The Great Steve Carell Replacement Experiment Begins

Yes, NBC is sallying forth, trying to figure out what to do with The Office once he leaves. They have some ideas! Also today: Casting news about actors playing singers, descendants of singers becoming actors, and two hunks.

The inevitable Office water-treading has begun. Because the show's star Steve Carell is leaving after this season, they have to figure out just what the H-E-doubles they're gonna do. Bow out gracefully now that their leader is leaving? Heck no! That's not the American way. Instead the show's producers are rumored to be courting both Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down) and Rhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords) as potential leading funnyman replacements. Which, like... for Rhys Darby I get why he'd join the eighth season of a television program, but Danny McBride? Dude's already got it made. Of course the producers are also thinking about just promoting from within, placing a current employee in the empty manager's seat. My vote? Bring back Jan. Let's just change the show to Drunk Jan Puts On Music and Does Her Sad Drunk Dance, because really that scene is the best the show's ever been. [EW]

The Spider Man musical, Turn Off the Dark, will begin previews at the newly named Foxwoods Theater (ugh) on November 14th. I can't believe it's finally happening. You'd better not fuck this up, Taymor! [NYT]

Uh oh, Reese Witherspoon's Oscar is getting lonely. So she figured that she'd do another singing biopic, since the first one worked out so well. She's optioned and plans to star in a movie about the life of the singer Peggy Lee, a talented performer who was nevertheless overshadowed by her successful food magnate sister Sara, to be written and directed by ladyographer Nora Ephron. I'm not quite sure that Witherspoon can really capture the sultriness of Lee, but otherwise it sounds like a fine project. Better, certainly, than Water for Elephants, the spring movie she has coming out with Robert Pattinson. I mean, that vampyr gives good glower, but fool cannot act for a hill of bloodbeans. He couldn't act his way out of a paper coffin. He can't act to save his not-life. Etc. [Variety]

Channing Tatum, a turkey drumstick with lips, will star in (and produce! he's a big boy!) the movie adaptation of The Contortionist's Handbook. Tatum, whose hulking fleshiness belies a sprig-like limberness, will play a 1920s circus contortionist who writes his memoirs with his toes, and engages in death-defying aerial lovemaking with a Serbian trapeze artist. No, actually, it's about a forger who keeps changing his identity. Pity. Those sex scenes would pose a really interesting filming opportunity for some ambitious director. Hey, maybe you could still make that movie. Under the Tent. Swinging. The Mysterious Mr. Twinklymumenz's Wonderful, Blunderful Big Top. You know, something like that. [Deadline]

Cheyenne Jackson, bird-eyed beauty of stage and suddenly screen, has officially joined the cast of Glee. He'll play the mysterious Theodorus Twinklymumenz, a kind yet vaguely sinister Eastern European who runs a circus that's sprinkled with ancient, dark magicks. He tries to lure Kurt away from the bright world of New Directions and into his strangely enchanting circus realm. Or, I dunno, he's playing Idina Menzel's replacement at Vocal Adrenalin. Whatever. [Variety]

The granddaughter of gun and banana spokesman Elvis Presley, a model named Riley Keough, is now moving into acting. She played Dakota Fanning's sister in The Runaways, a movie about Dave Pirner working at a diner in Oregon and remembering old days, and now she's going to be in Fury Road, a new installment in the Mad Max series. This is not to be confused with Furry Road, which is the Warner Herzog-directed documentary chronicling the filming of Furry Vengeance and Brendan Fraser's subsequent descent into madness. So yeah, Riley Keough, ladies and gentlemen. She'll be playing opposite Zoe Kravitz, herself a scion of music royalty (of a sort). [THR]

Aw, well that's nice. Ryan Devlin, the elfin faced shagster who was fired from Shit My Dad Says, has been scooped up by another series. Well, he's already been on Cougar Town, but now his character is going to be expanded because he got canned from Shit. Getting Shit canned (heh) was probably the best thing to ever happen to this kid. I mean, he still has to be on Cougar Town, but at least it's not Fake Quotes from Twitter: A Hilarious New CBS Program. At least it's not that. [EW]