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Channel Surfing: ABC Might Shift "Mars" and "Practice," Quinlan Locks Down "Prison Break," BBC Drama in Jeopardy, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. While I watched this week's episode of Chuck yet again (and fell in love with it all over again), I couldn't help shake the feeling that last night's episode of Gossip Girl was absolutely beyond ludicrous. Anyone else agree?

ABC is allegedly making some changes to its midseason schedule, with Grey's Anatomy spin-off Private Practice shifting to Thursdays at 10 pm, where it will air right behind Grey's. Meanwhile, the current timeslot holder, Life on Mars, will move to Wednesdays at 10 pm, where it will receive a hell of a lead-in from Lost. The Alphabet didn't comment on the leaked schedule, which it has yet to announce. Can we see ABC launching a Wednesday night around Pushing Daisies, Lost, and Life on Mars... or does this once again signal a death knell for Daisies? (Hollywood Reporter)

Samaire Armstrong's Juliet Darling WILL be returning to ABC's Dirty Sexy Money after all. (Come on, I wasn't the only one who didn't believe producers when they said she wasn't off the series altogether!) Armstrong will return for a special Thanksgiving episode that will air on November 26th that finds chauffeur Clark offering his take on the Darlings' many scandals, including Juliet's year-long globe-spanning love affair with Kai. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Kathleen Quinlan (Made of Honor) has been cast in at least four episodes on FOX's Prison Break, where she will recur as a "mysterious woman who has ties to the Company and a surprising connection to Michael." Quinlan's first appearance is slated to air on the series' December 22nd fall finale. Could Quinlan's character be the basis for FOX's long-delayed Prison Break spin-off Cherry Hill? Hmmm... (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider)

Lifetime has ordered seven additional episodes of freshman comedy series Rita Rocks, bringing this season's total episodic count to 22 episodes.

Rita Rocks is perhaps some much-needed positive news for indie shingle Media Rights Capital, which has bombed with its scripted offerings this season, courtesy of the CW's Sunday night lineup. (Variety)

Departing BBC drama head Jane Tranter, who commissioned such hits as Doctor Who and Life on Mars, warned that BBC drama budgets were at their "breaking point" and that UK production was in grave danger from cost-cutting initiatives. "There's really not much more we can cut without endangering not just the quality of the work, but also the quality of the lives of the people who work on these things," said Tranter, who will become EVP of programming and production at BBC Worldwide this January. (Hollywood Reporter)

USA Today's Robert Bianco offers up three suggestions on how to improve US networks' ailing schedules, including: create more, import less; get serious about comedy; and develop on your time, not ours. I have to say I agree. (USA Today)

Tracy Pollan (Law & Order: SVU), a.k.a. Mrs. Michael J. Fox, has been cast in a three-episode story arc on Season Five of NBC's Medium, slated to launch in January. Pollan will play Caitlyn, a "corporate intuitionist who befriends Arquette's Allison and attempts to bring her to the corporation she works for because of her gift. " (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

The Hills' Heidi Spencer and Spencer Pratt will guest star on a January episode of CBS' How I Met Your Mother, where they will play themselves (naturally) when they taunt Marshall from the cover of a tabloid as he searches for a "quiet place." (TV Guide)

Colm Feore (24) has been cast in Canadian drama The Listener, which will air in the US on NBC. (Elsewhere, it will air on CTV in Canada and on Fox International Channels.) He'll play the mentor of a young parametic (Craig Olejnik) who uses his telepathic gifts to help the people he heals. (Hollywood Reporter)

Whoopi Goldberg has signed a development deal with Discovery Emerging Networks, under which she will develop series for Investigation Discovery and Science Channel with her Whoop Inc. partner Tom Leonardis, one of which is guaranteed to be ordered to series. (Variety)

Cabler AMC has named Charlie Collier as president; Collier has been EVP/general manager since 2006 and has overseen the cabler's expansion into original programming via Broken Trail, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad. (Variety)

Stay tuned.

Comments

I for one think that a night of Pushing Daisies, Lost and Life On Mars would be perfect. They all deal with supernatural/sci-fi phenomena, but with very different formats and themes. Please ABC, I'm begging you!!!
Anonymous said…
I'm glad that Juliet Darling will be back on Dirty Sexy Money. I love to see the twins plotting and scheming and think that, without her, Jeremy Darling isn't as interesting of a character.

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