TV on Tap: Jason Ritter Joins “Gavin & Stacey” Remake, “Hannibal” Gets Premiere Date and Stephen Guarino Lands Pilot Role

It’s time for a new season of Degrassi and Cam‘s still depressed.
I just hope he doesn’t start chugging milk again.


Jason Ritter has joined Friends & Family, the Fox comedy pilot based on Gavin & Stacey, taking the Gavin role. That’s got to be a promising first step, right?

Maggie Smith tells 60 Minutes this weekend that she’s never watched Downton Abbey, saying she’d “agonize” over her performance if she did. That’s right, even Maggie Smith has those moments of insecurity.

Apparently they didn’t mean it. E! has cancelled Whitney Cummings‘ talk show, Love You, Mean It.

NBC’s adaption of About a Boy has cast its lead female, asking Minnie Driver to step into the role played by Toni Collette in the film.

CBS’ summer adaptation of Stephen King‘s Under the Dome just added Breaking Bad alum Dean Norris to the cast.

Wait. Wait. What’s this about CCH Pounder getting a pilot role as Deadline reports? And Deadline saying that Pounder “recently had a role on Warehouse 13“? Past tense? Oh, Mrs. Frederic, no!

Meanwhile, in my moment of worry, I almost missed that Happy Endings and The Big Gay Sketch Show alum Stephen Guarino has been promoted to regular cast member in the NBC comedy pilot The Gates. He’ll play a gay dad who is heavily involved in the PTA. Guarino joins a cast that includes Ken Marino and Greg Germann.

I’m not so sure that I’d agree that Sheldon and Amy are a great couple (both characters are the show’s most delicate balancing act) but as Variety. discusses, The Big Bang Theory is remarkable for the way it’s handled relationships. Getting its couples together hasn’t killed the show and, even better, the show hasn’t gone through the cycle of breakup and reconciliation that made me hate Friends sometimes.

So.The good news: Hannibal finally has a premiere date and there are six weeks to promote it. The bad news: It’s airing in a time slot that hasn’t seen a show succeed since E.R. ended.

Survivor just had its lowest-rated season premiere. Can CBS’ habit of changing the title every season be to blame? (After all, in a DVR age, a new title means you lose all those season passes. That was why Cougar Town decided against a name change.) Personally, I’m just so very bored with CBS’ idea of which past competitors I’d like to see return.

Thanks for reminding us about that sanctity of marriage, Good Morning America.

In talking with Hitfix‘s Alan Sepinwall Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes sees a double-standard in how people look at Scandal‘s anti-hero, Olivia Pope, “I don’t think anybody would say, ‘That Breaking Bad, I don’t want to watch that show with those bad people,’ or ‘I don’t want to watch that Tony Soprano.’ But I’m just writing people I would want to watch.”

Friday’s Listings

Anderson Live (syndicated) Check local listings
Anderson is joined by Brandi Glanville otherwise known as part of the reason why I didn’t make it through the second season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Then Anderson has to try to make a movie based on a Nicholas Sparks movie sound interesting, with Safe Haven‘s Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough.

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
Will has some disappointment awaiting him today when he meets with Sonny at the coffee shop. I’m sure his disappointment will be far worse than what I feel when my DVR forgets to record Days on a WilSon day, so I’ll try to remember this episode the next time this happens. Like it happened yesterday.

Underground Railroad: The William Still Story  (PBS) Check local listings
PBS has some of the best historical programming and that means there’s usually something really informative for Black History Month. Last year, we got the blunt yet enlightening Slavery by Another name and this year PBS brings a profile of the 19th century abolitionist William Still. A lot of that ugly part of our history has been sanitized to make it more bearable as a part of our collective past, that illusion is worth shattering.

Malibu Country (ABC) 8:30 PM ET
Reba has a big weekend trip planned but then there’s a scandal in Malibu that forces them to cancel their plans. I’d normally expect a scandal in this TGIF sitcom to be feather-light, but the episode’s title is “Babies Having Babies”. Clearly, someone in town is selling counterfeit American Girl dolls.

Degrassi (Teen Nick) 9:00 PM ET
Now that Degrassi has reclaimed its place as TV’s most ridiculously addictive high school drama, the beginning of a new season is reason to celebrate. On the other hand, poor, anxious Cam isn’t that eager to return to Degrassi as he continues to doubt everything in his life. Won’t someone give him the hug he so clearly needs?

Merlin (Syfy) 10:00 PM ET
Did we just spend an hour trying to come up with an explanation for how Gwen would become a traitor? At least, for a follow-up we have Morgana working to keep her mole a secret.

Portlandia (IFC) 10:00 PM ET
So far, Chloe Sevigny has mostly had a few well-used cameos since her character Alexandra moved to Portland. But what happens when having an extra roommate starts to burden Carrie and Fred‘s relationship? Does this mean that Seattle’s getting a resident back?


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