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Today's TWoP News: Monday, August 22, 2011

by Ethan Alter August 22, 2011 3:04 pm
Today's TWoP News: Monday, August 22, 2011

And then there were 16...

Survivor: South Pacific staffs up with a new crop of folks looking to mentally, physically and emotionally exhaust themselves in exchange for a million-dollar payday. So far, last year's winner Rob Mariano and love-him-or-hate-him serial contestant Russell Hantz are staying true to their promise to stay off this year's edition, but the Hantz clan won't go completely unrepresented. Russell's 19-year-old nephew Brandon is among the 16 new faces making the trip to the South Pacific; he'll be joined by an ex-Miss America contestant, an owner of a medical marijuana dispensary and a Lingerie Football League player. Like last season, two Survivor vets will return to the game as well, but their identities are being kept secret for now. Is it Coach and Phil Sheppard? If not, can it be? Please?

Justin Timberlake had better dust off his white disco duds, 'cause his Barry Gibb Talk Show partner Jimmy Fallon is headed back to Saturday Night Live. The comedian-turned-late night talk show host will host SNL's December 17 episode, with musical guest Michael Bublé, co-star of one of the show's most inspired sketches in recent memory, Hamm and Bublé. How long will it take Fallon to crack up on-air again? I'm gonna go out on a limb and say the cold open.

In other news, some chick got married this weekend and the media didn't needlessly flip out about it AT ALL.

If you tune into the Hart of Dixie (a.k.a. Doc Manhattan) pilot on September 26, don't get too attached to Nancy Travis' kind mentor to Rachel Bilson's fish-out-of-water doctor. Travis is leaving the show after a few episodes to commit herself full time to her role on the Tim Allen sitcom, Last Man Standing. The Wire veteran Eisa Davis will replace Travis as a nurse who helps Bilson navigate the perils of small-town Southern life. Of course, the jury is still out on whether the show will actually last long enough for Davis to make her debut.

Looking to acquire some Modern Family-style heat, the Patricia Heaton sitcom The Middle has scored two high-profile guest stars for its junior year. First, Heaton's old screen husband Ray Romano stops by on the season premiere as an old classmate of her new screen husband, Neil Flynn, who bumps into the couple while they're enjoying a romantic retreat. Later in the season, Molly Shannon will visit as Heaton's sister. Any chance Flynn can call in favors from some of his old Scrubs cast mates? Donald Faison is probably free.

Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer and Detroit 187's Shaun Majumder have found new homes as recurring players on the new NBC series The Firm, a small-screen sequel series to the best-selling John Grisham novel. Helfer will play a senior partner at the law firm that hires crusading lawyer Mitch McDeere (Josh Lucas) and Majumder will play a character named Andrew Palmer.

It's Tubey Time! Make sure that your favorite shows, actors, reality stars and characters get the recognition they deserve by voting in our annual Tubey awards. It's where fans have total control over what rates as the best and worst of the past year in a variety of categories. Vote now!

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