Caffeine – March 27th Edition

Happy Sunday! I think pilot casting is finally starting to wind down, because that section isn’t quite as ridiculously long as usual, but that means that scheduling news is picking up! Yay!

But first, let’s get some extremely sad news out of the way before we move on to happy things: Lights Out will not return next season. On the other hand, FX is probably renewing Justified and Archer, so I can’t hate them forever or anything.

Good news for sci-fi and/or Dawson’s Creek fans! Fringe has been renewed!

More good news for sci-fi fans from the SyFy channel upfronts: several scripted series are under development, and Alphas will premiere in July. (Some more info here.) And they’re doing Christmas specials for a bunch of their shows, including my favorite, Haven. Whee!

And yet more sci-fi news: Torchwood: Miracle Day premieres July 8. While you’re looking at your calendar, please note that The Paul Reiser Show is set to premiere April 14, so, er, it was nice knowing you, Perfect Couples.

ABC has released their season finale dates, and Desperate Housewives and Cougar Town are both getting double-length episodes. Oh, and here are their summer premiere dates.

Guest stars! Including some major movie stars this week … Tom Hanks – Tom Hanks! – will be on 30 Rock. Johnny Depp will appear on Ricky Gervais’s new sitcom. Michael Trucco, Chi McBride, and Dave Foley to How I Met Your Mother. Jason Beghe is coming back to Castle, and D.B. Sweeney and Jason George will be showing up too. Scott Grimes to NCIS. Rita Wilson to SVU. Kristy Swanson, the original Buffy, will play some sort of vampire suspect on Psych. Hee. Steven Weber to Parenthood. Emily Meade joins Fringe, but the extent of her role is unclear.

And more casting … The Office is replacing Steve Carell with Will Ferrell … for a while, anyway. Chris Vance, who I just saw on something but now can’t remember what, will recur on Rizzoli & Isles. (Just checked. It was Fairly Legal, and he was really good!) Benjamin Bratt is becoming a regular on Private Practice, and Jonathan Cake on Desperate Housewives. Judd Hirsch will be on Damages next season. Covert Affairs adds Ben Lawson and Rena Sofer. Hung replaces Leven Rambin with Kaitlin Doubleday.

BBC and BBC America are making a new historical drama series called The Hour, which promises a 1950s newsroom with spies and a love triangle. I am so in.

Mad Men fans: don’t worry; it’ll be back at some point. Comforting, I know.

TNT renewed Southland – I should really catch up on that – and picked up Perception, about a crime-solving neuroscientist. On the other hand, Bird Dog and The Rabbit Hole are out, and the latter news makes me sad because of my intense love for Steven Weber.

HBO has greenlit Spring/Fall, a comedy about the fashion industry starring Tea Leoni. That could be really fun or really annoying, depending.

Do you care about TV Land? If so, you may be interested to know that they renewed Retired at 35 and picked up a few new sitcoms.

Pilot Updates:

The Assistants adds Sarah Wright.

Boss will star Connie Nielsen.

Brave New World adds Tyler Blackburn.

Free Agents has cast Anthony Head in the same role as he had in the British version. I am choosing to take this as a good sign. It will also star Kathryn Hahn.

I Hate That I Love You rounds out their stars with Danneel Ackles and Jamie Lee Kirchner.

Longmire has done its casting in a clump, for which I thank it: Katee Sackhoff, Robert Taylor, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bailey Chase, Cassidy Freeman. Doesn’t Longmire sound like it should be the name of a manor house, though? Apparently it’s about a Wyoming sheriff. Alas.

More as the Story Develops will star Jeff Daniels.

My Life as an Experiment adds Anjelah Johnson.

Reconstruction adds Billy Brown.

REM adds Cherry Jones. They’ve also promoted Laura Allen from regular to lead and added Michaela McManus in Allen’s previous role.

The River adds Daniel Zacapa.

The Secret Circle has lost its showrunners and a main character from the original script, but gained Natasha Henstridge, Louis Hunter, and Gale Harold.

Vince Uncensored will star Elizabeth Perkins. I always think of her as “the woman from Cloned,” and I’m sure she’d be just thrilled by that if she cared at all what I thought.

Weekends at Bellevue adds Aaron Yoo.

Wonder Woman adds Justin Bruening as Steve Trevor.

The pilot I will call Ghostly Jennifer Ehle until it manages to come up with a name has added S. Epatha Merkerson.

The one I will call The Sarah Paulson Show will also star Adrian Pasdar, so maybe I’ll call it Paulson/Pasdar instead.

Whedonites, rejoice: Eliza Dushku has been cast in the unnamed sports radio comedy.

The untitled Christina Applegate show adds Maya Rudoph.

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