After a debut that garnered AMC’s highest-ever ratings for a pilot, The Walking Dead has only grown more popular over the past couple of years. The midseason finale on December 2 drew 10.5 million viewers, solidifying its position as one of television’s best-performing series. So it’s no surprise at all that the cable network is pressing forward with Season 4, as officially announced today.

The news does come with a huge catch, however. Glen Mazzara, who’s served as showrunner since Frank Darabont left after Season 1, is stepping down himself after Season 3. A new showrunner for the fourth season has not been named. More details after the jump.

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If there’s one shade I associate with AMC’s The Walking Dead, it’s red — as in the color of all that stomach-turning blood and gore. But perhaps that’s only because I haven’t read Robert Kirkman‘s comic, which is illustrated in stark black and white. And starting in February, older episodes of the series will be presented the same way. Get ready to revisit the early days of the zombie apocalypse, only this time without color. More info after the jump.

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Norman and Norma Bates’ twisted relationship is the stuff of cinematic legend, but apparently things weren’t always so weird between them. In fact, the first photo from Bates Motel has them looking downright relaxed together. Also after the jump:

  • Veep‘s Anna Chlumsky will be an FBI trainee on Hannibal
  • The Wire‘s Chad Coleman is The Walking Dead‘s Tyreese
  • ABC’s The Mindy Project makes a few casting changes
  • Hugh Laurie will be the pirate Blackbeard on Crossbones
  • Mark Wahlberg and Fox are developing a pot comedy
  • The poster for Revolution‘s fall finale teases a big battle
  • Hate-watch the first trailer for Season 2 of NBC’s Smash

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There’s a lot of new stuff to get through in today’s TV Bits, so let’s get right to it. After the jump:

  • AMC and Dish settle legal dispute; AMC resumes airing on Dish
  • Why The Walking Dead ended up at AMC instead of HBO or NBC
  • NBC euthanizes Animal Practice and brings back Whitney
  • Louis C.K. lines up his Saturday Night Live hosting debut
  • Taken director Pierre Morel will work on NBC pilot After Hours
  • Pitch Perfect helmer Jason Moore will direct ABC’s Trophy Wife
  • Brendan Fraser heads to TNT for the drama pilot Legends
  • Andy Samberg joins Mike Schur and Dan Goor‘s new comedy
  • Craig Robinson lands the lead in Greg Daniels‘ NBC sitcom
  • Arrested Development re-hires Carl Weathers, gets a documentary
  • Check out Dany, Ser Jorah, and more on Game of Thrones‘ Qarth set

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Yes, that is James Bond rocking a horrible wig. Makes Silva’s odd blond mop look positively attractive, doesn’t it? After the jump:

  • M. Night Shyamalan sets up Moby Dick-ish series at NBC
  • Jason Bateman sells Wonder Years-esque show to NBC
  • Arrested Development announces walk-on role contest
  • Bryan Fuller adds a Pushing Daisies star to Hannibal
  • Lena Dunham promises more racial diversity in Girls
  • Childrens Hospital and NTSF:SD:SUV get renewals
  • Daniel Craig gets silly for Saturday Night Live promos
  • The Walking Dead Season 3 teaser makes the case for jail

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Tons and tons of cool TV news in the past few days, after the jump read about the following:

  • Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog is coming to The CW on October 9.
  • Producer Greg Berlanti is developing a modern take on Wuthering Heights called Napa.
  • Julian Fellowes has an idea for a prequel to Downton Abbey.
  • Nick Hornby’s book About A Boy was already a movie and now might become a TV series.
  • Watch the full season premieres of Dexter and Homeland online right now.
  • Patton Oswalt has joined the fourth season of Justified.
  • AMC released the first of 4 webisodes to get your ready for season 3 of The Walking Dead.
  • Boardwalk Empire has just been renewed for a fourth season.
  • The MTV Movie Awards will now be in April.
  • Cinemax’s Strike Back will be back for a third season.

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Today we have a nice mix of shows that don’t even exist yet, shows that have already been cancelled, and everything in between. After the jump:

  • Baz Luhrmann is making his first foray into television
  • Tina Fey plans tostick to television after 30 Rock ends
  • Carlton Cuse brings Richard Alpert to the Bates Motel
  • Christopher Guest adds old friends to his HBO comedy
  • Revolution star David Meunier will return to Justified
  • Rita Wilson will not go naked on Girls, if you were curious
  • Here’s what would’ve happened on Terra Nova Season 2
  • AMC offhandedly reveals The Walking Dead renewal
  • Fringe‘s final season gets an intense full-length trailer
  • See Haley Joel Osment in It’s Always Sunny ad

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Today’s TV Bits consists of a bit of casting info, some scheduling notes, and several interesting promos. After the jump:

  • Bates Motel casts the Charlie & the Chocolate Factory kid as Norman
  • Isla Fisher and Terry Crews have been added to Arrested Development
  • Breaking Bad‘s Jonathan Banks will go gangster on CBS’ Vegas
  • Shameless, House of Lies, and Californication return in January
  • HBO and CBS lead the Creative Arts Emmys with 17 and 13 wins, respectively
  • Revisit familiar faces in the first teaser for Season 2 of Girls
  • See The Office‘s newest additions in a new promo for Season 9
  • Still more American Horror Story: Asylum teasers hit the web
  • Everyone is exhausted in new Walking Dead teaser and stills

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