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Channel Surfing: ABC Invents Holiday, Series Orders Imminent, "Army Wives" Creator Out, and More

Good morning and welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. I'll be concise today as I am still feeling a little worse for wear from last night's outing to Father's Office in Culver City... and passed out before I could finish watching this week's episode of Project Runway. (So come back to discuss that tomorrow.)

ABC has invented its own national holiday in the form of National Stay at Home Week, urging people to stay home and conserve fuel the week of September 21st. Lest you think that the Alphabet is being purely altruistic, note that that very same week just happens to be fall premiere week at the network... (Variety)

Speaking of ABC, the network is expected to order one drama and one comedy series for midseason by Friday and later pick up three additional orders each in comedy and drama down the line. The likely contenders are: Nathan Fillion-starring drama Castle, in which he plays a womanizing horror novelist turned police consultant from ABC Studios; ensemble cop drama The Unusuals from Sony; Rob Thomas' update of Cupid (which is said to sadly have overshadowed his other heat-gathering project Good Behavior, which I thought to be superior); the untitled legal dramedy from writer/executive producer Dave Hemingson (a simply great script) from 20th Century Fox TV; young adult fantasy drama Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas; the untitled Kristin Newman comedy which stars Alyssa Milano, the untitled workplace comedy from Victor Fresco, and family comedy Never Better, starring Damon Wayans. Out of all of these, I'm still rooting for Good Behavior to make the cut, along with Hemingson's dramedy. (Hollywood Reporter)

Army Wives creator Katherine Fugate has been dismissed from the Lifetime drama that she created; the move comes after a creative shake-up at the drama earlier this year when showrunner Dee Johnson was replaced with Nick Thiel. Fugate will "focus on developing new projects" post-Army Wives. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

TV critics around the country are not happy that they still haven't received screeners of new fall series entries (like CW's 90210, NBC's My Own Worst Enemy, or ABC's Life on Mars, to name three), due to the development delays from the writers strike last winter and reshoots, not to mention, er, creative shuffling behind-the-scenes on several high-profile series. (Variety)

Looks like King of Queens' Leah Remini is making a bid to become a daytime talk queen: the actress is said to be developing a daytime series with CBS Television Distribution for fall of 2009. (Hollywood Reporter)

BBC One will launch the six-part dramedy series Mutual Friends--starring Marc Warren (State of Play), Alexander Armstrong (Life Begins), and Keeley Hawes (Ashes to Ashes)--on August 26th. Series revolves around Martin (Warren), a decent family guy married to Jen (Hawes) whose friend Carl throws himself under a train and derails his entire organized life... until an old friend in the form of Patrick (Armstrong) re-enters his life. Project also stars Sarah Alexander, Claire Rushbrook, Naomi Bentley, Rhashan Stone, Lee Ross, and Emily Joyce. (BBC)

NBC has given a five episode order to Granada America's unscripted series Celebrity Come Dine with Me, based on a foreign format in which a host--in this case, a celebrity--organizes a dinner party for four friends, with each event judged on various criteria like food, presentation, and entertainment as the hosting duties rotate around the table. The winner will receive $20,ooo for the charity of his or her choice. The Peacock is currently casting and plans to air the series in December. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Big Brother 10 (CBS); Summer Olympics (NBC; 8-9:30 pm); Smallville (CW); Ugly Betty (ABC)

9 pm: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS); Supernatural (CW); Grey's Anatomy (ABC)

10 pm: Flashpoint (CBS); Private Practice (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching:

10 pm: Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List on Bravo.

Okay, I know, I know, but I find her acerbic overeagerness somehow calming. On tonight's episode ("Red, White and Don't Be Blue"), Kathy heads to New York, where she performs for members of the armed forced injured in combat.


Anonymous said…
Is Castle supposed to be any good? I'd love to see Nathan Fillion in something worthy of his talent!
Ooh...Mutual Friends has a great cast and looks like it could be really good! I love my Brit TV!

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