News Briefs: Neil Gaiman Will Write a Cybermen Episode of Doctor Who

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GEEK NEWS

... The Sandman author and graphic-novel god Neil Gaiman will write an episode of Doctor Who, his second, for the upcoming season. Gaiman's episode will run in the spring and—get this—feature the villainous tin cybogs known as the Cybermen. The Cybermen first debuted in 1966 and last appeared in the 2011 episode “Closing Time.” [BBC America via press release]


BUSINESS TIME

... Approximately 66.8 million viewers tuned in to watch election coverage last night, down slightly (6 percent) from the 2008 election. Maybe some people saw Barack Obama versus white guy and figured it was a repeat? Early numbers suggest NBC won the ratings war, with an average of 12.56 million viewers in primetime. CNN took home the cable prize with a 4.9 rating in the adult demo, but Fox News claimed most overall viewers with 11.6 million. No spoilers! Don't tell me who won yet, I still have it on my DVR. I'm going to watch it as soon I get through all these Super Bowls that I have piled up. [TV By the Numbers]

... The third season of Downton Abbey will premiere in the United States on January 6. That should be plenty of time for you to perfect your scoff at those who don't watch it. [Vulture]

... Two projects from Black List writer Thompson Evans are in the works. Fox is developing Night Hunters, about two cops who pose as cab drivers, and NBC is working on Max General, about the goings-on in the trauma center of a hospital. Cops and doctors! Doctors and cops! We get it, TV! [Deadline Hollywood]

... Chelsea Handler is getting behind another female comic by producing a new show. Fortune Feimster, who writes and co-stars in Handler's Chelsea Lately, will star in the project Discounted, about two half-sisters who try to keep their family furniture business running. The way Handler is sheparding projects for her Chelsea Lately crew, the janitor will have an NBC sitcom in no time. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Sundance Channel has unveiled its development slate for next season, and it features some very serious dramas. Valentines is based on the Olaf Olafsson novel and follows the love lives of a high-powered New York attorney and his three stunning daughters. Behind the Sun is set in mid-'80s Malibu and is about a family that discovers the only child is allergic to the sun. The Descendants is not based on the movie of the same name, and instead focuses on a sheriff who teams up with neighboring Native Americans after tragedy strikes his family. T looks at the life of a transgender man and his emotional present and flashes back to his days as a college lesbian. And Death in the Modern Age is about a man who fakes his own death to start over after his current life goes to shambles. [Sundance via press release]


CASTING NEWS

... Actor Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) has taken the lead in the HBO project The Missionary. He'll play a young American who gets tangled in the Cold War while in Germany. This was the role that Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul was set to take before scheduling commitments intervened. [Deadline]

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