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Upfront TV: Fresh “RHNYC” Blood | “Roz” Joins “CSI” | Smits Joins “Anarchy” | “Catch”/WWE Crossover

Published on April 06, 2012
  • Some new but presumably soon-to-be-spilled blood at Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New York City” for its fifth season, which premieres with a 90-minute super-sized episode on Monday, June 4 at 9 P.M. ET/PT. Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, Sonja Morgan and Ramona Singer welcome Aviva Drescher, Carole Radziwill and Heather Thomson as they navigate their hectic lifestyles of jam-packed social calendars, careers, children and city living. Drescher is a philanthropist, Radziwill an Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist (and Jacqueline Kennedy relative by marriage), and Thomson most famous for her shapewear “Yummie Tummie.”

  • “Frasier” alum Peri Gilpin (who played secretary Roz) will join the Season 12 finale of “CSI” on CBS, says The Hollywood Reporter. This will be the first episode in a multiepisode arc, and Gilpin will play the wife of Ted Danson's D.B. Russell (frequently referred to, but never seen).  The finale airs Wednesday, May 9 at 10 P.M., and the story arc continues into the 13th season. Also, “Charlie’s Angels” alum Jaclyn Smith (who played the classy one) will return for the finale, reprising her role as Hodges' pushy mother Olivia. Smith.
  • In other casting news, Jimmy Smits will join FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” in its fifth season, for a season-long arc, reports Deadline Holllywood. Smits will play Neron “Nero” Padilla, a Latino gangbanger who becomes a mentor for Jax (Charlie Hunnam). “Sons” doesn’t need the help, but Smits has breathed life into a couple of tiring series, including “NYPD Blue” where he replaced the difficult David Caruso, and “The West Wing” as an Obama-like presidential candidate. Smits’ series credits also include “LA Law,” for which he won an Emmy, “Cane” and “Outlaw.” “Sons” SOA has been renewed for a fifth and sixth season.
  • Also from Deadline, NBC has re-upped Matt Lauer long term to host the top-rated morning show “Today” (his contract is up at the end of the year). Deadline sees this as a bid for “Today” to hold its ground against ABC’s “Good Morning America,” which has closed on “Today” in the ratings over the last year, and edged “Today” once this week in ratings, with guest host Katie Couric. A few awkward moments earlier this week, when Lauer interviewed Ryan Seacrest, and the two quashed rumors that Seacrest would take over for Lauer. GMA’s strongest draw is Robin Roberts, who is staying put at ABC.
  • In a clever crossover bid, Discovery Channel is partnering with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on a powerhouse promotion for “Deadliest Catch,” celebrating its 100th episode with the show’s Tuesday, April 10, 2012 premiere. Anchored by a first-ever integration, Catch crew and WWE Superstars came face-to-face at WrestleMania XXVIII on April 1, broadcasted to millions around the world on pay-per-view and in front of the record-setting, sold out stadium of 78,363 fans. “We could have just bought an ad, but to have an opportunity to bring these two brands together and really engage the fans with our content was really important to us,” said Discovery’s Chief Marketing Officer David Shackley. Plus the partnership is multi-platform across WWE television programming, WWE.com, live events and social media. Custom “Deadliest Catch” elements will be part of an integrated presence on WWE.com through mid-April including: exclusive video with WWE talent promoting Deadliest Catch; a “Battle Mode” game where fans pick their favorite "Catch" characters.