News Briefs: TNT Orders the Post-Nuclear Thriller The Last Ship

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KINDA LIKE LAST RESORT NEWS

... TNT has given a series order to The Last Ship, a military thriller starring Grey's Anatomy vet Eric Dane. The series, based on the William Brinkley novel of the same name, follows the crew of a Navy destroyer that survives a global nucelar catastrophe. The 10-episode season season ships off in 2014. [TV Line]


BUSINESS TIME

... Awesome U.K. sitcom The IT Crowd is coming back for an episode, according to creator Graham Linehan. The plan is to air a final 40-minute special on Channel 4 in the U.K., with cast members Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson, and Matt Berry all returning. If you haven't seen The IT Crowd (which failed as an American import starring Joel McHale), do it! It's on Netflix and it's hilarious. [Laughing Squid]

... NBC is milking this The Office sendoff for all it can (and why not?), expanding the May 16 series finale to an hour and 15 minutes. It will preceded by an hour-long Office retrospective and followed by a new episode of Hannibal, which will run with limited commercial interruptions. [TV Line]

... Starz has announced a premiere month for its pirate epic Black Sails: January 2014. The series follows Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and takes place 20 years before the events of Treasure Island. There are a lot of pirate shows coming out over the next year, but if you like your pirates with a side of boobs and gore, this will be the one for you. [Starz via press release]

... Music-centric cable channel Fuse has ordered The Hustle, a drama about hip-hop artists trying to make it in the biz. The six-episode season will debut on June 19 at 11pm. It will be followed by The Hustle After Party, an in-studio catch-up discussion show in the vein of Talking Dead, which is a little presumptuous, isn't it? So basically, everyone who has watched the episode will be in the studio audience of The Hustle After Party. [Variety

... This is your weekly reminder that Game of Thrones has hit a new series high. 5.5 million viewers this time, up from 5.3 million last week. [EW]


CASTING NEWS


... We spent all of Season 2 wondering when FX's The Americans would kill Soviet double spy Nina and FBI secretary Martha, and now we're going to spend all of Season 2 wondering how the show will keep them alive. Actresses Annet Mahendru (Nina) and Alison Wright (Martha) have both been promoted to series regulars for the spy drama's second season. Excellent news, especially for us #TeamMartha fans. [FX via press release]

... When Faith Hill announced that she would no longer be singing the Sunday Night Football anthem, America cried and the stock market crashed. But we're strong! And we have more blonde country-music superstars than we can handle. Former American Idol champ Carrie Underwood will take over the duties next season, ensuring freedom will continue to ring and bald eagles will continue to soar and Congress will continue to do whatever it is they aren't doing. [USA Today]

... There's a standoff happening over at CBS's Criminal Minds. The drama has not yet been renewed due to salary disagreements between cast members and the studio-and-network combo that's behind the series, ABC Studios and CBS. Final offers have gone out to Thomas Gibson, Joe Mantegna, Shemar Moore, Kirsten Vangsness, and A.J. Cook, but Vangsness and Cook have declined theirs, opting to stand together to bring attention to the fact that the female actors on the show are, in some cases, getting paid less than half of what their male counterparts are making. It's unclear whether the show would move on without Cook and Vangsness. [Deadline Hollywood]



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