News Briefs: Guillermo del Toro and HBO Are Adapting Monster

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THIS SOUNDS PRETTY COOL NEWS

... Super famous director Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) is teaming up with HBO for a possible series based on the Japanese manga Monster, from author Naoki Urasawa. The 18-volume series follows a doctor who tracks down a psychotic teen—and the teen happens to be the child whose life he saved years earlier—to stop him from committing terrible atrocities on the world. So it's a feel-good story, basically. [Deadline Hollywood


BUSINESS TIME

... NBC has ordered a new reality competition show that they may as well name Sue Us, Please! because it is INSANE. The Million Second Quiz will feature contestants living in a structure in Manhattan and playing a trivia game for 12 straight days. Viewers at home will also be able to get into the action by playing online. NBC did a terrible job (surprise!) explaining the game in the press release and focused on buzzwords like "genre-redefining spectacle" and "fully convergent television experience," but from what I can tell, it sounds like a total nightmare. The network is targeting a fall premiere. [NBC via press release]

... Having already mastered drama, A&E Networks is now getting into original comedy with the pilot Whitey. Producer Leslie Greif, who ushered in the surprise hit miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, is behind the project that is apparently being earmarked for the History Channel. So is it about slavery or Vanilla Ice or some other important historical figure or era? Nope, it's about a conservative guy (played by David Koechner, The Office) in his 40s who doesn't know what to do after he gets fired. Yep, History Channel. [Deadline Hollwood]

... ABC's Malibu Country is looking for a new showrunner should it be picked up for a second season. Nastaran Dibai stepped in to take over showrunning duties during the first season, but is leaving over creative differences. Creative differences on Malibu Country? Is that like an argument over which fake laughs to choose for the laugh track? [EW]

... ABC Family has picked up its pilot Terminales to series, but on one condition: The show has to change its name! The drama, an adaptation of a Mexican soap, follows a female journalist who balances work and family... and cancer. The new name of the series is Chasing Life. [ABC Family via press release]

... That episode of Hannibal that NBC decided to pull from its schedule after the attack on the Boston Marathon is now being re-purposed as a web series. The videos will focus on some of the important character relationships, but will not include the material that creator Bryan Fuller felt was unsuitable given the emotional state of the country. You can watch Part 1 at NBC.com now. [NBC.com]

... Speaking of NBC horrors, the network has given Smash a tiny lift for its season (and likely series) finale. The two-hour Season 2 ender being moved from the series' normal Saturday timeslot (LOL Saturday) to Sunday, May 26 at 9pm. And then the show will be canceled. [EW]


CASTING NEWS

... Ben & Kate star Nat Faxon has grabbed the lead in the untitled FX comedy pilot from Andrew Gurland (The Last Exorcism). Faxon will play one half of a married couple who agree to "shake things up" in order to save their marriage. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Jon Hamm (Mad Men) will host ESPN's ESPY Awards this July, saluting the best in sports with even more meaningless trophies. Hamm was obviously selected to host the show because... ummm, you know, sports. [ESPN via press release]

... The TBS game show Trust Me, I'm a Game Show Host has found its game show hosts. D.L. Hughley and Michael Ian Black will play the dueling emcees, who will compete against each other and try to convince contestants that they are telling the truth about little-known facts. Trust Me, I'm a Game Show Host is due in late 2013. Trust me, I'm a TV.com writer. [TBS via press release]

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