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TV News Roundup: Pilot Casting, Disney Channel Renewals & First Look at ‘Real Housewives of NYC’

NBC’s “Cruel Intentions” pilot has cast the role played by Reese Witherspoon in the original movie, and Disney Channel has renewed series “Best Friends Whenever” and “Bunk’d.” Also in today’s TV news roundup: much more pilot casting, and the first trailer for season eight of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New York City.”

Casting News:

Kate Levering (“Drop Dead Diva”) has been cast in NBC’s Cruel Intentions pilot. Levering will play Annette Hargrove, the character played by Reese Witherspoon in the film. The pilot, which is bringing back Sarah Michele Gellar to reprise her role, picks up 15 years after the movie, with Kathryn Merteuil (Gellar) fighting for control of Valmont International as well as the soul of Bash Casey (Taylor John Smith), the son of Annette and the late Sebastian Valmont (who was played by Ryan Phillippe in the film).

Vanessa Williams has signed to play the lead role in VH1’s upcoming series “Satan’s Sisters,” which is inspired by Star Jones’ book about her time on “The View.” Williams will play Maxine, creator and host of fictional daytime show “The Lunch Hour.” Her character is described as a “formidable, powerful and decisive woman who fears she is being put out to pasture.”

LaMonica Garrett has joined the cast of Kiefer Sutherland’s ABC series “Designated Survivor,” Variety has learned. The drama, which landed a straight-to-series order, centers around Sutherland’s Tom Kirkman, a low-level U.S. Cabinet member who finds himself unexpectedly appointed president after a terrorist attack kills everyone above him in the line of succession. Garrett (“Sons of Anarchy,” “The Last Ship”) will play Ritter, Kirkman’s Secret Service officer, who is charged with protecting his family in the wake of the unprecedented bombing of the Capitol during the president’s State of the Union Address.

Matt Lanter has been cast as the male lead in “Time,” NBC’s time-traveling pilot from “Supernatural” creator Eric Kripke and “The Shield” creator Shawn Ryan. Lanter will star alongside Abigail Spencer as they both travel through time to battle a master criminal bent on altering human history to catastrophic results. The potential series is described as “Back to the Future” meets “Mission: Impossible.”

“Happy Endings” alum Casey Wilson is returning to ABC to lead the single-camera comedy pilot “Hail Mary.” Wilson has been cast as Mary Wolf, a small-town mayor who is forced to make a miracle by her siblings, dying father, upset citizens, bankrupt town and Mafia.

SiriusXM News:

Donny Deutsch will host a one-hour talk show on SiriusXM, titled “Dialing Donny,” which begins March 2. The show will have Deutsch taking listener calls and giving out advice on relationships, sex, careers and everything in between, as he will examine women’s issues from a male perspective.

“I am excited to move into a weekly series with SiriusXM,” said Deutsch. “’Dialing Donny’ is a great platform for me to do two of my favorite things in life — give advice and connect with an audience.”

Renewals:

Disney Channel has picked up both “Bunk’d” and “Best Friends Whenever” for a second season.

“Bunk’d” follows three siblings and their adventures at a camp in Maine where their parents met. “Best Friends Whenever” is about teen best friends who gain the ability to jump back and forward in time whenever they want and occasionally when they don’t want to.

Season two of both shows will begin shooting in spring 2016 and premiere later this year.

Premiere Dates:

“The Real Housewives of New York City” returns with season eight — and a new housewife — on Wednesday, April 6 at 9 p.m. on Bravo. The new season will introduce Julianne “Jules” Wainstein, a stay-at-home mom and socialite, who joins returning cast members Bethenny Frankel, Carole Radziwill, Dorinda Medley, Luann de Lesseps, Ramona Singer and Sonja Morgan.

Here’s the first look at the new season:

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