This week in TV news, Peter Capaldi warns Doctor Who fans about a very sad-but-clever departure, while Sean Bean theorizes about the fate of Game of Thrones‘ Jon Snow. Plus, Vice launches a 24-hour cable network, USA green-lights a new show with Dana Carvey, and The Muppets reboot with a new showrunner!


PETER CAPALDI SAYS CLARA’S DEPARTURE FROM DOCTOR WHO WILL BE CLEVER, BUT SAD

Get your hankies ready. Doctor Who’s Peter Capaldi says that the exit of his co-star Jenna Coleman has left him weepy. Coleman, who plays Clara in the current BBC America series, announced in September that she would be leaving the show to take the role as Queen Elizabeth in an upcoming ITV drama. Ending her character on the show has been done in a sad-but-clever manner according to Capaldi, who spoke on the UK’s Radio 1 Breakfast Show Wednesday morning. “It’s not quite what you think is gonna happen,” Capaldi told host Nick Grimshaw. “You think what’s gonna happen is gonna happen and then something else happens… It’s always clever the way these things are done on Doctor Who, so get lots of hankies ready. It’s sad over a number of weeks.” [Update: This post has been edited to remove possible spoilers] Additionally, showrunner Stephen Moffat said in an interview with Movie Player, “Clara is gone and will never return… I can only say that what will happen will shock, surprise and terrify. Strictly in that order.”


SHOWRUNNER EXITS THE MUPPETS

The Muppets, which came into the fall as one of the season’s most anticipated shows, has had a rocky go of it so far. First, the ratings, while better than last year’s Tuesday night show Selfie, are not as stellar as ABC had hoped. Then, critics were not so enthusiastic about the pilot, giving it a low Fresh score of 64 percent on the Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer. Now, just days after news that ABC has ordered three more episodes of The Muppets, it surfaces that showrunner Bob Kushell is leaving. According to insiders, there was a creative clash between Kushell and the reboot’s executive producer Bill Prady, who got his showbiz start working for Jim Henson. Galavant showrunner Kristin Newman is expected to take over for the season’s back half, which will air after the winter hiatus and serve as a creative reboot for the show.


SEAN BEAN WEIGHS IN ON HIS BASTARD’S FATE

[WARNING: Season five Game of Thrones spoilers ahead!] Sean Bean who played Ned Stark on the first season of Game of Thrones shared his theory about the fate of his character’s bastard son, Jon Snow (Kit Harington). Bean, whose own character met an untimely and jaw-dropping demise in season one, spoke to the final episode of season five, “Mother’s Mercy,” which ended with Jon Snow taking multiple knives, Julius Caesar-style, to the chest and lying face-up and staring dead-eyed into the sky. During a press conference for The Frankenstein Chronicles, Bean addressed whether or not Jon survived the attack, saying, “It kind of didn’t look like it, I have to admit, but who knows? Anything could happen. I guess that’s the big question… It used to be: ‘Who’s Jon Snow’s dad?’ Now it’s: ‘Is Jon Snow really dead?’ But I think he probably is. What do I know?” Season six of Game of Thrones is expected to return to HBO the first week of May.


VICE IS LAUNCHING A TV CHANNEL

Vice Media announced this week the launch of its new 24-hour cable network, VICELAND. “We’ve been shooting and cutting for months, and we can’t wait to share with you our vision of what television should look like,” VICE posted on its website Wednesday. “The new shows are awesome. When we started making them, collaborating with our friends in the extended VICE family, we really didn’t know how they would come together to create a TV channel. But when we saw what we had, we knew we were on to something really special.” Part of the aforementioned “VICE family” includes Spike Jonze, who has been working with the media company on the new channel. “We wanted VICELAND to be different, to feel like everything on there has a reason to exist and a strong point of view,” Jonze said. VICE released a nine-minute trailer to tease its upcoming programming offerings, including series hosted by Ellen Page and Michael K. Williams. 


