channel’s spinoff of ABC’s Boy Meets World, update: Original series stars Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel, who portrayed Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence, will reprise their roles in the pilot. Fishel says, “I promise with the entirety of my heart that we will make GMW with the same honesty, innocence, and intelligence that you learned to expect from BMW.” However, Rider Strong, who played Cory’s best friend Shawn Hunter, recently posted on his website, “At this point, I have no official involvement in Girl Meets WorldGirl Meets World will be, and I think it should be, its own show. It will be about Cory and Topanga, their daughter, and a new set of characters.” Could there be hope for a change of heart, though? Strong tweeted yesterday, “Having dinner with @BenSavage, @daniellefishel & #WillFriedle this week. Can’t wait.” Maybe his former costars can knock some sense into him.

SHOW BIZ

• Masterpiece Theater’s Downton Abbey will officially return for a fourth season. Now let’s see the third season — amirite, American fans?

• As we predicted, The CW’s Emily Owens M.D. won’t live to see a second season.

• The third season of the BBC’s Sherlock won’t air until 2013 or 2014, as production has been pushed back due to the crowded schedules of stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes will try to recreate the success of his period drama across the pond: NBC is hiring him to write the script for The Gilded Age, a drama that depicts 1880s American aristocracy.

The season two premiere of Fox’s Touch has been delayed a week. The two-hour debut will now air Feb. 8.

The fourth season of FX’s Justified will bow Jan. 8, whereas the second season of Anger Management and the fourth season of Archer will debut Jan. 17.

The BBC’s Merlin will end following the fifth season. “We always felt the story of the legend was best told across five series, leading to a spectacular finale that draws on the best known elements of this much-loved story and brings to a conclusion the battle for Camelot,” say co-creators Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy.

Comedy Central is giving its sketch comedy program Key & Peele a third season.

The ratings are in: The premiere of Lifetime’s Liz & Dick, starring Lindsay Lohan, attracted 3.5 million viewers. It’s only the network’s fourth highest-rated original TV movie of 2012, falling behind Drew Peterson: Untouchable, Steel Magnolias and Abducted: The Carlina White Story.

ABC is giving its Friday night comedies Malibu Country and Last Man Standing five more episodes, meaning they’ll each have 18-episode seasons.

With AMC’s delay of Hell on Wheels, conclusion of Breaking Bad and winding down of  Mad Men, the network has announced the impending debuts of two new dramas, called Halt & Catch Fire and Turn.

Stephen King’s science-fiction drama Under the Dome will no longer broadcast on Showtime as planned. Instead, it will air on CBS summer 2013.

COMINGS AND GOINGS

• Aside from guest starring on the upcoming season of Justified and the second season of HBO’s The Newsroom, Patton Oswalt will show up on the third season of IFC’s Portlandia. He’ll be joined by several other guest stars, including Roseanne Barr, Rose Byrne, Juliette Lewis, Bill HaderJim Gaffigan and Chloë Sevigny.

• The fifth season of TNT’s cop drama Southland is recruiting former One Tree Hill (The CW) heartthrob Chad Michael Murray for the role of a “loose cannon” LAPD officer.

• Speaking of Southland, star Regina King is set to guest star in a January episode of CBS’s The Big Bang Theory.

Wyatt Cenac, a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, is leaving the news program. His final episode will be Dec. 13.

Lisa Edelstein, formerly of Fox’s House M.D., is moving to a different “house”: The actress has signed on to guest star in two episodes of Showtime’s House of Lies.

• Former Private Practice series regular Audra McDonald will appear in the series finale of the ABC drama. She left in 2011 to be closer to her family.

• ABC’s Nashville guest star Kimberly Williams-Paisley has agreed to stay on for more episodes, with the possibility of becoming a series regular should the program receive a second season.

• The cast of ABC’s S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot keeps growingBrett Dalton will fill the shoes of Agent Grant Ward. The character is described as, “Quite the physical specimen and ‘cool under fire,’ he sometimes botches interpersonal relations. He’s a quiet one with a bit of a temper, but he’s the kind of guy that grows on you.”

• ABC’s Once Upon a Time actor David Anders has been snagged by The CW’s Arrow to guest star in an episode. He will play villain Cyrus Vanch.

RUMOR MILL

• Good thing present and former Fox American Idol judges Nicki Minaj and Steven Tyler won’t be working together. The rapper called the rocker “racist”  after he said, “If it was Bob Dylan, Nicki Minaj would have had him sent to the cornfield! Whereas, if it was Bob Dylan with us, we would have brought the best of him out, as we did with Phillip Phillips. Just saying.” Tyler later apologized.

• NBC’s Smash creator and former showrunner Theresa Rebeck says the network is to blame for the musical drama’s critical downslide. “One of the points of contention last year was that the network thinks they have the right to say to the writer of the show, ‘We don’t want her to do this. We want her to do this,'” she explains. “You have to respect who the character is.”

Aaron Paul, of Breaking Bad, tweeted Monday, “I just finished reading the first episode of the final season of Breaking Bad and words can not express what I just experienced. Holy shit.” This is the best Christmas present Paul could’ve ever given me. Is it 2013 yet?

• The Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) would not stand for this! It looks as though Dan Stevens, aka my beloved Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey, will only appear in one episode of season four. Do we need to remind you, Stevens, what happened to Shelley Long when she left NBC’s Cheers?!

SNEAK PEEK

• It looks as though siblings Elena and Jeremy Gilbert (Nina Dobrev and Steven R. McQueen) will be closer than ever on the Dec. 13 episode of The CW’s The Vampire Diaries .

• Doesn’t that cop know you shouldn’t mess with Nana (Ellen Barkin) on NBC’s The New Normal?

• Take a look at Neve Campbell on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. She’ll show up as one of Derek’s (Patrick Dempsey) many sisters.

• “Someone’s got it coming” in the finale art of Showtime’s Dexter. My money’s on Deb (Jennifer Carpenter).

Donal Logue. FX’s Sons of Anarchy. Season finale pics. What more could you want?

Christie Brinkley is on her way to Pawnee, Ind. Check out the first photos from her guest spot on NBC’s Parks and Recreation.

FRIDAY FUN

• HBO’s Girls meets The WB and The CW’s Gilmore Girls. Hilarity ensues.

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