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TV News Tidbits: Joss Whedon’s S.H.I.E.L.D. Casting, Full-Season Orders, New Projects, and More

Whedonverse News
Ming-Na Wen (ER, Stargate Universe) has been tapped for a lead role in the upcoming pilot of S.H.I.E.L.D, a project which received a pilot order from ABC in August. The actress will play Agent Melinda May, one of the superspies of the Marvel Universe’s law-enforcement agency S.H.I.E.L.D. The project has been garnering a lot of buzz because of its connection to the 2012 movie The Avengers, and more importantly, because of Joss Whedon’s involvement. The fan-favorite director of The Avengers will co-write, co-executive produce, and possibly direct the pilot, all things that have been sending ripples through the Whedonverse. I for one would only like to know which meaning of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be chosen this time around…

Full-Season Orders News
CBS has given back-9 orders to its new dramas Elementary and Vegas. While Elementary has been holding on to its audience, leading the pack in its 10 p.m. slot and improving on The Mentalist, which held the slot last Fall, Vegas has had a more suspicious trajectory, this despite its apparently good numbers. At this point, because it is on CBS (which can afford to cancel shows that other networks would gladly have), Vegas feels like one of those series that don’t make it beyond freshman year. If you like Dennis Quaid and the show, don’t get too emotionally invested just yet.

CBS Elementary

Development Projects News
Ambitious shows (including those that are badly executed) seem to work these days, so even the CW wants its piece of the cake. Deadline Hollywood reports that the network has bought Reign, a project spearheaded by Laurie McCarthy (CSI: Miami) and Stephanie SenGupta (Outlaw) that is a “fantastical reimagining of the teenage Mary, Queen of Scots”. One of the most famous members of the House of Stuart, the woman who became Queen of France and then Queen of Scotland grew up in France where Reign will be set. Mary was unanimously considered to be very attractive, and she lived a life full of intrigues (she had a claim to the English throne of Elizabeth I, was suspected to have killed her second husband, spent a great deal of her life in “castle arrest”, possibly plotted against Elizabeth I, and a lot more), so imagine what unrestrained writers (who will certainly put a sword in her hand) could do with her teenage years. No wonder the project is described as “Game of Thrones meets Marie Antoinette!”

Business News
As Barnes & Noble is about to ship the next generation of its NOOK tablet (NOOK HD and NOOK HD+), it has been announced that NBC Universal and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will provide movies and TV shows to the tablet’s video download and streaming service. The deal follows those previously announced with HBO, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, STARZ, Viacom, Warner Bros, and Disney. And while there are no details yet on how much titles might cost, it is clear that Barnes & Noble is going against rivals such as iTunes and Amazon, but who doesn’t like an underdog?

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