News Briefs: The CW Orders Pilots for Rob Thomas's iZombie, a Supernatural Spin-off, and More

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... The CW has ordered three pilots, including one called iZombie from Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas and his frequent collaborator Diane Rugierro. The project is based on the DC Comics series of the same name and follows a med student who becomes a zombie and takes a job at the coroner's office in order to be in close proximity to her new food source. 

The network also handed a pilot order to Jane the Virgin, which sounds so awful I don't even want to talk about it, but I will. The potential series is adapted from what I'm told is a successful Venezuelan telenovela called Juana La Virgen. It's about a young girl who is accidentally artificially inseminated. And it sounds terrible. Not just the pilot, but the entire thing in general. Yikes. Also, you can watch the first episode of the original series right now, if you want to. But if you dislike it, blame Tim, because he's the one who sought it out.

Lastly, The CW has also ordered a pilot called Identity, and it's so ridiculous that I have to let the official logline tell you what it's about: "When a young woman in need of a transplant learns she is related to a powerful family whose son is her only hope for a donor organ, the CIA approaches her to investigate the family’s involvement in domestic terrorism and to infiltrate their rarefied world. Her loyalty, morality, and ethics are tested as she’s forced to slowly build a case against the family who saved her life.” 

All of this is fine and good, but we still don't know the status of Unfamous, the pilot script from Lauren Graham. [EW and TV Line]

... Also coming from The CW today is the news that the network is officially doing a standalone Flash pilot instead of a backdoor pilot to air as part of Arrow (duh?), as well as the implication that the network is attempting to kill the entire Supernatural fandom by destroying the show's legacy. The potential Supernatural spin-off that's been in the works but out of the news for a while now was apparently ordered to pilot today; it's about clashing monsters and hunters in Chicago and will be called SupernaturalTribes. Do not want. And let's be real for a second: The reason Supernatural has lasted so long is that it has Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. The spin-off, which will feature an entirely new cast, is going to fail. Sorry to break it to ya, C-Dubbs. [TV Line and THR]


BUSINESS TIME

... While we're on the topic of The CW and Supernatural, let's chat about how the Brothers Winchester pulled in some pretty awesome ratings—for The CW, anyway—opposite last night's State of the Union Address. Most networks take a break from their regular programming to broadcast the POTUS's annual speech, but not The CW, which was probably a smart move on the network's part, as its audience doesn't seem very politically inclined. Supernatural pulled in 2.8 million viewers and earned a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49. That's the series' largest overall viewership tally since October 2010. Sorry, Obama, you've got nothing on Jensen Ackles with a beard. [Variety]

... The artist formerly known as Marky Mark will be hosting Nickelodeon's 27th Annual Kids' Choice Awards. The telecast will air Saturday, March 29 at 8pm. [Nickelodeon via press release]

... ABC has ordered a pilot for The Winklers, a multi-camera comedy about a construction worker who learns the ins and outs of life while living with his in-laws. The project is from Max Winkler, son of Henry "The Fonz" Winkler; Max  Winkler may still star in the comedy, but hasn't closed a deal yet. Rob Reinis and Jack Johnson are on-board as executive producers. [Variety]

... CBS has ordered a pilot (OMG MORE PILOTS) for More Time With the Family, a multi-camera comedy starring comedian Tom Papa (the guy who used to host The Marriage Ref). It's being produced by a couple dudes named Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, but I never heard of them. The project follows a man (Papa) who changes his career path in order to spend More Time With the Family. [Deadline]

... Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares returns for Season 6 on Friday, February 28 at 8pm. I'd say more, but that man scares me. [Fox via press release]



CASTING NEWS

... John Noble (Henry/Jeremy/Second Horseman!) and Lyndie Greenwood (Jenny!) have both been promoted to series regulars for the second season of Sleepy Hollow. This is good news because it means A) Jenny survived the car crash in the finale (or at the very least will continue to be part of the show in some capacity), and B) more John Noble! Sleepy Hollow burned us pretty badly when Henry's true nature was revealed, but it hurt so good, you know? The only downside to this news is now it really sucks that we have to wait so long in between seasons. [Deadline

... Ron Perlman is starring in a new TV pilot, y'all (and apparently his hiring was so secret that no one could know about it when he first booked the role because it would have ruined his then-upcoming death on Sons of Anarchy). He'll play the lead in Amazon's Hand of God, a new hour-long drama from Ben Watkins (Burn Notice). Perlman's character is a "hard-living, law-bending married man" with some questionable morals... until he experiences a religious awakening and starts believing that God is talking to him through his son, who's on a ventilator. Ummmmkay. But where does he stand on gun-running and murdering his best friends and hiring people to fake-kidnap his stepson's baby mama? [TV Line]

... Goran Visnjic (ER) will star opposite Halle Berry in CBS's new sci-fi series Extant. He'll play John Watts, the husband of Berry's character. The series follows an astronaut (Berry) who returns home from a solo mission in space and tries to reconnect with her family, which is comprised of her husband and her android son. Oh yeah, aaaaaand she's somehow pregnant.  [EW]

... Jeremy Davies, who won an Emmy for his portrayal of Dickie Bennett's Hair in Justified, and Chris Diamantopoulos (Arrested Development) have both signed on to guest-star in the second season of NBC's delicious drama Hannibal. Davies will play Peter Bernardone, an animal rescue worker who's being investigated after a murder occurs at a stable where he used to work. Diamantopoulos will play Clark Ingram, Peter's longtime social worker. [TV Guide]

... Tea Leoni has been cast as the lead in CBS's just-ordered-from-Morgan Freeman pilot Madam Secretary, which follows the life of a female Secretary of State who's trying to balance her professional and private lives. [TV Line]


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