USA NETWORK GREENLIGHTS DANA CARVEY’S FIRST IMPRESSIONS

USA Network announced Thursday that it has green-lit the new series First Impressions, an unscripted half-hour comedy that pits amateur impressionists against each other in a weekly battle of celebrity send-ups. Saturday Night Live alum Dana Carvey, whose presidential impressions are for the ages, will be the “expert-in-residence,” mentoring contestants and participating in game play himself. “There are so many great impressionists and First Impressions gives them an opportunity to showcase their talents,” Carvey said in a statement. “Besides, I’ve always enjoyed watching an impressionist nail somebody….as in capture their voice.  Now I get paid to watch.” 

This week in TV news, AMC greenlights a motorcycle-themed reality show with Norman Reedus, while Netflix gives a full-series order to YA project 13 Reasons Why with Selena Gomez. Plus, check out the happiest, fluffiest TV binge happening this weekend, and be on the lookout for HBO original series coming this winter — and figure out what that means for the next season of Game of Thrones! When is winter coming already?!


AMC GREENLIGHTS RIDE WITH NORMAN REEDUS

AMC announced Thursday its plans for a new non-scripted series, Ride With Norman Reedus, which stars The Walking Dead fan favorite (Daryl!) on the open road. In Ride, the actor and biker enthusiast will “explore local motorcycle culture and history and celebrate some of the best and brightest collectors, mechanics, and motorcycle craftsmen around the country.” Each episode will start in a different city and feature Reedus with a new riding companion — such as a fellow actor, musician, or bike fanatic — as they explore America’s motorcycle shops and collectors’ warehouses, as well as a few detours along the way (think tattoo parlors and roadside smokehouses). Ride With Norman Reedus, which will hit AMC in 2016 with six one-hour episodes, plans to showcase different motorcycles each week, adding to AMC’s existing unscripted programming: Comic Book Men and Talking Dead.


HBO SETS DATES FOR GIRLS, TOGETHERNESS, AND VINYL

HBO set dates for three of its original series this week: Vinyl, Girls, and Togetherness. First up, Martin Scorsese‘s rock drama, Vinyl, starring Bobby Cannavale and written by Terence Winter of Boardwalk Empire fame, will premiere with a special two-hour episode on Valentine’s Day at 9 p.m. The following Sunday, Feb. 21, Vinyl will be the opening act for the season-five premiere of Girls, starring Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, and Adam Driver, and the season-two premiere of Togetherness with Mark Duplass and Amanda Peet. Over at Vulture, writer E. Alex Jung has calculated that these February dates mean a later start than usual for the next season of Game of Thrones. “As HBO only programs two hours of shows on Sunday nights,” Jung wrote, “it means that the sixth season of Game of Thrones likely wouldn’t return until May 1 at the earliest.”


NETFLIX GIVES SELENA GOMEZ A STRAIGHT-TO-SERIES ORDER

Credit: Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

Pop idol Selena Gomez will executive-produce a 13-episode adaptation of the young adult novel 13 Reasons Why for Netflix, according to Variety. In the 2007 book of the same name from Jay Asher, a boy named Clay receives a shoebox from his late crush, Hannah Baker, after she commits suicide. The contents of the box are cassettes that Clay is to distribute to 12 of his classmates — each of whom Hannah blames for taking her own life. Gomez reportedly took the project to Anonymous Content after reading the book, along with her mother Mandy Teefey, who will also executive-produce the project. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Brian Yorkey, who penned the pilot, is attached to write the full series.


TWITCH TV IS AIRING 403 EPISODES OF BOB ROSS RIGHT NOW

In honor of what would have been prolific painter and TV personality Bob Ross’ 73rd birthday on Oct. 29, the online TV platform Twitch began streaming all 403 episodes of The Joy of Painting at 5 p.m. EST Thursday. The Joy of Painting aired for 11 years on PBS, during which time the soft-spoken artist would paint an entire painting in 30 minutes. Ever the optimist, Ross believed that “anyone can paint,” and would refer to his mistakes made while painting as “happy accidents.” Watching all 403 episodes would consist of a 200-hour long binge, but you’d probably come out the other end feeling as light and peaceful as a fluffy cloud.

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