The Friday News Roundup: Feeling a Bit Like Spring Edition

Happy Friday, Telly Visions readers! (I know I can’t be the only person who felt like this was the slowest week ever, right?) Anyway, it’s Friday, at last, which means that it’s not just time for the weekend, it’s time for the News Roundup!

Click through for highlights from the world of British entertainment this week – including Downton Abbey, Titanic, Doctor Who, Being Human, Black Mirror, Upstairs Downstairs, that upcoming Only Fools and Horses remake and lots more! Did I miss something newsworthy? Leave a link in the comments!

First off, some Downton Abbey bits and bobs to help everyone with their withdrawal symptoms…then on to everything else.

Michael Ausiello just reported as I was finishing this post that the majority of the Downton Abbey cast has re-signed for Series 4 and 5! Granted, the show is only renewed through Series 3, which is currently filming, but it’s comforting to know that should it get picked up for a fourth season, most of the cast is already confirmed. Per TV Line, Dan Stevens (Matthew), Siobhan Finneran (O’Brien) and Jessica Brown Findlay (Sybil) have yet to resign (key word being: yet).  Unfortunately no word on the amazing Maggie Smith in either direction, but keep your fingers crossed.

Downton Abbey switches Emmy categories, will now compete for nomination in Best Drama field. (This is a great read on what those changes might mean for its chances of winning, especially as the show will now likely have to face off against such perennial Emmy favorites as Mad Men and Breaking Bad.)

Neat: A look at some of Downton Abbey’s most famous fans. (Everyone loves it!)

What Downton Abbey teaches us about human nature, ancient and modern. Interesting!

New guest star Shirley MacLaine has been tweeting quite a bit from the set of Downton Abbey!

Hilarious: Downton Abbey re-imagined as cards from Magic: The Gathering

Downton creator Julian Fellowes admits that he was tempted to put the ill-fated Patrick Crawley into his latest project, the mini-series Titanic.

Christopher Lloyd has joined the cast of the American Only Fools and Horses remake. He’ll be playing the grandfather of Del and Rodney. I honestly just don’t know what to make of this entire endeavor.

Doctor Who writer (and Being Human) creator drops some hints about Series 7, says he “knows about the new companion.”

Doctor Who’s Katherine Jenkins, who appeared in the 2010 Christmas special “A Christmas Carol,” will perform on the next season of Dancing with the Stars.

Matt Smith talks Karen Gillan, his departure, and those rumors about Cumberbatch joining Doctor Who.  Smith says he’ll reconsider his future as the Doctor after filming on this series has wrapped.

Speaking of Smith, he just made a guest appearance on everyone’s favorite car show, Top Gear and took a turn on their track. This episode will air on BBC America on May 21 if you want to circle it on your calendar now.

Charlie Brooker’s thought provoking Black Mirror has been nominated for a prize at the prestigious Rose d’Or television awards.

Because I’m assuming that someone else out there besides me has a healthy obsession with Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch – have some more filming photos from the new Star Trek film. He also talks about working on The Hobbit and laughing at Martin Freeman’s Bilbo costume. Enjoy, fellow fangirls.

BBC America is developing two new series with Clerkenwell Films (the producers of Misfits): Sci-fi drama Wired  and paranormal crime show The Dead Beat.

So much fun: “Pulp Shakespeare” – a reimagining of Quentin Tarantino’s film Pulp Fiction as though it had been written by William Shakespeare.

Former Torchwood star and perennial fan favorite Gareth David Lloyd does an interview about his new web series and whether Ianto ought to reappear for the Doctor Who anniversary.

The National Theatre has released a new trailer for their production of Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, which is returning to cinemas this summer for encore screenings. (Go see it if it happens to screen anywhere near you!)

This is neat – Britain’s biggest horse in training for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Doc Martin star Martin Clunes has officially adopted a chicken to support Hans Price Academy. Too cute!

Oh dear – Daily Telegraph accidentally insults entire Royal Family with hilarious headline.

The new series of Upstairs Downstairs is struggling in the ratings in the UK. [Warning for mild spoilers for Series 2.]

A steam train rolls through the District line’s Baker Street station, as the London Underground gears up for the Tube’s 150th anniversary. (It’s a neat picture!)

More from Toby Whithouse – this time he’s talking about the cast changes in Series 4 of Being Human.

Three new characters set to join Series 4 of Misfits. (No casting news on any of them yet, sadly!)

Amazing: The Muppets producers set to make a puppet chat show for BBC One? Can this please be a British concept that we "remake" here in America? Please?

Fun photo gallery of UK shows and their US remakes. (Apparently I’d forgotten some of these “remakes” even happened?)

From the interesting tech front: The BBC says iPads drive more iPlayer use than connected/interactive TVs. (Dear BBC: Can I cite this as evidence as to why you should really just release a global iPlayer app now? Thanks.)

Engelbert Humperdinck is to represent the UK at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Alrighty, then.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!