News Briefs: AMC Is Planning a Close Encounter with Area 51

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BUSINESS TIME

... AMC will be losing Breaking Bad and Mad Men soon, so it's time to replenish the trough. The network has settled on aliens, or at least the possibility of aliens, and will be developing Area 51. Based on the book of the same name by Annie Jacobsen, the drama will take a look at the famed spot in the Nevada desert where it's been rumored that an alien spacecraft crash-landed more than a half-century ago. It's likely the series would focus on government cover-ups and not aliens, though, so don't tape up your "The Truth Is Out There" poster just yet. [NY Post]

... Hey, you love The Hunger Games, right? Well the movie that The Hunger Games stole from was based on was influenced by had a lot in common with was the 2000 Japanese film Battle Royale, and The CW, always ready to capitalize on a craze, is talking about adapting it for television. The network has just started to discussions with the owners of the property, so don't get your Japanese schoolgirl uniform dry-cleaned just yet. On second thought, do get it dry-cleaned. I know what you used it for last time. [LA Times]

... Discovery has ordered a five-part reality series called One Car Too Far, about two men and a car as they rough it in remote parts of Chile. The two survival specialists and gearheads will have to make weapons to defend themselves with and use nature to deal with any car problems they might have. It's like Top Gear meets Man vs. Wild meets Two and a Half Men. Because I won't watch it, I mean. [THR]


CASTING NEWS

... Billie Joe Armstrong, the frontman for Green Day, is taking all the cred he built up as a rocker and throwing it away for a chance to mentor Christina Aguilera's team on The Voice. [Associated Press]

... Victoria is coming back! How I Met Your Mother is bringing back actress Ashley Williams for a few episodes of Season 8 to settle her and Ted's possible romance, despite the fact that she's supposed to be getting married any minute. [TV Line]

... ABC's Scandal has book Gregg Henry (Hung) and Jillian Armenante (The Dark Knight Rises) for recurring roles in Season 2. Not many more details on this one, sorry! [Deadline Hollywood]

... What, you thought there would be no American Horror Story casting news? Franka Potente, who you should know as the girl from Run Lola Run but might know less-hiply as the girl from The Bourne Identity movies, has joined American Horror Story. She'll play a patient at the mental institution that's central to Season 2. [TV Line]


RIP NEWS

... Lupe Ontiveros, who was nominated for a guest actor Emmy for her role as Juanita in Desperate Housewives, has passed away at age 69. The Mexican-American Ontiveros also appeared The Goonies, Selena, and was most recently seen in CBS' short-lived Rob as the grandmother that Rob got caught almost having sex with. [TMZ]


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