News Briefs: Helen Mirren Will Guest-Star on Glee

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CASTING COUP

Helen Mirren will play the “inner voice” of a character on Glee, when the show returns from hiatus on January 17 with an episode called “Yes/No.” Any guesses whose it will be? Gotta be Kurt, right? Who else would have Helen Mirren as their inner voice? Nice coup for the Glee crew, but I can’t say I’m not disappointed I won’t be seeing her legendary rack. [TVLine]


BIG DEALS

… Fox has bought a multicamera comedy from Michael Showalter and Christina Lee called I Hate Your Friends. It’s about a couple who...enh, you can probably figure it out. [Deadline]

Ricky Gervais' little person comedy Life’s Too Short, which is set to debut on HBO in 2012, has been picked up for a second season in the UK. [@rickygervais]


PROGRAMMING NOTES

… Sony Pictures TV has made all of the already aired episodes of ABC’s Pan Am available for free on iTunes through Jan. 5. Happy Pan-ukkah! (Sorry.) [iTunes]

… Tonight is the final battle for The X Factor’s $5 million prize. Melanie Amaro, Josh Krajcik, and Chris Rene are the last three standing. Melanie Amaro will win. How do I know? I just know. Set to perform on tonight’s show: Avril Lavigne will duet with Rene, Alanis Morissette will be paired with Krajcik, and R. Kelly will sing with Amaro. (R. Kelly, huh? Good thing 13-year-old Rachel Crow isn’t around.) Tomorrow, Justin Bieber--THE JUSTIN BIEBER--performs with ejectee Drew Ryniewicz and Stevie Wonder will sully his legacy by appearing on another Simon Cowell show. [THR]

… Here’s the Season 2 trailer for Showtime’s The Borgias. [YouTube]


THE HALL OF SHAME

Work It update: Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD have taken out a full-page ad in Variety, excoriating ABC for their stupid cross-dressing sitcom. Frankly, the more ABC is publicly shamed for this turd, the better. [glaad.org]

… Jay Gray, a correspondent with NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams, was pulled over and charged with DUI after returning from a party at the home of Joe Amendola, Jerry Sandusky's attorney. He was one of several reporters trying to score a Sandusky interview, and ironically became the story himself. And what a story: “Drunk Driver Lets Child Rapist Slip Through His Fingers.” [THR]


BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE

… As he hangs up Hung for good, Thomas Jane just wants to make one thing clear: He was never a male prostitute when he was 18, as some folks have interpreted something he said in an October interview. (“I was 18. I wasn’t averse to going down to Santa Monica Boulevard and letting a guy buy me a sandwich. Know what I mean?”) Anyway, that didn’t mean he was exchanging tricks for paninis. He was just sexually “adventurous.” Glad that’s all cleared up. [ABC News]


Kristen Bell in panties and a bra, from behind. Do we need to say more? [Hollywood Life]


Jimmy Fallon has a new iPhone app: Jimmy Fallon’s Wake Up Call will call you up and rouse your from your slumber with messages from Jimmy. [laughingsquid.com]


Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Pitt (who has some time on his hands these days) is the new celebrity face of Prada. I approve. [Esquire]


… Rumor has it ABC had The Bachelor’s Ben Flajnik’s moles removed. Because who pictures their prince charming having two tiny birthmarks on his cheeks just slightly larger than freckles? ICK! That’s totally not husband material. [Life & Style]

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