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Channel Surfing: FX Cancels "The Riches," "Pushing Daisies," Ratings Dim for "Friday Night Lights," "Ashes to Ashes," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. While everyone is buzzing about last night's presidential debate, there are more than a few television-related news tidbits to discuss as well.

Following several months of discussions, FX has confirmed that it will not be renewing drama series The Riches for a third season, due to falling ratings for the drama. In its second season, which was shortened to seven episodes due to the writers strike, viewers dropped 44 percent in the key 18-49 demo. The move is hardly a surprise: showrunner Dmitry Lipkin is currently working on his HBO pilot project Hung and I had assumed for a while now that The Riches would sadly not be returning to the cabler. (Variety)

TV Guide talks to Pushing Daisies star Lee Pace about what to expect for Season Two, a certain game of "slap jack" between Ned and Chuck that never made it to the screen, and the Pie Maker's family. (TV Guide)

Sadly, there might not have been a new episode of Fringe last night but you can still get some hints about The Pattern and what's going on with Walter, Olivia, and Peter in this handy video from Fringe's executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Jeff Pinkner, and Roberto Orci. (FOX)

Only 400,000 viewers tuned in to watch the third season opener of Friday Night Lights, which debuted on DirecTV's The 101; series will run exclusively on the satellite provider for four months before launching its third season on NBC in February. Granted, DirecTV only counts 17.1 million subscribers overall but that's still extremely low, as Friday Night Lights only ranked in 7th place among all basic cable programs available to its subscribers. (New York Times)

Writer/executive producer David E. Kelley and Warner Bros. are shopping a spec script for a new one-hour legal drama. CBS and NBC said to be extremely interesting in picking up the project, which is expected to land a significant commitment. (Hollywood Reporter)

Fire up the Quattro. Filming has begun on Season Two of BBC One's Life on Mars spinoff sequel Ashes to Ashes, which stars Keeley Hawes, Philip Glenister, Dean Andrews, Marshall Lancaster, and Montserrat Lombard. In the second season, Alex (Hawes) will discover that she may not be the only one in 1982 in her, uh, predicament. (BBC)

TBS has renewed comedy My Boys for a third season, with nine episodes set to air in early 2009. (Variety)

HBO has cast Bryan Greenberg (October Road) and Victor Rasuk (Stop-Loss) as the leads of its single-camera comedy pilot How to Make It in America, from writer Ian Edelman and executive producers Stephen Levinson and Mark Wahlberg. Project revolves around two twenty-something NYC hustlers who are determined to grab a slice of the American dream. Julian Farino (The Office) will direct the pilot. (Hollywood Reporter)

Jack Kenny (Book of Daniel) has joined the staff of Sci Fi's upcoming drama series Warehouse 13 as showrunner/executive producer, a move that reunites Kenny with his former Book of Daniel colleague David Simkins. Warehouse 13, which stars Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, and Saul Rubinek, is set to launch in July 2009. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Funny, just yesterday I had a meeting with a guy who's directed some Riches, and I asked him if it was coming back. He said he highly doubted it. I guess...now we know.
Too bad about The Riches. I thought it was really original and fun and had such a great cast. The writers strike definitely killed any chance it had.
Ben Rasmussen said…
For I second I read "...cancels The Riches, Pushing Daisies." After just finishing tonight's excellent episode, I was momentarily devastated.

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