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In the entertainment industry news comes out fast and furious, and sometimes the importance and impact of some of those developments gets lost in the shuffle. Here's a look at three of the top pop culture stories from the past week that you may have missed and why they are worth a second look.
Jim Parsons set to host Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live, the longtime staple for NBC (a subsidiary of Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA ) ), has had some strong guests over its most recent season, but its next one might be among its most anticipated yet. The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons was announced this week as the host of the show's March 1 edition with musical guest Beck. This marks the Emmy winner's first time hosting the show and one of his most high-profile appearances outside of the CBS hit.
Impact on network
Parsons may not be a name on the level of Miley Cyrus or Melissa McCarthy, but maybe he should be. The affable star of TV's highest-rated comedy is immensely talented and this will give him a great stage to show audiences a different side. Parsons is primed for a big 2014 as he's also one of the leads in HBO's adaptation of the Tony-award winning play The Normal Heart directed by Ryan Murphy. This is a big get for NBC and the ratings should reflect that.
CBS reveals Big Bang Theory will start season on a different night
Speaking of Big Bang Theory, you'll remember a few weeks ago CBS (NYSE: CBS ) made waves when it announced it had secured the rights to eight of next season's Thursday night football games. Given that Bang airs on Thursdays, the assumption was that CBS would hold back the show a few weeks until November. But on an earnings call this week, network topper Les Moonves stated the season premiere of Bang and crime drama Elementary would not be delayed, meaning both shows will temporarily (?) be on the move.
Impact on network
Following the initial CBS/NFL announcement, analysts kicked around many scenarios about what CBS would do on Thursdays for those eight weeks in the fall, but now the network is showing its cards a little. Granted, in trademark style, Moonves said a lot by saying very little, other than acknowledging that CBS was "not going to wait until November" to air those shows. Whatever executives decide will have ramifications for the other networks that are already trying to figure out CBS' plans. This new wrinkle fills in the puzzle a bit, but we'll likely have to wait until May for the big reveal. Regardless, it will keep their rivals on their toes.
Seth Meyers names SNL cast-mate Fred Armisen as band leader
And the new bandleader for Seth Meyers late night show is … Fred Armisen? NBC announced this week that the former Saturday Night Live star will reunite with his longtime cast-mate as the music front man of Meyers' new Late Night With Seth Meyers. The 8G Band will make its debut next week.
Impact on network
Well this was a shock! While it's not uncommon for talk shows to hire big name house bands (i.e., Jimmy Fallon snaring The Roots), this one's a little surprising because everyone knows Armisen as a comedian, not a musician. However, the actor is also a trained musician who began his career as a drummer for The Blue Man Group.
You have to give NBC credit here -- this is a great signing and one that helps to continue to set the tone for what Meyers' show will be like. For those of you wondering what this means for Armisen's hit IFC show Portlandia, you can relax, it shouldn't impact it at all. Meyers said this week his friend will be able to "curate and lead" the band even during production.
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