News Briefs: Fred Armisen Will Be Seth Meyers' Late Night Bandleader

By Tim Surette

Feb 11, 2014


... Jimmy Fallon had Questlove and The Roots, so it's only natural that Seth Meyers will take over Late Night with his own well-known bandleader. But Fred Armisen? Whaaaa? Yup, the Portlandia star and former Saturday Night Live player will "curate" the band for his SNL buddy Meyers, and the two will no doubt lob jokes at each other about the weather or current political circus. You might be like, "WHAT? Fred Armisen?" But Armisen has a long history with indie rock that involves playing drums for Trenchmouth and hobnobbing with alternative music's elite. And if he's "curating" the band, that could mean a lot of cool visits from his friends. Late Night with Seth Meyers debuts Monday, February 24 at 12:35am, so technically, Tuesday. [BuzzFeed (WARNING: .GIFs ahead)]


... The Walking Dead returned on Sunday night to resume Season 4 and its dominance of primetime television and it accomplished both! "After," which I reviewed here (much to the dismay of the show's unconditionally supportive fans), drew a whopping 15.8 million viewers and notched an impressive 8.2 rating among 18- to 49-year-olds. And this was against the mighty Olympics and my darling Russian figure skater Yulia Lipnitskaya! Sunday's primetime coverage of the Sochi Olympics earned a 6.9 rating in the important demo, proving that not even a 90-pound ice queen can stop zombies. The Walking Dead 15.8 million viewers amount to the show's second-best tally, down from the 16.1 million who stopped by for the Season 4 premiere last fall. I don't know about you guys, but I think this show's a hit. [AMC via press release]

... At least the Winter Olympics had the Opening Ceremonies to make NBC proud. 31.7 million viewers watched the non-live broadcast, the most for a taped ceremony since 1994. But if you weren't one of them, don't miss Price's photo recap! [NBC via press release]

... A&E has a hankerin' for some more Wahlbergers, the reality show following Mark and Donnie Wahlberg's brother Mark and his Beantown burger joint. The network has ordered 18 additional episodes. [AMC via press release]

... Those two characters who will quickly die when Under the Dome returns for Season 2 have been narrowed down to six possible candidates: incompetent Officer Linda, useless DJ Phil, Joe's girlfriend Norrie, Norrie's mom Carolyn, stoner bro Ben, and "resident hoarder Andrea." I don't even know who Andrea is, and I covered the show. Was she the pesky lady who watched all those propane trucks come in? Is she considered a main character? And if this show kills off Ben, then I am OUT and stomping off angrily! If you ask me, Norrie's untouchable because she's the only one of the wonder kids who's keeping the group from killing themselves with stupidity. My guess: Andrea and DJ Phil, the latter of whom is already dead inside. With this list of boring characters that it considers to be important, it seems like Under the Dome is already in fine summer form. []

... TNT will air a 25-hour marathon of the first two seasons of Dallas leading up to the Season 3 premiere on Monday, February 24. And because it's 25 hours long, you now have to say you spent TWO days watching it if you decide to tune in. [TNT via press release]

... Did you hear about the Dumb Starbucks parody coffee shop that popped up in trendy Los Feliz in Los Angeles? Turns out it was all part of a stunt by Comedy Central's Nathan Fielder for Nathan For You. I love this guy. [THR]

... Food Network has renewed a pair of shows: Guy's Grocery Games (a.k.a. TRIPLE G) and Cutthroat Kitchen, a show that makes absolutely no sense at all unless you are looking for recipes that don't require knives or want to make a meal without any water. Seriously, the show is dumbity dumb dumb! [The Wrap]

... AMC's Game of Arms, the network's upcoming arm-wrestling reality show, will debut on Tuesday, February 25 at 10pm. Yes, this is the same network that once aired Breaking Bad. [AMC via press release]

... CBS and Hulu have shaken hands and swapped financial considerations in the name of a bigger partnership. Hulu Plus subscribers can now stream a bunch more series owned by CBS Studios, including Undercover BossUnited States of Tara, Everybody Loves Raymond, Ghost Whisperer, Taxi, The Brady Bunch, Laverne & Shirley, Melrose Place, and 7th Heaven plus more! Go watch them and make sure to click on all the ads so everyone is happy. [CBS via press release]

... How adorable! NBC is still trying to make web series happen. The network will roll out several mini web shows based on its own programs to keep fans engaged while said programs are on hiatus during the Winter Olympics. Among them: a four-part Chicago Fire series centered on Dawson (February 11), a four-part Parenthood series that will include a crossover with Friday Night Lights (February 13), a four-part series about Grimm's Rosalee and Juliette (February 14), and an unknown number of Parks and Recreation shorts (February 20). Find 'em all on, Hulu, or YouTube. [NBC via press release] 


... Gotham, a.k.a. Fox's in-development Batman prequel, has found its Detective-soon-to-be-Commissioner Gordon. It's The O.C.'s Ben McKenzie! The show will follow the origins of Gordon and maybe even a villain or two. I still think they should just dump a bunch of makeup on Gary Oldman and let him play Gordon. [Warner Brothers  via press release]

... In other superhero origin story pilot news, The CW's The Flash has added Tom Cavanagh (Ed) to its cast. He'll play Harrison Wells, the man whose physics know-how turned Barry Allen into the legendary super speedster. [TV Line 

