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This week in TV news: The Academy hands down rulings on hourlong comedies

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Following a ruling last month that the Television Academy would only consider half hour shows eligible for the comedy category at the Emmys, a panel of nine analysts have now begun handing down the rulings for exemptions in the selection process. The panel, which was set up to determine the category assignment of hour-long shows that appealed their placement in drama, has now ruled, as per Variety, that the Fox show Glee, the Showtime series Shameless, and the CW series Jane The Virgin can compete as comedies at the upcoming primetime Emmys. The decision will apply to all categories, from Acting to Directing, and so on.

One show that notably wasn’t granted a waiver, however, is the Netflix serial Orange Is The New Black. The series, which revolves around the inhabitants of a women’s prison, was categorised as a comedy at last year’s Primetime Emmys, where it picked up three wins. However, it failed to get the requisite two-thirds vote needed to make the shift over to the comedy category this time around. The series will, however, be able to petition for a change in consideration before next year’s Primetime Emmys, but will be considered a drama for the awards ceremony that is set to air on September 20.

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Sleepy Hollow will be returning for a third season. The supernatural drama, which airs on Fox, received a formal pickup notice this week, following the departure of its two-season showrunner. The show’s third season, much like its second, will consist of 18 episodes, and Clifton Campbell will be taking over main duties in the writer’s room. Campbell is a veteran of the industry, having written for 21 Jump Street and The Profiler, as well as most recently having created the A&E show The Glades.

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Starz has announced that Power will be returning for Season 2 on June 6. The show, which revolves around James St. Patrick, aka Ghost, a drug dealer who’s trying to transition to a legitimate businessman while dealing with fellow antagonistic dealers and the authorities, will have ten episodes in its second season, up from the eight of the show’s first season. A trailer for season 2 has also been released, and can be seen below.

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Casting has begun for AMC’s Preacher, an adaptation of the Garth Ennis comic of the same name that’s being brought to the small screen by the duo of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, alongside television writer Sam Catlin. The first big announcement came in the form of Tulip’s casting, with the news that the role will be played by Misfits and Agents of SHIELD‘s Ruth Negga. In the comics, Tulip is a skilled markswoman with an on-again, off-again relationship with series lead Jesse Custer. Soon after, the producers cast the role of notable character Eugene Root. Nicknamed Arseface, the character will be played by Rake‘s Ian Colletti. In the comics, Arseface receives his name due to his disfigured appearance, which resulted from a botched attempt at committing suicide in a similar manner to his idol Kurt Cobain. There’s no confirmation yet on who will be playing Jesse.

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The Brothers Grimm is the newest movie to be adapted into a tv series. Writer Ehren Kruger, who penned the 2005 film that was directed by Terry Gilliam, has been commissioned by Miramax to build on the movie to bring together a story for a tv series. The film revolved around Will and Jake Grimm, who were con artists that stumbled upon an actual fairytale curse, and was meant to evoke the writing duo behind Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Not much more is known about the project, although re-casting of the two leads appears to be a certainty, particularly as Heath Ledger, who played one of the brothers, passed away in 2008. This joins a growing number of movies that have been adapted for television over the past few years, including fellow Gilliam film Twelve Monkeys.

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The Muppets will be coming back to television in the form of Muppet Moments. Disney made the announcement earlier this week that the characters would be starring in the show, billed as a short-form series, where they would converse with children on a variety of topics. Muppet Moments will begin airing on April 3 on Disney Junior, and new episodes will air daily for roughly the next month, and be available on the channel’s website. Kermit the frog had this to say about the announcement.

In show business, they say never work with kids or animals. Well, on ‘Muppet Moments’ we break both those rules and a lot more – and the results are fun, silly, and even inspiring.

Disney also released a clip of the show, along with the audition tapes of various muppets. Both videos can be seen below.

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Steve McQueen is the latest filmmaker to move to television, as HBO has given a 6-episode season order to his show Codes of Conduct. McQueen will direct the first episode, as well as collaborating on the show’s writing with World War Z and The Kingdom scribe Matthew Michael Carnahan. The synopsis is below.

A young man with a mysterious past makes his way into New York’s high society.

Devon Terrell will be making his acting debut in the lead role of Beverly Snow, with Rebecca Hall, Paul Dano, and Helena Bonham Carter also among the show’s cast.

