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Comic-Con 2011: Greg Nicotero partners with Robert Kirkman to produce line of 'Walking Dead' merch -- EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK

Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment imprint has joined forces with legendary make-up effects wizard Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead, Grindhouse) to produce a line of products based on Kirkman’s long-running undead comic and other Skybound titles. “I was so jealous when I saw what Greg Nicotero and KNB EFX Group created for AMC’s The Walking Dead television show that I sat down with him to see if he’s be interested in working his magic on The Walking Dead comic book series,” Kirkman said in a statement. “Luckily he agreed, and now I get to see awesome 3-D representations of the zombies that have appeared in the comic book over the years.”

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'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' will continue online

All My Children and One Life to Live will have another life online, ABC announced today. The network has licensed the canceled sudsers to Prospect Park, a media and production company founded in 2009 by Jeffrey Kwatinetz and former Disney Studios head Rich Frank. (The company’s best known for producing Royal Pains for USA and Wilfred for FX.) The exclusive, multi-year deal will allow the soaps to continue beyond their finale dates. All My Children ends it run on ABC on Sept. 23 while One Life to Live is set to sunset in January. READ FULL STORY

'Voice' coaches on board for season 2

They’ll be back! NBC announced today that Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Cee-Lo Green will return for a second season of The Voice. The quartet wrapped their first season on Wednesday, when Javier Colon was officially named “The Voice.” He scored a recording contract with Universal Republic, a $100,000 cash prize, and a key spot on the summer Voice tour that kicks off July 27 in Los Angeles.

“Our fantastic coaches were integral to the tremendous success of The Voice this year and we are thrilled that they are all returning,” said Paul Telegdy, NBC’s head of alternative programming, in a statement.  “We look forward to building season two and making The Voice an even greater experience for fans.”

Season 2 of the show is expected to bow in the winter.

Wednesday’s finale was watched by 10.8 million viewers and received a 3.5 preliminary adults 18-49 rating. It ranked as NBC’s best non-sports performance in this slot in years. (Plus, it was up 6 percent from last week’s season low.

For more:

‘Voice’ champ: ‘I thought it was going to Dia’
‘Voice’ runner-up on the winner: ‘A saint’

Breaking news: Jeff Probst of 'Survivor' to host talk show in fall 2012

Image credit: Monty Bronton/CBS

Survivor host and three-time Emmy winner Jeff Probst has closed a deal with CBS TV Distribution to host a one-hour daytime talk show starting in fall 2012. He joins an ever-growing pack of celebs (Katie Couric and Ricki Lake, among them) looking to fill the void in daytime now that Oprah Winfrey has departed.

“I’m fascinated with human nature and thrilled that this show will allow me the opportunity to connect with real people and explore their stories on a personal level,” Probst said in a statement. “As I continue with Survivor, I am excited to extend my relationship with CBS with this new adventure in the world of daytime.” Probst has talk show experience, filling in for both Regis Philbin on Live With Regis and Kelly and Larry King on Larry King Live. The new show will cover everything from newsmakers to ordinary families in extraordinary circumstances.

With Survivor now filming its 23rd and 24th seasons in Samoa, many have wondered how long that show will continue. Since the program now films both of its installments during the summer, Probst could pull double duty and continue to host the reality franchise into fall 2012 and beyond while also doing his new talk show. Or, the still untitled new venture could end up being his transition off the island.

For more, follow Dalton on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss.

TLC renews 'Extreme Couponing'

Bargain hunters, rejoice! TLC has renewed the series Extreme Couponing for a second season. The network says the show, which reveals the “dramatic shopping skills of everyday people who clip and save their way to shocking savings,” has averaged 1.9 million viewers.

“Extreme Couponing has struck a chord with our viewers and has sparked a passion in people who are looking for creative ways to save money,” said Amy Winter, TLC’s general manager, in a statement. “The series is creating even more super shoppers and we are lining our shelves with their remarkable stories.”

TLC has ordered 12 episodes for the second season that’ll begin in September. Production has already begun.

Meanwhile, the current season has two episodes left that will feature a Washington woman who tries to get $3,100 worth of groceries for less than $100 and a Las Vegas woman who uses couponing to home school her twins.

'The Event' lives? Syfy in talks to pick up NBC thriller as miniseries

Promising news for fans of The Event, NBC’s low-rated thriller that got axed after one season: EW has learned that SyFy is considering whether to develop the second season into a miniseries.

Okay, so maybe this isn’t GREAT news — it’s not a full season of Blair Underwood– but there’s always the chance the drama could live on if a ton of genre fans decide to tune into the miniseries. And the bar is lower for SyFy, which is an NBC-Universal owned net. When it aired on NBC, The Event only averaged 7.13 million viewers and a mere 2.4 rating/6 share among adults 18-49.

The drama lost some momentum on NBC when it was tabled over the winter months to make way for The Cape, another high-concept show that ultimately failed to rally the genre fans.

For now, an SyFy rep is saying there is no deal.

Should it close with the cabler, it’s unclear how many of the original cast members will return for a miniseries. There were a lot of them (besides Underwood, core members included Jason Ritter, Sarah Roemer, Ian Anthony Dale and Laura Innes).

Would you watch an Event miniseries?

Christopher Meloni out of 'SVU'

So long, Det. Stabler: An insider confirms that Christopher Meloni will leave Law & Order: Special Victims Unit after 12 seasons. Apparently, the actor was offered a “generous” salary to stay with the NBC show for another year, but he made the decision to bolt, instead — which paves the way for a fresh face to join the aging franchise. (Hey, Dick Wolf: These actors didn’t get their pilots picked up. Maybe consider one of them?)

