TVLine Items: Big American Horror Story Scoop, NBC Slots Erica Durance Drama and More!

American Horror Storys second season will be all about Jessica Lange.

Executive producer Ryan Murphy has confirmed that the Oscar-winning actress, who won both a Golden Globe and SAG Award for her work on the FX thriller, will be back for Season 2 in a big way. 

“We have designed the second season of American Horror Story completely around her [brand new] character,” Murphy tells “This will really be the Jessica Lange show so I’m very excited about it. We are designing this amazing new opposite-of-the-Constance character for her.”

The EP also announced that he will reveal the identities of the three other actors who have signed on to return for Season 2 this Friday at the American Horror Story PaleyFest panel, so stick close to TVLine for the scoop.

Ready for more of today’s TV dish? Well…

NBC has picked up a 13-episode season of Saving Hope, a Toronto-based drama starring and produced by Smallville vet Erica Durance. The project centers on a surgeon (Durance) whose comatose fiancé (played by fellow Smallville alum Michael Shanks) wanders various wards as a spirit. Vampire Diaries’ Daniel Gillies also co-stars. The series is set to bow this summer on both NBC and Canada’s CTV. Press PLAY below for a preview.

• Brett Butler (Grace Under Fire) has joined the cast of Charlie Sheen’s upcoming FX comedy, Anger Management. Per Deadline, the actress will play a bartender at the local spot Charlie (also the character’s name) regularly frequents.

• Molly Shannon has landed a recurring role in the upcoming second season of HBO’s Enlightened. The Saturday Night Live alumna — who recently appeared on NBC’s Up All Night — will play the fiercely loyal executive assistant to Abaddonn’s CEO, Deadline reports.

• Downton Abbey fans can sneak a (blurry) peek at Shirley McClain on the set of the PBS smash hit here.

Kodi Kitchen (who plays Steve Webber’s unlikeable ex, Maggie) has been let go from ABC’s sole-surviving soap, General Hospital, Soap Opera Digest reports.

• Jocko Sims (Crash) will play Vance’s brother-in-law in the March 27 episode of NCIS, per TV Guide Magazine.

• CBS has revealed the final batch of companies to get the Undercover Boss treatment in Season 3: Yankee Candle (airing March 30), TaylorMade Golf Co. (April 6), Budget Blinds (April 13), Philly Pretzel Factory (April 27), FastSigns (May 4) and MASTEC (a builder of telecommunication and energy systems, May 11).

Which TVLine Items have you talking today?

Comments (61)

  • So excited to have Erica Durance back on TV! I loved the trailer for Saving Hope. So happy it’s airing on NBC

    Comment by James – March 1, 2012 12:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree and Erica Durance is a producer for Saving Hope which is awesome! So happy that she has her own show and very happy with the cast,love Daniel Gilles. And i’m really looking forward to see this show on NBC.

      Comment by TJ – March 3, 2012 12:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Awesome news about Saving Hope getting picked up! Shanks, Gillies and Durance are gonna rock it!

    Comment by Jason – March 1, 2012 12:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jessica Lange is awesome! Can’t wait for the second season!!!

    Comment by nikki – March 1, 2012 12:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So, so thrilled for Erica’s new show. The promo for SAVING HOPE was fantastic and both Daniel Gillies and Michael Shanks will make great co-stars. I can’t wait to check it out this summer. Interestingly enough, Erica Durance once said in an interview that one of the actresses she admired most was Jessica Lange. It’s one of the reasons I watched AMERICAN HORROR STORY (Connie Britton was the other). Jessica was one of the show’s highlights, so I’m very pleased to hear she’ll be returning. Thanks for all the great news about these fabulous women!

    Comment by Libby – March 1, 2012 12:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I was planning to comment on that as well when I saw JL’s pic after seeing ED’s name on the title! Good thing I read your post first.

      Now I’m hoping the Durance will have an opportunity to work with Jessica Lange; knowing Erica, she’ll be thrilled if that was to happen and I’m sure ED fans will be thrilled too!

      Comment by sunset – March 1, 2012 06:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • > played by fellow Smallville alum Michael Shanks

    So the 150+ episodes of Stargate he was on plus the fact that Erica Durance was on SG-1 before Smallville mean nothing?

    Comment by Carmichael – March 1, 2012 12:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • seconded!!!

      Comment by tlbrownlie – March 1, 2012 04:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • LOL. I was wondering why they didn’t mention Stargate, which is what I know him from.

      Comment by MattS – March 1, 2012 05:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yeah that was odd considering you can count on one hand the number of episodes Shanks did for Smallville–I think it was actually four–while he did Stargate for TEN YEARS.

      Comment by ChrisGa – March 1, 2012 06:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Exactly my point. The appeared together in Stargate a few years before he ever appeared on Smallville. But it’s sci fi and not on a broadcast network so it doesn’t count.

        Comment by Carmichael – March 1, 2012 11:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • This website probably does not even know Stargate. In all the years I followed Ausiello, Stargate never got any mentions, even though it ran longer than a lot of other series commented on here. Stargate just wasn’t good enough..

      Comment by Vanny – March 2, 2012 02:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Sorry, meant good enough for Ausiello… (it was my favorite show though)..

