TVLine Items: TWD Alum Joins Bates, Sunny Hits Ratings High and More

Bates Motel Austin Nichols

The Walking Dead vet Austin Nichols is trading zombies for psychos.

The actor will recur during the fifth and final season of Bates Motel as Sam Loomis, a mysterious and charismatic newcomer to White Pine Bay, our sister site Deadline reports.

Sam quickly antagonizes Norman Bates when he tries to involve the motel owner in his web of lies. Nichols’ other TV credits include Ray Donovan, One Tree Hill and John From Cincinnati. 

Bates Motel returns for its farewell season Monday, Feb. 20 at 10/9c on A&E.

Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well…

* The Season 12 premiere of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia gave FXX its most-watched (1.41 million total viewers) and highest-rated (1.14 million viewers aged 18-49) original telecast ever, the network announced Monday.

* Showtime’s new drama series I’m Dying Up Here, about Los Angeles’ ’70s stand-up comedy scene, will premiere Sunday, June 4 at 10/9c, the network announced Monday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. Additionally, the limited event series Guerrilla, executive-produced by John Ridley (American Crime) and starring Idris Elba (Luther), will debut Sunday, April 16 at 9/8c.

* In more TCA press tour news: Showtime has given a series order to the comedy White Famous, which follows a gifted black comedian (Saturday Night Live‘s Jay Pharoah) who struggles with how to stay true to himself and keep his credibility as he approaches “white famous” levels of celebrity.

* Neil Jackson (Sleepy Hollow), Angel Bonnani (Shots Fired), Cara Theobold (Downton Abbey), Bruno Bichir (Narcos) and Ralph Ineson (The Witch) have joined the cast of AXN’s straight-to-series crime thriller Absentia, starring Stana Katic (Castle) and Patrick Heusinger (Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce), Deadline reports.

* Phil Rosenthal’s food and travel show I’ll Have What Phil’s Having is moving from PBS to Netflix, Rosenthal revealed on Twitter.