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TV News Roundup: Jonathan Scarfe to Direct Two Episodes of ‘Van Helsing’ (EXCLUSIVE)

In today’s roundup, Jonathan Scarfe, star of SyFy’s “Van Helsing,” is set to direct two episodes of the upcoming third season and Walton Goggins and Beth Behrs are set to guest star on “The Big Bang Theory.”

DEVELOPMENT

Variety has exclusively learned that Jonathan Scarfe will be directing the first two episodes of season three of his SyFy series, “Van Helsing,” where he stars as Axel Miller opposite Kelly Overton. This announcement comes on the heels of the network’s December 19th announcement of a third season renewal. Scarfe also directed two episodes in season two of the hit series, including the season finale. Aside from “Van Helsing,” Scarfe recently wrapped production on “The Equalizer 2,” where he will star as Resnick opposite Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, and Bill Pullman. Scarfes’s other recent roles include a series lead on “Ties That Bind,” opposite Kelli Williams, and an arc on the last season of AMC’s “Hell on Wheels,” in which he played the troubled outlaw Sydney Snow to great critical acclaim. Scarfe is represented by Greene & Associates Talent Agency, Claire Best and Associates and More/Medavoy Management.

DEALS

HBO Documentary Films has acquired the U.S. TV rights to the powerful documentary “Believer“, from Live Nation Productions ahead of its Sundance premiere. Directed by Don Argott, the film follows Mormon Dan Reynolds, frontman for the band Imagine Dragons, as he takes on a new mission to explore how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members. Hans Zimmer composed the score for the film and contributed to one of the two original songs Reynolds wrote for the film, giving music an integral role in the documentary. “Believer” is the second film HBO has acquired from Live Nation Productions, following “Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends),” which debuted on HBO in February 2017.

CASTING

Walton Goggins and Beth Behrs will guest star in an upcoming episode of “The Big Bang Theory.” Behrs starred for 6 seasons on “2 Broke Girls” on CBS and will be playing Nell, a recently separated school teacher who becomes involved with Raj.  Goggins, who is nominated for a Critics Choice Award for “Vice Principals” and can be seen in the upcoming feature film “Tomb Raider“, will be playing Nell’s intense husband, Oliver, who tracks Koothrappali down and confronts him. The episode will air on Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. on CBS.

CBS announced the 21 performers participating in the 2018 CBS Diversity Comedy Showcase which will begin its run of six shows on Jan. 23, at the El Portal Theatre in Los Angeles. Those performers are: James III, Brianna Baker, Jorge Emanuel Berrios, Sheila Carrasco, Joe Conti, Tesiana Elie, Ashleigh Hairston, Frank Garcia-Hejl, Leslie-Anne Huff, Leah Lewis, Rocío Lopez, Peter Kim, Che Landon, Jay Lee, Jay Pichardo, Percy Rustomji, Nalini Sharma, Joanna Sotomura, Steve Szlaga, Mishka Thebaud, and Dane Troy. The showcase runs Jan. 23 to Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. PT, with afternoon shows on Jan. 24 and Jan. 25 at 1:00 p.m.

DATES

Reelz has announced premiere dates for six new series, five returning series, and four documentary specials for 2018. The new series are “Stalker Files” which will premiere on Jan. 27 at 9:30 p.m. ET/ 6:30 p.m. PT; “The Price of Fame” on Feb. 11 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT; “It Happened Here” on March 11 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT; and  “Breaking the Band,” “Irreconcilable Differences,” and “Cashed Out” in June. The returning shows include “Real Story of…” which will premiere its new season on Jan. 9 at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT, “Autopsy: The Last Hours of…” on Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT, “Gangsters: America’s Most Evil” on Mar. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT, and “Murder Made Me Famous” and “The Shocking Truth” in April. The documentary special “ABBA: When All is Said and Done” premieres on Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT, “Elton John: The Nation’s Favorite Song” on Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT,  “Queen: How They Broke Free” on Jan. 28 at 10:30 p.m. ET/ 7:30 p.m. PT, and “Martin Luther King Jr: One Man and His Dream” on Apr. 1 at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.

Game Show Network will premiere of its new documentary special, “Cover Story: The Press Your Luck Scandal” on Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. followed by original episodes of “Press Your Luck” at 8 and 8:30 p.m. The special will explore the story of Michael Larson, an air conditioning repairman from Ohio who cracked the game board algorithm and walked away with over $110,000 in cash and prizes, defying a one-in-six chance that each spin he took would erase his winnings to accumulate the record breaking amount.

RATINGS

CNN‘s “New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen” was CNN’s most-watched New Year’s Eve special ever, growing from last year in all key measures. From 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m., CNN was up 8 percent in total viewers (3.28 million vs. 3.04 million), 1 percent among adults 25-54 (1.29 million vs. 1.28 million), and 5 percent among adults 18-34 (471,000 vs. 449,000).

 

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