News Briefs: SyFy Orders a Pilot from M. Night Shyamalan

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BUSINESS TIME:

... M. Night Shyamalan is apparently tired of making terrible movies, so he's decided to try his hand at scripted TV. The director has secured a put-pilot commitment from SyFy for a project called Proof, about "the son of a billionaire tech genius who offers a large reward for anyone who can find proof of life after death following the tragic accident and sudden passing of his parents." The show will almost certainly be picked up to series, as "put-pilot" means SyFy is on the hook for lots of money if the project doesn't make it to air. Speaking of money, ten bucks says the dude's parents were alive the whole time. [THR]

... Morgan Freeman will continue blowing your mind with both his legendary voice AND his devotion to being a nerd. Science Channel has renewed Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman for a fourth season; the network has ordered ten new episodes, with a target debut date of summer 2013. [Science Channel via press release]

... "One for all and all for one!" says BBC America. The network is co-producing The Musketeers, a 10-part "contemporary take" on The Three Musketeers with an eye on a 2014 premiere. [Vulture]

... The Military Channel has announced The Brokaw Files, in which former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw will "revisit the most memorable stories in his legendary career." Episodes will include new interviews and "fresh perspectives from Brokaw himself" on such topics as Ronald Reagan's presidency and air traffic control on 9/11. The series will debut on October 16. [Military Channel via press release]

... Nick at Night has picked up the comedy Wendell and Vinnie to series with a 20-episode order. Jerry Trainor (iCarly) stars as Vinnie, a "lovable, goofball uncle who becomes the guardian to his buttoned-up 12-year-old nephew Wendell." [Deadline]

... The latest round of Mad Men-related negotiations is going... way more smoothly than usual! Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones, and Christina Hendricks are reportedly close to renewing their contracts (Jon Hamm's is already inked through Season 7, which will likely be the show's last), and with salary bumps too. Does this mean that Season 6 will actually arrive on time? [Vulture]

... The London Olympics are making Phillip Phillips rich: The American Idol winner's song "Home," which has been played repeatedly during NBC's tape-delayed coverage of the women's gymnastics events, is on track to reach 200,000 downloads by the end of this weekend. For perspective's sake, the song was purchased 24,000 times during the week that ended July 22. [THR]


SUPERNATURAL NEWS:

... Former Supernatural writer Jeremy Carver is returning to the series as showrunner this season, and it turns out he found Season 7 to be just as "burdensome" as many of the show's fans. As a result, he says Season 8 will begin with "something familiar like a flashback that lifelong fans or early fans will hopefully appreciate the magnitude of, but new fans can also grasp onto.” Also on deck for Season 8: more grown-up versions of the Winchester Bros. and romance for Sam. [TVLine]


CASTING NEWS:

... Ashton Kutcher will be shackin' up with Debbie Pelt next spring: Two and a Half Men has signed the True Blood actress to guest-star as Jill, a lady who meets Kutcher's character Walden at a bar and goes home with him in the Season 10 finale. [THR]

... Caroline Dhavernas, who you should recognize from re-watching Wonderfalls along with Tim, has landed a gig on NBC's Hannibal as "a beautiful psychology professor who works as a consultant profiler for the FBI." [Deadline]

... Touch is adding another 24 alum its cast: Lukas Haas will play Calvin Butterfield Norburg, "a young genius entrepreneur and scientist." [TVLine]

... Anna Chlumsky will possibly be murdering someone on NBC this fall: The Veep actress will guest-star on Law & Order: SVU as the author of a best-selling erotic novel who accuses a famous talk-show host of raping her. Chlumsky will appear alongside fellow guest-stars Roger Bart and Raul Esparza, who will play the talk-show host and a member of the DA's office, respectively. [THR]

... Remember how last week we told you about Human Target alum Mark Valley joining ABC's Body of Proof as a detective? Now he's got a partner: Elyes Gabel—who recently played a Dothraki bloodrider on Game of Thrones—has booked the role of cocky rookie Det. Adam Schaeffer, partner to Valley's Det. Tommy Sullivan. Let's hope he doesn't have to investigate any crimes in the Red Waste. [TVLine]

... Two new students have enrolled at Glee's McKinley High. Melissa Benoist (who you may have seen topless on Homeland as one of the girls who interviewed to be part of the prince's harem) and newcomer Becca Tobin have landed recurring roles as girls named Marley and Kitty; there aren't any details on their roles yet, so feel free to write your own character descriptions in the comments! [TVLine]

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