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Channel Surfing: "Lost" Paychecks, "Fringe" Comic, "90210" Shuffle, and More

Good morning and welcome to your Monday morning television briefing.

We have to go back... for more money! Lost castaways Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly have started renegotiating with ABC Studios for more coin; the actors who play Jack and Kate respectively on the ABC hit drama currently make about $150,000 an episode. However, like many a can of worms before it, the renegotiations have now begun to spill over onto some other actors on the series, who have now had their agents calling the studio as well about securing bigger paychecks; the supporting cast makes between $80-90,000 an episode. (Hollywood Reporter)

Speaking of contract snafus, Nikki Finke says that there's controversy brewing behind the scenes at the CW's new 90210 spin-off. Tori Spelling has allegedly dropped out of the teen drama after discovering that she was being paid significantly less--$10-20,000 an episode--than her former Beverly Hills 90210 cohorts Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth, who are rumored to be making $35-50,000 an episode. Spelling was set to reprise her role as Donna, who had gone on to open up a chic Beverly Hills boutique in this teen-centric spin-off but is now saying that the timing doesn't work due to the impending birth of her child; Finke says that one insider told her that a deal could still be reached and Spelling could still pop up on the series, perhaps in time for November sweeps. (Deadline Hollywood Daily)

Elsewhere on the BevHills watch front, the 30-second promo for the two-hour series premiere of 90210 is handily dissected for you and, if you missed the ubiqutious teaser, you can watch it for yourself as well. (TV Week's Blink)

Who knew that Weeds' Justin Kirk liked Match Game so much? Kirk, who stars as Andy Botwin on the Showtime comedy, discusses reality series, Gene Simmons, and, um, Proust in a new interview. (Los Angeles Times)

Chuck's Matthew Bomer (who also starred in ABC's short-lived action drama Traveler) will star in USA's 90-minute pilot "White Collar," as Neal Caffey, a brilliant con artist who is forced to partner with the head of the FBI's white-collar crimes division to solve cases, all whilst looking to track down his girlfriend who has vanished into smoke. Bomer's casting lifts the cast contingency on the project, from Fox TV Studios and writer/executive producer Jeff Eastin. Personally, I thought the script was just okay and certainly lacked the humor and pacing of USA's other dramedy series Psych and Monk, but Bomer is a good choice for the lead. (Hollywood Reporter)

Christina Hendricks (Mad Men's Joan Holloway) will return to NBC's mystery drama Life as Olivia, the future step-mother of Charlie Crews (Damian Lewis) in a multiple-episode arc that will depict her ongoing (and secret) romance with Ted Earley (Adam Arkin) even as she remains engaged to Charlie's dad. (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider)

Sara Gilbert has joined the cast of CBS' The Big Bang Theory for its sophomore season. Gilbert, who guest starred in three episodes of the comedy series during its freshman season as Leslie Winkle, will be permanently reunited with her former Roseanne co-star Johnny Galecki, who played her husband David during that series' run. (Variety)

Elsewhere, Matthew Davis (Legally Blonde) has been booked on FX's serpentine legal thriller Damages, where he'll play a journalist looking to solve a mystery in West Virginia. Hmmm, could that mystery be connected to Patty Hewes' visit to that graveyard at the end of last season? Only time will tell...

Wondering just what Vince and the gang might have been like had they been born in the 19th century? BBC Two has announced that it has commissioned a new drama entitled Desperate Romantics, described as "Entourage with easels," about a group of English painters, poets, and critics known as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood as they "shamelessly scheme and strive to find fame, fortune, and success, as well as love and quite a bit of sex along the way." Project is written by Peter Bowker (Blackpool) and is set to shoot in London in early 2009. (BBC News)

CBS reality head Ghen Maynard, who developed such unscripted hits as Survivor, The Amazing Race, and Big Brother, will step down from his post and take a production and development deal at the network, as rumors continue to swirl that the Eye is shaking up its alternative team. Maynard's deal includes a first-look option at both CBS and the CW; CBS has yet to announce a replacement. (Variety)

Yep, NBC is airing a one-hour episode of The Office after the Super Bowl. Talk about about which characters you'd like the writers to focus on. (Televisionary)

Missed the Fringe comic book prequel handed out at San Diego's Comic-Con International? Fret not, as you can take a look at the six-page mini-comic before Fringe #1 comes out in comic stores around the country on August 27th. (Fringe Television)

Stay tuned.


rockauteur said…
This is a good idea. You should do more of these.
Anonymous said…
Yeah! Love the morning updates! Thanks for the TV news fix!
"Entourage with easels?" Yikes! Great round up, though!

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