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Channel Surfing: "24" Returns, Wallace and Gromit, Brooke Smith, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. I can't believe that today is Election Day and I hope that all of you out there, before reading this, have done your civic duty and exercised your democratic right to vote today. I know I won't be resting easily until after this election is called, one way or the other, though naturally there's a specific winner I have in mind.

Following Sunday's news that Jeph Loeb and Jesse Alexander had been fired from NBC's Heroes, series creator Tim Kring announced that he will "focus on simplifying what's been criticized, even by ardent fans, as an overly complex storytelling structure to get back to the show's comicbookish good vs. evil themes and to emphasize character development more than plot twists." Execs seem to believe that Kring has focused more on post-production than on breaking stories; he'll have to switch gears and spend more time in the writers' room fixing the series' wavering tone. (Variety)

24 will return to FOX with Day Seven in a two-night event to kick off on January 11th and 12th. (You can, however, get your Jack Bauer fix this fall with two-hour feature-length outing 24: Redemption on November 23rd.) In other FOX programming news, the network has announced a December 3rd start date for unscripted series Secret Millionaire from RDF, which will air twice weekly on Wednesdays and Thursdays during December. No word on whether Joss Whedon's Dollhouse is still scheduled to launch on January 19th. Sit tight on that one. (Variety)

Brooke Smith has been fired from her role as Erica Hahn on ABC's Grey's Anatomy, in a decision that was clearly not made by series creator Shonda Rhimes but rather by network executives said to have "issues" with the rather explicit direction that Callie and Erica's relationship was going. Given the positive fan reaction to this pairing, it seems rather odd that ABC would go this route and rather sad. "I don't know for sure, but it definitely seemed like [Shonda's] hands were tied," said Smith. "That was just my gut." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Everyone's favorite stop-motion duo, Wallace and Gromit, will return to BBC One this Christmas with a new half-hour outing entitled Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death, in which our cheese-loving pair open up a bakery and encounter success, because a serial killer known as the Cereal Killer is targeting their competition. No news on when this new adventure will air Stateside, but I cannot wait! (BBC)

ABC is said to be interesting in picking up King of the Hill, which will not be renewed past the 14th season by FOX. Animated series is said to be make a good companion to ABC's midseason animated offer, The Goode Family, which is created by King creator Mike Judge. (Variety)

Ron Livingston and Florentine Lahme will star in Fox Television Studio's new series Defying Gravity, a co-production between the News Corp division and BBC, Canada's CTV, and Germany's ProSieben. Project, from creator/executive producer James Parriott (Grey's Anatomy) and executive producer Michael Edelstein (Desperate Housewives), follows a group of international astronauts who sign up for a mysterious six-year mission through the solar system. David Straiton (House) will direct the 13-episode series' first installment, which begins production in Vancouver on January 19th. (Personally, I much prefer Ronald D. Moore's far-more-interesting Virtuality that's up for midseason contention at FOX.) (Hollywood Reporter)

David Sutcliffe, Lauren Holly, and Jennifer Westfeldt will star in Hallmark Channel film Then Again, slated to air on Valentine's Day; film follows a man, heartbroken when his fiancee refuses to marry him, who travels back in time to save his future fiancee from her own broken heart. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Yay! So thrilled to hear that there's another Wallace and Gromit coming out. It's been awhile since this dynamic duo has had an adventure and, without them around, I feel like "the bounce has gone out of me bungee."

I just hope we won't have to wait forever to see it here in the states!
Anonymous said…
Many things to comment on:

1. Yay Wallace and Gromit!!

2. Boo to Brooke Smith being fired. Loved her, loved her character. Sucks.

3. I made a decision the other day. I am not going to watch this season of 24. I saw that it was coming back and realized, "I have no interest in getting involved again." i feel lighter now.
Unknown said…
"[F]ocus on simplifying what's been criticized ... as an overly complex storytelling structure." Oh goody, we're going to be spoon-fed. My poor brain was getting tired trying to figure out all the twists and turns.

I just said to someone yesterday that what I liked about Heroes was its complexity. Bleah. This is how Angel was ruined.

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