BIG NEWS

… Last year, Starz announced a second season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand before the show’s most recent chapter (the prequel Spartacus: Gods of the Arena) ever aired. In September, the network renewed Boss for a second season prior to that show’s October debut. So it shouldn’t be too surprising that Starz has once again made a wacky super-early renewal, this time okaying a third season of the Spartacus franchise, even though Spartacus: Vengeance, doesn’t premiere until January 27. Wait a sec, so Starz is renewing shows more than a season in advance and giving each season its own title? You crazy, Starz! [Starz, via press release]

Sons of Anarchy has packed so much drama into its fourth season that it needs an extra episode just to wrap everything up. FX has added a 14th episode to the current season, at creator Kurt Sutter’s request, so the show can “fully close this current chapter.” If you’ve been watching so far, you know this idea is insane, since each episode has already contained about five episodes’ worth of material. The Season 4 finale will now air on Tuesday, December 6. [FX, via press release]

… NBC has purchased Hannibal from television mastermind Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies). If NBC decides to move forward with the project, the series—a new take on the titular character made famous in the novels by Thomas Harris and the movie The Silence of the Lambs—will go straight to series and avoid the pilot process altogether. Fuller is also working on a reboot of The Munsters. [Deadline Hollywood]

… The CW has bought an adaptation of the Israeli series Danny Hollywood, about a female documentary filmmaker who travels back in time to 1968 to save the life of her music idol. The American version won’t go that far back, opting to rescue a ’90s music star. Oooh! I hope they save Rob Pilatus of Milli Vanilli fame! [Deadline Hollywood]

… AMC’s Hell on Wheels debuted yesterday and became the network’s second-highest-rated premiere, drawing 4.4 million viewers. It’s now second on the list behind The Walking Dead, which drew 5.3 million viewers for last year’s premiere. I know what you’re saying: Tim, what did YOU think of Hell on Wheels? I’m glad you asked! I didn’t love it. [AMC, via press release]

… Sad news: Roger Ebert says At the Movies, the long-running movie review show, will likely be done after this season because of financial issues (he’s currently seeking an angel investor to keep the program going.) Thumbs down, dude. Thumbs down. [Ebert's Blog]

CASTING NEWS

NCIS has booked funnyman Larry Miller to play Jimmy Palmer’s father-in-law. Look for him to appear in December. [EW]

… Speaking of aging funny men, Fred Willard will stop by Raising Hope to play Jimmy’s former high school teacher. [TV Line]

… Former Saturday Night Live cast member Dana Carvey is rumored to be in the running to permanently replace Regis Philbin on Live! With Regis and Kelly. Carvey is famous for his Regis impression. [NY Post]

ODD NEWS

… TLC has ordered the best-sounding show ever: Virgin Diaries. The reality show will follow the lives of men and women in their 30s and 40s who have never done the nasty with another person. Mark your calendars for December 4! [TLC via press release]

… Coochpunchgate continues! Matthew Fox has countersued the Cleveland party bus driver he allegedly punched in the vagina while he was drunk. The details of this story never get old. Anyway, he is claiming that he’s been unable to find work ever since the lady sued him for punching her in crotch. Hollywood will work with murderers, child-rapists, and drug addicts, but you punch just one person in the vagina, you’re blacklisted! [TMZ]


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

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