Today’s TV Bits centers mostly around renewals, pickups, and projects in development, though there’s an interesting holiday-appropriate video in here for you as well. After the jump:

  • Showtime renews Homeland for a third season
  • CBS’ Elementary and Vegas get full-season orders
  • CW wants more Arrow, Beauty & the Beast, and Emily Owens
  • Jimmy Fallon’s Guys With Kids gets five more scripts
  • Big Bang Theory writer is developing Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • Fox’s New Girl and Raising Hope get two more episodes
  • ABC commits to bar-set Mixology, from Hangover scribes
  • Jane Fonda books a starring sitcom gig on ABC’s Now What?
  • Boardwalk Empire writer sells Jane Austen and West Memphis Three dramas
  • Fox is working on non-superpowered superhero comedy The B Team
  • Jennifer Garner returns to TV as an executive producer
  • Watch a new clip from NBC’s Mockingbird Lane

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The West Memphis ThreeJason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley Jr., and Damien Echols — may be free, but their story isn’t over. Driven to enter guilty pleas and accept ‘time served’ sentences in order to return to the free world, the men are saddled with felony records for crimes that very few believe were ever proved to be their responsibility. Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, who brought the Three to global attention with the documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, are prepping their third movie about the WM3, which will premiere soon at TIFF before hitting the New York Film Festival and finally playing on HBO.

HBO now thinks there could be a fourth film to be made about the case, based on the manner in which the WM3 had to plead guilty in order to become free. And, in a related note, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh continue to support the WM3 by further bankrolling an investigation into the people truly responsible for the murders of three 8-year old boys in 1993. Read More »

Last week saw the dramatic end to the story of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., aka the West Memphis Three. The trio were the subject of Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky‘s documentary Paradise Lost in 1996. That film told of how the three young men had been tried and convicted for the murders of three 8-year old boys in 1993, despite a lack of any physical evidence. (The three were convicted in part because of supposed Satanist leanings and interests in metal and the occult.) The fact that the three are free is wonderful, but that freedom was obtained not through exoneration, but by pleading guilty to the murders and being released with time served for the 18 years each has spent in prison. It’s hardly justice.

Berlinger and Sinofsky were almost finished with their third documentary about the case, and are talking about how the end of the case will be reflected in their film. And Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan has announced his plan to make a dramatic feature based on the case. Finally, Peter Jackson, who along with Fran Walsh, Eddie Vedder, Johhny Depp and others contributed to the WM3′s defense fund, has responded to the end of the case. Read More »

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