News Briefs: AMC Greenlights a Pair of New Pilots

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BUSINESS TIME

... Any time AMC shows interest in a new series, our ears perk up because it could be the next Breaking Bad. But I guess it could also be the next The Pitch. Fortunately the two new series heading to pilot stage sound more like the former. Low Winter Sun is based on a British miniseries about the murder of a cop by detective, with detective eventually being pulled into the criminal underworld. The second is yet to be titled, but follows a District Attorney who reopens an old murder case after finding new evidence. AMC's track record of converting pilots into series is very high, so expect at least one of these to be on your TV within a year. [AMC via press release]

... Starz is teaming up with Michael Bay for a series called Black Sails, a prequel to the popular story Treasure Island. That's right, PIRATES. Michael Bay is about to blow up a bunch of pirate ships! It's been ordered straight to series, so this is happening. And yes, per Starz tradition, there will be nudity. PIRATE NUDITY. [Starz via press release]

... Tattoo School is coming to TLC as a series! The reality competition previously aired as a special in which competitors were trained in the art of inking people for two weeks. The winner, determined by the "student with the best final, original tattoo," will win a golden tattoo gun. The losers will be anyone who gets tattooed by the "winner" who's only been trained in permanent art for TWO WEEKS. [TLC via press release]

... Here's another one of those wacky 100-episode initial orders for an "urban" comedy. Bill Bellamy is set to star in Mr. Box Office, about a movie star who is sentenced to community service teaching underprivileged kids. That's sitcom comedy gold right there! Also starring in the project will be Tim Meadows, Vivica Fox, Rick Fox (not related!), Keshia Knight Pulliam, Jon Lovitz, JB Smoove, and (wait for it) Gary Busey. What. A. Cast. This will be syndicated to all those weird stations that air weird shows like this. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Community writer-producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan have signed a new deal with 20th Century Fox TV, meaning they'll be leaving Community after this season. [Deadline Hollywood]

... CBS has announced when it will be burning off the final episodes of How To Be a Gentleman, a comedy about two very different guys who become friends that was pulled off the air after three episodes. Look for them on Saturdays starting May 26. [THR]


CASTING NEWS

... Lifetime has cast singer Jewel as Johnny Cash's wife June Carter Cash in the made-for-TV-movie The June Carter Cash Story. This being Lifetime, I suppose we can also expect movies about George Washington's sister, Michael Jordan's girlfriend, and Steve McQueen's mother. [Deadline Hollywood]

... The Simpsons crawled into my brain and plucked out five of my favorite ladies to appear in the same episode! Zooey Deschanel, Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Silverman, and Sarah Michelle Gellar will all guest-voice in an upcoming episode. The ladies will all reprise former roles as potential romantic interests for Bart in an episode during the upcoming 24th season. I've never been more jealous of a jaundiced, four-fingered, bug-eyed kid in my life. Actually, this is the second time now that I think about it. [EW]

... Hosting duties for the May 19 season finale of Saturday Night Live have fallen to an old man named Mick Jagger. The Rolling Stones frontman will serve as both host and musical guest, and if he has time he'll sit the cast members on his knee and tell them stories about hand-crank automobiles and cocaine parties with groupies. [NBC via press release]


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