News Briefs: Syfy Orders Ronald Moore's Helix to Series

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BUSINESS TIME

... Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore (that hair... it's... glorious!) is heading back to Syfy with Helix, a new science-fiction project ordered to series today. Moore will executive produce the program, which has this delightful logline: "Helix is an intense thriller about a team of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control who travel to a high-tech research facility in the Arctic to investigate a possible disease outbreak, only to find themselves pulled into a terrifying life-and-death struggle that holds the key to mankind’s salvation or total annihilation." Fun! No parts have been cast, but Syfy expects to launch the 13-episode season later this year. [Syfy via press release

... IFC stands for Independent Film Channel, but perhaps they should change their name to Insanely Funny Comedy! Because they put out comedy! That's insane! And funny! And they're gonna keep on doing it with two new series: The Spoils of Babylon comes from Funny or Die people Will Ferrell and Adam McKay and is a parody of the epic family drama miniseries of the 1980s. Ferrell will star as an author whose novel has been adapted for television. IFC has ordered half a dozen half-hour episodes. The sketch-comedy show The Birthday Boys comes from the comedy troupe of the same name and will be produced by Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show) and Ben Stiller (Oh Come On You Know Who Ben Stiller Is). Odenkirk will also co-star, so this goes right onto my must-see list. To get an idea of who these so-called Birthday Boys are, head over to their YouTube channel, but be warned: You will be there for like the next seven hours. Or watch the sketch embedded below and save yourself six hours and 56 minutes. [IFC via press releases]



... The Disney Channel has ordered Star and the Forces of Evil, an animated comedy aimed at kids. The show follows Star Butterfly, a magical teen princess who is zapped to Earth to live with a regular family but also fights the forces of evil, be they monsters from other dimensions or jerks from school. The Middle's Eden Sher (Sue) will voice Star. Can I borrow someone's infant daughter so I have an excuse to watch this? [Disney Channel via press release]

... Some lunatics in Georgia are opening a real-life Mystic Grill—you know, the popular hangout from The Vampire Diaries—in the building that's used as the exterior of the fictional restaurant in the show. [Newton Citizen



CASTING NEWS

... Always-a-class-act Hope Davis (In Treatment) is joining the CBS pilot The Ordained. The drama follows the son of a powerful family who leaves the priesthood to join a top New York City law firm to help his sister stay unassasinated. Seriously, is this the best log line of the year OR WHAT? Davis will play the holy barrister's older sister. [TV Line]

... ABC's pilot The Returned, about a community that gets freaked out when the deceased return to the world of the living (not zombie-style, just back-from-the-dead-style) has added a pair to its cast. Omar Epps, last seen on House, will play an Immigration and Customs agent, and Kurtwood Smith (That '70s Show's Red Forman) will play a man whose dead son returns. Don't mess this up ABC! Save the brain-eating for Season 3! [Deadline Hollywood]

... Joy Behar is leaving ABC's The View after 16 years. The View has been on for 16 years?!?!? Some kid who's currently learning to drive was born after The View started? Does this blow anyone else's mind? Anyway, Behar is leaving to pursue other projects where her yapping skills will be appreciated. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Judge Reinhold will make an appearance on CBS's Beverly Hills Cop, reuniting him with co-star Eddie Murphy. Reinhold played Billy Rosewood in the movie the show is based on, and in the update, Rosewood will have moved far up the police department ladder. [The Wrap]

... Entourage's Kevin Connelly ("Yo E! Should Vinny do the movie!?!?") has signed on for the CBS comedy pilot Friends With Better Lives. The comedy stars James Van Der Beek, Brooklyn Decker, and Connelly as part of a group of chums who are all envious of each others' lives. Connelly's character is a married gynecologist. And it was previously reported that JVDB's character is also a gynecologist. Either something is amiss here or this show is going to challenge 2 Broke Girls for "vagina" jokes. [EW]

... Eric Andre is hilarious. He's the centerpiece of The Eric Andre Show and he played Mark the barista in Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, and now he's been cast in an NBC comedy pilot about the dating lives of 20-somethings. This is below Andre's talent level, but as long as he's on TV I don't care. Ellen Woglom (Californication) will also play one of the dating 20-somethingers. [Deadline Hollywood]


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter if you want to: @TimAtTVDotCom