News Briefs: USA Announces Return Dates for While Collar, Royal Pains

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ON SCHEDULES

... USA has revealed when a few of its popular shows will return in early 2012. Look for White Collar on January 17, Royal Pains on January 18, and the debut of new series Common Law, about a pair of clashing cops who undergo couples therapy, on January 26. [TV Line]

... HBO has also announced some return dates. Eastbound & Down, the potty-mouthed comedy starring Danny McBride, enters what is likely its homestretch on February 19, followed by the premiere of Ricky Gervais' new comedy Life's Too Short, a mockumentary about a little person who's trying to make it in the entertainment business. [EW]


PAPERWORK

... The Travel Channel has renewed six series: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Ghost Adventures, The Dead Files, Truck Stop USA, Off Limits, Mysteries at the Museum, and Sand Masters. The network also ordered eight new series; among them are a look at day-to-day life at Miami International Airport, a video-clip show of funny vacation footage, and six other shows not worth mentioning in this post. [Broadcasting & Cable]


CAST AWAY

... Marcia Gay Harden will drop by NBC's upcoming comedy Bent. She'll play the ex-wife of Jeffrey Tambor's character, who causes problems when she returns to town. Despite featuring Harden and Tambor, this comedy is still about a woman who falls for the contractor who is remodeling her kitchen. It's like a secondary B-story from a better comedy stretched out to become the premise of an entire show. [TV Line]

... All you people who are still interested in watching The Killing (both of you) will be happy to know that it looks like there's going to be a lot more looking for who killed Rosie Larsen. Michelle Forbes, who plays the mother of the victim at the heart of the AMC series, will return as a series regular. [TV Line]

... Ricky Martin is finalizing a deal to guest-star on Glee in the most appropriate guest-casting decision ever made in the history of the universe ever. [TV Line]

... Veteran actor Liev Schrieber will headline Showtime's upcoming Ray Donovan. The drama follows a "fixer" called on by Hollywood's elite whenever they need problems solved (dead hookers, overdosed hookers, sick hookers) with the utmost discretion. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Happy Endings has reached out to Michael McKean (Laverne & Shirley) to sign on for a guest spot. McKean, who recently appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm, will play Dave's dad and romance Penny's mother, played by Megan Mullally. [TV Line]


SAD NEWS

... Comedian Patrice O'Neal has passed away at the age of 41. O'Neal was a mainstay on the comedy circuit and has appeared on The Office, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, and Chappelle's Show. The cause of death is complications that resulted from a stroke he suffered in October. [TMZ]


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom