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vrijdag 2 maart 2012

Jessica Lange will return to 'American Horror Story'

Jessica Lange will return to 'American Horror Story'

If you liked Jessica Lange in season one of American Horror Story, then you’re going to love what creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have in store for season 2: EW has learned exclusively that the two-time Oscar winner will return to the FX drama this fall.

The actress, who won a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award for her work as the hateful, bigoted (and extremely delicious) Constance Langdon, has signed a new deal to stay with the horror franchise. But she won’t reprise her memorable role in the new season, which resumes production in late July for a mid-October return to FX. She’ll play someone entirely new, promises Murphy.

Record Results at Euro Broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1

Record Results at Euro Broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1

Revenue jumps 6 percent to $3.7 billion with profits of $921 million.

Pan-European broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 had another record year with revenue ticking up 6 percent to $3.7 bilion (€2.756 billion) and profits hitting $921 million (€685.3 million) in 2011.

The profit figure is nearly double what ProSiebenSat.1 earned in 2010 but the jump is largely due to the company’s sale of its channels in Belgium and the Netherlands to a consortium lead by John de Mol’s Talpa Holding for $1.6 billion (€1.2 billion). Stripping that out, profits at ProSiebenSat.1 were still up an impressive 12.4 percent at $416 million (€309.4 million).

The group, which is controlled by private equity companies KKR and Permira, saw growth in all its core operations. German-language television, still ProSiebenSat.1’s single largest profit center, saw revenue increase 2.7 percent to $2.6 billion (€1.903 billion).

The overall audience share for the company’s four main free-to-air channels – Pro7, Sat.1, Kabel 1, sixx – was up slightly to 28.9 percent of the core 14-49 demographic. One of the group's biggest coups was securing the rights to Dutch singing competition show The Voice, which has been a ratings hit for both Pro7 and Sat.1 in Germany.

ProSiebenSat.1’s fastest-growing division was its content production operations, which include international television production and sales division Red Arrow Entertainment. Red Arrow, run by Jan Frouman and Jens Richter, has been on a global buying spree, acquiring companies such as Fuse – producers of Burn Notice and The Killing, Chris Coelen’s unscripted production house Kinetic Content and Britain’s The Mob Film. In 2011 sales at the division soared nearly 150 percent to $45 million (€33.7 million).

ProSiebenSat.1 used the sale of its Benelux operations to, in part, pay down debt. By the end of last year, the group was holding $2.4 billion (€1.818 billion) in debt, down nearly 40 percent year-on-year.

Good Christian Bitches: TV Review

Good Christian Bitches: TV Review

Leslie Bibb and Kristin Chenoweth star in the midseason entry, about a group of women who haven't changed much from high school, from creator Robert Harling.

No matter what ABC may say in public, it couldn’t be happier about all the fuss its latest drama, GCB, is going to generate. Not only because controversy always helps ratings; it really believes this show will be the one to replace Desperate Housewives in that high-gloss caricature way that seems to create hits.

Religious groups already are upset with GCB, which was originally titled Good Christian Bitches, then Good Christian Belles. The series is a comedic soap set in Dallas, revolving around a group of petty, churchgoing women who haven’t changed much since high school. When the “queen bitch” from high school, Amanda (Leslie Bibb), returns in shame and mourning to her mother’s home in Dallas, it’s payback time.

Amanda matured into a nice, normal adult, living in California with her husband and two kids. But her husband was running a Ponzi scheme that ruined countless lives and, as the opening moments take pleasure in illustrating, he was in the process of leaving his family to run off with Amanda’s best friend, who put her face in his lap on the winding ride out of town — just as he drove off the side of the road and died. As one of the GCBs notes later, the mistress “bit off more than she could chew.”

Yep, there’s not a whole lot of subtlety in GCB, but there isn’t supposed to be. Created and written by Robert Harling, the series mixes the Texas lifestyle, Christianity, sex, riches, envy, revenge and sass into a sprawling, larger-than-life drama.

Amanda comes home to her rich, high-maintenance mother, Gigi (Annie Potts, who steals every scene she’s in), against her better judgment and immediately Gigi starts meddling with Amanda’s kids. Across the street is Carlene “Kitten” Cockburn (Kristin Chenoweth), the new “queen bitch” who seeks revenge on Amanda for all the bad deeds she did in high school. Chenoweth is another scene-stealer who knows how to play heightened reality to the max. Carlene partners with Sharon (Jennifer Aspen), who was the thin gorgeous blonde in high school but now smothers her insecurities with food. Also in the mix are Cricket (Miriam Shor), a powerful businesswoman who had her high school boyfriend stolen by Amanda —who also spread a rumor that Cricket had herpes — and Heather (Marisol Nichols), who is the most sympathetic to Amanda and understands that she has changed. But as a real estate agent, Heather is too connected to Cricket and Carlene to sympathize openly without losing clients.

Then there are the husbands. Cricket’s is gay, but she doesn’t know it. Sharon’s has always pined for Amanda. And there may be something mysterious about Carlene’s.

Translation: bubbles everywhere. There’s nothing held back. The sex jokes are over the top, the Bible-quoting and church-related issues are prevalent and every character but Amanda seems like a stereotype (though Harling, who lives in the South, has said the show isn’t supposed to be a spoof or even a mockery of Dallas, its residents, its morals or its politics).

Not that it really matters. For people looking for the next Housewives, GCB could be the perfect replacement. And no doubt the controversy will drive the curious to check it out. Either way, GCB probably will strike it rich.

Airdate: 10 p.m. Sunday, March 4 (ABC)

Creator: Robert Harling

Cast: Leslie Bibb, Annie Potts, Kristen Chenoweth, Jennifer Aspen, Miriam Shor, Marisol Nichols

Martha Stewart President Looks to Transform TV Presence Without Live Studio Audiences

Martha Stewart President Looks to Transform TV Presence Without Live Studio Audiences

Lisa Gersh says the company is talking to various networks and production companies as it looks to build a "leaner and more profitable TV business" by cutting out live crowds.

As Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia pushes to turn a profit this year, the company is continuing to look at a range of TV and video options, but plans to do without live studio audiences in the future, president and COO Lisa Gersh said Thursday.

On the company's quarterly earnings conference call, she cited the reinvention and transformation of MSLO's TV/video business as one of four key priorities for 2012. The goal is a "leaner and more profitable TV business," and doing away with live studio audiences will help reduce costs as the biggest cost of MSLO's traditional TV model is the cost of producing a live show five days a week , she said.

