News Briefs: Debra Messing Will Play a Homicide Detective at NBC

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THE MYSTERIES OF MISCASTING

... I've invented a new drinking game to play during News Briefs. Every time a broadcast network orders a pilot that's based on a series from another country, take a shot of the worst liquor you can find. We'll all be drunk in no time! And also possibly dead. Anyway, are you ready? Because here we go: Debra Messing (Smash) has landed the lead role in The Mysteries of Laura, a new NBC pilot based on the Spanish series Los Misterios De Laura. It's a procedural that explores the life of a homicide detective (Messing) who deals with murderers all day long but struggles to manage her own twin children. It's from Greg Berlanti (Arrow, Everwood), which is the only thing keeping me from giving this project major side-eye. [TV Line]


BUSINESS TIME

... David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) will direct the first episode of the upcoming Starz drama Flesh and Bone. The series is from Breaking Bad's Moira Walley-Beckett and focuses on the dark and gritty side of the New York ballet scene; I am not kidding. Walley-Beckett is credited with writing the Breaking Bad episodes "Ozymandias,""Gliding Over All," and "End Times," so if anyone can capture the dark and gritty side of ballet, I'm going to bet it's Michôd and Walley-Beckett. [Starz via press release]

... Jeremy Piven's Mr. Selfridge has been renewed by ITV for Season 3, and about as much as I know about Mr. Selfridge. The series airs on PBS in the United States. [RadioTimes]

... Bravo has greenlit its first scripted series! Welcome to the next level, Bravo! It's called Girlfriends Guide to Divorce, it's from Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and it stars Lisa Edelstein as Abby, the author of a best-selling self-help book series who hasn't told any of her friends or family that she and her husband have separated. [Deadline]

... To celebrate the Season 3 premiere of Dallas on February 24, the Southfork Bottling Company has teamed up with Warner Bros. to create specially branded J.R. Ewing Bourbon. If you live in the south or the midwest, you can expect to see it on shelves at the end of March. The rest of the country will have to wait awhile. Personally, I'm going to hold out until FX releases Boyd Crowder Bourbon. I'm assuming it'll be exceptionally smooth, expensive, and it'll knock you out before you even realizing what's happening. [Warner Bros. via press release]

... Cee Lo Green is peacing out of The Voice. I don't want to start any rumors, but I hear it's because he still isn't making enough to afford a Ferrari. [EW]

... Yoohoo, Olympics freaks (I say that lovingly, by the way), be sure to clear your schedule this Sunday at 7pm, because NBC is airing Nancy & Tonya, a documentary about the now infamous 1994 attack on Nancy Kerrigan, wherein she was clubbed in the knee after a practice during the U.S. figure skating championships. The documentary will include interviews with both Kerrigan and Tonya Harding, whose husband and bodyguard were arrested for planning the assault. I suggest some popcorn and Twizzlers (not Red Vines, never Red Vines) for this one. [NBC via press release]


CASTING NEWS

... Jada Pinkett-Smith has joined the ever-growing cast of Fox's Gotham. She'll play the villainous Fish Mooney, a character that's original to the series and described as being a "sadistic gangster boss" who runs one of the hottest night clubs in town. I'd probably be a real bitch too if my name was Fish Mooney. [Warner Bros. via press release]

... Terrence Howard is reuniting with Lee Daniels for the new Fox drama Empire. He'll play the lead role of Lucious Lyon in the series about a man and his hip-hop empire. Lyon was raised on the streets and is now the head of a major record label. But you know what they say: You can take the man out of the streets but you can't take the streets out of the man. Actually, I don't know whether people say that. It sounds stupid and isn't really grammatically correct, so I hope they don't. [THR]

... Captain Awesome is back! Ryan McPartlin (Chuck) has signed on to guest-star in USA's new comedy Playing House, a series about a mom-to-be named Maggie (Lennon Parham), who's going through a divorce, and her best friend Emma, who moves in to help raise the baby. McPartlin (and hopefully his abs) will appear as Steve, a sexy police officer who helps Maggie install her car seat. [TV Guide]

... Tim Daly has signed on to guest-star in an upcoming episode of The Mindy Project. There aren't any details available about the role, but since Mindy is famous for hiring good-looking men for Mindy to date, I'd say his casting might not be a good sign for the prospects of one Danny Castellano. [TV Line]

... The Wire's Wendell Pierce is joining the cast of Ray Donovan in a recurring role for Season 2. He'll play a parole officer with some bad luck who receives a pay-off from Liev Schreiber's titular fixer. That sounds kind of depressing and/or boring, so let's also add that they go for ice cream and become best friends. [Showtime via press release]

... KaDee Strickland (Private Practice) will star opposite Ryan Phillippe and Juliette Lewis in ABC's Secrets and LiesThe series is an adaptation of the Australian mystery series of the same name, and centers on Phillippe's character, Ben, the prime suspect in the murder of a young boy. Strickland will play Ben's wife Christy. [Deadline]


POOP SCOOP

I don't know that the world needed another reason to love Game of Thrones' Kit Harington, but I've just learned that great great grandfather invented the flushing toilet. The more you know! [Buzzfeed]


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