Skip to main content

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.


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.

Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

BBC Culture: Matthew Weiner: Mad Men’s creator on its final episodes

The creative force behind the period drama talks about where his characters are as his show begins its final episodes. “We left off with everyone’s material needs being met in an extreme way,” says Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner of where we last saw the characters on his critically acclaimed period drama when the show went on hiatus 10 months ago. “Then the issue is, what else is there?” That is the central question with the return to US TV of the AMC hit, one demanding to be answered by both the show’s characters, and its creator whose success is the envy of the television industry. Mad Men has been a defining part of Weiner’s life for the last 15 years. He wrote the pilot script on spec while he was a staff writer on CBS’ Ted Danson sitcom Becker in 1999, using it to land a writing gig on HBO’s The Sopranos in 2002. It would take another five years, filled with multiple rejections, before the first episode of Mad Men would make it on the air. Someone with less determination or vision

Have a Burning Question for Team Darlton, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, or Michael Emerson?

Lost fans: you don't have to make your way to the island via Ajira Airways in order to ask a question of the creative team or the series' stars. Televisionary is taking questions from fans to put to Lost 's executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and stars Matthew Fox ("Jack Shephard"), Evangeline Lilly ("Kate Austen"), and Michael Emerson ("Benjamin Linus") for a series of on-camera interviews taking place this weekend. If you have a specific question for any of the above producers or actors from Lost , please leave it in the comments section below . I'll be accepting questions until midnight PT tonight and, while I can't promise I'll be able to ask any specific inquiry due to the brevity of these on-camera interviews, I am looking for some insightful and thought-provoking questions to add to the mix. So who knows: your burning question might get asked after all.