News Briefs: Downton Abbey Set Records With Its Season 3 Finale Ratings

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NETWORK RATINGS WHO? NEWS

... It's not just zombies that are lighting up the ratings reports for cable. You all apparently love old British people, too! The Season 3 finale of PBS's import drew 8.2 million viewers, a series best and well above the network's normal audience. It beats the 7.9 million who tuned in for the Season 3 premiere and the 5.4 who showed up last year for the Season 2 finale. Netflix effect? I think so. By comparison, AMC's The Walking Dead, TV's current ratings smash, drew 11 million viewers for Sunday's episode. [LA Times]

... Almost as popular as old people and dead people are old, dead presidents. National Geographic Channel's Killing Lincoln set a record for the network, grabbing 3.4 million viewers. The "factual drama" was based on Bill O'Reilly's book of the same name. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Hmmm, if you could create a show about zombified British presidents who know how to shake booty, you'd have a hit. HBO's Beyonce: Life Is A Dream, a documentary directed by the pop star, was the network's most-watched documentary ever with 1.8 million viewers. I wonder how crazy Beyonce would go if she knew her name isn't recognized by my Microsoft Word spell check. [Deadline Hollywood]


BUSINESS TIME

... AMC, the home of incredible dramas Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead, is going bowling! The network is developing All Star Celebrity Bowling as part of its deal with Nerdist, the production company started by Chris Hardwick. Ideally, it would see cast members from AMC shows throwing heavy black balls toward white things down a waxed lane. [Deadline Hollywood]

... HBO is not moving forward with Criminal Justice, a drama pilot starring The Sopranos star James Gandolfini. [THR]


CASTING NEWS

... Geoff Stults has found new work after The Finder. He'll star in Fox's comedy pilot Enlisted, about the funny things that happen on a small Army base in Florida. [TV Line]

... Tate Donovan has a backup plan. The actor, who currently stars on NBC's Deception, has booked a gig on the CBS pilot Hostages. He joins an already impressive cast that includes Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott. The show follows Collette's surgeon character, who is asked to operate on the President of the United States and then becomes embroiled in a massive conspiracy. Donovan, who won't be able to star in the show if Deception is renewed for a second season, must be visiting witch doctors and sticking pins in Deception voodoo dolls right about now. [THR]

... Catherin O'Hara will star in Fox's blog-based comedy pilot To My Future Assistant. The show centers on a pack of assistants dealing with overbearing bosses at a New York law firm. O'Hara would play one of the bosses. [THR]

... CBS's comedy pilot Bad Teacher has found its bad teacher. Ari Graynor, who played Olivia's sister on Fringe, has landed the role Cameron Diaz played in the film on which the show is based. [TV Line]

... End of Watch's Michael Pena has nabbed the lead in Fox's The List. He'll play a Deputy U.S. Marshal who's forced to run around pretty frantically after someone steals the list of people in the Witness Protection Program and begins killing everyone on it. What makes this news even more noteworthy is that Pena is a minority, and a not-well known one at that, being cast as the lead on a network show. Good luck bucking decades' worth of stubborn network trends, The List! [Deadline Hollywood]



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