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PUT THOSE MICHELLE OBAMA WIGS DOWN, JAY PHAROAH AND KENAN THOMPSON

... Saturday Night Live has hired a black female cast member! And it only took the outrage of a nation to make it happen. Brooklynite Sasheer Zamata, who's just three years out of college and a member of Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, will make her debut on the sketch show in the January 18 episode. Thus ends the nightmare of a country that late last year suddenly realized there hadn't been a black female cast member on SNL since Maya Rudolph left, so now Saturday Night Live gets to pat itself on the back for diversifying beyond the white male. This was a terrible mess for all parties involved. Thank the Lorne it's over. (And I wish you luck, Zamata.) [NBC via press release]

Also, here she is performing standup!


BUSINESS TIME

... Downton Abbey kicked off its fourth season in America yesterday, and the ratings were strong enough to knock the monocle out of your eye and right into your tea! 10.2 million viewers tuned in to the period drama to set a PBS record, up 22 percent from last year's tally. [EW]

... Oh yeah, British fogeys? You are NO MATCH for American football! 47 million people watched the Santa Clara San Francisco 49ers defeat the Green Bay Packers in the Really Cold Bowl on Sunday. That's a lot of people, and good enough for Fox's seventh-highest broadcast (not including Super Bowls) in history. [Deadline Hollywood]

... ABC Family is riding the success of its original comedies Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy (yep) and has ordered a pair of new sitcoms to series. Mystery Girls stars ex-90210 frenemies Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth as two former child actors who once starred on a mystery kids show and who end up starting their own detective agency as adults. Young & Hungry stars Hannah Montana's Emily Osment as a food blogger who's trying to become a personal chef for a young internet entrepreneur. Both shows will premiere this year. I can't wait. [ABC Family via press release]

... On the exact opposite end of the spectrum, HBO is in the process remaking a French porn comedy. Men in Trees' Jenny Bicks will adapt Hard for U.S. audiences, and it will follow a Brentwood housewife who inherits her husband's porn business. [Variety]

... Sundance Channel has finally put a premiere date on its upcoming original series The Red Road. The drama, about a sheriff who's caught between two warring communities—one of which is a group of Native Americans, will debut February 27 at 9pm. Considering Sundance's flawless track record so far, this is something to keep an eye on. Plus, it stars Khal Drogo! Apparently a trailer was released in December but Sundance didn't say anything about it, so I've embedded it below. [Deadline Hollywood]

... The passed-over comedy pilot starring The Office's Craig Robinson as a music teacher in high school... remember that? Well it is back! Mr. Robinson—starring Mr. Robinson as a music teacher who's too cool for school rules—has been ordered to series by NBC less than a year after the network passed on it to (presumably) make way for such acclaimed comedies such as Welcome to the Family and Sean Saves the World. No word on when it will air. [Variety]

... Do you own an Xbox One but all you have is that crap game Ryse? Sucks to be you, then. But now you can do something else with it: Watch FX's Chozen before the rest of the Xbone-less population! The animated comedy, about a gay rapper who's fresh out of prison, is now available on Xbox One's FXNOW app to preview before its January 13 premiere on FX. [FX via press release]

... Queen Latifah's talk show (Queen Latifah has a talk show!) The Queen Latifah Show has been renewed for a second season. [Deadline Hollywood]


CASTING NEWS


... Game of Thrones will see a THIRD actor—Hafthor Julius Bjornsson (and that's his real name, not a Game of Thrones name)—play Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane, and he's posted a picture of himself in the role. [Instagram]

... Jonah Hill will host the January 25 episode of Saturday Night Live, with musical guest Bastiell. It'll be Hill's third time hosting. (Drake will host and play music when the show returns from its winter break on January 18.) [NBC via press release]


THE AD THAT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT 

... This weekend, Old Spice unveiled its newest commercial, and now we all need to gather 'round and decide whether we like it or not:


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/17/2014

Season 39 : Episode 22

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