The plan is to move to a  more modern cost structure now that video can be produced more cheaply, she said, reiterating that the company will let its lease on the show’s expensive Manhattan studio expire on June 30, which will save MSLO $5.3 million annually.

Asked by an analyst if the lack of live audiences would hurt the company's ability to use its TV presence as a megaphone and drive merchandising sales, Gersh said, "I am not sure there is a significance to a live show versus a non-live show on television, but Martha [Stewart] and [chef] Emeril [Lagasse] will continue to have a television presence in 2012 and, we believe, beyond 2012."

She added: "We're confident that the television presence will remain. The fact that there won't be a live audience after 2012, in all likelihood, we don't believe will impact our ability to work with our partners in any way."

While The Martha Stewart Show continues to air in reruns through late summer on the Hallmark Channel after the network declined to renew it due to its steep price tag, Gersh said MSLO is talking to broadcast and cable networks, including Hallmark, as well as independent production companies about potential new shows.

A key focus in evaluating options is "meeting customers where they want to find us," she said. Plus, the company will look to use both TV and Internet video in smarter ways.

Turning around the TV business is one key priority for Gersh and her team this year.

Driving advertising sales improvements via a bigger sales team and a more brand-centric sales approach, leaner operations and merchandising growth are the others.

Kids Cable Network The Hub to Add Four Original Series, Three Classic Sitcoms

Kids Cable Network The Hub to Add Four Original Series, Three Classic Sitcoms

The Hub, the kids cable network joint venture of Discovery Communications and Hasbro, has picked four new originals, including three new animated series, and three classic sitcoms to add to its programming lineup for the 2012-2013 season.

It is also bringing back a slew of original shows, including two Transformers series, for the new season.

The four new originals are the animated Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot, Littlest Pet Shop, Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters and live-action series Spooksville, based on a popular tween book series from Christopher Pike. Littlest Pet Shop and Kaijudo are from Hasbro Studios.

The network also said it has acquired TV classics The Facts of Life from Sony and Mork & Mindy and Sabrina the Teenage Witch from CBSTelevision Distribution.

The Hub's returning originals are The Aquabats! Super Show!, Dan Vs., Family Game Night, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, Pound Puppies, R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series, Secret Millionaires Club, Transformers Prime and Transformers Rescue Bots.

Margaret Loesch, president and CEO of The Hub, unveiled the programming plans on Thursday ahead of an advertising upfront event in New York, followed by Chicago (March 8) and Los Angeles (March 15).

“With the momentum of our successful first year, we’re building a slate of programs for the 2012-’13 season that continues our strategy of presenting series based on well-known names and beloved properties in the kids and family entertainment space,” said Loesch. “One of our advantages has always been the built-in strength and recognition of our programming...We’re confident that this lineup will further define us as the entertainment destination for kids and their families.”

Friars Club to Roast Betty White

Friars Club to Roast Betty White

Last year, the annual roast honored Quentin Tarantino.

Betty White will be the latest honoree to sit in the "hot seat" for the annual Friars Club Roast here in May.

The event is scheduled to take place May 16 at Manhattan's Sheraton Ballroom.
Past recipients of the honor include Milton Berle, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Lucille Ball, Billy Crystal and, last year, Quentin Tarantino.

“Those Friars may think I'm an easy mark, but I have 90 years of comebacks waiting for them," White said. "This is such an honor to be roasted by the Friars Club. It will be an afternoon filled with dirty words, risque jokes & sex talk.....and that's just what I plan on saying!”

The roast will be produced by TV executive Gary Smith, a former executive producer of the Tony and Emmy Awards.

"Betty White is one of those unique talents that comes along once every generation," said Freddie Roman, dean of The Friars Club. "She has been making people laugh all her life, and our Roasters will need to be on their toes to handle Betty’s razor sharp wit.” 

The Friars Club was founded in 1904 as a place for entertainers. Its historic members have included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Lucille Ball and Milton Berle. Current Friars include Barbra Streisand, John Travolta, Whoopi Goldberg, Robert DeNiro, Joy Behar, Bruce Willis and

Ben Fogle tackles natural disasters in Sky Atlantic, 3D's 'Storm City'

Ben Fogle tackles natural disasters in Sky Atlantic, 3D's 'Storm City'

Ben Fogle is filming natural disasters series Storm City for Sky Atlantic and Sky 3D.

The four 60-minute films - which will use advanced technology to recreate natural forces - are being filmed in Canada at the moment.

Presenter Fogle is taking on a man-versus-nature experiment, which will see him simulating earthquakes, extreme winds, avalanches and floods. 3D cameras will capture every moment of destruction blow-by-blow.

The series will also include stories from people who witnessed events such as Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake, the Boxing Day Tsunami in South East Asia, the Boscastle Flash Floods and the 1987 hurricane in the South of England.

"This is an extraordinary series to work on and it will look incredible too. I've been staggered by the scale and how much I've learned about the effects that nature can have on our environment. I hope people enjoy watching it as much as I've enjoyed making it," said Fogle.

Sky's commissioning editor Celia Taylor said: "We all knew that there was an incredible 3D film to be made about natural disasters but Storm City has gone beyond that to deliver incredible science, massive stunts and highly emotive human stories that makes it compelling, breath-taking and fascinating in equal measures."

Storm City will air in the summer.

'Game of Thrones' season two 'War is Coming' artwork revealed: picture

'Game of Thrones' season two 'War is Coming' artwork revealed: picture

The HBO key artwork for the Game of Thrones second season has been revealed.

Featuring the 'War Is Coming' tagline for the season, the image includes a scarred hand holding a golden crown, alluding to the family battles ahead for the role of King.

Within the crown there are also images of men fighting with spears and swords.

Stars who have joined the cast for an expanded season two include Fintan McKeown, Ian Whyte, Natalie Dormer, Carice van Houten, Stephen Dillane, Liam Cunningham, Hannah Murray, Robert Pugh, Michael McElhatton and Patrick Malahide.

Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 1. The second season premieres in the UK a day later on April 2 on Sky Atlantic.

'Misfits': Series four adds three new characters

'Misfits': Series four adds three new characters

Misfits will introduce three new regular characters in its fourth series.

Iwan Rheon (Simon) and Antonia Thomas (Alisha) both departed the E4 drama at the conclusion of its third run.

The fourth series - which was confirmed in December - will introduce new female lead Jess and two male characters, Finn and Alex, according to Bleeding Cool.

A casting call for Jess describes her as "smart" and a "person who'll question social norms and etiquette", comparing her to a "female version of [comedian] Larry David".

Finn is said to be quick-witted and fast-talking, with "a childlike, naively optimistic view of life", while second male Alex is "super good-looking" but "very standoffish".

