Though Disney’s The Muppets sequel will be a big-screen release, Kermit and company apparently haven’t forgotten their small-screen roots. Last month, Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell signed to play two key human characters in the film. Now, Tina Fey is rounding out the cast as the female lead.

The plotline and other details are being kept vague for now, but thanks to a tipster who worked in production on the last film, we also have some word on what the title might be. Read on after the jump.

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With the semi-annual Television Critics Association press tour in full swing, there’s no shortage of TV news at the start of this week. After the jump:

  • Ryan Murphy‘s Normal Heart is coming to HBO
  • Ricky GervaisLife’s Too Short will end this season
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar is returning to TV with a comedy
  • NBC explains why it passed on Mockingbird Lane
  • Community‘s fourth season will have “more heart”
  • Up All Night loses its creator as it undergoes a revamp
  • Steve Carell will probably never return to The Office
  • Revolution‘s midseason premiere gets a new trailer
  • Watch a promo for Kevin Williamson‘s The Following
  • Starz offers trailers for Magic City and Da Vinci’s Demons

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The European-set sequel to The Muppets has traded out Christoph Waltz for Ty Burrell, and now the film has added another TV comedy talent. Ricky Gervais is in talks for a major role in the film. He’ll be the lead, in fact — or at least the “lead human.” That’s a necessary distinction when talking about a Muppet movie.

For those who love classic Gervais work such as the office, but aren’t always wild about the tenor of his more recent stuff, this could be a pleasant bit of news. (Presumably, this won’t be a big Muppet-decorated comedy about atheism.) In fact, Gervais is noted as a fan of the characters, making him an appropriate successor to Jason Segel, the fan who last starred in a Muppet movie.

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Ah, fall — not only are new shows debuting and old shows returning, shows that don’t even exist yet are getting picked up left and right. After the jump:

  • HBO renews Treme for a fourth and final season
  • Ron Moore is adapting A Knight’s Tale for ABC
  • Fox updates Hamlet for modern-day Washington, DC
  • Homeland casts F. Murray Abraham as a CIA agent
  • James Caan will be a mob boss on Starz’ Magic City
  • Ricky Gervais‘ comedy Derek is headed to Netflix

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Alums of Friday Night LightsRoswell, and Wonderfalls find new jobs in this edition of TV Bits. After the jump:

  • American Horror Story‘s second season gets titled
  • Shiri Appleby will romance Hannah’s ex on Girls
  • … which, along with Enlightened, will return in January
  • Parenthood adds yet another Friday Night Lights alum
  • Wonderfalls star Caroline Dhavernas joins Hannibal
  • Chuck Lorre will release a $100 coffee table book
  • Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington have a new web series

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Community‘s Dan Harmon is very sorry you had to witness that nasty drama between him and Chevy Chase. Also after the jump:

  • The first three minutes of Falling Skies‘ second season
  • Target’s “Little Avengers” ad is pretty cute, if you like kids
  • HBO releases another trailer for its politica satire Veep
  • Robert Redford will produce a Watergate doc for Discovery
  • Christopher Mintz-Plasse, a.k.a. McLovin, heads to CBS
  • Watch a preview for Ricky Gervais’ new comedy-drama Derek

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Today’s TV Bits offers a few things to look forward to in the not-too-distant future, including imperiled lawyers, asshole baseball players, pretty flight attendants, and a touch of dry British humor. After the jump:

  • NBC drops two teasers for its legal thriller The Firm
  • HBO announces premiere dates for Eastbound & Down and Life’s Too Short
  • ABC confirms that Pan Am is not cancelled

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slashfilmcast550

This week, David, Devindra, and Adam discuss the sad business of Brett Ratner’s Oscar-hosting gig, unabashedly praise Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, ponder the bizarre world of Cars, and get excited for new episodes of Arrested Development. Special guest Keith Phipps joins us from AV Club. To read more about the twisted world of Cars check out Eric D Snider’s and Rachel Mercer’s respective blog posts. Also, check out the AV Club’s awesome podcast, Reasonable Discussions.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. We’ll be reviewing The Muppets and Hugo next week.

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