News Briefs: Howard Stern Will Return to America's Got Talent

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BUSINESS TIME

... The debate over whether or not America's Got Talent has actual talent will rage on, but whether or not it has Howard Stern cannot be argued. Stern will be back for a second season of judging the NBC talent show after his return came into question because of the time commitment the show requires. Stern made the announcement on his radio show today. [NBC via press release]

... I was all prepared to spend the next several months zombie-less, but then it was revealed that The Walking Dead will be back sooner than I thought. The hit drama reached its midseason break last night but will return February 10 to finish off the final eight episodes of Season 3! And its geeky chat-show companion, Talking Dead, will now air at 10pm immediately after new episodes (instead of waiting for an encore showing) and be stretched out to an hour per episode. Good news all around for TV's new can't-miss show. [Zap2It]

... And the next person who might one day be applying some zombie makeup to the extras in The Walking Dead starts his/her journey on January 15. That's when the fourth season of the surprisingly enjoyable Syfy reality show Face Off begins. Will judge Glen Hetrick continue his physical transformation into Emo Predator? TUN IN TO FIND OUT! [Syfy via press release]

... Spike TV has renewed its inkin' shows Ink Master and Tattoo Nightmares. Ink Masters, a competition show for tattoo artists, returns for Season 3 with 13 episodes, and Tattoo Nightmares, a reality show that follows stupid people who got stupid tattoos, gets a 26-episode Season 2. [Deadline Hollywood]

... ABC is trying out the reality genre in the afternoon with the development of a new medical docu-drama that may as well be a real-life version of General Hospital. The show is being filmed at the UCLA Medical Center and if it makes it to air and becomes a hit, expect it to be a new trend as networks look for the next big thing to fill their daylight hours. [NY Post]

... ABC is also developing Rookie, a single-camera comedy from Easy A director Will Gluck and Community producer Andy Bobrow. The sitcom follows a young woman who decides to become a cop. [Deadline Hollywood]


CASTING NEWS

... Covert Affairs star Piper Perabo is joining NBC's Go On for multiple episodes. She'll play a woman who joins the therapy group and maybe romances Ryan (Matthew Perry). And then she'll be haunted and poltergeisted by Ryan's dead wife! [Deadline Hollywood]

... HBO's The Newsroom has cast newbie Joel Johnson as a campaign staffer for Mitt Romney. Practice your hopeful, pompous, and crying faces in that order, Joel. [THR]

... Law & Order's S. Epatha Merkerson is joining NBC's upcoming Revenge clone Deception. She'll play the mother of the central character, an undercover cop who pretends to be someone else so she can investigate the murder of her childhood friend in a wealthy community. Also, Jere Burns (Justified) is joining A&E;'s upcoming drama Bates Motel, Carlton Cuse's prequel to Psycho. [Deadline Hollywood]

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