News Briefs: Game of Thrones Announces Its Season 3 Characters

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CHARACTERS WELCOME NEWS

... Game of Thrones TV-adaptationers David Benioff and Dan Weiss have announced the characters that will appear in the next season of the HBO series, which is great news for all you fans who've been complaining that we haven't spent enough time with Beric Dondarrion (he was flashed for a second in Season 1). If you don't want to be spoiled, don't worry because I won't list the names here since the Season 2 finale hasn't aired and some of those names just might involve current storylines. However, I will say that we'll see the Queen of Thorns (Yes! Is Betty White available?) and the Reed kids. Mouse-click the link to be whisked away to the rest of the names, but only if you've read the books because otherwise it doesn't make sense. You know that, right? And then please be nice and not post a ton of spoilers in the comments. [EW]


BUSINESS TIME

... I told you Kevin Costner was still a star! History's miniseries Hatfields & McCoys set the record for most viewers of a non-sports ad-supported-cable broadcast last night with 13.9 million viewers. Really? Did someone misplace a decimal point or forget to carry a one somewhere? The tale about the feudin' clans continues tonight and concludes tomorrow night. History also made sure to point out that 4.8 million people in the 18-49 age demographic watched this, but to me that just means 9.1 million people were over 50 or forced to watch it with their grandparents. [History via press release]

... Okay, which one of you guys out there said, "Gee, I sure wish there was one more singing competition show on TV right now?" NBC has ordered The Winner Is, which is like Duets mixed with The Voice sprinkled with American Idol and a touch of whatever the name of that CW singing show is, and just for the F of it, a nice gob of Deal or No Deal on top. People will still sing for judges, but they'll sing against an opponent and have the opportunity to bow out of the competition before they hear the judges' decision in exchange for a cash prize. In other words, singing competition shows have officially run out of ideas. [NBC via press release]

... HBO is in early development on a dramedy following a professional basketball team. But it comes from the producer of Jane By Design and the writer of Tower Heist. Yuck. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Sticking with HBO and sports, the cable channel has finally found a team willing to participate in its behind-the-scenes reality show Hard Knocks. Get ready to see a whole lotta aqua green and orange, because this season belongs to the Miami Dolphins. It should be really interesting to see how the coach plans out the team's strategy to meet ther goal of winning two games this season. [HBO via press release]


CASTING NEWS

... James Frain, who had a memorable go on True Blood as Franklin Mott the angry sensitive vampire, will make multiple appearances on NBC's Grimm next season. He'll play the brother of Portland Police Captain Sean Renard and—you'll never guess this next part—might not be all he appears to be! Frain also had a much less memorable turn on The Cape, and let's never let him forget that. [TV Guide]

... Part-time foodie/part-time jerkface Anthony Bourdain has left the Travel Channel to join CNN, where he'll host a new food and travel show. [CNN]

... NCIS star Michael Weatherly will make a guest appearance on TNT's Major Crimes, the new drama that's being spun off from The Closer. He'll play a charming con artist. Major Crimes debuts August 13. [TV Line]

... Zuleikha Robinson, who played Lost's completely pointless character of Ilana, will recur on the next season of Homeland. She'll play a connection to Abu Nazir. Elsewhere, CSI: Miami's Wanda de Jesus has joined Sons of Anarchy's upcoming season. She'll play a buddy of new character Nero, portrayed by Jimmy Smits. [Deadline Hollywood]


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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