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Channel Surfing: Sci-Fi Orders "Caprica," "Eleventh Hour" Keeps Ticking, Davenport and Vance Discover "Flash Forward," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. I'm still smarting from the reveal in last night's episode of Gossip Girl just who was involved in that oh-so-predictable accident rather than the, uh, party I'd rather get axed from the series. Sigh.

Better news then for fans of Sci-Fi's Battlestar Galactica. The cabler has given a series order to spin-off Caprica, which is set fifty years before the action of BSG. Sci-Fi had earlier this year shot a two-hour backdoor pilot for Caprica, which stars Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, Paula Malcomson, and Polly Walker, from director Jeffrey Reiner and plans to launch the series in early 2010. Production on twenty additional episodes is slated to begin in mid-2009 in Vancouver. "We want people to come to this who have never heard of Battlestar Galactica," said Sci-Fi president Dave Howe. "I think, because [Galactica's] backdrop was space and spaceships, there was a barrier to entry for some viewers. Caprica has none of that. It's an intense family drama set on an Earthlike planet, in the near future, speaking to a lot of the ethical dilemmas that we as a human race are going to have to face very shortly."

Those of you on the fence about a BSG spin-off that doesn't feature any of the characters you've come to know and love (save a very young Adama), should rest assured that the script--from Ronald D. Moore and Remi Aubuchon--was among the very best that I read this year and perfectly set up this new universe and world order. And after a stunning first act, it would take a heart of ice not to get sucked into Caprica. (Variety)

CBS has ordered five additional episodes for freshman procedural drama Eleventh Hour, making it more than likely that the series will clock in at eighteen installments this season rather than the traditional 22. The Eye is said to be keen to use Eleventh Hour's plum post-CSI timeslot to try out another series, most likely midseason serialized thriller Harper's Island, though CBS could do something quite foolish and shift The Mentalist--this season's only certifiable ratings hit--into that timeslot. But they wouldn't be short-sighted enough to throw off their Wednesday night now that it's clicking, would they? (Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed)

There are no current plans for Wil Wheaton to appear on NBC's Heroes. So says series creator/executive producer Tim Kring, who states ""there is nothing in the works for him at this point – although a bunch of us over here are big fans of his and would love nothing more than to find some part for him." (Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

Looks like I can take Jack Davenport off my short list for the Doctor at the moment. Courtney B. Vance (Law & Order: Criminal Intent) and Jack Davenport (Swingtown) have been cast in ABC drama pilot Flash Forward, which is said to be a possible companion to Lost. (Ideally, though it wouldn't be a companion but rather ABC would air it during Lost's interminable fall hiatus.) The project, from David S. Goyer, Brannon Braga, and ABC Studios, is based on Robert J. Sawyer's apocalyptic novel in which everyone in the world blacks out for two minutes and seventeen seconds and awakens with a terrifying vision of the future. Davenport will play Lloyd Simcoe, a man trapped in Northern California when the event occurs who attempts to reach his son in a hospital in Southern California. Vance will play FBI Los Angeles bureau chief Stan Wedeck. (Hollywood Reporter)

Could we be getting a Sayid flashback to his childhood on Season Five of Lost? It certainly seems that way as Michael Ausiello has reported that the producers are looking to cast the "roles of a father and his 12- and 8-year-old sons, all of whom, I'm told, will have to be fluent in Arabic. So wouldn't a logical assumption be that the hotheaded dad is Sayid's pop and the older boy, a sensitive type who's painfully aware that he lets down his formidable paterfamilias, is the future assassin himself?" Hmmm, it certain would seem that way, no? (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

The second season premiere of HBO's much-awaited comedy Flight of the Conchords will be able to viewed online at FunnyOrDie.Com beginning December 17th, several weeks ahead of its premiere on HBO. In the meantime, you can check out the promo for Season Two here. (TV Squad)

Killer Films has acquired the format rights to Israeli drama series Danny Hollywood, about three investigative journalists who travel back in time to the 1960s where they try to prevent the mysterious death of pop singer Danny Hollywood the day before his wedding. (Hollywood Reporter)

Yes, that was Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin making goo-goo eyes at Chuck Bass at the Snowflake Ball on last night's episode of Gossip Girl. (Los Angeles Times)

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said…
Great news about Caprica! And I'm thrilled to hear that you loved the script. I'm really looking forward to it.

Flash Forward looks like it may have some potential too.

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