Actors between 18 and 25 are currently being considered for the three roles.

Original Misfits star Robert Sheehan quit the show in April 2011 and was replaced by This Is England actor Joe Gilgun for the third series.

Misfits will return to E4 in late 2012.

'Upstairs Downstairs' star Jean Marsh 'excited to return'

'Upstairs Downstairs' star Jean Marsh 'excited to return'

Jean Marsh has admitted that she is excited to be returning to Upstairs Downstairs.

The 77-year-old actress plays Rose Buck on the BBC period drama, but suffered a stroke and heart attack before the second series began shooting.

"Everyone seems to have forgotten about it now!" she told What's On TV. "Physically, I was able to walk, I didn't look different, but it just takes time to recover. Now it is lovely to be back at work."

Marsh will now reprise her role in the third and sixth episodes of the new series.

"I'm so proud of [the show]," she revealed. "After leaving what it was, coming back and taking the show into the 1930s was very different and exciting."

Upstairs Downstairs star Neil Jackson recently told Digital Spy that Marsh will likely return as Rose full-time if the show gets a third run.

"Hopefully - God willing - when we get a third series, she'll be back fighting fit and resuming her place," he said.

Upstairs Downstairs continues this Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.

Lindsay Lohan: Saturday Night Live is the venue to make fun of myself

Lindsay Lohan: Saturday Night Live is the venue to make fun of myself

Lindsay Lohan has promised to make light of her past troubles on this weekend's Saturday Night Live.

Lohan promoted her first SNL hosting stint in six years with a sit-down interview with Matt Lauer on Thursday's edition of Today.

The Mean Girls actress told Lauer that Saturday Night Live is the perfect venue to "poke fun" at her formerly scandalous life.

"If I'm going to do a sketch about [my past issues], this is the place to do it. SNL is where you're actually okay to do that," Lohan explained.

She added: "I spoke to my attorney, I didn't want to be disrespectful to my judge... because I want to be in the clear. I'm so close. We'll see if we can write them the right way, I want to poke fun at myself."

Lohan was at one time one of Saturday Night Live's most frequent guests, having hosted the series three times between 2004 and 2006.

The star's return to the late-night series will see her rank among four-time hosts including Dana Carvey, Ashton Kutcher, Ben Affleck and Michael Palin.

The star has reached out to Alec Baldwin on Twitter to cameo on SNL, but the 30 Rock actor has yet to confirm whether he will appear.

Jack White joins Lohan on Saturday Night Live, airing at 11.30/10.30c on NBC.

ABC Entertainment Launches New Facebook Pages for "Modern Family," "Once Upon a Time" and "The Bachelor"

ABC Entertainment Launches New Facebook Pages for "Modern Family," "Once Upon a Time" and "The Bachelor"

As an industry leader in the digital space, ABC is the first primetime television network to launch new Facebook(R) pages for "Modern Family," "Once Upon a Time" and "The Bachelor" with new page timeline and cover photo features for each show. The new features will bring new content to people who want more from their favorite shows, and will result in an enhanced fan experience.

Emmy-award winning "Modern Family," which airs Wednesdays from 9:00-9:30 p.m., ET, stars Ed O'Neill as Jay, Julie Bowen as Claire, Ty Burrell as Phil, Sofía Vergara as Gloria, Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell, Eric Stonestreet as Cameron, Sarah Hyland as Haley, Nolan Gould as Luke, Ariel Winter as Alex, Rico Rodriguez as Manny and Aubrey Anderson-Emmons as Lily.

"Once Upon a Time," which airs Sundays from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET, stars Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White/Mary Margaret, Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold, Lana Parrilla as Evil Queen/Regina, Josh Dallas as Prince Charming/David, Eion Bailey as August, Jared Gilmore as Henry Mills and Raphael Sbarge as Jiminy Cricket/Archie Hopper.

"The Bachelor," airing Mondays from 8:00-10:00 p.m., ET, is the original primetime romance reality series that offers one lucky man and 25 lucky women the unique opportunity to find true love. This season the hit series is celebrating its 10th anniversary, featuring its 16th edition with successful winemaker Ben Flajnik getting to know 25 women via a series of social gatherings and exotic, romantic dates. Now, Ben is close to the end of his journey, which has been filled with drama and surprises against the backdrop of spectacular international settings. The Bachelor may quite possibly have found true love with one of the final two bachelorettes -- Courtney or Lindzi - but the big question is: After all of this, will he pop the question, and will she say yes?


Twitter: @ModernFam, #modernfamily


Twitter: @OnceABC, #OnceUponATime


Twitter: @BachelorABC #Bachelor

A Real American Horror Story!: New Season of Animal Planet's "River Monsters" Kicks Off With Two-Hour Episode of All-American Maneaters

A Real American Horror Story!: New Season of Animal Planet's "River Monsters" Kicks Off With Two-Hour Episode of All-American Maneaters

For three successful seasons of Animal Planet's RIVER MONSTERS, extreme angler Jeremy Wade has taken viewers along as he unravels freshwater fish tales of giant killers - where sometimes the fact really is stranger than the fiction! These voyages have taken him across the globe to waterways far and wide, all on an endless search for man-eating creatures that lurk below. He's caught dozens of these elusive beasts, typically in remote jungles and unexplored lands.

But this time, Wade's journey begins in a familiar territory - America's backyards. In his first investigation of season four, he takes viewers to Florida, Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma in search of all-American maneaters in the two-hour RIVER MONSTERS season opener "American Killers" on Sunday, April 1, at 9 PM (ET/PT). The series airs regularly on Sundays at 10 PM (ET/PT).

RIVER MONSTERS returns with brand-new episodes of the weekly detective mystery, following Wade on a worldwide search for harrowing tales of bloodthirsty fish. A fearless explorer, he aims to hook the finned culprits that are thought to attack humans and reveal how much truth lies in the legends.

The suspense-filled premiere "American Killers" follows Wade as he treks across the U.S. in search of deadly river monsters living in the nation's waterways - from the popular Indian River Lagoon in Florida, where unsuspecting water enthusiasts are faced with what could become a modern day "Jaws," to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, where underwater hunters have reached man-eating proportions. Other U.S. locations include Barbers Hill Canal and the Trinity River in Texas as well as the creeks and lakes of Oklahoma.

"I've been on the trail of RIVER MONSTERS all over the world, and normally I'm tracking them down in remote jungles; however, lately I've been getting reports from an area I couldn't believe, one of the most populated places on earth - the United States," says Wade. "I've discovered that you have to learn to expect the unexpected in my business, but what viewers will see in 'American Killers' took even me by surprise."

