Phat actress Kirstie Alley has a new TV show in the works, so she is a working actress again! Also today: Saturday Night Live lands some funny hosts, Lauren Ambrose takes a big musical role, and Ashton Kutcher is sad and rich.

  • Wine-eyed Scientologist Kirstie Alley, aged 60 (crazy, right?), is popular again after placing second on Sadly Teetering Around with the Stars, so now ABC has ordered a television pilot for her. The show is called The Manzanis and it's all about Kirstie Alley sitting in her rec room watching Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids Edition and eating manzanis, a kind of fried lasagna calzone type of thing. Well, no, not actually. That's made up. There's no such food as manzanis, even though what I described sounds sort of delicious, right? No, I'm assuming the Manzanis are a wacky, bickering but loving Italian family who have hilarious escapades once a week. The guy who played Artie Bucco will costar as husband Jimmy Manzani and there will be a wisecracking old person and some horny teenage kids who like clothing and/or dirt bikes and there's probably a zany friend thrown in somewhere? And the main set is a living room? I don't know. I'm just imagining some TGIF-type show with a theme song that's like "It ain't easy livin' in the world today / Nothin's free, you always gotta pay / Seems it's one step forward and a few steps back / You need somebody, as a matter of fact / That's why I got you and you got me / That's why they call it faaamillyyyyyy..." Oh god almighty don't you wish shows like that still existed? Shows with opening credits songs where everyone turns to the camera and smiles? Simple pleasures. Anyway, good for you Kirstie! [Deadline]
  • Oh brother, here we go. It's gone and been announced that Ashton Kutcher's character on Two and a Half Men will be an "internet billionaire with a broken heart" named Walden Schmidt. All right, all right. Uncle! Uncle. You got me, I give up. Nice gag, guys. Nice gag indeed. The show ended already, right? I mean, c'mon, I know you're not going to put Ashton Kutcher on television as a sad internet billionaire named Walden Schmidt, not in 2011. That would be preposterously annoying! And, if anything, TV is never annoying. Whew, you really had me going there for a while but, if you want some joke advice, I think the "Walden Schmidt" part kinda took it too far, it tipped your hand a bit. Less is more in prank comedy, y'know? Anyway. Two and a Half Men is a show that was on once and isn't anymore and Ashton Kutcher is still a camera salesman/eldercare provider. That's all! [EW]
  • Saturday Night Live will be returning for another season of mild chuckles and single "Huhs" in a little while, so they've gotta figure out hosts. They've got two so far! Melissa McCarthy from Bridesmaids will host the second episode of the season, while an actor named Alex Baldwing or something will host the premiere. This Baldwing (Badlin? Boodmin? Barfin? Who knows) has apparently hosted the show fifteen other times and will break the hosting record with this gig, just squeaking past frequent host Steef Marvin or somebody. Who knows with these Hollywood actors! There are so many of them these days. I just hope that guy from Two and a Half Men, Assman Clutcher I think, doesn't host. He's annoying. [THR]
  • Ryan Murphy showed a rough cut of the first episode of his new FX show American Horror Story at the TCAs last night and it sounds bonkers bananas. Like totally loopy poops. With like dead babies and old ladies who are also sexy young ladies and blood on the walls and Connie Britton doing S&M with Dylan McDermott Mulroney and everything. I mean, it sounds kind of great? But it is Ryan Murphy, so it will probably be fun for a little while and then just turn smug and awful. (Much like these posts!) Still, for a few crazy episodes it might be the most interesting thing on TV. [EW]
  • The delightful and underutilized Lauren Ambrose has officially been cast as Fanny Brice in a new Broadway-bound production of Funny Girl, meaning the gay world is stormy right now, folks. As my gay colleague who is gay points out, if you're not Babs, you're gonna get heat for playing Fanny. Everyone thought Lea Michele from Glib would be playing this part, because she is the heir apparent to Barbra Streisand (and the heir literal to Idina Menzel, right? They are actually just two very similar parts of the same person?), but nope, it's Ambrose instead. The girl can actually blow, so don't worry about her singing. She'll be great. She lives in the Berkshires, did you know that? Isn't that great? So regular and unassuming. So hush up, geighs. She's gonna be just fine. [Playbill]
  • Actor and documentary director Michael Rapaport has been cast in a new HBO pilot called 40, alongside Ed Burns. The show is about guys becoming disillusioned with being 40. So it could also be called Men of a Different Certain Age. This is good! I've always liked Michael Rapaport, even though he did that insanely awful show The War at Home. Remember that turkey? Oof. Though, it did introduce Egyptian sex pharoah Rami Malek to us, so I guess I can't totally hate it. But yeah, nice work Rapaport. You too, Ed Burns. Maybe you could get your movie brother Mike McGlone on the show? Y'know, so he can stop doing Geico commercials? Just an idea. [Deadline]

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