Meloni has been on the show since the beginning, when it launched in 1999. His co-star, Mariska Hargitay, recently signed a new deal to stay on the cop drama.

NBC announced last week in New York that SVU will return next fall but its sister show, Law & Order: Los Angeles, was yanked after only one season.

Meanwhile, Peacock topper Robert Greenblatt told reporters that he’s looked at Jennifer Love Hewitt as a possible fill-in next season for Hargitay, who is reportedly looking to lighten her work load (she recently adopted a baby). Love Hewitt guest-starred on the show earlier this year as a rape victim and “is someone we’ve been circling,” Greenblatt told reporters. “I don’t know whether that’s coming to pass or not.”

Ashton Kutcher's 'Two and a Half Men' deal only spans one year: report

Before you go falling in love with Ashton Kutcher on Two and a Half Men next season, you might want to note now that this could only be a brief affair. (That’s Hollywood for you.)

According to a report on the Wall Street Journal‘s website, Kutcher’s deal to replace former star Charlie Sheen (a contract worth nearly $20 million for the season) only secures the star for a single season.

It’s worth noting, however, that Men also has only one more year under contract at CBS. Should the show get another year, Kutcher would reportedly have the option of extending his stay. But that would also mean a trip back to the discussion table, and the possibility that Kutcher would ultimately choose not to return for another season.

Attempts by EW to contact reps for Warner Bros. Television and Kutcher were not returned.

Read more:
First photos of Ashton Kutcher with ‘Men’ cast
Ashton Kutcher takes CBS stage: ‘I won the lotto’
Charlie Sheen reacts to ‘Men’ hire, Ashton Kutcher responds

Chris Vance cast as lead in 'Transporter' TV show -- EXCLUSIVE

British actor Chris Vance (Prison Break, Burn Notice) has been cast as the lead in the TV version of the Transporter action movie franchise, EW can report exclusively. Vance will play expert driver and “professional transporter” Frank Martin — the role which was originated on the big screen by his fellow Brit, Jason Statham. The show is being executive produced by Luc Besson, who co-wrote all three of the Transporter movies. The first season will be shot this summer in Canada and Europe and then be broadcast on Cinemax next year. “It’s high octance,” Vance told EW, when asked to give a flavor of what viewers can expect. “Fast-paced. Action-packed. Car chases. Stunts. Fights, Beautiful girls. Villains. Heroes. Guns. It should be a lot of fun.” READ FULL STORY

Sports czar Dick Ebersol resigns from NBC

Here’s another high-profile departure in the wake of Comcast’s takeover of NBC Universal: The New York Times is reporting today that NBC Sports guru Dick Ebersol resigned today after he couldn’t hammer out a new deal. Ebersol has been with the division since 1989 and was primarily reponsible for securing the rights for all those highly-viewed — but pretty pricey — Olympic telecasts.

Ebersol reportedly denied that he didn’t get along with his new bosses.

It is unclear what Ebersol’s departure means to the future of the Olympics on NBC, and whether Comcast is interest in going after the rights to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Ebersol will stay on the job until June.

Chelsea Handler's sitcom gets greenlight at NBC

Chelsea-Handler

Are you there primetime? It’s Chelsea Handler, whose sitcom just got a series order.

The project based on her book, Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, has been picked up for next season. The semi-autobiographical comedy is about “a 20-something woman who has a very honest and provocative point of view on dating, friends and family.”

Handler will not star in the show, but will be an executive producer. Laura Prepon (October Road) will star.

NBC picked up some other new comedies. The first is Free Agents, a comedy based on a U.K. format about two co-workers who fall for one another. It stars Hank Azaria. And then there’s Bent, a single camera comedy starring Amanda Peet who falls for a sexy surfer dude she hires to re-do her kitchen. Finally, there’s BFFs, a laugher starring Stephen Schneider that’s about a woman and her live-in boyfriend who take in her pushy and distraught best girlfriend.

Read more:
NBC renews ‘Chuck’
Chelsea Handler talks 50 Cent with Piers Morgan
Which Chelsea Handler stories should be turned into episodes of ‘Vodka’?

Ashton Kutcher: The one million dollar man?

It’s not close to Charlie Sheen money but it’s still not a bad payday to take over as a replacement: Ashton Kutcher is reportedly in line to earn nearly $1 million an episode to join Two and a Half Men. It’s not clear whether the salary includes any backend profits from reruns but it’s still hundreds of thousands more than what any A-list star would earn to join a show.

The news, which was reported today in the Wall Street Journal, comes only days after it was revealed that Hugh Grant passed up the chance to take over for Sheen on TV’s No. 1 comedy. It’s unlikely that Warner Bros. TV, which produces the comedy for CBS, will announce the hiring of Kutcher before Wednesday when the network announces its fall lineup to advertisers in New York.

On Thursday, Kutcher playfully seemed to confirm reports on Twitter, giving fans asking him about the reports a wink and tweeting “what’s the square root of 6.25?”

'Jersey Shore's 'The Situation' signs development deal with MTV

Get ready for The Situation: The Series. EW has officially confirmed that MTV has signed a development deal with Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino to film a spin-off series from the monstrously popular Jersey Shore. (The network has already greenlit two other series starring Shore cast members, one with DJ Paul “Pauly D” Delvecchio and another centering on Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Jenni “J-Woww” Farley.) READ FULL STORY

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