TV Type: Shirley MacLaine returns to 'Downton Abbey' with six new cast members
BY RITA SHERROW World Television Editor
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
3/05/13 at 6:54 AM
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Original Print Headline: Shirley MacLaine to return to 'Downton'
Shirley MacLaine will be back on "Downton Abbey" next season.
MacLaine, who last season played American Martha Levinson, mother of Cora, Lady Grantham, is returning for the fourth season of the series, according to deadline.com. Last season, her character traveled to the Yorkshire estate for the wedding of heir Matthew Crawley to Lady Mary.
On Saturday, Carnival Films and Masterpiece on PBS also announced six new cast members joining the hit British drama series.
Opera star Kiri Te Kanawa will portray a guest who sings at Downton. Also new next season will be Tom Cullen as Lord Gillingham, a friend of the family who attends a Downton house party; Dame Harriet Walter as Lady Shackleton, who is a friend of the Dowager (Maggie Smith); and Julian Ovendon as aristocrat Charles Blake, the website reported.
They join Nigel Harman as the new valet, Green, and Joanna David in a guest role as the Duchess of Yeovil.
The series has won nine Emmys, two Golden Globes and a coveted Screen Actors Guild Award for the ensemble cast, which is the first time the cast of a British television show has won this award.
"Downton Abbey" is in production in England and is set to debut there in September and on PBS in the United States in January 2014.
"Zero Hour," starring Anthony Edwards (left) and Jacinda Barrett, has been removed from ABC's lineup. PHILLIPPE BOSSE / ABC
ABC cancels "Zero Hour" after three episodes
Viewers may never know if Hank is able to save the world and rescue his wife, Laila, as ABC has canceled "Zero Hour."
The conspiracy thriller series with shades of "The Da Vinci Code" debuted to historically low ratings on Valentine's Day. It has been pulled from the schedule after three episodes, according to deadline.com. "Zero Hour" premiered opposite the No. 1 Thursday series "The Big Bang Theory" on CBS and "American Idol" on Fox.
Anthony Edwards starred in his first post-"ER" role in the series, which will be replaced at 7 p.m. Thursdays with encores of "Shark Tank" for the next two weeks. Then seven non-celebrity episodes of "Wife Swap" will take over the slot until "Wipeout" returns May 9, according to the website. ABC may air the remaining episodes of "Zero Hour" during the summer, but no decision has been announced.
"Zero Hour" joins "FlashForward," "My Generation," "Charlie's Angels," "Missing" and "Last Resort" as series that could not draw ratings in the 7 p.m. Thursday time slot in the past couple of years, the website reported.
It is also the third midseason series with NBC's "Do No Harm" and CBS' "The Job" to be canceled. The CW has also moved "Cult" to Friday nights following only two airings. That's not a good sign for that fledgling series.
Heidi Klum is fourth judge on "America's Got Talent"
NBC has added Heidi Klum as the fourth judge for the new season of "America's Got Talent."
The supermodel and fashion designer will join returning judges Howie Mandel and Howard Stern along with new judge former Spice Girl Mel B when the show returns this summer. She is also host and executive producer of "Project Runway."
"America's got some serious talent! I'm really excited to join the panel of 'AGT' to see it all - from the ridiculous to the fantastic," Klum told NBC.
"I love the surprise element of the show and not knowing what we'll see next and who will wow us. I'm also looking forward to spending time with my fellow judges - Howard Stern, Howie Mandel and Mel B."
This summer marks the first time the entertainment reality competition has had four judges.
Former judge Sharon Osbourne left the show at the end of the fifth season of the series in a dispute with NBC over her son, 26-year-old Jack, not being allowed to compete on a reality show because he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
The televised talent search is open to acts of all ages. The winner of the competition takes home a $1 million prize.
Shirley MacLaine will return to "Downton Abbey" season four as Martha Levinson, the American mother of Lady Cora Grantham. Courtesy/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE