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Midseason TV Death Watch 2012

Welcome back to Death Watch, 2012 edition! Ah, we’ve missed sounding the death knell on low-rated members of the freshman crop. Fortunately, there’s a whole new batch to pick over — or pay respects to — before the season ends in May. Without further ado… READ FULL STORY

'Beauty and the Beast' pilot ordered by ABC -- now there are two!

BEAUTY-BEAST-SPLIT

Deep Impact vs. Armageddon.

Dante’s Peak vs. Volcano.

And now … Beauty and the Beast vs. Beauty and the Beast!

ABC has ordered a pilot based on the story of Beauty and the Beast … a week after The CW ordered a pilot based on Beauty and the Beast. How many Beasts can you handle? READ FULL STORY

'Smash' scoop: Katharine McPhee talks NBC's new musical drama and life after 'Idol' -- 'Certain casting people didn’t wanna see me'

Will Hart/NBC

By now you’ve probably seen either a commerical or a billboard for NBC’s highly anticipated (and hugely publicized) new musical drama Smash, which premieres on the network Feb. 6 at 10pm. Former American Idol contestant Katharine McPhee stars as struggling actress Karen Carpenter, competing for the leading role in a new musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. It’s an incredibly ambitious series (hatched by an idea from none other than Steven Spielberg) that mixes backstage drama with elaborate musical numbers. And McPhee has already drawn buzz for this star-making role. “I think that’s a nice way of looking at it,” says the actress of this being Katharine McPhee 2.0. “I was really surprised in the trailers when they said, ‘And introducing…Katharine McPhee.’ But it is a new introduction because people don’t know me as an actress.” EW chatted with McPhee on the Smash set and talked about meeting Spielberg for the first time and her fight to get roles after American Idol.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So I heard you actually met Steven Spielberg after Idol?
KATHARINE MCPHEE: Yeah I did. He brought me in. It was the most bizarre thing. I  remember just being obviously elated about meeting him. It was just a general meeting. They said just go to his offices at Dreamworks at Universal Studios. He had me in his office and I met Stacey Snider. They were just the most lovely, sweet people. I was just so excited. He was asking me questions about what I wanted to do and my aspirations. I told him I wanted to act and I had been acting and before Idol that was sort of my dream. READ FULL STORY

'American Ninja Warrior' to air as NBC summer series

Can NBC wipeout rivals this summer?

The Peacock will air cult-favorite competition series American Ninja Warrior, the hardcore obstacle course competition show that typically runs on G4.

Officially, G4 and NBC will “partner” on the presentation, but the headline here is that NBC is getting into the obstacle course game at a time when ABC’s Wipeout is getting soft in the ratings. READ FULL STORY

'Glee' scoop: Watch a preview of next week's huge Michael Jackson tribute -- VIDEO

Justin Lubin/FOX

Sadly, there’s no new Glee tonight but Gleeks can get their fix with this new promo that Fox released for next week’s ginormous Michael Jackson tribute titled, appropriately enough, “Michael!” In the promo, cast members talk about paying homage to the pop icon, Blaine (Darren Criss) wears a sequin blazer, and Kurt (Chris Colfer) rocks what appears to be a man brooch! So much to look forward to!!! There also appears to be a Blaine/Santana face-off with the Warblers in the vein of Jacko’s “Bad.” Here’s the full track list…

  • “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”
  • “I Want You Back”
  • “Bad”
  • “Scream”
  • “Never Can Say Goodbye”
  • “Human Nature”
  • “Smooth Criminal”
  • “Ben”
  • “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”
  • “Black or White”

Watch the preview below… READ FULL STORY

Chris Harrison talks Emily Maynard as the Bachelorette (and Bentley having to get past him first)