Wade dives in and gets to the bottom of freshwater fish stories with dangerous excursions to remote and populated locales worldwide. In Zambia on the Zambezi River, crocs and hippos are known for being deadly predators, but Wade is on the prowl for a fish said to able to swallow a child. And when he hears of a recent bloody attack in Mongolia, Wade suspects the Taimen -- a giant fish so rare it's legendary. In the remote Indian Himalayas, he searches for the Sareng, an animal the locals consider sacred but is lethal nonetheless.

The season four finale episode of RIVER MONSTERS, "Lair of Giants," is a two-hour look at one of the most challenging expeditions of Wade's life, premiering May 27, at 9 PM (ET/PT). It's a different adventure for Wade as he journeys into the unknown and isolated jungles of Guyana, South America, where early explorers wrote about a river system filled with mysterious giants - the Esequibo River. The two-hour finale of RIVER MONSTERS is part of Animal Planet's first-ever Monster Week, where for eight nights the mysterious menaces of the animal world take over the network's lineup, beginning with amped-up episodes of RIVER MONSTERS, featuring lost footage as well as all-new, monster-sized episodes scattered throughout the week and the season finale, "Lair of Giants."

Follow JR Ewing's Colorful History of the Ewing Family as TNT's "Dallas" Launches New Facebook Page

Follow JR Ewing's Colorful History of the Ewing Family as TNT's "Dallas" Launches New Facebook Page

TNT is set to take a truly innovative approach to catching viewers up with the Ewing family as it unveils the new Dallas Facebook Page today. As one of the first brands to implement a Facebook Page utilizing the new timeline and cover photo features, the Dallas Page will have a complete chronicle of the Ewing clan's colorful history; as told by JR Ewing.

TNT's innovative Dallas Page will span 34 years of Ewing history, all in the first-person voice of J.R. Ewing. Through photos, videos, check-ins and comments, the Dallas Page will bring to life The Ewing Clan as it chronicles all 14 seasons of the original series. It will also reveal what's been happening in the characters' lives over the 20 years since they were last seen on television, as imagined by the show's writers. The Page can be accessed at TNT's new Dallas is set to premiere this June.

In addition to launching the new Dallas Page, TNT has recently begun a string of #DallasQuickie tweets on Twitter. Posted through the @Dallas_TNT handle several times each day, these tweets will encapsulate each of the 356 episodes of the original Dallas series in 140 characters or less.

"In celebration of bringing a new Dallas to TNT, the Dallas Facebook Page and Quickies are all part of a campaign that brings to life the mythology of the Ewing Clan," said Tricia Melton, SVP of Entertainment marketing for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies. "By using the Dallas Page to tell the personal story of the Ewings, we will be able to rekindle the memories of long-time Dallas enthusiasts while also building anticipation among a new generation of fans."

This summer, TNT's all-new Dallas will bring J.R., Bobby and Sue Ellen Ewing back to Southfork, complete with their arsenal of secrets, schemes and betrayals. The original series' iconic stars return, including Patrick Duffy as Bobby Ewing, Linda Gray as Sue Ellen Ewing and Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing. This time, they're joined by the next generation of Ewings, who take ambition and deception to a new level. The series also stars Josh Henderson as John Ross, the son of J.R. and Sue Ellen Ewing; Jesse Metcalfe as Christopher, Bobby's adopted son; Jordana Brewster as Elena Ramos, John Ross' girlfriend; Julie Gonzalo as Rebecca Sutter

Shot on location in the title city, Dallas comes to TNT from Warner Horizon Television, with pilot writer Cynthia Cidre and Michael M. Robin serving as executive producers. TNT's Dallas is based upon the series created by David Jacobs.

Spike TV to Premiere First Ever Live Auction Event Wednesday, March 21

Spike TV to Premiere First Ever Live Auction Event Wednesday, March 21

Spike TV raises the stakes as for the first time ever the networks highest-rated non-scripted original series "Auction Hunters" premieres a special, one hour LIVE auction event. Showcasing two of the best prospectors in the business, Allen Haff and Ton Jones, the episode will broadcast LIVE from an exclusive storage auction in Los Angeles. Hosted by "Loveline" co-host and former "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Mike Catherwood, "Auction Hunters: Live" premieres Wednesday, March 21 at 9:00 PM, ET, immediately followed by the series premiere of "American Digger."

"Auction Hunters: Live" follows Haff and Jones at a white-glove only auction in Los Angeles, as the duo is challenged to condense a week's worth of work into one hour of LIVE television. Haff and Jones will have to hurry to buy a unit, dig through it, and select a few items to present for sale to the assembled group of on-set experts. The pressure is on as this rare auction could potentially lead to their biggest payday or greatest loss to date. With the cameras rolling and the stakes higher than ever, Spike's "Auction Hunters" are primed for the ultimate challenge.

"Auction Hunters: Live" kicks-off season three of the series on its new day and time Wednesday, March 28 (9:00 PM, ET/PT) with back-to-back episodes filmed in Alaska. Additional locations for the new season include New Orleans, Washington D.C., New York City, Honolulu, Denver and Los Angeles.

"Auction Hunters" is produced by Gurney Productions and executive produced by Scott Gurney and Deirdre Gurney. Sharon Levy is Spike TV's Executive Vice President, Original Series, Tim Duffy is Senior Vice President of Original Programming for Spike TV, and Jeff Savaiano serves as the Executive in Charge of Production.

Disney XD Original Series "Lab Rats" is Network's #1 Launch Ever

Disney XD Original Series "Lab Rats" is Network's #1 Launch Ever

Coming off its most-watched February in the network's history, and its 2nd-most-watched month overall in Prime in Total Viewers, Kids 2-11 and Kids 6-14, newest original series "Lab Rats" launched as Disney XD's #1 original series premiere in its history (includes Toon Disney) in Total Viewers (1.3 million), Kids 2-11 (775,000/1.9 rating), Kids 6-14 (861,000/2.4 rating), Boys 6-14 (493,000/2.7 rating), Kids 6-11 (681,000/2.8 rating), Tweens 9-14 (584,000/2.4 rating) and Boys 9-14 (358,000/2.9 rating), and its #1 live-action series premiere of all time in Boys 6-11 (359,000/2.9 rating), posting the network's best ratings ever in the time period across target kid demos.

Moreover, "Lab Rats" became Disney XD's #1 original series telecast of all time in Total Viewers, Kids 6-14, Boys 6-14, Tweens 9-14 and Boys 9-14.

