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Channel Surfing: 2.19.06

"Fly" Guy Shoots Down Serenity Rumors

It seems E!'s Kristin isn't always so on the money. Joss Whedon, creator of Firefly (among other shows), shot down rumors (which I reported here) that the new CW network was making overtures to the cast and crew of Firefly (and big-budget sibling, Serenity) to resurrect the show this fall. Or as Joss himself put in his own inimitable style:
"Since everyone's all abuzz with the CW rumor, I have to get all official and say: WE'VE STARTED FILMING NEW EPISODES! Of Dateline. I'm such a troll. No, there haven't been any overtures from the CW as regards a SereniFly spin-off. I haven't even heard the orchestra tuning up."

Well, damn. That sound you hear is my dream of a Firefly revival being crushed.

"Lost" Boy (and Girls)

In other TV news, fan-favorite Drew Goddard, currently a writer on ABC's ongoing drama Alias, will be joining the writing team on Lost next season. Goddard, a former scribe on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and spin-off Angel, had written a Sawyer-centric episode of Lost during the show's first season, entitled "Outlaws," on a freelance basis. He'll join the staff as a supervising producer.

Having met Drew during my (brief) stint working on Buffy way back when (as Drew was starting out during the show's final season), I can say that it couldn't happen to a better guy or a more talented writer. Best of luck, Drew!

Also joining the Lost writers' room next season are outgoing Alias and ex-Charmed scribes Monica Breen and Alison Schapker.

Tracking the Fallout: The CW #2

Apparently, it's just gotten a hell of a lot more tough out there for mid-level television executives. Variety reports today that they expect about 100 job casulties resulting from the merger of the WB and UPN, even after the CW finalizes its staff picks, and likens the dire job market for mid-level television execs to that of television writers these last five years.

"If one is hell-bent on being a network TV executive, it's undeniable that there are fewer jobs available," former NBC Universal TV prexy David Kissinger tells Variety. "I think it's sad for anybody who's in a state of scrambling to find employment."

Experts believe that the situation will push quite a lot of TV execs out of the business altogether, although the burgeoning tech market may provide a possible home for some. Ex-ABC topper Lloyd Braun now runs Yahoo!'s entertainment division and has recruited several lower-level TV execs. Additionally, AOL's content deals with Mark Burnett and others, Google's recent push into the TV-on-demand via download market, and the re-branding of Bravo stepchild Trio as a broadband channel all demonstrate a possible shift in the industry.

Of course, it's too soon to tell whether the tech sector will prove to be exiled execs' new savior or whether instead we'll be seeing quite a few more out-of-work d-guys and gals searching the classifieds at the local Coffee Bean.

Bidding Adieu to the Ricky Gervais Podcast... For Now

Tomorrow marks the end of the landmark twelve-episode run of the brilliant Ricky Gervais Show podcast, featuring the always-hysterical Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington. Over the course of the last three months, that talented trio has brought us the exploits of monkeys in space and around the world, fascinating insights in the form of Karl's vacation diary, and a number of ear-splintering jingles by Ricky.

But before you shed a tear (or several), I can happily report that the boys are just taking a brief respite before beginning a new podcast series just one week later. The following week (28th of February to be precise) will bring us Season Two of the Ricky Gervais Show "with added drivel" and will be available for download from the iTunes music store and Audible.

As the promo materials tell us: "Imagine! More "Karl's Diary", the return of "Rockbusters", and all the usual rubbish that results when Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant trawl the shallow depths of Karl Pilkington's mind."

Personally, I cannot wait.

Nothing last forever, however. The formerly-free podcast will now be available for $1.99 per "episode." Hell, it was only a matter of time before they Ricky & Co. figured out that they could actually, you know, make money off of this.


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