Emily-Maynard

Image Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

Though we've known sweet, Southern single mom
Emily Maynard would be the next Bachelorette for a week, host Chris Harrison, who officially announced it on Good Morning America this morning, assures us it was only a done deal today. The producers have long been courting Maynard, he says. "We approached her. She was reluctant, and needed a lot of time to think about it, obviously, because there's somebody else involved in her life, Ricki, her daughter. It was a huge decision. It wasn't our usual approach to finding the Bachelorette," he says. "We took it very slow. We had a lot of interviews. She had a lot of reservations, a lot of them centered around her daughter and how we'll handle that -- logistically, too, is she gonna come along? All that's being worked out. But ultimately, she, like Ben [Flajnik] and even Brad [Womack]

, ironically enough, knows that she can trust us. It means a lot to me, honestly, that someone like an Emily will come back. It says a lot about this franchise and what we do. Yes, we have dramas and tears, and if you saw The Bachelor last night, the show can be crazy, but at its core, it is a good thing and it works. That’s why these people come back.”

Below, Harrison, who also blogs each episode of The Bachelor for EW.com, talks about how Maynard’s season will be different and what Bentley Williams, the villain from Ashley Hebert’s Bachelorette season, would have to do if he really wanted to contend for Emily’s hand. (That is all conjecture at this point, Harrison says.) Come back on Monday, when Harrison talks about the current season of The Bachelor, and by that, we mean Courtney versus Emily.  READ FULL STORY

State of the Union: A programming guide (Plus alternative viewing options)

NCIS: LA, Parenthood, New Girl, Raising Hope, and a number of other shows are all on the bench this week as President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address tonight at 9 p.m. ET. Luckily, what stands to go down is entertainment in its own right.

With a re-election bid in the balance, critics are ready to hear Obama answer on a number of issues that have made decidedly less progress than anticipated in the past year, and several more issues he plans to tackle in 2012. The contents of the President’s hour-long speech will no doubt dominate the headlines tomorrow. So if you want to be in the know, we have a guide for the offerings on all the major networks for one of politics’ biggest nights — one of the rare nights on TV you’re likely not to see Ryan Seacrest’s talking head. (And God bless America for that.) Read on for the lineup — and if you’re someone who, say, just reads the recaps, there’s a little in here for you, too.

8 PM HOUR

MSNBC and CNN all begin their special coverage. Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper will helm the latter, while Rachel Maddow will steer the ship on MSNBC.

Fox News will slip into coverage around 8:55 p.m. with Bret Baier, according to MediaBistro.

9 PM HOUR

Pick a channel. Any channel. Scott Pelley’s on CBS, Brian Williams is on NBC, Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos are on ABC, and Shepard Smith is on Fox.

But if you’re really, really averse to watching the president speak (“Not to worry. Twitter will tell me how to feel about it all!” — horrible person) or don’t allow yourself deep thought after 8 p.m., there’s a new episode of Jane By Design on ABC Family (for tweens), Dance Moms on Lifetime (for people who want to see moms scarier than theirs), Dirty Jobs on Discovery (for people who need a little reminder that it can always get worse), and Joan and Melissa: John Knows Best on WE (for fans of puppetry).

10 PM HOUR

Post-show begins, following the Republican response, with Cooper anchoring CNN’s analysis starting at 10:30 p.m. until midnight. Greta Van Susteren will host a special half-hour On the Record, with Sean Hannity taking over at 11 p.m.

ABC, CBS, and FOX conclude their coverage at 10:30 (Fox will go into local news, while ABC and CBS will air repeats of Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory, respectively), and NBC’s coverage ends at 11.

In unrelated programming, TLC will have the one-hour 3rd season finale of Extreme Couponing: All Stars, the finale of Flashpoint is on ION, the second episode of Justified is on FX (read about the premiere here), and Southland is on TNT.

Where will you be tonight, readers?

'Switched at Birth' scoop: Trouble ahead for Bay and Emmett

You would think that after last week’s traumatizing arrest, things would finally start to get a little easier for Emmett (Sean Berdy). But if anything, they’re about to get worse — especially when it comes to his relationship with Bay (Vanessa Marano).

