BIG NEWS

… Right now, networks love reboots and they love Westerns. CBS decided to kill two birds with one stone and is developing a reboot of the classic Western The Rifleman, which debuted in 1958 and ran through 1963 and starred Chuck Connors as eagle-eyed homesteader Lucas McCain in the 1880s. The updated version will stay close to the original, taking place in New Mexico territory as Lucas defends his new hometown. But in a shocking turn, the new version will be shot in color! [TV Guide]

… The Case of the Missing Oscar Producer has been solved! With bigshot Hollywood doofus Bret Ratner getting kicked out of the duty after doofus-y comments, Brian Glazer (24, Friday Night Lights) will take over. In addition, Eddie Murphy dropped out of hosting duties, so there is still an opening for host of the awards show if you aren’t busy early next year. [ABC via press release]

Phineas and Ferb, Disney’s animated hit among tweens, has been renewed for a fourth season. It comes highly recommended by my nephews, who also recommend that you check out dinosaurs, ice cream, and The Clone Wars. [Disney via press release]

… Syfy grounded Battlestar Galactica and Stargate Universe, leaving a giant hole where a deep-space sci-fi epic should be. That’s about to change as Robert H. Wolfe (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine producer) is working with Syfy on a new project. Here’s the longline: “After decades of war, the newly formed Unity Democracy orders a volatile mix of humans and trans-humans to lead the Starship Defender on an expedition in search of lost worlds requiring law and order.” Sure, why not? Also in the works at Syfy is Ghost Projekt, based on the comics of the same name in which a Russian and an American battle real spooks in Siberia, and Seeing Things, about a ghost-cop who teams with a man to help him pass on. [Syfy via press release]

… Anderson Cooper’s selfishly titled talk show Anderson has been renewed for a second season. Good for you, Anderson. As if you haven’t patted yourself on the back enough already. [Deadline Hollywood]

… More boring talk show news: Survivor host Jeff Probst’s talk show is still in the works, and word is it will land on NBC sometime in 2012. The show will cover human interest stories and some relatioZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… how do you guys stay awake reading this stuff? [Deadline Hollywood]

CASTING NEWS

… ABC’s midseason comedy Bent has added J.B. Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Matt Letscher (Brothers & Sisters) to its cast. The comedy stars Amanda Peet as a woman who falls for a hunky contractor that’s working on her kitchen, if you know what I mean. Letscher will play Peet’s on-screen boyfriend, and Smoove will play an electrician working on the house. [TV Guide]

The Vampire Diaries Paul Wesley is bringing the old ball and chain to work. Pretty Little Liars actress Torrey DeVitto, who is married to Wesley in RL, will play a doctor that has the hots for Alaric. Awkward! Look for her in episode 10. [E! Online]

… Yesterday’s trio of casting announcements for Franklin & Bash wasn’t enough, apparently. Sean Astin will guest star on the TNT show as a college security guard that moonlights as a costumed superhero. [TV Line]

The Shield‘s Jay Karnes will play a serial rapist in Criminal Minds‘ 150th episode. What a way to celebrate! [TV Line]

True Blood‘s Kevin Alejandro, who has been mentioned around these parts as he guest stars on everything, has also booked a gig on A&E’s Breakout Kings. He’ll play a terminally ill gangster looking to atone for his sins by escaping prison and going on a killing spree by murdering bad, bad people. His heart’s in the right place. [EW]


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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