Kelly Clarkson on The Voice: 'I was nervous they wouldn't know me'

Kelly Clarkson on The Voice: 'I was nervous they wouldn't know me'

Kelly Clarkson has admitted she was nervous going into her mentoring role on The Voice in case the contestants didn't know her.

The 'What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)' singer will serve as a mentor for Blake Shelton's team on the second season of The Voice, which currently airs Mondays on NBC.

During a video interview with social media correspondent Christina Milian, the star was asked about the experience of surprising the contestants when she arrived.

Clarkson replied: "The unexpected thing I hate because some people don't know who I am! I was like, 'What if they don't know who I am?'

"I got nervous before they came in and was like, 'Oh, it will be so embarrassing!' because they didn't tell them I would be the mentor, but they were all really cool."

Michael Parkinson: 'Talent shows give dangerous fame'

Michael Parkinson: 'Talent shows give dangerous fame'

Michael Parkinson has blasted TV talent shows for creating a dangerous perception of fame.

The veteran interviewer continued to voice his disapproval of formats such as Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor, arguing that they are doing damage by offering "an easy route" to success

"There is a tendency nowadays, if you look at a lot of talent shows, to put the proposition to young people that it is very easy to be famous," he told The Sun.

"All you have to do is go on some talent show and that is it. If you succeed, great, but if you don't, you are rubbish.

"There is a danger with the growth of these talent shows and other programmes that they are an easy route to fame. A lot of young people are tempted by that. But it tells a lie about what real talent is."

Asked how he would react to being offered a job by Simon Cowell on one of his shows, the 76-year-old replied: "It would be an insult! Simon is not stupid. He wouldn't come looking."

Parkinson will make a television comeback this year with Sky Arts programme Masterclass, which he claimed will be a more traditional chatshow than those fronted by the likes of Jonathan Ross or Alan Carr.

"If you look across the board, there isn't one talkshow - apart from Piers Morgan['s Life Stories] - that is interview based," he said. "What they are based on is comedy.

"There is nothing wrong with that, it is just the way it is now... there is a group of people all doing the same kind of show but they are comedy shows. The kind of show I did is no longer there."

Animal Planet becomes Sky's 60th HD channel

Animal Planet becomes Sky's 60th HD channel

Sky has announced the addition of the 60th high definition channel to its satellite TV lineup, as HD viewing on the platform increases by almost two thirds.

The Discovery Communications-operated Animal Planet HD has now started broadcasting on channel 525 on Sky's electronic programme guide.

The wildlife channel becomes the 32nd network in Sky's Entertainment Extra HD pack, excluding the six free-to-air channels.

Sky now beams HD programming to more than 4m homes in the UK via its Sky+ HD set top boxes, including movies, sports and entertainment.

in January 2012, the HD share of viewing within Sky+ HD households rose 68% year-on-year, including Sky1 shows Treasure Island, Ruth Jones' Stella and Mad Dogs proving popular in HD. Sky News has also started the year with its highest ever HD viewing figures.

HD viewing on Sky has been boosted by the EPG swap scheme launched in February 2011, which automatically swaps HD networks with their standard definition counterparts in Sky+ HD homes to make them more prominent on the guide.

The satellite broadcaster has also geared its marketing and communications to always focus on the availability of HD versions of its major channels.

Next Friday, Sky will launch its new Sky Sports F1 channel in standard and high definition, broadcasting live coverage of every Grand Prix each season.

Sky's director TV products Luke Bradley-Jones said: "As we add our 60th HD channel, we've never seen higher demand from our customers to watch TV in stunning HD.

"Sky continues to extend its leadership in high definition TV and with every new HD channel we launch, we're giving our HD customers more of what they love."

Sky also said that all customers with an internet-connected Sky+ HD box will be able to access video on-demand service Sky Anytime+ by Easter, regardless of their broadband provid

'Strictly' Craig Revel Horwood wants Darcey Bussell as full-time judge

'Strictly' Craig Revel Horwood wants Darcey Bussell as full-time judge

Strictly Come Dancing's Craig Revel Horwood has revealed that Darcey Bussell is his pick to replace Alesha Dixon on the BBC One show.

Horwood told Digital Spy that he, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli had all been consulted on who should join the programme as a fourth judge, but added that the final decision was down to the BBC.

Speaking to journalists at the second series launch of classical music reality programme Maestro yesterday, Horwood admitted that Bussell was at the top of his wishlist.

The ballet dancing legend guested on the ballroom dance show two years ago.

"She's very credible, has done the show before and she'd love to do it. I'd really like to see her on the panel," said Horwood.

The BBC is expected to announce a replacement for Dixon in the summer.

Pro dancers Karen Hardy and Ola Jordan, former winner Kara Tointon and choreographer Karen Bruce are all thought to be in the running for the fourth spot.

Leonard Nimoy 'to make Big Bang Theory cameo'

Leonard Nimoy 'to make Big Bang Theory cameo'

Leonard Nimoy has been linked with an appearance in The Big Bang Theory.

The Star Trek actor is to make a cameo in the March 29 episode of the CBS sitcom, according to TVLine.

Jim Parsons's character Sheldon has been seen to have an obsession with Nimoy in previous episodes of the show. Production insiders have claimed that Nimoy will speak to Sheldon in character as Spock, but will not be seen on screen.

Nimoy has specialised in voice work in recent years, lending his voice to the character of William Bell in Fringe and playing Sentinel Prime in Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

He will also perform as Sekhuru in animated movie Zambezia, which features an all-star cast including Samuel L Jackson, Abigail Breslin, Jeff Goldblum and Richard E Grant.

TV Tonight 2nd of March 2012

TV Tonight 2nd of March 2012

The daily list in alphabetical order, of all the new episodes airing.

