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News Briefs: Sherlock's Martin Freeman Will Headline FX's Fargo

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WITH SPECIAL GUEST-STAR BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH?

... Martin Freeman, who you may recognize from the hit BBC series Sherlock, or from his roles in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and something called The Hobbit, has landed the lead role in FX's limited event series Fargo. He'll play Lester Nygaard, William H. Macy's character in the 1996 Coen brothers film of the same name. The series will feature an all new "true crime" case. [THR]


BUSINESS TIME

... If you're not already busy watching AMC's ongoing Breaking Bad marathon, or planning your Breaking Bad finale party at which you'll be dressing up as your favorite version of Walter White, maybe you should spend this weekend catching up on that other adrenaline-pumping Sunday-night drama Homeland. Showtime is airing Season 2 this weekend in anticipation of Sunday's Season 3 premiere. Beginning Saturday at 12pm, you can watch all 12 episodes back-to-back. [Showtime via press release]

... ITV has renewed Law and Order: UK for an eighth season. The series continuously won its time slot during Season 7, and Bradley Walsh, Georgia Taylor, Paterson Joseph, and Dominic Rowan are all set to return alongside newcomer Ben Bailey Smith when production begins next month for a 2014 broadcast. [Deadline]

... Topanga's about to get real; Danielle Fishel is writing a memoir. Yeah, that seems about enough for this brief. [THR]

... Nickelodeon has ordered 26 episodes each of two new animated series: Bad Seeds and Pig Goat Banana Cricket. I don't know about you guys, but based on the titles alone, those don't exactly scream "kid-friendly" to me. The network has also greenlit four live-action pilots: Twang, about a family that relocates from Hollywood to Tennessee; Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Don, about quadruplets (maybe Don was a surprise?); Smart Alec, about kid geniuses, obviously; and an untitled cheerleader comedy. [Variety]

... While I'm still on the kid front, Nickelodeon has also announced a Season 2 premiere date for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo will be back in action on October 12 at 11am. Tell your friends, tell your kids, set your DVRs, whatever; I'm not here to judge. [Nickelodeon via press release]

... Discovery Channel will premiere a new Evel Knievel documentary titled True Evel on October 14. It traces his life from childhood to stardom. [Deadline]

... For all four of you who are worried about the fates of Tia & Tamera and Giuliana & Bill, don't fret; both series are moving from the Style Network to E! on October 15 now that Esquire will be taking over the channel Style previously laid claim to. [TV Guide]

... In what I'm sure is absolutely shocking news to everyone, Oprah's network OWN has acquired the broadcast rights to air Lee Daniels' The Butler. [Deadline]


CASTING NEWS

... Comedian and all-around awesome guy Patton Oswalt is following up appearances on Justified and Parks and Recreation with a guest-starring tole on Fox's Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He'll play a fire marshall who butts heads with Andy Samberg's Detective Peralta. [EW]

... Revenge has hired current Devious Maids star Ana Ortiz. She'll guest-star as Bizzy Preston, a public relations specialist hired by Conrad. This role should come as no surprise considering all the crap the Graysons have gone through in the public eye over the course of two seasons. It's about time they hired an actual professional to clean up their messes, instead of relying on Ashley. [TV Line]

... Alanna Masterson is joining the cast of The Walking Dead for Season 4. Right now we don't know much about her character, but she'll recur this season, with an option to become a series regular in the future. She'll play a new survivor who first appears midway through the season. [Deadline]

... Loretta Devine has joined USA's new series Sirens. The series follows "three Chicago EMTs whose self-righteous and self-destructive personalities make them unfit for long-term relationships and most occupations." Um, okay. Devine will play the no-nonsense church-hugging mother of one of the characters, and will appear in two episodes. [TV Guide]

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