Casting Roundup: An Old Friend Returns to ‘Walking Dead,’ Roseanne Brings a Sitcom to NBC

Daryl DixonThe return of The Walking Dead is way more exciting than the rules of mental health dictates it should be. Fans are wondering what this new season will bring. What new characters will emerge? And just as importantly, which old ones will return? Apparently, we’ll be seeing a familiar (but not quite friendly) face in Season 2. We will get to revisit Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker), the bigoted, wily, unreasonable redneck-stereotype, and brother of the somewhat more down-to-earth Daryl (Norman Reedus). The last we saw of Merle, he was handcuffed to a roof courtesy of Rick (Andrew Lincoln) thanks to his violent tirade on T Dog (IronE Singleton). In order to escape the wrath of a mob of zombies, Merle cut off his own hand and fled the area. Reportedly, we will be seeing Merle again in Season 2, and will learn a little about his and his brother’s backstories. Walking Dead‘s second season premieres Sunday, Oct. 15, at 9 p.m. ET?PT on AMC. –AOLTV

The Roseanne Barr of today: a little off her rocker. These exclamations of a presidential campaign (and one for Israel’s prime ministry), though they may just be grabs at the spotlight, make her seem a little bizarre. Plus, Roseanne’s Nuts was one odd endeavor. But the Roseanne Barr of fifteen years ago, now that…well, she was kind of strange then, too. But there’s no denying that Roseanne was a very important television show: it was unique in showcasing a lower middle-class, non-glamorous American family when most of television was intent on displaying the opposite. And now, she’s at it again. Roseanne’s new sitcom, Downwardly Mobile, has been picked up by NBC. It is about a small community of people living in a trailer park—an even less-glamorous venue than the Connor family’s delapidated suburb. Roseanne and her boyfriend John Argent will serve as writers on the series, while Roseanne producer Eric Gilliland will play showrunner. –Deadline

Two new reality series are heading to VH1. The first, headed by Randy Jackson, is called Aptitude Test. In every episode, a different celebrity will take a scholastic aptitude test to determine the profession for which he or she would have been best suited. House of Cosignment is the second show, which will premiere in January. The series covers the eBay bidding of various interesting items at McFadden’s Lincoln Park retain store eDrop-Off. –Deadline