        Comment by Vanny – March 2, 2012 02:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am SO proud of you Erica Durance!!!!

    Comment by Jen – March 1, 2012 12:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Little boo-boo guys – you spelled Shirley MacLaine’s name wrong.

    Comment by Mary – March 1, 2012 12:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Erica, Michael, and Daniel? Consider me in! Thank god NBC is airing this. I didn’t want to have to resort to drastic measures!

    Comment by Michelle – March 1, 2012 12:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m so happy that Saving Hope was picked up in the US. Having Erica, Michael, and Daniel all in one show is awesome.

    Comment by Wrenn – March 1, 2012 12:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m so glad that we finally got a confirmation from NBC.
    Can’t wait for Saving Hope! So proud of Erica :)

    Comment by Cynthia – March 1, 2012 12:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So happy for Erica! I will be watching this summer!

    Comment by Lupe – March 1, 2012 12:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Am definitely gonna take a look at Saving Hope, even if its just because of Erica and Michael, but its a shame that it is airing on NBC, which means it’s sort of destined for failure, no matter how good the show actually is, i would of picked ABC for it.

    Comment by Martin – March 1, 2012 01:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Having Jessica Lange and the other actors play new characters on AHS is stupid. I doubt they’ll be good enough to make me forget the ones they played on the first season.
    Also, I wanna know what happens to Constance and li’l Antichrist. With the buildup they kinda owe us some answers about them.

    Comment by Meh – March 1, 2012 01:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’d much prefer it, if they’re approaching each season as a different series in a sense, that we never find out. It’s a bit of a fridge horror moment when you consider the many, many horrible things the antichrist could be doing right this moment that we’ll never know for sure.

      Comment by Jacob – March 1, 2012 01:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m happy that Erica Durance is getting a show that will air on NBC. It’s high concept…but she can carry a show. Whoever did that promo, however, has really great taste in music. Adele and Florence!!!!!

    Comment by Trenton – March 1, 2012 02:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • High concept? LOL it’s Grey’s Anatomy 2.0! Izzie, anyone?

      Comment by BRETT – March 1, 2012 09:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • It’s also a reverse of Gifted Man on CBS, right? Don’t watch that one, but I’ll check this one out because, A)there’s nothing on in the summer, B) Daniel!, and C) it looks alright.

        Comment by Danielle H – March 3, 2012 08:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m really looking forward to watching such talented people–Erica Durance, Michael Shanks, and Daniel Gillies–on SAVING HOPE this summer on NBC. The trailer for the show was moving and powerful. I already feel invested in these characters. Thanks TVLine for keeping me updated!

    Comment by Christine – March 1, 2012 02:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Look at that. I finally have a reason to turn the channel to NBC. It’s been a few years. Good job, NBC!

    Comment by NicholeG81 – March 1, 2012 02:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • At last! NBC have really dragged their feet in confirming Saving Hope. Really good news for Erica Durance fans, but I can’t help but feel that NBC only finally decided to air Saving Hope this summer because so many of their shows have failed this season, and they’ve already used up their stand-bys. I wish Erica’s new show were on another network – it seems that new shows go to NBC just to die! But I’ll take it anyway – so long as The Durance is back on my TV screen as much as possible!!

    Comment by jude – March 1, 2012 03:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yay! I´m so happy and excited for Erica! She always the best in this world. Can´t wait!
    Thank you for the scoop, Megan!

    Comment by Fê Rosa – March 1, 2012 04:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Looks like a great show. Hmm…wondering now if Elisha (sp?) is going to get killed off of The Vampire Diaries? Hmm…

    Comment by MattS – March 1, 2012 05:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I was thinking the same thing…

      Comment by jay – March 2, 2012 06:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Megan Masters, thank you sooo much for putting ED’s name on your title! As an Erica fan, I was sooo happy to see it up there (again)!!

    Fans of the Durance have been waiting for NBC confirmation… and I know I’m being sooo advanced but I hope that SH will be good enough for NBC to be renewed for next summer!!

    Thanks a lot and looking forward to more Saving Hope news and spoilers this summer from you!!

    Comment by sunset – March 1, 2012 06:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Saving Hope looks really sappy. If Durance and shanks weren’t starring, I’d probably give it a pass – even if it is a Canadian production.

    Comment by Sheldon W. – March 1, 2012 10:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Same here… Also, stupid title. We already had Raising Hope and Saving Grace; I mean, seriously! Might give it a try as well, just for the actors though.

      Comment by Lisa London – March 16, 2012 05:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Do we really think its wise to have Brett Butler and Charlie Sheen wandering around the same set?

    Comment by Luis – March 2, 2012 10:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Erica Durance and Michael Shanks starring together? Saving Hope’s looking good!

    Comment by Jo – March 2, 2012 11:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can’t Wait to see Durance back on my sreen. The trailer was great!!!!!

    Comment by Eliza – March 2, 2012 01:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Woo Hoo! Michael Shanks is back on TV! I’m so excited to see him in a new show. I guess I’ll have to start paying attention to NBC again…

    Comment by Kelly – March 15, 2012 03:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
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