March 12, 2013
Actor Christian Slater is giving TV another go. He has joined ABC’s drama pilot “Influence,” playing the brother of previously announced cast member Steve Zahn. In the last five years Slater’s TV credits include “My Own Worst Enemy,” “The Forgotten” and “Breaking In.”
Michael Spiesman has been named vice president and director of national sales at Gray Television, which operates TV stations in 30 markets. Spiesman had been president at Katz Continental Television Sales.
NBCUniversal has named Gregory A. Jackson vice president of university outreach, a new position at the company. Jackson was previously vice president for policy at EDUCAUSE.
Desiree Hartsock, who appeared on the most recent season of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” has been named the star of the upcoming season of “The Bachelorette,” which premieres May 20. Hartsock was eliminated from “The Bachelor” during hometown date week.
ABC has added “The Bachelor” star Sean Lowe to “Dancing with the Stars,” which begins its 16th season on March 18. The newly engaged Lowe will partner with dancer Peta Murgatroyd on “Stars.”
NBC’s upcoming pirate drama “Crossbones” has added some star power. Actor John Malkovich has joined the 10-episode series, where he will play the pirate Blackbeard. Malkovich most recently appeared in the movie “Warm Bodies.”
Sundance Channel has made two moves, promoting Christian Vesper to senior vice president of scripted development and current and hiring Jordan Helman as director of scripted development at current, reporting to Vesper. Vesper most recently oversaw development at the network, while Helman joins from Landscape Entertainment.
National Geographic Channel has signed on actor Rob Lowe to narrate ” The ’80s: The Decade That Made Us,” a six-part miniseries premiering April 14. Lowe currently appears on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.”
A&E has added Josh Lucas and Lynn Collins to the cast of its drama pilot “Occult,” from producer Michael Bay. The duo will play a pair of FBI agents in the project.
InStyle magazine has a new style director, naming Melissa Rubini to the position. Rubini is a former fashion director at Bullet magazine, and she was most recently style director at MR Studio.
Writer Sylvia Day has signed on with book publisher Harlequin to launch Cosmo Red Hot Reads, a new ebook program with Cosmopolitan magazine. The program will launch on Aug. 15 with the release of “Afterburn,” Day’s first of two books under the deal.
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