First, some very sad news: Bob Levinson, considered by his peers as one of the best ever advertising copywriters, and one of Mad Men‘s advertising consultants, has died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. AdlandTV has some video from a DDB 60s reunion. He was an astronaut.
Next, some very happy news: The Walking Dead mid-season premiere had jaw-dropping, record ratings. You really need to visit the link to grasp just how huge it was. Could it prompt the sale of AMC?
TWD executive producer Gale Anne Hurd thinks her show and Downton Abbey, which are on at the same time, have some common threads.
Andrew Lincoln shoots his daughter in the head… as a party trick.
Lauren Cohan spoke to BuddyTV about what’s coming up for Maggie and Glenn, as well as, for the group on what she calls, “a family drama with a very interesting back drop.”
Norman Reedus and Danai Gurira recently appeared on Larry King Now. Video at the link.
Danai Gurira talks about what she has in common with Michonne and explains why zombies in her native Zimbabwe are not all that different from zombies here.
TWD was the most violent show on TV in the fall of 2012, if you count walkers.
The Harp Twins cover The Walking Dead theme.
Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes talks about the writing and structure of the show (which is based on The West Wing and ER.)
Maggie Smith has never watched the Abbey.
Dan Stevens (Matthew Crowley) is a frontrunner to play Mr. Darcy… but not in Pride & Prejudice. Unfortunately, this piece contains a major Downton spoiler, so proceed at your own risk.
Mad Men‘s Rich Sommer was the first celebrity guest on the Facebook-anchored version of You Don’t Know Jack.
Jessica Pare, who famously rented a room from fellow down-on-her-luck actress Morena Baccarin back in 2010, is in the real estate market.
Charlie Hofheimer (Abe Drexler) discusses daydreaming about Abe and Peggy’s future and getting recognized by Gary Oldman.
Cara Buono (Faye Miller) will guest-star in a March episode of Castle.
Janie Bryant is among the TV costume designers stepping out from behind the scenes and assuming profitable new positions in the spokesperson/brand ambassador marketing arena. Matthew Weiner comments.
Tomorrow Never Knows: Race and Anxiety in Mad Men.
PaleyFest’s Walking Dead and Big Bang Theory Q&As will screen in more than 500 theaters.
AMC and Ridley Scott are developing The Terror, set in 1847 when the crew of a Royal Naval expedition to find the Arctic’s treacherous Northwest Passage discovers instead a monstrous predator.
Basket of News is compiled by Deborah and Karl — and Basketcases contributing in the sidebar.