Another one bites the dust.
Fox's master plan of a Must See TV-like powerhouse night of comedy is no more. The network has pulled its struggling Tuesday night freshman series Ben & Kate off the air, replacing it with double doses of Raising Hope until Hell's Kitchen takes over the 8 PM hour in March. But don't worry Zooey and Mindy fans -- New Girl and The Mindy Project aren't going anywhere... at least, not yet.
Also receiving its walking papers is TBS's musical comedy series Wedding Band, which briefly seemed set to return Brian Austin Green to relevance. Looks like it's up to Megan Fox to provide for their new baby after all.
Enough grim news about cancellations! Let's celebrate a returning favorite. AMC has set an April 7 premiere date for Mad Men's penultimate season. As usual, there's no advance word on what to expect from this season... not even which year we'll find Don Draper and family in. All we know is that if the season doesn't start with Peggy returning in a blaze of glory to the SCDP offices, we're going to be very disappointed.
If its Wednesday, it must be time for a pilot round-up. NBC has ordered a trial episode for Welcome to the Family, a comedy series about a blended family from Rules of Engagement exec producer, Mike Sikowitz. CBS gets in the Eddie Murphy business, moving forward with their planned Beverly Hills Cop series starring Brandon T. Jackson as Murphy's kid. (Here's hoping executive producer Shawn Ryan finally has a hit on his hands... even if it is Beverly Hills Cop.) Meanwhile, The CW officially greenlights a pilot for its Hunger Games-esque series The Selection, based on the YA series by Kiera Cass. The netlet also said yes to the Taylor Hackford-produced Company Town, a drama chronicling the scandalous goings on at a naval base. Unless all those soldiers are under 20 and vampires, that series sounds completely out of the CW's target demographic.
Country music singers, hockey players, roller derby gals and a taxidermist/hairstylist duo are just some of the new contestants lining up to run The Amazing Race when the show's 22nd season starts on February 17. In a new twist, the first team to check in at the first-leg pit stop will be awarded a pair of Express Passes, one that they can save for themselves and the other to bestow upon another team before the end of the fourth leg. As changes to well-worn formulas go, it ain't much, but at least they're not bringing back the whole "begging for money after non-elimination legs" thing.
Let's wrap up with a few pieces of casting news. Steve Howey follows Dermot Mulroney and David Walton as the latest lucky devil to flirt with Zooey Deschanel, nabbing a New Girl guest spot as a pro football player who may tempt Jess away from her pediatrician beau, Sam. Terry Crews a.k.a. President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho has joined Fox's Andy Samberg-led cop comedy. Alex Kingston will turn up on Arrow as Laurel's mom, Dinah Lance, who -- as all good comic book geeks know -- fought crime as the original Black Canary. We bet Kingston could still rock that outfit.
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