TV news and notes:
– “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” will launch April 27 on HBO. The network has released key art for the weekly topical series with the tagline “Just the nightly news. Only weeklier.” Oliver comes to HBO after a long tenure as a “Daily Show” correspondent.
– Kevin Smith’s TV empire continues to grow with the news that AMC has ordered two more pilots from the filmmaker. In addition to Season 4 of “Comic Book Men,” the network is developing “Hollywood Babble-On,” a weekly entertainment news show based on a podcast the filmmaker does with radio personality Ralph Garman. Additionally, frequent “Comic Book Men” guest Robert Bruce is getting a shot at his own spinoff. The unscripted series would follow the self-proclaimed pop culture on his travels around the country in search of rare items.
– AMC is developing a series with “X Files” mastermind Chris Carter and “The Walking Dead’ executive producer Gale Ann Hurd. “Area 51” is based on the best-selling novel “Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base,” by Annie Jacobson. The thriller delves into the truth behind the mysterious army installation in Nevada.
– Starz has cast the leads of its new original series, “Survivor’s Remorse.” Jessie T. Usher will play Cam Calloway, Ronreaco Lee will play Reggie Vaughn, Erica Ash will play Cam’s sister M-Chuck, and Tichina Arnold will play Cam’s mother Cassie. The six-episode series series is set in the world of professional basketball and will shoot in Atlanta. LeBron James, Tom Wener, Mike O’Malley, Maverick Carter and Paul Wachter are producing.
– LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell will co-host the new CBS special “ACM Presents: An All-Star Tribute to the Troops.” It will be broadcast on CBS on May 20 as a follow-up to the ACM Awards on April 6, which air at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Meanwhile, Dierks Bentley, Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan, Kellie Pickler, Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Hunter Hayes and Lee Brice have been added to the performance line-up.
– “Nightline” has named a replacement for its NBC News-bound co-anchor Cynthia McFadden. JuJu Chang will now be co-anchoring the ABC News series alongside Dan Harris and Dan Abrams. [Deadline]
– Showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman will be staying with CBS Television Studios for two more years. The creator of “Emily Owens, MD” has re-upped her deal with the studio through 2016. Two of her projects — “Jane The Virgin” and “Sober Companion” — were picked up to pilot this development season.