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Channel Surfing: Macaulay Culkin Heads to "Kings," Bravo Gets Stylish with "Fashion House," "Persons Unknown," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Just a few quick headlines this morning as I've been called to perform my civic duty today and have to drive downtown for jury duty.

Macaulay Culkin will appear in a multiple-episode arc on NBC's midseason drama Kings, where he will play the nephew of King Silas Benjamin (Ian McShane) who has been exiled from the kingdom of Shiloh for mysterious reasons. Also slated to appear in the series: Miguel Ferrer (Crossing Jordan), Leslie Bibb (Popular), Michael Stahl-David (The Black Donnellys), and the previously reported Brian Cox. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

(Aside: I saw the pilot for Kings about two months back and while it was gorgeously directed, I thought that the pacing (it's currently scheduled to air as a two-hour) was glacially slow and could use significant tightening; I think it would be a hell of a lot more compelling at 60 or even 90 minutes.)

Could Bravo be readying a Project Runway clone? Sources say that the project Fashion House is remarkably similar to Project Runway, currently the subject of a lawsuit between NBC Universal and the Weinstein Company. One source went so far as to call Fashion House "a shameless copycat show" and is said to be using Runway's original production team, Magical Elves, on the new series. (New York Post)

CBS will give freshman comedy Gary Unmarried a shot in its Monday night lineup, reairing the pilot episode on Monday at 9:30 pm, replacing Worst Week. The move is said to be an attempt to get viewers to sample Gary Unmarried and it's thought that CBS will keep the series on Wednesdays for now. (Hollywood Reporter)

FOX has put reality competition series Hole in the Wall on hiatus and will fill the series' Thursdays at 8 pm timeslot with repeats of Kitchen Nightmares for the "foreseeable future." Yeah, it was only a matter of time before the death knell sounded for that one. (Futon Critic)

Gary Cole (Desperate Housewives) is set to join the cast of HBO's Entourage as a series regular next season; he'll play Hollywood agent Andrew Klein, one of Ari Gold's oldest friends in the business, and will be introduced during the current season in a three-episode arc to begin in November. (Hollywood Reporter)

Dan Byrd (Aliens in America) has joined the cast of Heroes, where he'll play David, a twisted compulsive liar who could potentially be an apprentice of Sylar (Zachary Quinto). Byrd will appear in at least three episodes of Heroes' Volume 4: Fugitives.(Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Fox TV Studios has hired Michael Rymer (Battlestar Galactica) to direct the first episode of its of Persons Unknown, a co-production with Mexico's Televisa and Italy's RAI, that is set to start shooting on Monday. (Series, which has an initial 13-episode order, does not yet have a home in the US.) Cast in the project, from creator Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects): Daisy Betts (Out of the Blue), Jason Wiles (Third Watch), Tina Holmes (Six Feet Under), Sean O'Bryan (Vantage Point), Lola Glaudini (Criminal Minds), Alan Ruck (Drive), Chadwick Boseman (Lincoln Heights), Gerald Kyd (Casualty), and Kate Lang Johnson (Days of Our Lives). (Variety)

In other casting news, Nathan Lane will play the gay brother to Brad Garrett's Eddie Stark in a November sweeps episode of FOX's 'Til Death. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

E! has renewed latenight talk show Chelsea Lately through 2009; series has seen a 21 perecent increase year to year. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


What is it with Project Runway and the Weinstein Company? Can't they just send Tim Gunn in to act as a mediator? Make it work, people!

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