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Hallmark Channel to air two new series, primetime Martha Stewart specials

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  • This is a good thing: The Hallmark Channel announced it would air two new series following The Martha Stewart Show: talk show Whatever — starring Stewart’s own daughter, Alexis — and cooking show Mad Hungry with Lucinda, hosted by Lucinda Scala Quinn. The network will also air two primetime holiday specials with Stewart, pegged to Halloween and Christmas. [Deadline]
  • Mekhi Phifer, Octavia Spencer, Matt Ryan, Pruitt Taylor Vince, and Jeffrey Tambor have all joined the Patrick Dempsey toplined bank heist flick, Flypaper. And if that doesn’t work out for them, there’s always money in the banana stand. [THR]
  • Robert De Niro’s production company, Tribeca Prods., will develop Shalom Auslander’s Paradise Lost for the big screen. All About Steve and License to Wed writer Kim Barker will adapt the script. Hm. I’m tempted to comment, but I’m not in the mood for De Niro to be talkin’ to me. [Variety]
  • Ashton Kutcher’s Katalyst Media — which developed shows like Punk’d, True Beauty, and Beauty and the Geek — has signed a two-year deal with Warner Horizon Television to develop more unscripted formats. Still waiting to see Justin Timberlake: Everybody Cries. [THR]
  • A press release from the Roundabout Theatre Company announced Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter will begin previews on Broadway Sept. 10, with its official opening slated for Sept. 28.