TVLine Items: Celebrity Pickleball, Walker Prequel Casting and More

Stephen Colbert is taking CBS to court — the pickleball court, that is.

The network has greenlit Pickled, a comedic, celebrity-packed pickleball tournament from Colbert’s production company Spartina, Funny Or Die and CBS Studios. The big game, whose all-star players will be announced at a later date, will air later this year as a two-hour special event.

For the un-pickled, here’s how CBS describes the game: “The buzziest new sport in a generation is a classic American cocktail — mix one part tennis, a splash of badminton, muddle in some pingpong, toss a couple of ibuprofens in there just in case, and add a heaping scoop of passion. Shake vigorously, then pour yourself a tall glass of fun.”

“I love hosting The Late Show, but at the end of the day — and I’m specifically talking about the hours between 8 and 10 p.m. Eastern — I see Pickled as a chance to bring lots of different people together for something playful and unpredictable,” Colbert said in a statement. “And since the supply chain snarl has delayed delivery of my Margaritaville™ Frozen Drink Machine, I find myself with some free time.”

Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well…

* The CW’s Walker: Independence prequel pilot has added Philemon Chambers (Netflix’s Single All the Way) in the series regular role of Gus, the titular town’s deputy sheriff, Deadline reports.

* Craig Melvin as of April 1 will vacate his 11 am MSNBC slot, as anchor of Craig Melvin Reports, to focus on his duties at NBC’s Today and NBC News. MSNBC will fill Melvin’s morning slot with a rotation of network anchors.

* HBO has released a teaser trailer for its adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife, starring Theo James and Rose Leslie, and premiering in May:

* Following the 2019 launch of the animated series Green Eggs and Ham in 2019 (which will drop Season 2 on Friday, April 8), Netflix is teaming with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to bring more iconic stories and characters to life via five new animated preschool series and specials inspired by Horton Hears a Who!; The Sneetches; One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish; Wacky Wednesday and characters like Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose. Justin Ferrer (Esme & Roy, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) will serve as showrunner across all five.

* Netflix has released a trailer for Our Great National Parks, a five-part docuseries executive-produced and narrated by President Barack Obama (who protected more public lands and waters than any other U.S. President in history) and premiering Wednesday, April 13:

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