Last night's season premiere of The Walking Dead was the highest rated show of the fall, on any channel. Also in showbiz news: Lindsay Lohan is interviewed again for some reason, Aaron Paul gets a big lead role, and Christoph Waltz will lead Russia.
The satisfying season premiere of AMC's The Walking Dead did well in the ratings last night. Well, actually, it did insanely, ridiculously, broadcast network-busting well. With a monster 10.9 million viewers it far succeeded the premieres of many Big Four shows this year, including the expensive Last Resort and the much-hyped 666 Park Avenue. And in the ol' Nielsen ratings it grabbed a crazy 5.8 in the key 18-49 demo, giving it the season's highest rating for a non-sports show this fall. A cable show did that! Sure it's a big hyped show about zombies, not Rubicon, but still. That marks quite a development in TV viewing patterns. Especially when you consider Dish customers don't even have AMC. So how long until cable networks have to up their ratings expectations to match the broadcast guys? It used to be "Oh, we're cable, we can't beat the networks," but now that they can and, like, really can — they've done it before, but not to this extent — what will change? Maybe nothing, maybe this is just a rare spike, but it does feel like something's different when you look at those numbers. Watch your back, CBS. Cable is coming for you. And it's already got Charlie Sheen. [Entertainment Weekly]
Oh good. Exactly what we need. Finally, we're going to turn on some lights and some cameras and point them at Lindsay Lohan and ask her questions about her personal life. The actress has agreed to sit down with former journalist Barbara Walters for special interview on 20/20, which used to be a news show. I think this is good. Clearly we haven't heard enough about Lindsay Lohan's life. We need more of it, especially in the condescending faux-concern tones of Barbara Walters. "I promised myself I wouldn't cry!" Lindsay says falsely. "Oh you'll cry, goddamnit. You'll cry," Barbara hisses in return. Isn't that great? Isn't that cheery? That this is happening? And just in time for Thanksgiving. The special interview will air on November 16, to coincide with Lohan's Liz & Dick movie that's playing on Lifetime: Television for People Who Take Barbara Walters Seriously. (And yes, I realize she's covered here on this site, by me, in the mornings, but that's hopefully more commentary on the commentary than actually digging for details about her life. Or I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth. Who knows.) [Deadline]
Back to positive news. Sort of. Breaking Bad's Emmy-winning supporting star Aaron Paul has been cast in what is essentially his first big studio lead role. Yay, good for him! He's a good actor and seems like a decent guy IRL, so that's happy news. Except? Except it's a movie called Need for Speed that's based on a video game. Yeah. Oof. And then it's described by a DreamWorks exec as such: "In Need for Speed, the cars are hot, the racing is intense, and the story keeps players at the edge of their seat." Oof, Aaron. Yes, yes, it's necessary to do stuff like this, both for money and your profile or whatever, but that already sounds terrible. It could end up being fun, like Battleship (that was at least fun for some of us), but it mostly just sounds like Fast and the Furious without the Walker/Diesel dream team, which is basically useless. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Yay! HBO says that its two lady-led comedies Girls (lots of fun) and Enlightened (positively brilliant, seriously) are returning January 13. [Deadline]
Boo! Bravo says its excruciating reality show Shahs of Sunset is returning on December 2. [Deadline]
Christoph Waltz has signed on to play Mikhail Gorbachev opposite Michael Douglas as Ronald Reagan in the political drama Reykjavik, about Cold War nuclear tensions and a meeting between the two leaders in Iceland. When Waltz was asked about Gorbachev's trademark birthmark, the famously intense actor responded "I shall grow one myself!" And then he did, just right there, right in the room, who knows what room it was, but he did it. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Speaking of unpleasant growths, celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe is going to produce an NBC sitcom pilot based on her life. Yes, because her life is so funny. I mean, does she really seem like the type that would be terribly willing to make fun of herself? This does not sound promising. (Obviously. How on earth could it ever sound promising?) That said, whoever plays the Brad Goreski part ought to be hilarious. Excuse me, bananas. [Deadline]