News Briefs: NBC Is Rebooting Murder, She Wrote, With Octavia Spencer in the Lead Role

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TONIGHT WE'LL SOLVE THE CASE OF WHO KILLED NBC

Someone send an ambulance to NBC stat because that network is really, really struggling to hold on. In a desperate last-ditch effort, the network is resurrecting Murder, She Wrote, which starred Angela Lansbury and ran on CBS from 1984 to 1996. Octavia Spencer (The Help) will play the lead role, and David Janollari and Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives) will executive-produce. [Variety]


BUSINESS TIME

... I'm really into what The CW is putting out these days, and I'm weirdly excited about the network's newest puchase. Titled Players, it's set in 1930s Hollywood and follows a Midwestern gal who moves to Los Angeles to avenge her sister's murder at the hands of a studio executive. But wait, there's more! Once in L.A., she is "swept up" by the Hollywood star-making machine, gets involved with a closeted movie star, AND becomes a pawn in a scheme with the mob. It's like four shows in one, and it sounds insane. Where do I sign up? [Deadline]

... When The Cleveland Show wasn't renewed we knew it was only a matter of time before the its characters returned to Family Guy (that'll show Fox!). In the episode "He's Bla-ack," set to air this spring, Cleveland and his family move back to Quahog, where they'll face plenty of "you couldn't hack it out on your own" jokes. [EW]

... TNT has ordered eight one-hour episodes of a new reality series starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Tentatively titled Wake Up Call, the show will follow Johnson as he makes 4am wake up calls to people facing enormous challenges in their lives. Personally, I find waking up at 4am to be an enormous challenge, which is why I usually roll out of bed sometime around 8:45am and smash my head on the keyboard for a few hours. [TNT via press release]

... Several cast members from Arrested Development will appear on Inside the Actors Studio on Thursday, November 7. Tune in for serious questions with Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Jeffrey Tambor, Alia Shawkat, Jessica Walter, and creator Mitch Hurwitz. [Bravo via press release]

... Matt Smith and David Tennant apparently hatched a plan during the filming of Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary Special that would have allowed both of them to continue being the Doctor for several more episodes (five episodes each and then three together). Showrunner Steven Moffat said no because he hates happiness, and now the internet has an entirely new reason to hate him. [Radio Times]

... And as long as I'm already talking about things that air on BBC America, the network will premiere the new series Atlantis after the encore presentation of "The Day of the Doctor" on November 23. The series, from the creators of Merlin and Misfits, follows the adventures of Jack Donnelly's Jason as he searches for his father. His trip takes him on an unexpected adventure to the fabled city of Atlantis, where he encounters legendary heroes and dangerous creatures. The series premieres at 9pm, and Game of Thrones' Mark Addy stars as an overweight, overly confident Hercules, so be sure to set your DVRs. [BBC America via press release]

... Glee won't officially end until spring 2015 (sigh), but Naya Rivera is pitching a Glee spin-off following her character Santana Lopez. Would you watch it? [E! Online]


CASTING NEWS

... Kathryn Hahn has reunited with Parks and Recreation's Adam Scott for the third installment of The Greatest Even in Television History. We still don't know what series they're taking on this time, but we do know it's a sitcom, and not a one-hour drama. The next installment drops November 7 at midnight on Adult Swim. Leave your guesses in the comments! [Vulture]

... Man, The Crazy Ones really loves its guest stars. This time the show has booked supermodel Adriana Lima for a bit part. She'll play herself in the December 5 episode. [E! Online]

... Fringe alum Kirk Acevedo is guest-starring as the brother of Maria Baez (Marisa Ramirez) on Blue Bloods. The character is being described as a longtime criminal, and will appear in the November 22 episode. [Zap2It]

... Without a Trace alum Marianne Jean-Baptiste has landed a recurring role on NBC's midseason drama Believe, from Alfonso Cuaron and J.J. Abrams. The series centers on a young woman named Bo with a special gift, and the relationship that develops with her father Tate after he escapes from prison and is tasked with protecting her from the evil people who want to steal her power. Jean-Baptiste will play CIA Deputy Director Brandice Comstock, who's aligned with the show's villain, played by Kyle MacLachlan. Ummmmm, okay. [TV Guide]


AND NOW FOR SOME SERIOUS JOURNALISM

... Jon Hamm shaves three times a day. [NY Mag]


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