TV Rewind: ‘Mad Men’ To Premiere With Film, Carrell Stays Away From ‘Office,’ Fox and ABC Pull Major Shows
By Rachel Bennett
Television Editor & Columnist
Every Friday, Rachel recaps the week’s major TV-related news, announcements and gossip!
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• In a rare occurrence, there’s a lot of Mad Men (AMC) news this week. The drama will kick off its sixth season April 7 with a two-hour premiere/movie, which will see the series jump forward in time — although creator Matthew Weiner isn’t revealing by how much. To tide you over, here are four promo shots from the new season.
• Sadly, it seems former NBC’s The Office star Steve Carell won’t be returning for the comedy’s series finale. Of the decision not to reprise his role, the actor says, “I just didn’t think it was right for the character because that character had had an arc within the story and kind of grew and sort of evolved past the idea of the documentary.”
• Two disappointing almost-cancellations to report: ABC and Fox have pulled Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 and Ben and Kate from their schedules, respectively. Although the comedies haven’t officially been canceled, don’t hold your breath for additional seasons.
• Take a look at the first pictures of ABC’s S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot — why doesn’t the network just give this a series order already?
• The Oscars are less than a month away! Check out the first poster, featuring host Seth MacFarlane, of the Feb. 24 ceremony and ABC telecast.
• HBO has yet to make an official announcement, but Girls star Lena Dunham says production on the comedy’s third season begins in March.
• In more cancellation news, TBS is not giving rookie series Wedding Band another season. The dramedy averaged 850,000 viewers in the key 18-49 demo throughout its first season.
• CBS’s Dr. Phil will be sticking around until 2017, as the talk show has been renewed for three more seasons.
• Although it was supposed to end after the upcoming eighth season, in the face of fantastic ratings, Showtime’s Dexter may be extending its TV stay. “We’re not making any announcements today about when Dexter will end,” says Showtime entertainment president David Nevins. “I think I will clarify before Dexter goes on this season (in June). We have clear end game in place, I can’t talk about it just yet.”
• Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are working on another World War II miniseries for HBO, following the successes of Band of Brothers and The Pacific. Their third venture will center on the air war, specifically those soldiers who were a part of the Eighth Air Force.
• Best news ever: BBC’s Doctor Who will return March 30 to air the second half of its seventh season.
• HBO’s comedy Bored to Death may have ended after three seasons, but that may not be the last we’ve seen of it. The network is working on a film of the series, starring Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson. The tagline? “Jonathan, Ray, and George reunite to fight crime, commit crime, lose their minds and fail at love in a Bored to Death feature-length slapstick adventure.” Count me in.
• Lifetime’s drama Army Wives will begin its seventh season March 10 — without one of its major characters.
COMINGS AND GOINGS
• Out with Rosemarie DeWitt, in with Marcia Gay Harden: The Mystic River actress will take over for DeWitt, who was slated to play a litigator for the Atlantis Cable News channel, on the second season of HBO’s The Newsroom.
• After sitting out on FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum, American Horror Story actress Taissa Farmiga will be a lead in the drama’s third season. It’s not yet known what role she’ll play or what the season will be about, but it’s sure to be unpredictable.
• Maria Bello is departing Fox’s Touch. As the second season has already been filmed, Bello will still show up on the drama once it premieres Feb. 8. However, based on a mutual agreement between the actress and producers, she’ll say goodbye by the finale.
• Castle (Nathan Fillion) is becoming getting a dad! James Brolin will appear on the Feb. 25th episode of ABC’s Castle as the novelist’s absent father, who may work for the CIA.
• Brooke Shields is enlisting for the seventh season of Army Wives. She’ll portray “the brash and brilliant Air Force Col. Katherine ‘Kat’ Young, who’s a crack pilot who can hold her own in the boys club atmosphere of the military.”
• Andy Richter is heading to ABC’s Happy Endings. He’ll play Penny’s (Casey Wilson) father, even though Richter is only 14 years older than Wilson.
• It looks as though The CW is moving forward with its The Vampire Diaries spinoff, The Originals. Daniel Gillies (aka Elijah) is joining the pilot as a lead, which means now I can’t not watch it.
• Rapper 2 Chainz is set to appear on CBS’s 2 Broke Girls, naturally. The Grammy nominee will play himself in the Feb. 11 episode.
• Despite hitting career lows and being approached, actress Lindsay Lohan and former cyclist Lance Armstrong will not be competing on the upcoming season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Maybe next year … ?
• With NBC’s 30 Rock ending, Alec Baldwin is setting his sights on another TV comedy: HBO’s Girls. The actor says he wants to play Hannah Horvath’s (Lena Dunham) therapist, which is really pretty perfect. Make it happen, TV execs!
• Upon learning that John Krasinski was cast on The Office, co-star Jenna Fischer cried (happy tears, people!). How have nine years passed by so quickly?!
• University of Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o appeared on ABC’s Katie to discuss his recent fake-girlfriend scandal. Te’o told host Katie Couric, “It doesn’t make sense to me, either, at this point.”
• Peter Robbins, who voiced Charlie Brown in numerous Peanuts TV specials, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to stalking and threatening his ex-girlfriend as well as another person. The voice actor allegedly called his ex up to 37 times a day and told her he would murder her and her son.
• NBC’s Community premiere is getting closer and closer. Here are several promos for the fourth season, which debuts Feb. 9.
• The Feb. 10 midseason premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead is also just around the corner, and this preview promises it will be a “fight to the death.”
• Here’s another look at season three of HBO’s Game of Thrones. New episodes bow March 31.
• Abby (Pauley Perrette) receives an unsettling reminder of her past on next week’s episode of CBS’s NCIS.
• “Seeing is deceiving” on the poster for The CW’s new drama Cult.
This list of when everyone should’ve kicked the bucket on The Vampire Diaries is pretty much perfect (especially when it gets to Vicki).
Have a great, TV-filled weekend!
Tags: 2 Broke Girls, 2 Chainz, 30 Rock, ABC, Alec Baldwin, AMC, American Horror Story, American Horror Story: Asylum, Andy Richter, Army Wives, Band of Brothers, BBC, Ben and Kate, Bored to Death, Brooke Shields, Casey Wilson, Castle, CBS, Community, Cult, Dancing with the Stars, Daniel Gillies, David Nevins, Dexter, Doctor Who, Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, Dr. Phil, Fox, FX, Game of Thrones, Girls, Happy Endings, Hawaii Five-0, HBO, James Brolin, Jason Schwartzman, Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, Katie, Katie Couric, Lance Armstrong, Lena Dunham, Lifetime, Lindsay Lohan, Mad Men, Manti Te'o, Marcia Gay Harden, Maria Bello, Matthew Weiner, Nathan Fillion, NBC, NCIS, Oscars, Pauley Perrette, Peanuts, Peter Robbins, Rosemarie DeWitt, S.H.I.E.L.D., Seth MacFarlane, Showtime, Steven Spielberg, Summer Glau, Taissa Farmiga, TBS, Ted Danson, The CW, The Newsroom, The Office, The Originals, The Pacific, The Vampire Diaries, The Walking Dead, Tom Hanks, Touch, University of Notre Dame, Wedding Band, Zach Galifianakis