TV REWIND: ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Renewed, ‘Mockingbird Lane’ Dead And Buried, Spears Facing ‘X-Factor’ Firing
By Carson Blackwelder
Every Friday, Rachel recaps the week’s major TV-related news, announcements and gossip! This week, Carson fills in.
• The question as to whether or not Dan Stevens will return for the fourth season of Masterpiece Theatre’s Downton Abbey has been answered.
• AMC continues its dismal relationships with showrunners as The Walking Dead’s Glen Mazzara got the boot. This means that the zombie drama will be getting its third showrunner within four seasons — that’s a lot of creative disconnect.
• ABC shelved the rest of Vanessa Williams and Terry O’Quinn’s canceled 666 Park Avenue until summer and is filling in the extra hour on Sunday with new episodes of Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. This means two things: double doses of laughs (both shows normally air Tuesday nights) but potentially rough waters ahead for the underperforming sitcoms.
• More than 80,000 individuals signed a petition calling for the deportation of CNN’s Piers Morgan (Piers Morgan Tonight) after the British talk show host broadcast his views about gun control on his show while arguing with guest Larry Pratt, the executive director of Guns Owners of America. Morgan has not shied away from the petition and has made numerous references to it on his Twitter account.
• NBC officially passed on Bryan Fuller’s (ABC’s Pushing Daisies) reboot of The Munsters, entitled Mockingbird Lane, even though the pilot’s pre-Halloween special attracted an audience of 5.4 million viewers and a 1.5 adult rating.
• NBC’s Meet the Press’ David Gregory is being investigated for potentially violating Washington D.C. gun laws during the Dec. 23 show. Gregory held up what he described as a 30-round magazine of ammunition during an interview with Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association. It’s illegal to possess a large capacity ammunition device in D.C., which means any device that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
• The CW has officially turned down a third season of The L.A. Complex.
• In a rather quick turn of events, TNT announced late last week that it would end Leverage, making its Dec. 25 episode both the season five finale as well as the series finale.
• It seems the superstition is true: Deaths do come in threes. TV lost two of its best character actors in Charles Durning (CBS’s Evening Shade and FX’s Rescue Me) and Jack Klugman (ABC’s The Odd Couple and NBC’s Quincy, M.E.) on Christmas Eve. Gerry Anderson, co-creator of the British sci-fi series Thunderbirds, passed away Dec. 26.
• ABC’s formerly deceased soap operas One Life To Live and All My Children are set to make online revivals — again. Prospect Park, an entertainment production company, will begin production on the two soaps in early 2013.
• NBC’s annual airing of Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life rose a tenth of a point from its demo score last year, bringing in 5.6 million viewers and a 1.5 rating in the key adult demo.
• HBO’s Game of Thrones holds the honor of being the “most pirated TV show of 2012.”
COMINGS AND GOINGS
• Judge L.A. Reid has already exited Fox’s The X Factor, but it looks like newcomer Britney Spears may also not be returning.
• Jenny Slate (HBO’s Bored To Death) has booked a ticket to Pawnee, Ind., to guest as Jean-Ralphio’s (Ben Schwartz) twin sister and a new employee at Tom Haverford’s (Aziz Ansari) Rent-A-Swag endeavor.
• Veteran soap star Steve Burton is turning from his recent role as Jason Morgan on ABC’s General Hospital and joining the cast over at CBS’s The Young and the Restless.
• Stephen Root (HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and CBS’s The Good Wife) signed on for Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton’s (CBS’s Numb3rs) new, untitled hour-long pilot for USA. Root will portray Avery Boomer, a big-whig political broker who decides to aid Billy (Bryan Greenberg of HBO’s How to Make It in America) in his quest for office.
• ABC’s Brothers & Sisters’ Ron Rifkin will guest star on the season two finale of Fox’s Touch. He will portray a rabbi who interacts with Martin Bohm (Kiefer Sutherland).
• Although Sarah (Lauren Graham) and Mark (Jason Ritter) may be done on NBC’s Parenthood, don’t expect Ritter to disappear. Showrunner Jason Katims says the actor will come back to the drama before its Jan. 22 season finale.
• Has the drama between new American Idol (Fox) judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey already fizzled out?
• Formerly one half of MTV’s Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica, Jessica Simpson confirmed on Twitter that she and fiancé Eric Johnson are expecting their second child. Come on, MTV, there has to be a show in there somewhere.
• While he may not be involved with Disney Channel’s upcoming Girl Meets World, ABC’s Boy Meets World star Rider Strong is engaged to actress Alexandra Barreto.
• Christmas came early for Glee creator Ryan Murphy and husband David Miller, who welcomed their son Lucas into the world on Christmas Eve.
• Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel is calling it quits with husband Jason Hoppy following three years of marriage.
• Hayden Panettiere, who plays country diva Juliette Barnes on ABC’s Nashville, dishes about her character’s spontaneous proposal and what fans should expect when the drama returns Jan. 9.
• The promo for Arsenio Hall’s syndicated talk show really hinges on people actually classifying Hall as a “legend.”
• Once Upon a Time actor Josh Dallas discusses what’s ahead for Charming and Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) when Cora (Barbara Hershey) and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) land in Storybrooke on Jan. 6.
• Christmas is coming late to Greendale, but Joel McHale dishes on Community’s season four holiday-themed episode. BEWARE: Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) has kittens — and lots of them. Class is back in session Feb. 7 on NBC.
• Season two of Lena Dunham’s HBO comedy Girls is shaping up just how I expected: Sweet discussions of urine while Dunham and Jemima Kirke are naked in a bathtub. You know, the usual.
• The new promo for the final season of Starz’s Spartacus: War of the Damned features a more confident Liam McIntyre as the show’s namesake and a young Julius Caesar (Todd Lasance).
• British comedian Ricky Gervais’ new comedy Derek released its first trailer. The series will air in the UK on Channel 4 and on Netflix in the United States.
• BBC America released a poster and trailer for its original sci-fi series Orphan Black, starring Tatiana Maslany as a girl who takes the identity of a woman who — believe it or not — is her clone.
• ABC’s Modern Family‘s Gloria (Sofia Vergara) is set to give birth when the multigenerational sitcom returns in January, and she just wants the baby to “Get out!”
• This promo for season three of VH1’s Mob Wives is full of expletive-ridden memorable lines from what is sure to be a crazy season.
• TV superstar Joss Whedon revealed that his biggest regret is not getting his animated version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer off of the ground. You and me both, sir.
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