    20/20 S34E27: "Season 34, Episode 27"
    A Gifted Man S01E16: "In Case of Heart Failure"
    A.N.T. Farm S01E23: "PatANT Pending"
    Alaska Wing Men S02E08: "High Voltage Hazard"
    Amagami SS S02E09: "Nakata Sae - Part 1: Doubt"
    America's Most Wanted S25E14: "Season 25, Episode 14"
    Ancient Aliens S04E04: "Aliens and Mega-Disasters"
    Antiques Road Trip S04E15: "Series 4, Episode 15"
    Benidorm S05E02: "Series 5, Episode 2"
    Bering Sea Gold S01E06: "Eureka!"
    Big Brother Sverige S08E12: "Season 8, Episode 12"
    Black Rock Shooter S01E05: "Black Rock Shooter"
    Blade Anime S01E08: "Eternal Apocalypse"
    Blue Bloods S02E16: "Women With Guns"
    Cleverdicks S01E05: "Episode 5"
    Coach Trip S09E25: "Series 9, Day 25"
    Come Dine With Me S18E41: "Series 18, Series 35"
    Come Dine With Me S18E42: "Series 18, Come Dine With Me"
    Coronation Street S53E45: "Fri Mar 2, 2012 [Episode 2]"
    Coronation Street S53E44: "Fri Mar 2, 2012 [Episode 1]"
    Dateline NBC S21E26: "FR2124"
    Days of our Lives S47E81: "Ep. #11791"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E174: "Episode 1854"
    Degrassi S11E34: "Can't Tell Me Nothing Part One"
    Dickinson's Real Deal S08E64: "Series 8, Episode 64"
    Doctors S13E211: "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
    EastEnders S28E37: "March 2, 2012"
    Eddie Stobart: Trucks and Trailers S03E01: "Series 3, Episode 1"
    Emmerdale S41E53: "March 2, 2012"
    Flikken Maastricht S06E05: "Season 6, Episode 5"
    Four Weddings (2010) S03E30: "...And Chocolate Handcuffs"
    Fred: The Show S01E05: "TBA"
    General Hospital (US) S49E234: "#12508"
    Generator Rex S03E16: "Enemies Mine"
    Ghost Adventures S06E01
    Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden S22E130: "Season 22, Episode 130"
    Gold Rush: Alaska S02E17: "After the Rush"
    Got to Dance S03E60: "Series 3, Episode 60"
    Grimm S01E13: "Three Coins in a Fuchsbau"
    Guilty Crown S01E19: "Atonement:Rebirth"
    High School DxD S01E09: "My Training Begins!"
    Hollyoaks S18E45: "March 2, 2012"
    Home and Away (AU) S25E30: "Episode 5465"
    House Hunters S48E44
    House Hunters International S25E47
    Inu x Boku SS S01E08: "Episode 8"
    Jeopardy! S28E120: "Show #6325"
    Kill Me Baby S01E09: "Episode 9"
    Killer Trials: Judgment Day S01E10: "TBA"
    Killer Trials: Judgment Day S01E09: "TBA"
    Late Night with Jimmy Fallon S02E233: "Bruce Springsteen"
    Live From the Artists Den S04E05: "Amos Lee with special guests Calexico"
    Live with Regis and Kelly S29E134
    Livet på Laerkevej S01E05: "Season 1, Episode 5"
    Mastermind (UK) S40E21: "Series 40, Show 21"
    Mastermind (UK) S40E20: "Series 40, Show 20"
    Melvyn Bragg On Class And Culture S01E02: "Episode 2"
    Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries S01E02: "Murder on the Ballarat Train"
    Moordvrouw S01E07: "Season 1, Episode 7"
    Neighbours S28E40: "Episode 6350"
    Nytt På Nytt S26E09: "Hilde Sandvik og Knut Arild Hareide"
    Persona 4 The Animation S01E21: "DON'T SAVE ANYONE ANYMORE"
    Pointless S06E15: "Series 6, Episode 15"
    Popstokk S02E09
    Portlandia S02E09: "No Olympics"
    Real Time With Bill Maher S10E07: "Season 10, Episode 7"
    Romanii au Talent S02E03: "Auditii #3"
    Room 101 S12E07: "Larry Lamb, Lauren Laverne, David O'Doherty"
    Safari Vet School S01E09: "Episode 9"
    Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta S03E13: "TBA"
    Senhime Zesshou Symphogear S01E09: "Episode 9"
    Shark Tank S03E07: "Season 3, Episode 7"
    Spartacus: Blood and Sand S02E06: "Chosen Path"
    Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) S04E20: "Bounty"
    Stella (UK) S01E09: "Episode 9"
    Sweet Home Alabama S03E08: "The Secret"
    The 7pm Project S04E44: "Season 4, Episode 44"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S25E243: "Ep. #6273"
    The Chase (2009) S05E24: "Series 5, Episode 24"
    The Culture Show S16E05: "Series 16, Episode 5"
    The Ellen DeGeneres Show S09E113: "Steve Harvey, Jason Mraz"
    The Graham Norton Show S10E18: "John Cusack, Goldie Hawn, Kasabian"
    The Indian Doctor S02E05: "Series 2, Episode 5"
    The Jeremy Kyle Show S07E120: "March 2, 2012"
    The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson S08E40
    The Mad Bad Ad Show S01E03: "Episode 3"
    The Real Hustle (UK) S11E06: "Celebrity Chancers: Episode 6"
    The Revolution (2012) S01E35: "Season 1, Episode 35"
    The Rosie Show S01E75: "TBA"
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S19E254
    The View S15E118
    The Young and the Restless S39E241: "Ep. #9856"
    Thuis S17E135: "Season 17, Episode 135"
    Tracy Beaker Returns S03E10: "Series 3, Episode 10"
    Undercover Boss S03E06: "Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen"
    Who Do You Think You Are? (US) S03E04: "Reba McEntire"
    WWE Friday Night SmackDown! S12E75: "Season 12, Episode 75"
    Байки Митяя S01E16: "Season 1, Episode 16"
    Байки Митяя S01E15: "Season 1, Episode 15"
    Байки Митяя S01E14: "Season 1, Episode 14"
    Байки Митяя S01E13: "Season 1, Episode 13"

England international football draws 6.5m on ITV1

England international football draws 6.5m on ITV1

More than 6.5 million viewers watched live international football between England and the Netherlands last night, according to overnight data.

The ITV1 coverage was watched by an impressive 6.54m (27.9%) from 7.30pm.

The other terrestrial channels suffered as a result - BBC One's MasterChef was down by one million, serving only 3.76m (15.2%).

Channel 4's One Born Every Minute took 2.85m (11.5%) and 501k (2.8%) on timeshift, with Daddy Daycare seen by 784k (3.3%) from 8pm (+1: 138k/0.6%).

NCIS grabbed 1.7m (6.9%) in the 9pm hour for Channel 5. Earlier, Big Body Squad had 1.12m (4.7%).

Meanwhile, BBC Two aired The Fisherman's Apprentice with Monty Halls (1.68m/7.1%) and Wonderland (981k/4%).

Overall, ITV1 easily secured primetime victory with 25.3% (+1: 0.3%) ahead of BBC One's 18.8%. Channel 4 earned 6.1%, beating Channel 5 (5.2%) and BBC Two (4.9%).

On the multichannels, ITV2's The Only Way Is Essex improved week-on-week by appealing to 1.17m (6.2%).

Channel 4's new documentary 'Make Bradford British' criticised

Channel 4's new documentary 'Make Bradford British' criticised

Channel 4's new documentary on racial differences in Bradford has been criticised by community leaders, who have expressed concern that it may show the city in a "bad light".

