News Briefs: Starz and Bryan Fuller are Making Neil Gaiman's American Gods

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IT'S ABOUT TIME 

... Neil Gaiman's book American Gods, which has been begging for an adaptation for years now, is finally getting a shot on television. Starz (*gulp*) will be adapting the cherished genre book with the help of Bryan Fuller, the man behind Hannibal and Pushing Daisies. For those not in the know, Gaiman's book is all about a world where gods from all walks of mythology live, the people who believe in them, and the new ones that rise as new beliefs come into play. I'm obviously not doing it justice, but needless to say this is a big deal. Starz is desperate for a hit, and with Fuller on board they have the right guy to create one, but the network's track record scares me a little bit. American Gods has the potential to be Game of Thrones huge, and in HBO's hands—where it was in development for many years before the network realized they couldn't adapt it—it could have been. [Starz via press release]


BUSINESS TIME

... In other books-as-shows news, CBS has ordered an adaptation of James Patterson's novel Zoo for the summer of 2015. Despite the book's title conjuring images of looking at pachyderms while eating cotton candy, the story is terrifying. It presents a scenario where animals team up to kick our ass, with only a renegade biologist and a sexy scientist able to stop them. [THR]

... Under the Dome returned last night and I totally reviewed it with photos and words on those photos and the occasional moving photo. But what I want to tell you here is that it's still doing pretty well in the ratings. 9.4 million people tuned in for the Season 2 premiere, which translated to a 2.2 rating in the adult demo. Though that's a big drop from last year's numbers (13.3 million/3.3), it still kicked the butts of its competition and handily won the night for CBS. [EW]

... HBO's The Leftovers debuted on Sunday and bummed 1.8 million people out. The premium cable network's shows never start off with huge audiences, but this was even a little low for HBO. Compare it to the recent debuts of True Detective (2.33 million), The Newsroom (2.14 million), and Game of Thrones (2.22 million). Go on, compare it! I reviewed the premiere episode, and found it very intriguing but I'm not excited about its future as an actual series. [Variety]

... Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul might take place before, during, and after the Breaking Bad timeline, meaning that Walter White could make an appearance in the show. And that guy with those freakish eyebrows. [NY Daily News]

... Robin Williams is back in rehab, but the good kind of rehab. Williams has checked into a long-term sobriety center to help him stay sober as opposed to going to rehab because he woke up in a ditch in his underwear. He'll stay there for a few weeks. [TMZ]

... You guys want to keep this Aaron Paul on The Walking Dead rumor going? Go for it. [HNGN]


CASTING ROUNDUP

... Arrow is beefing up its cast for Season 3 already, adding Devon Aoki to the mix. The former model will play Tatsu Yamashiro, a martial-arts expert featured in the Green Arrow comics also known by the name Katana. In the show, she'll be a mentor to Oliver in his flashbacks. [Deadline]

... Battlestar Galactica's Jamie Bamber is headed to Rizzoli & Isles for a multi-episode arc. He'll play a prosecutor who is accused of killing his wife, of course. Look for him to appear in the Season 5 summer finale and then again when the TNT drama returns from its break. [TV Line]

... Once Upon a Time is getting closer to its cash-grab of milking Frozen, and has cast a pair of characters from the Pixar hit. Newcomer Elizabeth Lail will play Anna, the young sister of Queen Anna, and Scott Michael Foster (Greek's Cappie) will play Kristoff, Anna's hunk 'o love. The role of Elsa still remains to be cast, so I still have hope. [TV Line]

... Chris D'Elia, formerly of Whitney, will guest star on TVLand's Jennifer Falls. He'll play the deadbeat dad who knocked up Jaime Pressly's character and took off, and returns a supposed changed man. Look for him in Episode 8! [TV Line]


REQUIRED READING

... Point: Orange is the New Black needs to focus more on its portrayal of men. [The Atlantic]

... Counterpoint: No, that guy is an idiot and Orange is the New Black is fine. [Flavorwire]


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