Saturday, August 30, 2014

News Brief: 'Longmire' Canceled; New Showrunners for 'Ray Donovan,' 'The Following'; Chad Michael Murray; Nolan Funk; Corbin Bernsen; Jed Allan; Allison Janney

* One Tree Hill alum Chad Michael Murray has joined Marvel's Agent Carter as a series regular. Marvel announced on Friday that Murray has been cast in the major role of Strategic Scientific Reserve Agent Jack Thompson, who meets Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) when she takes on a new role at the SSR in New York City.

* Enver Gjokaj is set to co-star opposite Hayley Atwell in Marvel's Agent Carter, ABC's new series designed to serve as a bridge between the fall and spring runs of Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.

* Nolan Funk has been tapped to guest-star in an upcoming episode of Arrow. Funk will play Cooper Seldon, Felicity's hacker boyfriend from her days at MIT.

* Corbin Bernsen will guest-star in an upcoming episode of CBS' new drama Scorpion. The Psych star will play Bob Connelly, a Las Vegas casino owner who turns to Walter's (Elyes Gabel) team when his profit margins start to shrink. But Walter will discover that underneath the glitz and glamor, all is not as it seems with Connelly and his casino.

* A&E has cancelled Longmire, which ended its third season earlier this month. "We would like to thank the phenomenal cast, crew and producers of Longmire, along with our partners at Warner Horizon, for their tireless work on three seasons of quality dramatic storytelling," reads a statement from A&E. "We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved together." Warner Horizon will shop the Wyoming-set crime drama to other networks.

* Ann Biderman, who launched and served as the showrunner of Showtime's hit fixer drama Ray Donovan for its first two seasons, is stepping down for the series' recently picked-up third go-round. Multiple sources involved with the show attribute the departure to hefty financial overruns on the series, though Biderman still will be involved as a creative consultant. Showtime has begun negotiations with David Hollander, another writer/executive producer on the series, to step in as showrunner.

* Lost alumna Jennifer Johnson, who joined The Following in June as executive producer/day-to-day showrunner, is leaving. Instead of bringing in a new person two seasons in, which proved not to be the right creative fit for the dense, serialized drama, WBTV has opted to promote within. Writers Brett Mahoney and Alexi Hawley have been upped to executive producers. They will co-run the Kevin Bacon-starring dark thriller alongside director Marcos Siega, the series’ long-time on-set executive producer.

* For the past 15 years a bunch of guys have been getting together for a Thursday lunch at the Desert Falls Country Club in Palm Desert. They call themselves — what else? — the "Lunch Bunch." Included in the group is former Days of our Lives, Santa Barbara and General Hospital star Jed Allan, author of the book "Please Spell The Name Right."

* Patton Oswalt joins Battle Creek stars Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters as the unorthodox mayor of Battle Creek, Mich., in the freshman season's sixth episode, "Cereal Killer." The character’s full name? Mayor Scooter Hardy.

* "Television is a woman’s medium," Allison Janney said, reflecting on her two Emmy wins this year. "I am proud to work in TV."

* Melissa Rivers could face a life-or-death decision as she awaits an update on her mother's condition after she went into cardiac and respiratory arrest during a routine doctor’s visit Thursday. Joan Rivers, 81, was placed in the coma Thursday after going into cardiac and respiratory arrest during a routine doctor's visit.

* Momentum is building in the campaign to get the complete series of the classic Aussie soap The Young Doctors released as a DVD box set. To date over 20,000 fans have ‘liked’ the Facebook page calling on FremantleMedia (who now own the rights) to come to the party.

* The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman set tongues wagging earlier this month when he floated the possibility that original survivor Daryl Dixon could be gay. Now, the AMC hit's showrunner, Scott M. Gimple, is weighing in on the buzz. "We're not holding back information on Daryl’s sexuality as any sort of big reveal. The fact that there’s still a question as to what Daryl's orientation is in Season 5 absolutely speaks to Daryl’s character; he is a very guarded, very closed-off individual in a lot of ways."

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