Make Bradford British attempts to bring together people of different ethnicities in the Yorkshire city to see if they can agree what makes them British.

Channel 4 said that the two-part programme is intended to overcome stereotypes and preconceptions about race, but council leader Ian Greenwood said that it would actually reinforce the image of Bradford as being segregated.

According to BBC News, Greenwood said that he was "sick to death" of television companies portraying the city in a "bad light".

"There is no doubt that we have problems the same as any community - but my view is we can resolve these problems together within Bradford," he said.

"What we don't need is people stereotyping us and leaving the city. Bradford is a place of immigration. For a long time we've had wave after wave of people coming to look for socio-economic advancement, to look for a good job, to look to do better for the family."

Make Bradford British is intended as a social experiment involving eight "housemates" from differing races and backgrounds living together to "see if they can come up with a common notion of the thread that binds them together - what it means to be British".

Sabbiyah Pervez, one of the participants, said that the programme "deals with issues on a common ground and there was a lot of positives to come out of it".

Jane Vincent, co-founder of Positive Bradford, said that she was keeping her "options open" about the programme as she had not yet seen it.

But she added: "What does concern me is that it's Bradford again. Why isn't it Make Birmingham British or some other city? It's unfair.

"From seeing the trailers, they've done the typical extremist viewpoint. That doesn't represent real Bradford."

Bradford Council for Mosques general secretary Zulfi Karim said that the programme's title is a cause for concern, "as it implies that there is something inherently unBritish about our city and nothing could be further from the truth".

"However, we will be prepared to reserve judgement and comment once we have seen the full programme," said Karim.

A Channel 4 spokesperson said that Bradford was chosen for the programme because "it is perceived to have one of the more segregated populations in the UK".

They added: "We're not saying that Bradford hasn't worked very hard to address issues of segregation, but the title is designed to stimulate debate about Britishness and refers to a group of people who previously led segregated lives in Bradford, coming together to see if they can find a common notion of what it means to be British."

Make Bradford British premieres tonight at 9pm on Channel 4, and then concludes on March 8 at the same time.

Davy Jones, Monkees Singer, Dead at 66

Davy Jones, Monkees Singer, Dead at 66

Davy Jones, the singer for 60s pop group the Monkees, died Wednesday morning of a heart attack, the Martin County, Florida, medical examiner's office told TheWrap. He was 66.

Jones was rushed from his Hollywood, Fla. home to the Martin Hospital South in Stuart, Fla., but medical workers were unable to resuscitate Jones, according to a statement provided to TheWrap. He leaves behind a wife, Jessica, and four daughters.

"All of his family, friends and fans mourn Davy's loss," said Joseph Pacheco, Jones' manager and brother-in-law. "We were fortunate to have such an incredible human being in our lives. Sadly, his time on Earth was cut far too short and he will be missed tremendously by all who knew him."

Jones had been scheduled to appear at La Mirada Performing Arts Center on March 31.

Born on December 30, 1945 in Manchester, England, Jones began his acting career in his pre-teens, appearing on the British soap opera "Coronation Street" and the police show "Z-Cars." Following his mother's death from emphysema when he was 14, Jones put acting on hold to train as a jockey, but eventually returned to performing.

Jones' career took off in 1965, when he was chosen as a member of the Monkees, along with Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz.  Assembled for a Screen Gems television comedy series, the Monkees were derided by many as a manufactured group, but nonetheless racked up an impressive number of hits, with Jones singing many of them, including "I Wanna Be Free" and "Daydream Believer."

The group disbanded in 1971, but Jones continued to perform music, both as a solo artist and, briefly, in the group Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart with his former bandmate Dolenz and songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. The Monkees would also reunite periodically, most recently in 2011 for "An Evening With the Monkees: The 45th Anniversary Tour."

Jones' most recent album, a collection of classics spanning the 1940s to the 1970s entitled "She," was released in 2009.

He also continued to act, appearing on '70s series such as "The Brady Bunch," "My Two Dads," "Here Comes the Bride" and "Love, American Style," as well as on the stage, appearing in several productions of "Oliver!" as Fagin. (Jones had gotten an early break in his stage career playing the Artful Dodger in the same play.)

Jones' love of horse racing would also continue; the singer/actor owned and raced horses, and served as a spokesman for Virginia's Colonial Downs racetrack.

As news of Jones' death filtered out, fellow musicians began to offer tribute to the singer.

"Eternal rest for Davy Jones who leaves a great legacy of music, fun and all the colors of the rainbow," Nancy Sinatra tweeted. Will Smith likewise chimed in, writing, "R.I.P. Davy Jones. Retweet for respect."

Development Update: 2nd of March

Development Update: 2nd of March

AMERICANA (ABC) - Ashley Greene ("Pan Am") and Tiffany Hines ("Nikita") have both been cast in the drama pilot, about Robert Soulter (Anthony LaPaglia), creator of the most iconic fashion brand in the world - Americana - which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Greene will play Alice Garano ("27, funky and boho-chic"), an aspiring designer and the daughter of Robert's estranged brother Martin Garano (Ken Olin). Hines then is set as Alice's roommate, Shane Kelly, a beautiful medical student. Emilie de Ravin and Natalie Mendoza also star in the Michael Seitzman-penned hour, to be directed by Phillip Noyce. ABC Studios is producing. (

ANTICHRIST (ABC) - Laila Robins ("Bored to Death") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about Carter Henderson (Max Thieriot), an astrophysics grad student who learns that he is the chosen one to destroy the forces of evil. She'll play Angelica Teras - the elegant wife of John Daniel Teras (Linus Roache), a New York Senator who's the target of an assassination attempt. Harald Kloser and Roland Emmerich are behind the ABC Studios-based hour, which also stars Gabriella Wilde, Martin Landau and Yaya DaCosta. (

COUNTER CULTURE (ABC) - Margo Martindale ("A Gifted Man") has signed onto the pilot, a multi-camera comedy about three aging sisters running their family diner together in West Texas. She'll play one of the them, Joyce Cox ("bossy eldest sister, a rock"). Said casting is in second position to the CBS drama. Doris Roberts also stars in the Stephnie Weir-penned half-hour, from ABC Studios and Sony Pictures Television. Ted Wass is directing. (

DO NO HARM (NBC) - Emmy-nominee Phylicia Rashad ("The Cosby Show") has been cast in the drama pilot, a modern take on "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" about a brilliant neurosurgeon (Steven Pasquale) who wrestles with his dangerous alter-ego. She'll play Vanessa Harris ("made of ice and Chanel"), the Chief of Surgery at Boston Medical Center. Alana De La Garza, Michael Esper, Mousa Kraish and Ruta Gedmintas also star in the Universal Television-based hour, from writer David Schulner and Michael Mayer. (

