News Briefs: Bow Down Before The Bible's Ratings

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DIVINE RATINGS

... History Channel had a big night on Sunday with its dual premieres of The Bible and Vikings, two historical fiction miniseries. The Bible, a 10-parter about a do-gooder from the olden days, drew 13.1 million viewers to make it the biggest cable entertainment broadcast of the year (i.e. the biggest audience for a non-sports broadcast). The book was better, but 13.1 million! That's like three weeks of everything on NBC! Vikings followed with 6.2 million viewers, good enough to embarrass the major networks and win the 10pm timeslot. [History via press release]


NOSE-DIVING RATINGS

... You're all dying to hear those Red Widow premiere ratings, right? 6.58 million viewers and a 1.4 rating in the 18-49 demo! See you in the junkyard, Red Widow. Let me know how Zero Hour and 666 Park Avenue are doing. [EW]


GEEKY NEWS

... Robert Kirkman, creator of the The Walking Dead comics, has his next project lined up, but he's doing it kind of backwards. Kirkman has teamed with Fox International Channels, the worldly arm of Fox that airs The Walking Dead overseas, to develop a series based on a script of Kirkman's that deals with exercise. Wait, I'm sorry, exorcism. The show would follow a man who's been possessed his whole life and seeks answers to his condition and discovers that it could lead to the end of the world. The project would need a domestic distributor before it goes anywhere, so it's gonna be a while before this ball gets rolling. [EW

... Charles Dance plays Tywin Lannister on the HBO series Game of Thrones and people are making a big deal over him saying that he was going to shoot Season 4 later this year because HBO hasn't yet announced that Season 4 will happen even though we all know it will so please let's stop making a big deal out of this because Game of Thrones will go to Season 1,000. [Den of Geek]


CASTING NEWS

... Supermodel and former Seal-lover Heidi Klum will be the newest judge on NBC's America's Got Talent, bringing the total number of judges on the "talent" show to four for the first time. Klum, who has plenty of reality-show experience after Project Runway, joins new judge Mel B. (yes, the Spice Girl), and returning judges Howie Mandel and Howard Stern. [NBC via press release]

... Chloe Sevigny, whose acting career has consisted of playing an underage teen being raped, giving blowjobs to her director boyfriend, becoming a legless grotesque mutant, and being a wife in a polygamous relationship, will take on her most terrifying project yet: playing an ex-wife! Sevigny has signed on to play for former wife of Chris Messina's Danny in Fox's comedy The Mindy Project for at least three episodes. Look for her in April. [TV Line]    

... Samaire Armstrong (remember her?) is appropriately starring in a pilot about coming back from the dead. Armstrong, whose breakout stint on Dirty Sexy Money as a Paris Hilton wannabe was cut short by a stay in a treatment facility for "personal issues," will star in ABC's pilot The Returned, about a town that finds its population increasing when the dead come back to life. Don't call them zombies, though; these guys just come back from the dead and behave like their old selves. She'll play a woman who goes a little nuts when her dead dad shows up on her doorstep. [Deadline Hollywood

... Scott Bakula will guest-star on Two and a Half Men as a used-car salesman who gets tied up in Jake's love life. So that's what it has come to, eh Scott Bakula? Look for him on the CBS comedy in April. [TV Line]

... Babe's James Cromwell is on-board for ABC's soapy thriller Betrayal, about a woman who has an affair with a lawyer who ends up defending a murder suspect that the woman's lawyer husband is prosecuting and oh man this already sounds like a messy good time. Cromwell will play the head honcho of a wealthy and powerful Chicago family. You last saw Cromwell as a crazy doctor on American Horror Story: Asylum but because this is a family-oriented website I prefer to say he starred in Babe. [THR]

... Lost's Naveen Andrews (Sayid!) has joined the ABC pilot Reckless. The thriller stars that kid from Almost Famous as a man caught up in political intrigue when his wife is imprisoned overseas. Andrews will play a renegade who's willing to get his wife back for a price. [TV Line]

... Indie darling Lily Taylor has joined J.H. Wyman and J.J. Abrams' Fox pilot about robot cops in the future! Taylor will play a human police captain. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Chuck's Captain Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) has joined the TBS comedy pilot Do It Yourself. The pilot is a workplace comedy set in a home-improvement store, and McPartlin will play an overenthusiastic employee who works in the paint department. [TV Line

... INSTANT CRED: Fox's drama pilot Gang Related has booked The RZA, the beat genius behind The Wu-Tang Clan. The series follows a gang member who infiltrates the San Francisco anti-gang unit. The RZA will play a kind old man who runs a flower shop and enjoys yoga in his spare time. Just kidding, he'll play a cop. [THR]



Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter if you want to: @TimAtTVDotCom