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Channel Surfing: "Gossip Girl," MGM Investigates World of "Jonas Moore," and More

Good morning and welcome to your Wednesday television briefing. I was up late last night watching the first three episodes of next season's Gossip Girl and my brain is still filled with Hamptons-based intrigue (though if I hear someone use the word "Duchess" one more time, I think I may have to slap them) and I was up all night improbably wondering how school-age Vanessa managed to bypass zoning regulations at Rufus' gallery. But more on Gossip Girl at later time...

FX has announced that The Shield will end its run on November 25th. The cabler is set to launch the seventh and final season of The Shield on September 2nd and will air a host of programming around the final season, including retrospective material about the seminal series and a roundtable discussion with the cast and crew, to be hosted by Elvis Mitchell. (Variety)

NBC Universal has acquired a 100% stake in British television production company Carnival, which has produced such dramas as Hotel Babylon, The Grid, Poirot, and Jeeves and Wooster. Move comes as the studio looks to broaden its scope by expanding into international production and it has a mandate to double international revenues by 2010. Once the deal is completed, the company will be absorbed into NBC Universal's international production division, headed by Angela Bromstad.

FOX has scheduled a 25-minute "preview" episode of new reality series Hole in the Wall, immediately following the 90-plus minute series premiere of J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci's new drama Fringe, which will air with limited commercial interruptions as part of FOX's "Remote-Free TV" initiative. Move comes as FOX execs looked at alternative ways to fill the 25-minute space following Fringe's launch (they considered airing a fall season preview); meanwhile, Hole in the Wall, which is based on a Japanese game show format, will air its first full-length episode on Thursday, September 11th. (TV Week)

ABC is airing a Supernanny spinoff, entitled Supermanny, as a backdoor pilot this fall; pilot features a concept similar to the original tough-love series, only with Chicago child therapist Mike Ruggles lending a hand instead of the original Jo Frost. Supermanny special--produced by Ricochet--will air during Supernanny's fall timeslot of Fridays at 9 pm. (Hollywood Reporter)

ITV will produce--along with Lionsgate Television and Ish Entertainment--a British format of Paris Hilton's New Best Friend, the original of which is set to air Stateside on MTV on September 30th. Deal is a rare one in that it is a sale of a US format to a foreign network with the same star attached. ITV has also licensed the MTV version but it's unclear whether any US network has acquired the UK version to boot. (Variety)

MGM has optioned digital graphic novel The Many Worlds of Jonas Moore (which stars Colin Salmon as the titular hero), with aims to adapt the material into a possible television series. Project, which is written/directed/produced by Howard Webster, is about an alternate world where the British Empire never ended and America is merely a virtual world on a global gaming network. But when Jonas Moore, a character created by the network's founder, becomes self-aware, he goes on the run and sets off a rebellion in multiple virtual worlds. (Hollywood Reporter)

Battlestar Galactica writer Michael Angeli says that the series' influences are broader than the average viewer might think and the writing team typically draws on classical literature, Westerns, and history when researching a script. "Those have struggles of obsession, survival and possession, which we feel is what the show is really about," said Angeli. "If we go to the Bible, a Western or the transcripts of the trial for Saddam Hussein--which we did at the end of Season Three--we can look for cultural differences, questions of race, gender, class, conspicuous consumption and sex. We like to touch on the idea of what it means to be human." (Variety's Award Central)

Former One Day a Time star Valerie Bertinelli has been cast as the lead in the untitled Dave Caplan comedy at TBS, where she will play a woman who struggles to support her family and keep her family's lumber business afloat when her husband walks out on her. (Variety)

Stay tuned.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Greatest American Dog (CBS); Summer Olympics (NBC); America's Next Top Model (CW); Wife Swap (ABC); Bones (FOX)

9 pm:
Criminal Minds (CBS); Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious (CW); Supernanny (ABC); Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (FOX)

10 pm: CSI: New York (CBS); Primetime: Crime (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

9 pm: Project Runway on Bravo.

Season Five (the final season on Bravo) of Project Runway continues tonight. On tonight's episode ("Good Queen Fun"), it's a blast from the past as Season Four's Chris March returns for a challenge in which the designers need to create an outfit for a group of drag queens.


"Supermanny?" Good grief.
Anonymous said…
So totally jealous that U got to C 3 new eps of GG! I miss my guilty pleasure!

GG Fan
Anonymous said…
I highly doubt ABC will order "Supermanny" to series. They've done at least five backdoor pilot specials for "Wife Swap" (Vacation Swap, Dad Swap, Boss Swap....) and none of them were picked up.

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