The television world moves so fast that by the time you learn of a show’s premiere, it could already be canceled. It’s hard to keep track of the constant stream of television news, so Flavorwire is here to provide a weekly roundup of the most exciting — and baffling — casting and development updates. This week, HBO’s Westworld gets its leads, The CW cancels its new comedies, and FXX teases its all-Simpsons website.
FX passed on Charlie Kaufman’s wonderful-sounding comedy pilot How & Why. The series was set to star Michael Cera, John Hawkes, Sally Hawkins, and Catherine Keener. It was my most anticipated new program and FX seemed like a great fit, but fortunately it is still being shopped around. Hopefully IFC will snag it! [THR]
Jessica Biel will guest star in the season premiere of Fox’s New Girl as the “hottest scientist in the world.” The episode airs September 16. [E! Online]
At the TCA Press Tour, FXX previewed the upcoming “Simpsons World” app that will launch in October (FXX’s 522-episode Simpsons marathon will begin August 21). Simpsons World will have every episode available on demand 24/7 and give users the ability to share quotes/clips on the Internet. It will also mean that all productivity everywhere will come to a screeching halt. [Uproxx]
HBO’s new drama pilot has cast Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood in the lead roles. Westworld, inspired by the film of the same name, is set in an amusement park and is described as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin.” [Deadline]
In other casting news, Beau Mirchoff (Awkward.) and Ambyr Childers (Ray Donovan) have been cast in NBC’s Charles Manson event series, Aquarius. [The Wrap]
Showtime released a first-look video for the upcoming season of Homeland. Season 4 premieres October 5 at 9 PM.
Hank Azaria has been cast as the lead voice in Bordertown, the upcoming animated series from Family Guy duo Mark Hentemann and Seth MacFarlane. The show is about “two very different families living in a fictional Southwest desert town on the US–Mexico border” and explores politics and family, both of which will obviously be treated with care and sensitivity by MacFarlane. [Deadline]
Portia de Rossi (Arrested Development) will join Season 4 of Scandal, but the specifics of her role are being kept totally under wraps for now. Ellen DeGeneres broke the news in a tweet. [Twitter]
The weirdest news of the week: Syfy has partnered with Nick Cannon to produce a “weekly one-hour sci-fi fantasy improv series,” whatever that means. Each week, comedians will face off against improv squads in “various sci-fi/fantasy-related sketches.” [Deadline]
The CW continues its struggles with scripted comedies, axing both Seed and Backpackers after only two weeks on air. The network also moved up the premiere of America’s Next Top Model to August 18. [TV.com]