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(ABC) FAMILY BUSINESS

... ABC Family has announced return dates for several of its shows. But instead of dragging out this information with a useless blurb that is clearly just about stalling and filling out this article with bad jokes and my patented terrible wordplay, let's just get on with the dates:

TUESDAY, JANUARY 7

8pm-9pm: Pretty Little Liars (preceded by an all-day Pretty Little Liars marathon)

9pm-10pm: Twisted (there will be an all-day Twisted marathon on New Year's Day)

MONDAY, JANUARY 13

8pm-9pm: Switched at Birth (preceded by an all-day Switched at Birth marathon)

9pm-10pm: The Fosters (there will be an all-day The Fosters marathon on New Year's Eve) 


[ABC Family via press release)


BUSINESS TIME

... Quick ratings! The second episode of The Walking Dead's fourth season drew 13.9 million viewers, down a couple mill from the record-breaking Season 4 premiere's gonzo 16.1 million. That number is still bigger than any audience that tuned into the show's first three seasons, so I would guess that AMC won't be canceling it. [The Wrap]

... Netflix is close to or passing or has passed HBO in total subscribers, according to the streaming service that provides me with on-demand episodes of The IT Crowd whenever I want on multiple mobile devices and set-top boxes. HBO currently has a subscriber base of approximately 28.7 million; Netflix estimates it has 30 million paying subscribers. I'm not sure what this really means, except that I really should have bought Netflix stock back when I said, "Hey, I should buy some Netflix stock." [Bloomberg]

... MTV has ordered a pair of comedies as it continues to dally in scripted programming. First up is Faking It, a high-school dramedy (what else?) about two friends who pretend to be something they're not, which is too cool for school. So they're just like everyone else in high school. Or everyone who's ever been alive. Bunheads alum Bailey Buntain will star. Second is Happyland, which is set at a theme park and follows a girl whose mom works as a fairy princess at an amusement park. The show details what it's like to live in the real world when you grew up in a fantasy world. Both series got eight-episode orders and will probably air sometime in 2014. [THR]

... Bravo will debut the Season 7 premiere of Millionaire Matchmaker and new series Courtney Loves Dallas—about some girl named Courtney who really likes Dallas—on December 5. [Bravo via press release]

... Fox will air an extended look at its upcoming robo-buddy cop drama Almost Human during tonight's episode of Bones at around 8:25pm. The move comes just two weeks before Almost Human moves into Bones' Monday-at-8pm time slot and Bones slides all the way back to Fridays. [UPDATE: Fox has pushed back Almost Human's debut to November 17.] It's unclear what the "extended look" means, but you can expect brooding from Karl Urban as a cop who doesn't like robots, wonderment and confusion from his robot partner played by Michael Ealy, and SQUEEEEs and drooling from me whenever Minka Kelly comes on screen. [Fox via press release]


CASTING NEWS

... Sons of Anarchy's Rockmund Dunbar will swap his sheriff's badge for an FBI badge as he's been given a regular role on CBS's The Mentalist. He'll play FBI agent Dennis Abbott starting November 10. Does this mean Sheriff Roosevelt will die in Sons of Anarchy? Sure, why not? [TV Line]

... Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino will guest-star on TNT's Falling Skies as a new member of the Resistance who joins because of Pope, with whom she forms a personal bond. For some reason, TNT's press release wanted to emphasize that she used to be a graphic designer. Maybe she'll design Hal and Maggie's wedding invitations using twigs and dirt? [TNT via press release]

... Amanda Plummer, who famously screamed "Any of you f*cking pricks move, and I'll execute every motherf*cking last one of ya!" in Pulp Fiction, will guest-star on NBC's Hannibal next season. She'll play an acupuncturist in the demented drama's fourth episode. And for search-engine-optimization purposes, I'm going to mention that she's also appearing in Hunger Games: Catching Fire. [The Wrap]

... James Van Der Beek will reprise his role as Robin's first boyfriend Simon on CBS's How I Met Your Mother. Look for him in the twelfth episode of the season. No word on whether Robin Sparkles will be back, though. [EW]


BAD NEWS

... The Voice's CeeLo Green has been busted for giving ecstasy to a girl in Los Angeles. According to the victim, Green slipped some MDMA into her drink and then next thing you know, she was naked in his bed. This is actually good news for Green, as the charges have been dropped to just possession of ecstasy instead of sexual assault. But a few questions remain: CeeLo, do you really need to drug women to get them? And does that really sound like ecstasy? Sounds more like Nyquil to me. [TMZ]


REQUIRED READING

... Is your mind still blown/enraged after the shocking ending of last night's Homeland? Showrunner Alex Gansa did a round of interviews after it aired to try to explain some things, but really, he just made it worse. God I hated that twist so much that I would cover it in hair spray and shoot it into the sun if I could. [EW / THR (but they mostly say the same thing)]


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AIRS ON 8/26/2014

Season 5 : Episode 12

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