... Roseanne Barr will guest-star on The Millers as the mother of one of Nathan's coworkers (the coworker is played by Andy Richter). Will she fart a lot? You'll have to tune in to find out. [TV Line]

... 7th Heaven alum Barry Watson will recur on Hart of Dixie as a handsome Southern gent who gets all the ladies' lady parts aflutter. Look for him in April. [E! Online]

... Laurence Fishburne will play Anthony Anderson's dad in the ABC comedy pilot Black-ish, about an African-American dude who is rich but still wants his family to retain the black culture he grew up with. Fishburne's character will be decidedly old-school, so watch those cultural differences ignite! [TV Line

... Kevin Alejandro (True Blood, Southland) will co-star on the ABC pilot Clementine. He'll play the ex-boyfriend of the title character (Sarah Snook), a psychic who stops running from her past. [Deadline Hollywood]

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  • fweak Feb 11, 2014

    Nathan For You does it again! Last season they had a YouTube video of a Pig saving an animal from drowning that caused a big uproar. When I heard about the "Dumb Starbucks" earlier this week I should have known Nathan Fielder was up to something again :)

  • Dirk13 Feb 11, 2014

    Much to their dismay? Let me guess, you liked the episode overall but spent 90% of the review complaining about it?

  • torque_smacky Feb 11, 2014

    And now Starbucks knows exactly who to sue!

  • Aquitar94 Feb 11, 2014

    I was thinking that Roseanne should pop up on The Big Bang Theory, but I guess my wishing powers shifted her to the 8:30 spot instead. I really need to get a handle on these powers of mines lol

  • Taccado Feb 11, 2014

    - The Walking Dead is a hit?! I think it's too early to tell.

    - That's bad news about Under the Dome. I'm pretty sure they promised us that important characters would die. Out of those six, only two are main characters; Norrie and Linda. Many of the fans' favourites to die are missing from that list. Now of course I'm hoping that the Grim Reaper comes after Norrie and Linda. Andrea (whoever that is) can't die! We need more of her.

  • WavSlave Feb 11, 2014

    I guess the death of Officer Linduh would mean the rest of her body, given that her brain was deceased from the very beginning of the series.

  • DavidJackson8 Feb 11, 2014

    ... Those two characters who will die when Under the Dome returns for Season 2 have been narrowed down to six possible candidates: incompetent Officer Linda, useless DJ Phil, Joe's girlfriend Norrie, Norrie's mom Carolyn, stoner bro Ben, and "resident hoarder Andrea."

    Booyah! My prediction still stands, I called it'd be Stoner Ben and DJ Phil in your article. I feel so smrt.

  • jjafargi Feb 11, 2014

    But Fishburne will still remain on Hannibal, right?

  • current Feb 11, 2014

    Since Fred Armisen got divorced, he's returned to SNL after supposedly leaving for good and now supposedly left for good but is now clinging to Meyer's band tailcoat. Some woman out there nail Armisen FFS and restore his dignity. Please.
    My first thought for Ben McKenzie on Gotham was WTF but he made Southland work for him. Alternately, what is his old running mate Kevin Alejandro thinking? Clementine sounds as dodgy as a thing that's, well, dodgy.
    Wouldn't it make more sense to have Larry as Ant's borther than his dad, both age-wise and culturally joke -wise? Fishburne's character is no doubt going to be so overladen with clich├ęs that the unaired pilot crashing and burning would be a mercy - especially for Sam Rubin, who won't have to say he DVR's it and is its biggest fan.

  • JT_Kirk Feb 11, 2014

    Huge eyeroll to Fred Armisen as the bandleader for Seth Meyers' version of Late Night. I am not a fan of either of them, but Fred Armisen could easily do better. Yeah, Paul Shaffer was an SNL castmember before he was Letterman's Late Night bandleader, but Meyers must have some juicy dirt on Armisen to milk that choice gig out of him, even if only for a brief stint until the show finds its audience.

    I did hear about Dumb Starbucks. "Dumb Nora Jones" was the funniest part of that Nathan For You vid. I spent half my life living in that neighborhood, I was even born down the street, did my laundry in that laundromat for 17 years. Parking there sucks, but there isn't a minimall on Hillhurst that doesn't have shitty parking, even the "not-dumb" Coffee Bean has ruined the Albertsons parking lot (that Coffee Bean was a laundromat when I moved in, coincidence? Yes!). And that's the end of my story about Dumb Starbucks.

    I cannot believe CBS finally joined the cabal of networks that birthed Hulu, WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT??? Idiots. Don't legitimize that turd, it's just there to steal your ad revenues and use your library to bolster its name.

    NBC + web series, what could possibly go wrong? Everything, you say? ... oh.

    Gotham's Detective Gordon will be lil Ben McKenzie? Why, that's just crazy enough to fail miserably! At least it'll fit perfectly with this Gotham Hills 90210 series though.

    Who the fuck is "Harrison Wells, the man whose physics know-how turned Barry Allen into" the Flash?!? Unless "Harrison Wells" is a talking bolt of lighting and vats of poorly-secured chemicals, this sounds like another Moira Queen idea, only with goofy looks and wacky behavior.

    Will Roseanne hop next door and try to berate and fire Chuck Lorre again after she's done filming on The Millers?

    Laurence Fishburne on a sitcom? Oh, that'll be a thing! Are you sure you aren't thinking of Samuel L. Jackson? ;-) (Sorry KTLA5's Sam Rubin, you're too much of a douche to let that one slide.)

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