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Channel Surfing: Rashida Jones Joins Untitled Greg Daniels Comedy, Heaton Heads to "The Middle," No Brain Tumor for Izzie, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. I'm still a little tired after staying up to watch Fringe last night after attending the Los Angeles premiere of Doubt, starring Meryl Streep, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. (Verdict? A good film but not a great one.)

NBC has confirmed a long-standing rumor and announced that Rashida Jones (The Office) has been cast in the untitled Amy Poehler workplace comedy project from Greg Daniels and Michael Schur that isn't a spin-off to The Office. Jones will play Ann Logan, a nurse whose boyfriend has suffered a strange injury that leads her to the characters played by Poehler and Aziz Ansari. Do they work in a specialized medical clinic? A psychiatrist's office? Witch doctor's emporium? That remains to be seen but I am happy that Jones and Poehler will appear together in this project. I've missed Jones, especially since her last Office visit. The series is expected to be ready by late spring but may not launch until next fall. (Variety)

Izzie will NOT have a brain tumor on Grey's Anatomy. So says series creator/executive producer Shonda Rhimes. "I think the love triangle with Denny, Izzie, and Alex is among the most interesting we've ever done," said Rhimes. "Watching the chemistry between Jeffrey and Katherine again has been really touching. I can't wait for our viewers to see where we're taking it. But what it won't involve is Izzie having a brain tumor." So then what the hell is going on between Izzie and the dead Denny then? Hmmm. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

ABC has given out a pilot order for family comedy The Middle, to star Patricia Heaton (Back to You). Project, to be directed by Julie Anne Robinson (Weeds) and written by DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler, was previously produced as a pilot in 2006-07 with Ricki Lake in Heaton's role and was resurrected by ABC and Warner Bros. TV when they received a pilot order contingent on Heaton's attachment. Personally, I quite liked the script (about a mother dealing with her unruly flock in Middle America) back in 2006 and am interested to see what they do with it this time around. (Hollywood Reporter)

MTV is in talks to resurrect reality franchise Beauty and the Geek for a new six-episode season that is being called Beauty and the Geek: Celebrity, in which the titular geeks would be paired with celebrity hotties. Under the potential deal, MTV would also retain the option for additional cycles of the series. (TV Week)

Want more scoop on what's coming up next on Pushing Daisies, including that aforementioned crossover with Bryan Fuller's Wonderfalls? Head over to Sci Fi Wire, which has details about the "Comfort Food" episode which will feature guest star Beth Grant's May Ann Marie Beetle character from Wonderfalls, as well as several other upcoming episodes. (Sci Fi Wire)

Brooke Shields is attempting to save Lipstick Jungle from cancellation following an onslaught of lipstick delivery by fans to the network. "NBC is now flooded with lipstick,” said Shields. “Women are in uproar over this… they’ve tried to kill us before and we have refused to die. If we were meant to be off the air, we wouldn’t have made it as far as we have. Everything that could possibly go wrong with a show has happened with us.” (The Daily Beast)

FX is developing drama AR2, from
Prison Break creator/executive producer Paul Scheuring, executive producer Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing), and fox21 that is described by Scheuring as "Les Miserables in modern America." Plot follows a group of Michigan college students who set off a second American Revolution (hence the title) and how the military and police deal with their revolt. "It looks into what happens on both sides of the conflict and how that affects the personal lives of all involved," said Scheuring. (Hollywood Reporter)

Laura Linney will take over as host of PBS'
Masterpiece Classic, succeeding Gillian Anderson. Linney's first on-screen appearance is set for January 4th when Masterpiece Classic will kick off a new season that includes Tess of the d'Ubervilles, Wuthering Heights, and The Incomplete Charles Dickens. (Variety)

The New York Times has an update on the increasingly complex legal situation surrounding the next season of Project Runway, which will likely not air until late spring. (New York Times)

Sean Combs will guest star in a two-episode arc of CBS' CSI: Miami, where he will play a prosecutor who bristles against David Caruso's Horatio Crane. His episodes are slated to air sometime this winter. (Associated Press)

Ed Begley Jr., Tyne Daly, Linda Emond, and Henry Simmons will star opposite Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons in Lifetime biopic Georgia O'Keeffe, from Sony Pictures TV and director Bob Balaban. (Hollywood Reporter)

Elsewhere in TV Movie Land, Hallmark Channel has filled out the casts for two its upcoming telepics. Peter Strauss, Jonathan Silverman, DeDee Pfeiffer, Linsey Godfrey, and Nolan Gerard Funk will star in The Wilderness Family, about a family that inherits a cabin in the woods and faces some distinct challenges. Angie Dickinson and Laura Leighton will star in The View From Here, about a journalist who returns to her hometown to visit her ill mother and uncovers a plot against the town's inhabitants. Both are expected to air in late 2009. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said…
I'm really looking forward to the new Amy Poehler comedy and think that Rashida Jones is a great addition to the cast. Let's just hope it's funnier than The Office has been lately.

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