News Briefs: Alyson Hannigan Will Star in a New CBS Comedy Pilot

By Kaitlin Thomas

Feb 15, 2014


... How I Met Your Mother is ending next month, but don't be surprised if you see Alyson Hannigan on CBS next fall. She just booked the female lead in the network's new comedy pilot More Time With Family. The multi-camera sitcom follows a husband and father—played by Tom Papa—as he makes a career change in order to spend more time with his family (ugh, that sounds terrible). Hannigan will play his wife, Cindy. Papa wrote the pilot with Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa ('Til Death), and all three of those folks will be producing alongside Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Dave Becky, and Josh Lieberman. [TV Line]


... WGN America is getting serious about scripted TV. The network already has Salem, which premieres April 20, and now it's developing Ness, a series about Eliot Ness, who amongst other things is the namesake for a really great beer from the Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland. But he was a also famous Prohibition Agent, and is the subject of the upcoming biography Eliot Ness: The Rise and Fall of an American Hero by Douglas Perry, and the series is based on that. Dennis Lehane (Shutter Island, Mystic River) will write the pilot, while Justified's Michael Dinner will direct. But seriously, check out that beer! (And Great Lakes owners, please just let me know when to expect my free case.) [Deadline]

... Community's Joel McHale will headline the annual White House Correspondents Dinner on May 3. Given how long McHale has been hosting The Soup and fronting Community, I'm kind of surprised he hasn't been asked to do this until now. How do you think he'll do? More importantly, how do you think Obama will respond? [Variety]

... New episodes of Killer Karaoke premiere on truTV on Thursday, February 20 at 10pm, but you can catch the full first episode on the network's YouTube channel, because if there's ever something you shouldn't wait on, it's definitely watching someone sing karaoke while having candy and paint dumped on them. This is simultaneously one of the greatest and worst ideas humankind has come up with in recent years. [truTV via press release] 

... Tagging in tonight for Team America Primetime Olympics Coverage is second alternate Meredith Vieira. She'll be replacing Matt Lauer, who replaced Bob Costas and his pink peepers a few days ago. She's the first woman in U.S. television history (not a typo) to host primetime Olympics coverage solo. Congrats, fellow ladies of America! We finally made it! [NBC via press release]

... PSA: Hilarious human being Mel Brooks will appear on Conan on Tuesday, February 18. Please clear your schedules and set your DVRs accordingly. He'll be chatting about legendary comedian Sid Caesar, who passed away on Wednesday. [TBS via press release]


... NBC has ordered the comedy pilot Feed Me, which follows a dysfunctional family tied to each other by the restaurant they own together. Former Weeds star Mary-Louise Parker is in talks to play a lead role, but no deal has been closed. [Variety]


... Jane Krakowski (30 Rock) has signed on to star in Fox's new comedy pilot Dead Boss, which is—say it with me now—based on the U.K. series of the same name. From Patricia Breen (Big Love), the half-hour comedy explores the life of Helen Stephens (Krakowski) after she's wrongfully convicted of murdering her boss. [TV Line]

... J. Alexander a.k.a. Miss J is returning to the judging panel for Cycle 21 of American Next Top Model, which will once again pit seven men against seven women. So, okay. [The CW via press release]

... Now that NBC's Murder, She Wrote reboot is dead, Octavia Spencer is making her way over to Fox. The The Help star will headline Red Band Society, a new pilot about the lives of a group of teenagers who meet in a hospital and become friends. Spencer will play Nurse Jackson, a tough woman who doesn't put up with anyone's shit. Especially Miss Hilly's! [EW]

... What is it about Elisabeth Rohm that just screams, "Cast me as a detective/FBI agent/police officer/lawyer/someone with power?" Is she like, really intimidating in person or something? The woman played a version of a law enforcement officer in both Angel and Beauty and the Beast, and she even played an A.D.A. on Law & Order. Now she's snagged the role of an LAPD detective in the TNT pilot Guilt By Association. The drama is based on the book of the same name by Marcia Clark, and if it's picked up to series, will be Rohm's first regular TV gig in awhile. [THR]

... Meagan Good (Deception) has been cast in NBC's Babylon Fields pilot, in which a town's inhabitants come back from the dead. FYI: This particular project was developed and piloted seven years ago at NBC. Now that everyone else is doing shows with similar premises, NBC thinks it's a good time to resurrect it? Someone, please, for the love of God, help NBC. Please. [Deadline]

... Jason Isaacs (Awake) has landed the lead role in USA's Dig, a six-episode series from Homeland's Gideon Raff and Tim Kring (Heroes). Set in Jerusalem, Isaacs will play Peter, an archaeologist who uncovers a 2,000-year-old conspiracy that threatens to change history as we know it. Look for it to premiere late in 2014. [THR]

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  • mrjimmyjames Feb 18, 2014

    It's cool to see WGN explore original programming instead of just doing what they've done for years... being a clone of TBS!

  • mrjimmyjames Feb 18, 2014

    Mary Louise Parker should avoid an NBC show like the plague! Run, run Mary Louise! Get away while you still can!

  • mrjimmyjames Feb 18, 2014

    Sounds like Alyson Hannigan wants more of a quick, steady paycheck than to pursue anything of strong quality. Kind of like Will Arnett and Margo Martindale over there on The Millers. Yeah, it's beneath them, but can you really blame them?

  • mrjimmyjames Feb 18, 2014

    I've always kind of liked Tom Papa but yeah, the premise sounds horrible. Ben Affleck (not to mention Matt Damon) is involved? Why? Gigli the series was refused by the network?

  • Huglyone Feb 17, 2014

    Tom Papa ?????
    what a hell of a name ...
    Just it's name feels that the show is going to fail , who in is lucid mind chooses a name like this ????
    Doesn't he heard a thing called Stage name or professional name ...

  • philomacleod Feb 16, 2014

    Simply put.. Alyson is a ray of sunshine and any network should be glad to sign her, so I'm not at all surprised that CBS has held on to her. They know a good thing when they have it. And also, in my opinion, her potrayal of Lily was excellent and was hand down the most fun to follow. I will watch her in every episode. Good show, CBS!!!

  • PhoenixTremayne Feb 16, 2014

    Glad to see Alison Hannigan has a new job so fast; she's very talented, but once again my fan boy hopes have been dashed and that I'm going to go another year without a WIllow movie or TV series. Yeah I know... Not gonna happen.... but still it doesn't hurt to put it out there

  • TrevPlatt Feb 15, 2014

    The UK version of Dead Boss wasn't very good so there isn't really much for the US to screw up, in theory.

  • Gully_Foyle Feb 18, 2014

    but you just know they're still going to try their hardest

  • TrevPlatt Feb 18, 2014

    And we're going to love watching them do it!

  • LarissaPeixot Feb 15, 2014

    People, just watch Les Revenants.

  • pierresund Feb 15, 2014

    I'd like to see Hannigan in an one-hour show, preferably a well produced dramedy. She was absolutely stunning in Willow's heavy scenes in Buffy, and another decade of acting would have increased her skills. In any case - a family multicam from the creators of Til Death (the closest thing to an ACTUAL zombie show tv has ever produced).... it is (well... it should be) so beneath her.

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