News Briefs: Linda Cardellini Will Join Kyle Chandler In Netflix's Next Drama

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FREAKS AND TAYLORS

... Linda Cardellini—of Mad Men, ER, and Freaks and Geeks notoriety—will co-star opposite Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) in Netflix's upcoming series from the creators of Damages. The untitled drama follows siblings with secrets that are revealed when the black sheep brother returns home. Cardellini will play the youngest sister, a bubbly lawyer who I want to hug I mean who has some surprises of her own. [TV Line]


BUSINESS TIME

... Stephen King's short story Ayana is getting the television adaptation treatment. Ayana was originally published in 2007 and is set in a world where characters experience unexplained magic that alters their lives. Universal TV is developing the project, and there's no network attached at the moment, but NBC is said to be first in line. [Variety]

... Animal Planet's tenth annual Puppy Bowl set another personal record for viewership on Sunday, drawing an audience of 13.5 million viewers. That made it the second most-watched telecast on all of television for the day and the most-watched show on cable. That's still almost 100 million viewers less than the Super Bowl, so I don't know what these puppies are so happy about. You got your butts kicked, dogs. Meanwhile, Hallmark's inaugural Kitten Bowl drew 1 million viewers and Nat Geo's Fish Bowl drew only 27,000 viewers. [Animal Planet via press release / EW]

... TBS has ordered eight episodes of Funniest Wins, a comedy competition show from producer Marlon Wayans. Each week, comedians from all disciplines will try to out-funny each other for a shot at a cash prize and the chance to be the star of a web series. So really, just a cash prize. Look for it this summer. [TBS via press release]

... Discovery is hoping people that people who don't know what to watch will just click through the cable guide without really reading the show titles and has ordered Game of Stones. The series follows real-life extreme gem hunter Don Kogen as he looks at rocks. "Goddammit Marie, they're not rocks, they're minerals!" [Discovery via press release]

... Neil Gaiman's super-popular novel American Gods will get another shot at television. After failing to get past the development stages at HBO, Freemantle, the company behind American Idol, has picked up the rights to the book. American Gods is a sci-fi novel that follows a war between the old gods (the gods of classic mythology) and a new set of gods based on today's world. It's great that this project is still alive, but should we trust the company behind Clay Aiken when we could have had HBO shepherding it to our screens? [Speakeasy]

... Fox's The Following is in need of some recruitment. The series continued to slide on Monday night, hitting another series low, numbers-wise. Only 5.9 million viewers tuned in, which was good for a 1.9 rating in the important 18-49 demo. Almost Human, meanwhile, outperformed The Following with 6.4 million viewers but had a lower rating at 1.8. [The Wrap]


CASTING NEWS

... Schmidt is headed to The Mindy Project! Sorta. Max Greenfield, who plays the excitable Schmidt on New Girl, will guest-star on the comedy that airs after New Girl as a character named Lee, a bar patron that's up to no good. Look for him in the April 22 episode. [E! Online]

... GSN, the Game Show Network, today announced that Rebecca Romijn is the new host of Skin Wars, an eight-episode competition show that pits body painters against each other. In related news, Rebecca Romijn today announced that she is desperate for work. [GSN via press release]

... David Strathairn (Alphas) will play a lead role in the ABC pilot Clementine. The series follows a female criminal who learns that she may be the possessor of latent superpowers after a group of strangers begin hunting her. Strathairn will play her dad. [Deadline Hollywood]

... The CW's The Flash pilot has added The Game's Candice Patton and Broadway's Carlos Valdes. Patton will play Iris West, the best friend and romantic interest of Flash/Barry Allen. Valdes, best known for playing Andrej in the musical Once, will play Cisco Ramon, the alter ego of Vibe. [TV Line]

... Ryan Phillippe will star in ABC's Secrets & Lies, an adaptation of an Australian series that hasn't even aired yet Down Under but still managed to earn a straight-to-series, 10-episode order from ABC. Phillippe will play a father who finds the body a four-year-old boy and becomes the main suspect in the boy's murder. Ahhh, the ol' "He who smelt it dealt it" rule. [THR

... ABC's comedy pilot Marry Me was already a looker, and now it's a keeper. Right from the get-go, the show had the pedigree of Happy Endings creator David Caspe behind it, and last week it added a star in Happy Endings' Casey Wilson, and now it adds Childrens Hospital's Ken Marino. He'll play the fiancé of Wilson's character in this show about a couple whose life gets more complicated after they get engaged. [TV Guide]

... CSI: NY's Eddie Cahill will soon be stuck Under the Dome. Cahill is joining the second season of the CBS summer jam (which premieres June 30) as the brother-in-law of Big Jim. Do you think his character will exhibit the same artistic talents that Big Jim's dead wife had? [THR]


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