ICYMI: HBO Shuts Down Westworld Production, Picks Up Judd Apatow Comedy; First Trailer For Bates Motel Season 4 Released; and More TV News

Jan 22, 2016 by Sarah Moffatt

TruTV continues to revamp their programming by greenlighting a new comedy battle series, ‘Comedy Knockout.’ Guy Code’s Damien Lemon hosts the roast-style joke competition a la Yo Momma. Three comics will be sent into battle where they will receive points based on the audience’s applause to their jokes; one comic will be crowned a winner while the others are either eliminated or forced to apologize to the crowd for their performance. (The Wrap)

The first trailer for season four of Bates Motel was released this week, with glimpses of Norma growing fearful of Norman and her effort to get him professional help. (IGN)

Maisie Williams, who plays Arya on Game of Thrones, dropped an interesting hint about Jon Snow’s fate in season six. She couldn’t confirm or deny his (long spoiled) return, but she did say “it’s a great twist.” (Vanity Fair)

As the Pretty Little Liars fans have grown up, so have the characters: The cast spilled details about this season and romantic scenes, saying there will be more sex scenes, but no thrusting.. it’s a rule. (Entertainment Weekly)

HBO has shut down production on the new sci-fi series Westworld. Showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are reportedly struggling through cast changes and story adjustments, and were supposed to have wrapped last November. (Entertainment Weekly)

If you thought Big and Carrie’s ride into the sunset went against everything Sex and the City stood for and was the total wrong ending for the show, you’re not alone. Show creator Darren Star said he thought the show “ultimately betrayed what it was about, which was that women don’t ultimately find happiness from marriage… At the end, it became a conventional romantic comedy.” (Vanity Fair)

Star Wars Rebels returned this week with its midseason premiere and the first appearance of Princess Leia. But, that’s not the only “new” addition to the show: the trailer for the entire season promises Darth Vader and [a nod to The Force Awakens](http://screencrush.com/star-wars-rebels-force-awakens-snoke-kylo-ren/). (YouTube)

After the Republican National Committee ripped the February GOP debate away from NBC, CNN wasted no time swooping in and setting a February 25th date in Houston, Texas. (Deadline)

With less than a month to go before the new season of Better Call Saul premieres, we’re getting more and more clues to what season two will hold. In the most recently released trailer, we see Jimmy McGill slowly turning into the Saul Goodman we know and love from Breaking Bad. (AMC)

CNN sports anchor Rachel Nichols has been tapped by ESPN to host a daily NBA show. Nichols was a reporter for ESPN from 2004-2013 before being poached by CNN. She will also contribute to SportsCenter with commentary, interviews, and features as well as host Outside the Lines occasionally and work on ESPN’s prime time news magazine E:60. (Deadline)

HBO has ordered to series a drama called The Deuce, which focuses on the porn industry set in Times Square in the 1970s and 1980s. The project comes from David Simon (The Wire) and will star James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Simon said he has plans to reunite the creative team from The Wire , which sets a pretty high bar to clear. (Deadline)

Now that Girls has an expiration date in mind, season five will be its second to last, and is set to premiere February 21st on HBO. In the new promo, we see Marnie is getting married as well as a peek at Shoshanna’s time in Japan. (IndieWire)

Whitney Cummings, whose HBO comedy special I’m Your Girlfriend premieres Saturday night, said she started blind dating and joined Tinder as research for her special, but she found herself quickly addicted to Tinder. (Vanity Fair)

King of comedy Judd Apatow and comedian Pete Holmes’ HBO pilot Crashing has been ordered to series. Written by and starring Holmes as the only series regular, Crashing is a semi-autobiographical project that focuses on a sweet, wholesome comedian who is forced to couch surf between New York’s top comedians after an ugly divorce. (Deadline)

Former The View co-host and comedian Sherri Shepherd is set to host and produce a new show for WE TV called Match Made In Heaven. The unscripted show will feature 22 unique bachelorettes trying to steal the heart of a wealthy African-American bachelor who is given advice by pastor and Indianapolis Colts’ spiritual advisor Ken Johnson. (Deadline)

HBO is giving another shot to the late James Gandolfini’s passion project, Big Dead Place. First put into development in 2011 and was inspired by Nicholas Johnson’s memoir Big Dead Place: Inside the Strange & Menacing World of Antarctica, the show is said to be a modern day survivalist tale, taking a deep dive into the harsh world of Antarctica where scientist and politicians are fighting for the existence of the untapped continent. (Hollywood Reporter)

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