News Briefs: True Blood Creator Alan Ball Gets a New Series, Game of Thrones Casts Four

... OMG guys, three four more people have been cast for Season 2 of Game of Thrones, which—and I am not exaggerating one bit—is the best thing in the world ever. Irish actor Michael McElhatton will play Roose Bolton, Welsh actor Robert Pugh will play Craster, Ben Crompton will play Dolorous Edd, and Karl Davies will play a new character named Alton Lannister. The addition of Alton is likely being done in order to scrunch a few characters together so producers can contain the universe and keep casting down. In case you were wondering, Dolorous Edd is probably my favorite character in the books. He's such a frump-face. These are all, once again, fantastic choices for casting. It's as if HBO was reading my mind, if my mind knew who all these actors were in the first place. [ 1, 2, 3 / THR]

... Alan Ball is signed up to run the show over at True Blood for at least one more year, but beyond that he's free to do whatever he wants. So it's no surprise that he's already keeping an eye out for new projects. Ball will serve as producer on a new series over at Cinemax (an HBO property). The project is called Banshee, but despite the title, there is no supernatural element; it'll be set in Amish country in Pennsylvania and follow an ex-con who poses as sheriff after the original was murdered. There's no timetable for the debut. [LA Times]

... Actor LaMarcus Tinker (Friday Night Lights) is sticking with football and playing a lineman in the upcoming season of Glee. More importantly, he's being paired up with Mercedes as her new love interest. Honestly, I have nothing funny to say about this that won't get me in trouble. [TV Line]

... Sebastian Roche, who's familiar to people who watch television at 9pm on Friday nights because he was on both Supernatural (as Balthazar) and Fringe (as Thomas Newton), is joining The Vampire Diaries this fall. Roche will play a mysterious man who hunts vampires, which is convenient because everyone in Mystic Falls is a vampire. [EW]

... Spike has renewed Repo Games and picked up the following new shows: Big Easy Justice (bounty hunters in N'Orleans), American Digger (former wrestler looks for buried treasure), World's Worst Tenants (self-explanatory), and Undercover Stings (also pretty obvious). Just thought you'd like to know. [LA Times]

... Kevin Bacon is about to get one degree closer to you! The Footloose star is in talks to play the lead in an upcoming HBO series called Valentine. Bacon would play a talk show host who's down on his luck. [Deadline Hollywood]

... I'm starting to become a fan of really dumb game shows in primetime, and this new one from ABC sounds pretty fantastic. The Exit List will let contestants loose in a giant maze, where they will run around like freaks and answer trivia questions and find rooms filled with prizes and hopefully never be seen again until a contestant on the following season happens upon a pile of bones surrounded by a brand-new microwave and gift cards. Now that's fun! [TV Guide]

... Autumn Reeser, who will tell you she's not my girlfriend in spite of my claims to the contrary, is guest-starring on Hawaii Five-0 as a potential love interest for Scott Caan's character, Danny. So Autumn, should I just buy my plane ticket to Hawaii myself? Or do you want to get this one? Hello? Autumn? Helllllo? [TV Line]

... Syfy's Haven is doing some crazy thing with Twitter. It's going to have a story arc that is told both on TV and on Twitter, so you'll have to watch the series and follow the Twitter feeds of several fake people and try and keep everything straight. It's hard enough to just sit still while watching something on television, let alone figure out how to turn your computer on! This is madness! [Syfy, via press release]

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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