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Channel Surfing: "Stargate Atlantis" to End, Joel Silver Setting Up at HBO, "90210" Marathon, and More

Good morning one and all and welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. (Yes, the weekend is just within our grasp.)

Stargate Atlantis will wrap its run on Sci Fi when the fifth season concludes in January, but the cabler has ordered an untitled two-hour telepic that will air sometime in 2009, following the series finale. An official press release from Sci Fi is said to be forthcoming. (Multichannel News)

Joel Silver is back in television news headlines again (he's said to be in discussions with creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell about a possible feature version of Veronica Mars): he's optioned Arthur T. Vanderbilt II's 1989 family history "Fortune's Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt," about the famous clan's 20th century saga as they deal with "declining fortune, extravagances and social-climbing instincts." Silver plans to adapt the book into a possible series for pay cabler HBO; he and Jane Semel would executive produce the one-hour drama, with Jim Solomon (The Practice) writing and executive producing. (Variety)

ABC Studios has bought an autobiographical script from Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith (Legally Blonde, House Bunny) which it will develop with McCullah Lutz and Smith on board to write and executive produce, should the project get ordered to pilot. Deal came after a recent Los Angeles Times article detailed their work method, which can involve champagne and therapy, and pilot will revolve around their friendship, partnership, and adventures in Hollywood. (Hollywood Reporter)

Newsarama has sat down with Battlestar Galactica executive producer David Eick for a chat about what's to come for BSG and spin-off Caprica. And, yes, there will be more Battlestar webisodes. (Newsarama)

And, speaking of interviews, Joss talks Dollhouse, why the dolls' sleeping units shouldn't resemble coffins, and more. (Philadelphia Daily News)

Sophina Brown (Shark) has been cast as a series regular in CBS' crime procedural NUMB3RS, where she will play Nikki Betancourt, a street-savvy ex-LAPD officer with a law degree to boot who joins the team as their newest agent. (TV Guide)

And Battlestar Galactica's Mark Sheppard (whom you might also remember from Firefly) has confirmed that he will appear in several episodes of Dollhouse in early 2009. (SyFy Portal)

Cabler SOAPnet will be airing a 24-hour marathon of Beverly Hills 90210 starting at Midnight, Monday, September 1st, featuring 24 pivotal episodes of the series--including the pilot--in advance of the CW's launch of 90210 the following evening.

Lifetime has ordered six episodes of docuseries Blonde Charity Mafia, about three twenty-something socialities in Washington D.C. who are frequent faces on the fundraiser circuit. Series, produced by PB&J Television, is set to start production next month but the cabler has not issued an air date yet. (Variety)

Eddie Cibrian (Ugly Betty) has been cast in a three-episode arc on USA's The Starter Wife. Cibrian will play a detective investigating Molly (Debra Messing). No word on what this means about his role as Coach Diaz on Betty, though Cibrian was only secured to appear in four episodes this season... (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Finally, the New York Times has a fascinating article about diversity casting in television and how the Disney Channel and ABC (both owned by Disney) seem to be at the forefront of this trend. (New York Times)

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said…
Regarding the Joel Silver HBO project, I think the Vanderbilt story could be really interesting. Plus, since Rome ended, we could use another family saga filled with social-climbing, extravagance and togas. (Well, maybe not the togas.)

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