News Briefs: NBC Is Looking at a Super Villain Henchman Drama

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CRAZY NBC DEVELOPMENT NEWS

... NBC is no stranger to giving odd projects a long, hard look, and the latest unusual show to catch the network's attention comes from Prime Suspect writer Alexandra Cunningham and Friday Night Lights producer Peter Berg. Hench is a drama about a man who provides for his family by becoming the right-hand man for various super villains in the world's weirdest temp job ever. It sounds like a cool idea, but will NBC botch it? Or maye the question is actually, "How badly will NBC botch it?" [Deadline Hollywood]

... Now this is more up NBC's alley: The network is also developing a period drama based on Cleopatra, the Egyptian hottie who slept with most of the Roman Empire's top dogs. Being NBC and all, this take will feature Cleopatra in a world that includes monsters, magic, and powerful gods because why aim for historical accuracy when talking about a historical figure? Where's the fun in that? If Abraham Lincoln can slay vampires, Cleopatra can take on a gorgon or three. [Deadline Hollywood]


RENEWALS AND CANCELLATIONS

... I always love it when there are enough renewals and cancellations to warrant a dedicated section in News Briefs! First, the "good" news. TruTV has renewed Black Gold for Season 5. Will one of you look up this show and tell everyone else what it is in the comments? Thanks! [TruTV via press release]

... VH1 has canceled its reality show Ev & Ocho after star Chad Johnson, the mouthy NFL wide receiver, was arrested on charges of domestic abuse against the titular Ev. Johnson was also cut from the Miami Dolphins for the incident, and his ousting will be part of Johnson's other reality show, HBO's football diary Hard Knocks. Chad Johnson would like a do-over on this week, please. [The New York Times]

... Nickelodeon has canceled Victorious after three seasons. If you'd like to start a Save the Show campaign, ask your babysitter for permission to use her Facebook account. [Deadline Hollywood]


CASTING NEWS

... Actress Kristin Chenoweth has pulled out of her multi-episode stint on The Good Wife after being injured on set when lighting equipment fell on her. She said she's feeling better, though, and you can catch her in the season premiere. [People]

... Jodi Lyn O'Keefe (Prison Break, my dreams) will guest-star on ABC's Castle, and you fans are NOT going to like her. She'll play an entertainment reporter who has the hots for Mr. Castle and potentially threatens any relationship between him and Beckett. Bitch, you better watch yourself. [THR]

... Sean Hayes will guest-star on NBC's Smash for a few episodes, reuniting him with his Will & Grace co-star Debra Messing. He'll play a screen star who makes the move to Broadway. [TV Line]

... Billy Dee Williams (Colt .45) has a cool role on NCIS coming up. He'll play the man who Mark Harmon's character Leroy Jethro Gibbs was named after, a World War II vet. [TV Guide]

... Following up on her terrible haircut, Miley Cyrus has landed a role on a terrible show. The singer will guest-star on Two and a Half Men as a possible love interest for Jake but will probably end up sleeping with Ashton Kutcher. I mean, who can resist his boyish, immature charm? [E! Online]

... Michael Phelps has his first post-Olympics gig: He'll be the new student for The Hank Haney Project, Golf Channel's reality show that features Tiger Woods' former swing coach teaching celebs how to grip it and rip it. Previous stars who've had their swings doctored on the show include Charles Barkeley and Ray Romano. [Business Week]

... Shiri Appleby (Life Unexpected) is joining the cast of Chicago Fire, the upcoming firefighter drama from NBC that's set in... you'll never guess... Chicago. She'll play the ex-girlfriend of Shay, and I don't know why I'm telling you this since you have no idea who Shay is because the show hasn't even aired. I may as well have said, "She plays Commander Moomoo, the alien princess from the Slime Nebula with the power to make waffles with her bare hands." Note to self: Pitch NBC on Commander Moomoo: Super Alien Waffle-Maker. [Deadline Hollywood]


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