Though the couple started the season off strong, the honeymoon is about to end in tonight’s new episode, as the emotional repercussions from Emmett’s arrest finally force them confront the fact that they come from two very different worlds — hearing and deaf.  READ FULL STORY

'In Plain Sight': 'Twin Peaks' alum set for savvy guest role

Things are about to get a little strange on the final season of In Plain Sight.

Mädchen Amick, better known as Twin Peaks‘ Shelly Johnson, is set for a guest role on the fifth and final season of the USA series starring Mary McCormack, EW has learned exclusively. Amick will play associate director Lisa Ruffino, the second in command at WITSEC, who, according to casting intel, “is a savvy political operator who comes to Albuquerque with news about the office.” Well, that sounds nice and ominous. She will appear in the March 23 episode.

This is not the first USA series in which Amick has appeared. Earlier this season she had a guest spot on White Collar, although, oddly, was not among the cast members to appear in the Twin Peaks-themed episode of Psych, which reunited a number of original cast members. Her other credits include roles on Damages, Californication, and Gossip Girl.

In Plain Sight returns March 16.

Read more:
USA cancels ‘In Plain Sight’
Photo Gallery: 10 TV Shows That Changed TV Since the ’90s

Roseanne Barr to play mobile home maven for NBC

NBC’s comedy development for fall of 2012 was put into high gear today, as it picked up multiple pilots  — one of which would return Roseanne Barr to her (with any luck) blue-collar best and another that fairs from the crazy head of Jimmy Fallon.

Barr will headline Downwardly Mobile, a project from former Roseanne scribe Eric Gilliland (and Barr, natch) that will have the comedienne playing the “proprietor of a mobile home park and surrogate mother to all of the unique people who live there in a challenging economy.” It’s a multi-camera sitcom from 20th Century Fox TV.

Meanwhile, Fallon is jumping into the comedy biz with an untitled comedy about three 30-something guys who “enjoy the adventures of parenting despite the fact they haven’t grown up themselves.” (He’s the exec producer). There is also a pilot called Animal Kingdom, a single-camera workplace comedy from Brian Gatewood and Alex Tanaka about a “House-like veterinarian who loves animals but usually hates their owners.” READ FULL STORY

'Mentalist' star Simon Baker takes YOUR questions in the Spoiler Room: Video Edition

Usually, it would take a stronger person than myself to resist the charms of Simon Baker. But I was able to compose myself enough to bring to you this special Mentalist-centric episode of Spoiler Room: Video Edition.

In it, Baker, who was in town on a frigid New York morning, takes some of your burning questions, like what’s coming up for Patrick Jane and Lisbon and whether or not he thinks Lisbon will find herself in Red John’s crosshairs this season.

Hope y’all enjoy it! And if you didn’t get a chance to submit a question, weep not. Your next chance is…NOW! Tomorrow I’ll be chatting with The Good Wife‘s Archie Panjabi for the next installment. (My first question? “Can I have your boots?”) So send your spoilery q’s to spoilerroom@ew.com or ping me on Twitter! Till next time.

READ FULL STORY

'Da Vinci's Demons' casts its Leonardo

British actor Tom Riley has landed the lead role in Starz’s upcoming series that re-imagines Leonardo da Vinci as a young superhero.

Riley is best-known in the UK as a stage actor. He’s also appeared in the drama series Monroe and the film A Few Days in September. He’ll take on the role of da Vinci in Starz’s historical fantasy. Demons follows “the ‘untold’ story of the world’s greatest genius during his turbulent youth in Renaissance Florence. Brilliant and passionate, the twenty five-year old da Vinci is an artist, inventor, swordsman, lover, dreamer and idealist.”

The eight-episode series will launch in 2013.

Read more:
Hottest TV projects of 2012: ‘Bewitched,’ ‘Under the Dome,’ ‘Flintstones,’ more

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