James Gandolfini Re-Teams with HBO For a New Drama

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THE BIGGER NEWS
... James Gandolfini is working with HBO again on a new drama called Big Dead Place. The show is based on the novel of the same name and follows the people who work in a research station in Antarctica. Gandolfini, best known as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos, will star and produce, and Breaking Bad writer Peter Gould will write. This is one of many projects Gandolfini has been attached to; we'll have to see if it goes all the way through. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Oz and Homicide producers Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson have a new cop show in the works. Yay! It's for The CW. Whaaaa? The drama, titled Musketeers 3.0 (ugh), follows a trio of reckless New York detectives who meet their match when a "sexy, young rookie" joins their team. Wow. This bit of news just got worse as it went along. [THR]

... A&E; is getting into the drug trade. The network has ordered ten episodes of Bordertown: Laredo, a docudrama that follows six Mexican-American cops as they go head-to-head with Mexican drug cartels. No word on whether Gus Fring will make an appearance. [Variety]

THE CASTING NEWS
... David Cross (Mr. Show, Arrested Development) has booked a recurring role on ABC's Modern Family, making me one very happy guy. Cross will play a councilman who clashes with Claire. It's unclear when his episodes will begin airing. [THR]

... Former Saturday Night Live star Molly Shannon is joining CBS' daytime talk show The Talk as a guest-host through September. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Justin Long (Ed, Apple's Mac vs. PC ads) will guest-star in three episodes of Fox's New Girl, the upcoming comedy starring Zooey Deschanel. He'll play a music teacher who is also a love interest for Zooey's character Jess. Only three episodes, eh? Guess it doesn't work out. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Spartacus' Erin Cummings (she played Sura) will guest-star on ABC's Pan Am for three episodes. She'll play the mistress of an airline exec and may even keep her shirt on. [EW]

... Switched at Birth's Katie Leclerc will guest-star on The Big Bang Theory as a potential love interest for Raj. Leclerc, who in real life suffers from a disease that affects her hearing, will play a deaf friend of Penny's, which works out great for Raj since he can't talk to women. [EW]

... Jorma Taccone, one of the brains behind Saturday Night Live's super-popular digital shorts, will appear in NBC's new comedy Up All Night. Taccone will play the ex-boyfriend of Maya Rudolph's character and appear in flashbacks. [Zap2It]

THE SAD, UNFORTUNATE, BIZARRE NEWS
... Bravo has renewed Pregnant in Heels, a reality show about a woman who helps expecting mothers and makes stylish fashion for pregnant women, for a second season. [THR]

... A Phoenix man has accused Steven Seagal of killing his dog puppy during a raid that was filmed for Seagal's reality show Steven Seagal: Lawman. Seagal denies it. If this is any indication of who is telling the truth, the man was being investigated for cockfighting. [NY Daily News]


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