THE FAMILY TRAP (ABC) - Majandra Delfino ("State of Georgia") has booked a role on the comedy pilot, about Annie (Mandy Moore) and Ben (yet to be cast), newlyweds who get the opportunity of a lifetime to run a hip, new restaurant in Annie's hometown bringing her closer to her needy and high maintenance family. She'll play Sarah - one of Annie's sisters who is divorced and living at home - alongside the previously cast Erinn Hayes as Kate, Annie's other sister. Shawn Levy, Bob Fisher and Stacy Traub are all behind the half-hour, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television. (

HOW TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE (ABC) - Elizabeth Perkins ("Weeds") has signed on to the comedy pilot, about Polly (Sarah Chalke), a recently divorced, single mom, who moves in with her eccentric parents, a couple who's full of life but knows no boundaries. She'll play Polly's mom Elaine ("very attractive, always optimistic and outspoken; can never say no to herself") alongside the previously cast Jon Dore as Polly's ex, Juilian. Claudia Lonow is behind the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, to be directed by Julie Anne Robinson. (

MISTRESSES (ABC) - Rina Mimoun ("Hart of Dixie") has signed on to executive produce the upcoming drama, which follows the lives of four female friends and their involvement in an array of illicit and complex relationships. Said addition is the result of a two-year, seven-figure overall deal the writer/producer has signed with ABC Studios. There she'll work alongside fellow executive producers K.J. Steinberg, Robert M. Sertner and Douglas Rae as well as develop her own projects for the studio. (

MY IDIOTIC TWENTIES (CBS) - Liz Cackowski ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall") has landed a role on the comedy pilot, about Jake (Michael Angarano), an advertising executive who gets his heart broken by his girlfriend, Laura (Brie Larson), and now has to work one cubicle away from her. She'll play Ingrid ("late 30s, intense"), their account executive boss, in the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, from writer/director Nicholas Stoller. Adam Campbell, Amanda Lund, Chris Smith and Randall Park also star. (

NASHVILLE (ABC) - Hayden Panettiere ("Heroes") and Robert Wisdom ("Happy Town") have both been cast in the drama pilot, which centers around the Nashville music scene and its stars, both rising and fading. She'll play 19-year-old starlet Juliette Barnes ("a gorgeous, sequined, mini-skirted young country vixen") while he's set as Coleman Caldwell ("a tall distinguished African-American man"), who aims to be the next Mayor of Nashville. Clare Bowen, Jonathan Jackson, Powers Boothe and Sam Palladio co-star in the Callie Khouri-penned hour, from ABC Studios and Lionsgate Television. R.J. Cutler, who recently inked a first-look deal with the latter studio, is directing. (

NEXT CALLER PLEASE (NBC) - Comedian Dane Cook has been tapped as the male lead on the pilot, a single-camera comedy about a mismatched duo - Cam and Stella (Collette Wolfe) - who host a relationship call-in show in New York City. He's on board as said fellow ("disheveled, unshaven, hung-over; a purposefully detached, magnetic grouch"), the result of a development deal Cook signed with the network back in September. Marc Buckland is directing the Lionsgate Television-based half-hour from a script by Stephen Falk. Joy Osmanski also stars. (

ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES (ABC) - Christpher Lloyd and B.J. Bales have both joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about two streetwise brothers (John Leguizamo, Dustin Ybarra) and their aging grandfather as they concoct outrageous, morally questionable get-rich-quick schemes in their quest to become millionaires. Lloyd will play said grandfather, Jackie Trotter ("a once virile, but now melted former stunt man"), while Bales is set as Trigger Mills ("a ghetto-talking white man in a track suit"), the boys' perpetual enemy. Brian Bradley and Steven Cragg also star in the ABC Studios-based project, to be directed by Ted Wass. (

- Cary Elwes ("The Princess Bride") has snagged a role on the comedy pilot, about Neil (Kal Penn), an uncool cubicle worker at one of the coolest companies in the world, who becomes the victim of identity theft and engages the charismatic conman, Guy (yet to be cast) to help him change his life. He's on board as Neil's co-worker Rams, "a tall German in his late forties wearing a black turtleneck and kilt." Charlotte Newhouse, Dan Fogler, Dayo Okeniyi and Michaela Watkins co-star in the ABC Studios-based half-hour, which Luke Greenfield is directing from a script by Jackie and Jeff Filgo. (

THE SMART ONE (ABC) - David Arquette ("In Case of Emergency") has boarded the comedy pilot, about Jude (Portia de Rossi), a brilliant and successful woman who has to go to work for her less brainy but more popular sister, Candy (Malin Akerman) - a former beauty queen, weather girl and now big city mayor. He'll play Candy's husband Buddy ("a handsome, easy-going family man and people-person") alongside the previously cast Jean Smart as the girls' mom, Helen. Michael Fresco is set to direct the Warner Bros. Television-based project from a script by Don Todd. (

UNTITLED KEVIN WILLIAMSON PROJECT (FOX) - Natalie Zea ("Justified") has boarded the drama pilot, about Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), a diabolical serial killer who uses technology to create a cult of serial killers, and Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon), the FBI agent who finds himself in the middle of it. She's set as Claire Matthews, Carroll's ex-wife who is horrified to learn he's escaped from prison. Jeananne Goossen, Nico Tortorella, Shawn Ashmore and Valorie Curry also star in the project, from Warner Bros. Television and director Marcos Siega. (

UNTITLED MATT MAIELLARO/GRANT DEKERNION PROJECT (FX, New!) - "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" co-creator Matt Maiellaro is developing a new animated comedy at the cable channel about a man recently released from prison. Said half-hour is set up at Danny McBride's Rough House banner with Grant Dekernion set to co-write the script alongside Maiellaro. McBride is also attached to voice a character in the project as well as executive produce alongside Maiellaro, Dekernion, Matt Reilly, David Gordon Green and Jody Hill. (

UNTITLED RALPH LAMB PROJECT (CBS) - Taylor Handley ("Hidden Palms") has joined the cast of the pilot, a period drama about Ralph Lamb (Dennis Quaid), the cowboy-turned-Las Vegas sheriff in the 1960s. He's set as Dixon ("the family playboy; reckless; trouble waiting to happen"), the youngest of the Lambs. Michael Chiklis also stars in the CBS Television Studios-based hour, from co-creators Nicholas Pileggi and Greg Walker. James Mangold is directing. (