TVLine Items: Once Upon a Time Adds Alphas Alum, Ken Marino Joins NBC Pilot and More

Once Upon a Time SpoilersIt’s time to put on your sparkly thinking caps, Once Upon a Time fans, and speculate on which fairytale character is next to arrive upon the scene.

Exhibit A: John Pyper-Ferguson (Alphas, Brothers & Sisters) has booked a major guest-starring role on the ABC drama, EW.com reports. Exhibit B: He will be playing Ben, a widower striving to help his son cope with the death of his mother.

Hmm. Was Ben’s wife shot by a hunter in the woods? If so, we have at least one theory….

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

* The CW’sBeauty and the Beast has promoted Heroes/Covert Affairs alum Sendhil Ramamurthy to series regular status — weeks ahead of his Feb. 28 debut as a charismatic ADA spearheading the search for the vigilante (aka Vincent).

Party Down’s Ken Marino and The Daily Show‘s Aasif Mandvi have joined the NBC comedy pilot The Gates, which examines the 15 minutes that span picking up and dropping off kids at elementary school.

* HBO has double-secretly confirmed that Girls will be back for a 12-episode Season 3.

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• In ratings news, American Horror Story: Asylum‘s Wednesday finale drew 2.3 million total viewers and a 1.3 demo rating among, down some 26 percent versus the Season 1 closer.

Katie‘s on-camera interview with Manti Te’o (and his parents) netted the daytime talker its highest Household rating since its Sept. 10, 2012 debut, surging 30 percent over its prior four-week average.

ABC has changed the name of its celebrity diving series to — wait for it — Splash, which premieres Tuesday, March 19.

• ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols has been plucked away by CNN and Turner Sports. She will cover the NBA and MLB for Turner and work major sporting events for CNN. She is also due to get her own weekend sports program on CNN, premiering later this year.

Which TVLine Items have you talking today?