News Briefs: FCC Wants Quieter Commercials, Chris Meloni Officially Joins True Blood


... HEY YOU GUYS GUESS WHAT? THE FCC HAS PASSED THE COMMERCIAL ADVERTISEMENT LOUDNESS MITIGATION ACT. IN OTHER WORDS, commercials will no longer be louder than everything else on television. Finally, government gets something useful accomplished. But let's hope they keep the Education Connection blastin', because that song is the JAMZ! [LA Times]


... Fear Factor's revival is so-far-so-good for NBC. The reality competition drew more than 8.5 million viewers and a minimum of a 3.3 rating among adults over the course of its two-hour premiere last night for a second place finish. CBS's comedies were tops, and a new episode of Terra Nova pulled in a 2.1 adult rating and 6.88 million viewers, proving that people can stomach normal people doing gross things more than they can stomach seeing Terra Nova. Most everything else was in repeats. [TV By the Numbers]


... Big news out of ABC's This Week, the network's Sunday-morning news program (i.e. the show that's on while you try to remember what happened on Saturday night). Christiane Amanpour is leaving her post at the show to do more field reporting. George Stephanopolous, who also co-hosts Good Morning America, will take over her spot. Let's hope This Week has plenty of step ladders and telephone books on hand. [Deadline Hollywood]

... That scream of "noooooooooooooo" you just heard was everyone in The Daily Show's writers' room collectively expressing their dismay over Donald Trump pulling out of moderating the December 27 presidential debate, citing a conflict of interest. Could you imagine how awesome that would have been? Oh man, now I'm sad. [Time]


... Former Law & Order: SVU star Christopher Meloni has officially joined HBO's True Blood as a series regular. He'll play an "ancient, powerful vampire who holds the fate of Bill and Eric in his hands." [TV Line]

... Once Upon a Time's Anastasia Griffith (she was great on Damages as Katie Connor, too) has booked the lead on BBC America's first scripted series, Copper. It's a drama about an Irish-American cop in 19th century New York; details on her role are still under wraps. My mind just got blown that she's actually British. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Revenge has found a daddy for the Grayson clan. 24 vet William Devane will step into the shoes of family patriarch Edward Grayson. Look for him in February. [TV Line]

... Steve Carell (remember him?) will lend his voice to The Simpsons next season. He'll play Fat Tony's nervous accountant who finds himself in charge of the mob. [EW]

... Will Sasso (MADtv) is reprising his role as an ornery bartender on CBS's How I Met Your Mother. He'll appear in the series' January 2 episode as the gang tries to remember what happened on New Year's Eve. Has anyone ever thought of having an intervention with these guys? They drink A LOT. Their livers must look like water-logged Raisinets. [TV Line]

... The Killing has added former Desperate Housewives actor Mark Moses. He'll play a detective who joins the Rosie Larson murder investigation. How many seasons will it take him to crack the case? [TV Guide]

... And finally, in news that’s more appealing to me than you, The Critics' Choice Awards on VH1 will be hosted by Paul Scheer (The League) and Rob Huebel (Childrens Hospital), a.k.a. 67 percent of MTV's departed sketch show Human Giant. The ceremony will air on January 12. [EW]

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom