Today in show business news: AMC makes an unsurprising decision about The Walking Dead's future, Homeland is chugging along in the ratings, and Steve McQueen is heading to television.
Ummmm, duh. AMC has renewed its wildly popular James Joyce exercise show The Walking Dead for a fifth season. Duhhh. Just this on repeat basically. Come on, of course AMC was going to renew The Walking Dead. Not only is it very popular, but Breaking Bad is over, Mad Men is on its way out, The Killing never really caught on, and who even knows what's going on with Hell On Wheels. If AMC doesn't have The Walking Dead they will soon be right back where they started. So yeah, it stays. It stays for a long time, I'd think. The real news here is that, amazingly, showrunner Scott Gimple is staying with the series! It feels like the showrunner gets killed off every season, but not this time. What a twist! This show really keeps you on your toes, doesn't it? Though, this probably means they're going to kill off a key grip or something. Sorry, Gary. [Entertainment Weekly]
Meanwhile on Showtime, Homeland is finding its sea legs after a wobbly beginning to the third season, and that's new steadiness is being reflected in the ratings. Sunday night's episode, the fifth of the season, brought in 2 million viewers in its initial broadcast, and 2.51 million over the whole night. That may seem like small potatoes, and it is in comparison to, say, The Walking Dead, but this is Showtime we're talking about, and a grim, moody psychological thriller about mental illness, geopolitics, and jazz. Two and a half million people in America watching that, on a premium channel, on a Sunday night? That's impressive. When you factor in DVR and On Demand and all that, nearly 7 million people are watching the show every week. Which is very good! The show's a hit, is the point. Despite all the crying and saxophone music, the show is a hit. [Deadline]
12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen is developing a drama series with HBO, working with writer Matthew Michael Carnahan (World War Z) on a series about "a young African-American man with a mysterious past as he experiences life in New York high society." That sounds interesting! Maybe it has some shades of Six Degrees of Separation? That could be quite something. Especially if the show somehow involves this scene. Because that is a very good scene. Do it, McQueen. [The Hollywood Reporter]
If Girls is renewed for a fourth season, which it most likely will be, Andrew Rannells will become a series regular. That's exciting, yes? His character, mean but fun Elijah, is one of the best on the show — and he's actually a fully realized person rather than just being a bitchy gay stereotype. Which is saying something, even in 2013. So, yes. Yes to this. Renew this show. [Deadline]
Mark Bomback, the guy who wrote The Wolverine, has been hired to do some touch-ups on the 50 Shades of Grey script, after playwright Patrick Marber did a pass. The Hollywood Reporter says of the hire, "The move is interesting as Bomback is clearly an action guy." Well, yeah. I mean, it's my understanding that 50 Shades is a lot of action, if you get my drift. Wink wink. Nudge nudge. Hubba hubba. Duhhhh. Oh, wait, no, duh was for the other thing. Anyway. Sex. The movie is about sex. [The Hollywood Reporter]