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Channel Surfing: "Survivor: Gabon" Cast Revealed, More "Chuck" Guest Stars, "Fringe," "Doctor Who" Rumor, and More

Good morning and welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. It's my birthday today (yesterday was my brother's and--before you ask--no, we're not twins) so between work, dinner, and present-opening, I still hope to find the time to watch tonight's Project Runway. When there's a will, there's a way as they say.

Season 18 of venerable reality franchise Survivor is about to launch on CBS in just a few weeks. But if you're curious as to who the eighteen men and women are who are competing for the million-dollar prize on Survivor: Gabon, look no further. They include a pin-up girl/actress, a fashion photographer/Cartier salesman (seriously, you can't make this stuff up), a professional gamer, a retired nurse, a personal trainer, and many others. (Entertainment Weekly)

Creator Craig Wright talks about what went wrong with Season One of ABC soap Dirty Sexy Money, including "experimenting" with tone shifts between installments, and what they are doing to fix this for the series' massive relaunch this fall, after getting a "gift" in the form of the writers strike, which he used to rethink the series. (USA Today)

Holy guest stars, Batman: Morgan Fairchild (Fashion House), Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5), and Carl Lumbly (Alias) will all appear in Season Two of NBC's Chuck. Fairchild will play the mother of Captain Awesome himself (Ryan McPartlin); Boxleitner will play her husband Dr. Woody Woodcombe who is "very excited to help welcome Ellie into his family -- maybe too excited." And Lumbly will play Casey's mentor. I can't wait! (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

ABC has renewed reality competition series Here Come the Newlyweds for a second season of eight episodes, likely to air in 2009. (Hollywood Reporter)

J.J. Abrams and his delightful cast talk more about their upcoming FOX drama series Fringe. My favorite bit: '"J.J. is like Oz," notes actor Joshua Jackson on the New York set. "He's manipulating all his little kingdoms and empires from afar."' (Associated Press)

Everyone's jumping on the weight-loss television bandwagon. ABC has announced that it will air an hour-long special entitled Half Their Size: The People Magazine Weight Loss Challenge on September 30th at 10 pm. (Variety)

Could Doctor Who shoot two of its upcoming feature-length specials here in the States? That's the rumor being thrown about (though take it with a large grain of salt as, admittedly, the source is the News of the World), as the series would look to cast a American as the Doctor's latest companion and shoot Stateside. (Digital Spy)

Spike has ordered ten one-hour episodes of stunt-themed reality series Jesse James is a Dead Man from former Monster Garage star Jesse James, in which he'll prep for and carry out stunts. Series is slated to air in February 2009. (Variety)

Endemol has poached Tom Toumazis, Disney's managing director of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Canada to fill the newly created position of chief commercial officer. He's been tasked with expanding the distributor's drama and comedy business as well as third-party rights. Congrats, Tom! (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Greatest American Dog (CBS); America's Got Talent (NBC; 8-10 pm); America's Next Top Model (CW); Wife Swap (ABC); Bones (FOX)

9 pm:
Criminal Minds (CBS); Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious (CW); Supernanny (ABC); Bones (FOX)

10 pm: CBS News: Democratic National Convention (CBS); Dateline (NBC); Vote 08 (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 ("Fashion That Drives You"), the designers have to think unconventionally as they rev up for their materials and Season Three's Laura Bennett drops by as a guest judge for next week's challenge.

Comments

karigee said…
Happy birthday, Jace!
I can't wait to see Morgan Fairchild as "Mommy Awesome" on Chuck. And Carl Lumbly will be perfect as Casey's mentor. Great casting!
Anonymous said…
The return of Lumbly - hooray!

Fairchild and Boxie as Awesome's parents? Awesome.

Oh, and happy birthday. Again.
Synd-e said…
Is anyone else but me getting a little concerned about the amount of stunt casting on Chuck for season two?

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