The Improbable Rise of NBC

Today in show business news: NBC is doing remarkably well right now, Comedy Central renews a very bad show, and James Gandolfini is heading back to HBO.

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So get this. Right now, of all the broadcast networks, NBC, long-struggling doom-plagued NBC, home of the Leno shuffle and whatever The Marriage Ref was, is number one. Yes. It's currently beating Fox, The CW, ABC, and even CBS. Somehow the peacock has learned how to fly! Granted this is only for the last two weeks, and the network has had a lot of premieres which tend to open big, but still. The Voice is dominating, Matthew Perry's new show Go On is doing surprisingly well, and a bunch of other comedies are doing OK too. This is a goshdarn miracle, basically. They can finally get the Rockefeller ice skating rink outta hock, Brian Williams might finally get paid, and they can afford a nice coffin for Community. We never thought we'd see the day. Though of course we shouldn't make too much out of this. After all, TB patients used to get a lovely glow just before they died. So. [Enterainment Weekly]

Elsewhere in TV, things are grim. Comedy Central has renewed rape comedian Daniel Tosh's show Tosh.0 for a fifth season. If you're unfamiliar with Tosh.0, that's the show where a snarky chump makes jokes about internet videos. No, no, not Ridiculousness, the other one. The even worse one. Yeah, that one. It's back for a fifth season, baby. So, y'know, prepare for some more rape jokes from America's number one rape comedian. [Deadline]

Olympic gold medal winner Gabby Douglas, known more commonly by her Christian name The Flying Squirrel, will guest star on an upcoming episode of The Vampire Diaries. Douglas has professed to being a fan of the show, and of dainty vamp Ian Somerhalder, so now she gets to meet everyone and do a little acting with them. That's nice. It's not been determined who or what she'll be playing, maybe she'll just be herself, but we're kind of hoping that she gets to stake a vampire or do something involving flips and uneven bars or whatever. Maybe she could kill Damon. Destroy the thing you love, Gabby! Kill it!! [The Hollywood Reporter]

James Gandolfini is returning to HBO. He will soon film a pilot for the network called Criminal Justice. But don't worry! He'll be on the justice side this time, not the criminal. Gandolfini will play a lawyer on the show, which is based on a British series, and in theory will involve a different criminal case each season. Hm, yeah right. We heard that same thing from The Killing, and we all know how that ended up. But still! James Gandolfini, back on HBO, doin' some acting. That's pretty exciting. Not as exciting as another glorious season of Tosh.0, but exciting nonetheless. Not as exciting as Gabby Douglas standing on a pile of vampire viscera, shrieking at the moon, but exciting. [Deadline]

Oh dear. The CW is developing a pilot based on Alice in Wonderland, only on this show, which would be called Wunderland (because it's underground, get it?), it's modern day and Alice is a detective and Wonderland is under Los Angeles. Which... Ergh... But wait, it gets better! McG will be a producer, as will a writer from The Playboy Club. So basically get outta the way, all other TV show There will never be anything better than this. Not even you, Gandolfini. Wunderland! Beautiful. Tremendous. We don't have nearly enough shows about cops or California or other things like that. [Entertainment Weekly]

Here's a red band trailer (meaning it's extra scary, and swear-y) for Ethan Hawke's upcoming horror movie Sinister, which is about a writer moving into a spooky house and finding some spooky home movies and then some spooky things happen. Including ghost people in the computer, which... I'm sorry, but computers will never be scary. Never ever. There is nothing scary about computers. Sorry, movie writers! It's just never gonna work. Not for computers, not for cellphones, and certainly not for anything else, so burn that enchanted iPad script you're working on right now. Just get over it. But anyway, otherwise this looks pretty scary!

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.