News Briefs: NBC Wins November Sweeps for the First Time in Almost a Decade

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WILL SOMEONE PLEASE CHECK THE TEMPERATURE IN HELL NEWS

... NBC's strong 2012 season continues with today's news that the network, which has been a laughing stock for much of the last decade as it's fallen from its perch, won November sweeps for the first time since 2003. Led by the ratings success of top reality show The Voice, top new show Revolution, and top overall program Sunday Night Football, the network beat out overall audience winner CBS with an average 2.8 rating in the adult demo. NBC will probably sink like a rock beginning next month, when it (temporarily) says goodbye to the three shows mentioned above while they go on hiatus (Revolution and The Voice are scheduled to return in March). Almost all of the networks are having trouble this season, at least by traditional ratings measurements, as DVR and online viewing increase and cable offerings make broadcast television look pretty silly. [Deadline Hollywood]


BUSINESS TIME

... Fox is developing a comedy called The Happy Tree, about a young lawyer who becomes the leading advocate for legalizing marijuana. The producers of Entourage are behind the project. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Saturday Night Live's Kenan Thompson is teaming with producer Lorne Michaels for a primetime project. The comedy would star Thompson as a man who moves in with his in-laws, proving that Hollywood is never out of fresh, hip ideas. Thompson has been on the NBC sketch show for 10 years. [TV Guide]

... You've wanted to see Gary Sinise and Ted Danson share the screen ever since you flipped between channels and saw Cheers and Forrest Gump on the same day while you were sick with the mumps, and now you'll get your wish. CBS will air a pair of crossover episodes between Danson's CSI and Sinise's CSI: NY in early February. The impetus to blend the two cousin-shows will come from Sinise's Detective Mac Taylor as he searches for his missing girlfriend in Vegas, where Danson's D.B. Russell will help him out. Look for the crossovers on the February 6 episode of CSI and February 8 episode of CSI: NY. [EW]

... The Elmo underage sex scandal continues, as Kevin Clash, the voice of the popular Sesame Street puppet, has resigned from his job. The decision comes in the wake of a second young man accusing Clash of a sexual relationship, in this case when the accuser was 15 years old. Last week, the first accuser recanted his statement after an out-of-court settlement for $125,000, but the man has since regretted his decision and wishes to take back the recanted claim. There is absolutely nothing fun about this story. [TMZ]


CASTING NEWS

... Former House star Hugh Laurie is in discussions to join NBC's pirate drama Crossbones. The series, from Luther creator Neil Cross, has received a 10-episode order and follows a cabal of guys who like to say "Arrrr" and wear parrots on their shoulders while gallivanting around the Caribbean. Laurie would play famous pirate Blackbeard and most importantly be able to use his native British accent. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Brian Dennehy is joining Showtime's The Big C for its final season. He'll be featured in one of the four episodes—yep, there are only four—as the father of lead character Cathy. [Showtime via press release]

... The Walking Dead has cast one of its more popular comic-book characters, and it's a good one. Chad Coleman, who played Cutty on The Wire (and who also had a part in Fox's I Hate My Teenage Daughter if you want to be a dick), will play Tyreese, who was introduced fairly early in the comics. There's a chance we'll see him before the show's midseason break. [TV Overmind]

... Veep's Anna Chlumsky will guest-star on NBC's Hannibal, which is slated to debut in the midseason. She'll play a young FBI agent in training. [TV Line]

... Fox's The Mindy Project is getting a makeover and will scuttle a few characters to try and inject some freshness to the series. Amanda Setton, who plays Shauna, is being let go altogether, and Anna Camp, who plays Mindy bestie Gwen, is being demoted to recurring status. [TV Line]

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