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In casting news this week:

  • Castmember announcements for the new season of American Horror Story, subtitled Hotel, have been coming in. Along with official confirmation of Jessica Lange’s departure from the show has come news that Matt Bomer, Cheyenne Jackson, and Wes Bentley will be regulars in the new season, joining previously announced castmember Lady Gaga. Bomer will be the male lead in the new season.
  • The Flash/Arrow spinoff on the CW continues to gain castmembers, as it has been announced that Dominic Purcell will also be joining the show. Purcell will reprise his role as villain Mick Rory from The Flash, joining Wentworth Miller’s Leonard Snart. No word yet on whether Peyton List’s Lisa Snart, who will soon be making her appearance alongside her character’s brother on The Flash, will be joining the spinoff or not.
  • The new IFC comedy miniseries The Spoils Before Dying has received three new castmembers in the form of Maya Rudolph, Haley Joel Osment, and Kristen Wiig. The trio join previously-announced castmembers Michael Kenneth Williams and Will Ferrell.
  • Ugly Betty actress America Ferrera will be returning to television in NBC’s Superstore, starring alongside Mad Men‘s Ben Feldman.
  • Barbara Hershey has joined the cast of the Lifetime series Damien, the sequel to the 1976 feature The Omen.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub will be going back to her comedy roots, as she has been cast in Judah Miller’s yet-to-be-titled comedy on ABC, joining leads Megan Hilty and Greg Grunberg.
  • Cynthia McWilliams, who was cast in a supporting role in the NBC pilot Love is a Four Letter Word, has now been pushed to series regular, replacing Meta Golding.
  • CBS medical drama Code Black has also seen a similar change, as Marcia Gay Harden has been tapped to replace Maggie Grace in the role of the show’s lead.
  • James Caan has gone through a rollercoaster of a week, getting cast in Fox’s Fantasy Life shortly before leaving the project.
  • Adrian Pasdar has joined the ABC drama The Kingmakers.
  • Heroes Reborn has signed several new castmembers, including Judith Shekoni, Henry Zebrowski, Danika Yarosh, Robbie Kay, Ryan Guzman, and Gatlin Green.
  • Hill Harper has joined the CBS show Limitless.
  • D.L. Hughley has been cast in NBC’s Heart Matters.
  • Michael Chiklis and Cheryl Hines have both joined the upcoming NBC comedy Cuckoo.
  • Chris Coy will be returning to Banshee‘s fourth season as a series regular.
  • Christopher Mintz-Plasse has been cast as a series regular on NBC’s Sharing.
  • Minnie Driver has joined Steven Weber in the CBS sitcom Happy Life. The actress insisted on twitter that this did not sound the death knell for her current show, NBC’s About a Boy, which has yet to be renewed.

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And in the rest of the television landscape:

  • Dwayne Johnson will be returning to host Saturday Night Live on March 28th. This will mark Johnson’s fourth stint hosting the show, following appearances in 2000, 2002, and 2009.
  • Steven Moffat has confirmed that the next Sherlock episode, which will be a standalone entity not associated with the show’s fourth season, will take place in Victorian-era London. He also added that the episode is completed, though an airdate has yet to be announced.
  • Amazon’s Bosch will be returning for a second season, the streaming service announced. The show’s first season had the biggest debut weekend yet for the service, and the second season will be based on Michael Connelly’s Bosch novels The Drop and Trunk Music. Titus Welliver, Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino, Lance Reddick, and Sarah Clarke will all be returning for the second season.
  • Tom Hanks and Mila Kunis will be the first guests of incoming The Late Late Show host James Corden. Corden, who replaces Craig Ferguson as the host, will make his debut on Monday.
  • VH1 has renewed Hindsight for a second season.
  • NBC’s Undateable, which premiered its second season earlier this week, will be doing an hourlong live episode on May 5th. There will be two versions, one for the East Coast, and one for the West.
  • Schitt’s Creek‘s second season will air in the US as well, as Pop has picked up the show once again. The Canadian sitcom was renewed by CBC in January.
  • Andrew Dice Clay is the latest comedian to be getting his own show, as Showtime has ordered six episodes of Dice. The show was ordered straight to series, and will be a semi-autobiographical examination of Clay’s life.
  • Netflix has picked up the Chinese drama Empresses in the Palace for its US Service, increasing episode lengths from 45 minutes to 90 minutes as part of the deal.
  • Fox has released a new teaser for its upcoming horror-comedy anthology Scream Queens. The series, which is co-created by Ryan Murphy, will have 15 episodes in its first season. The teaser, with Keke Palmer, can be seen below.


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