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Channel Surfing: ABC Tells Lauren Graham to "Let It Go," CBS Picks Up Three Pilots, Layoffs Announced at Disney-ABC, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. I'm currently drowning in pilot scripts and hoping to use this weekend to get through a bunch of must-read scripts. Fingers crossed.

ABC handed out a pilot order to comedy Let It Go, starring Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls), about a self-help guru whose teaching mantra to women is to let it go, but she can't quite follow her own advice when her seemingly perfect boyfriend dumps her. Project, written by Alex Herschlag (Will & Grace) and executive produced by Hersclag, Mitch Hurwitz, Eric Tannenbaum, and Kim Tannenbaum, will be produced by Sony Pictures Television and Tantamount. Also on order at the Alphabet: an untitled multi-camera comedy from writer/executive producer Tad Quiller (Scrubs) about two forty-something friends who face different challenges when one has a baby and the other deals with a suddenly empty nest. (Hollywood Reporter)

CBS finally announced some pilot orders, handing out pilot pickups to three drama projects, all from CBS Paramount Network Television: an untitled US Attorney legal drama from writer/executive producer Frank Military (The Unit) about a group of federal prosecutors in Manhattan; mystery drama Back, from writer Dean Widenmann (Bones) and executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, about a man who returns home to his family to discover that he had been reported missing eight years earlier after September 11th and must find a way to reconnect with his family; and procedural drama Washington Field, about the FBI's National Capital Response Squad, an elite team of experts that travel the globe responding to threats to the country's national interests, from writer/executive producer Ed Bernero (Criminal Minds) and writers Tim and Jim Clemente. (Variety)

Nikki Finke says that Ben Silverman is holding a corporate meeting at his home for top executives. "Its purpose is to ask 'Can't we all get along?' and then 'Hug it out,' says my source," according to Finke. "(Remember, Ben did a cameo on Entourage last season, ergo Ari Gold's phrasing.) 'And then to figure out what to do with the network.' Oh yeah, that." (Deadline Hollywood Daily)

TNT is launching the encore run of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which launched on Cartoon Network in October, with two back-to-back episodes on February 14th at 11 pm. The following week, the series will move into its regular timeslot of Wednesdays at 10 pm. (Hollywood Reporter)

Doctor Who's Easter Special ("Planet of the Dead") will reportedly have the Doctor face off against a new alien race called the Tritovore, a half-man, half-fly-like creature. (Digital Spy)

NBC has ordered an additional twelve episodes of unscripted series Howie Do It, which has seen gains for the network in the Friday at 8 pm timeslot, previously home to Crusoe. (Variety)

Elsewhere at the Peacock, NBC confirmed the episodic orders for its other current series this season, with Heroes (26 episodes), The Office (29 half-hour episodes plus one hour on May 14th), and My Name is Earl (26 episodes) all coming in above the traditional 22-episode season. Chuck, 30 Rock, Law & Order, and Law & Order: SVU will air 22 episodes this season, while Medium will air 19 episodes. (Futon Critic)

Michael Ausiello talks to Prison Break's Robert Knepper about T-Bag's endgame and whether the writers will find a way to redeem his psychopathic character. (Hint: they won't.) (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

The networks quietly unveiled their May Upfront plans yesterday, expected to be another low-key affair given the state of the economy. CBS will make its presentation on Wednesday, May 20th without a post-upfront party; ABC will announce their schedule on May 19th (no party there either); FOX will move its presentation to Monday, May 18th, in order to use NBC's absence from the day they traditionally announced;
CW will stick to Thursday, May 21st but will present in mid-morning; NBC will once again host "in-fronts" with advertisers in April. (Variety)

A&E has ordered eleven episode docuseries Obsessed, which follows the lives of people who have obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and other generalized phobias. Network plans to launch the series in the second half of 2009. (Hollywood Reporter)

Former MTV executive Christina Norman has been named CEO of Oprah Winfrey's OWN network, where she will work closely with president Robin Schwartz; network is slated to launch either later this year or in 2010. (Variety)

The US Senate unanimously passed a bill that would extend the DTV switch-over from February 17th to June 12th. (TV Week)

Disney-ABC Television Group will eliminate 400 jobs across the board, an estimate of about five percent of its total workforce, with layoffs expected for about 200 employees and the culling of 200 additional open positions that had been frozen several months ago. "After months of making hard decisions across our businesses to help us adjust to a weakening economy, we're now faced with the harsh reality of having to eliminate jobs in some areas," said president Anne Sweeney in a letter to staffers. "This was not an easy decision, nor one made lightly." (Variety)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Anonymous said…
The pilot script reading must be interesting. How often does the filmed pilot match up with your perceptions of the written one?

Casting must make for very different end products.
Anonymous said…
The Senate may have passed the extension request for the change over to HD, but the House rejected it, per TVGuide.com.
Anonymous said…
The "news" about Ben Silverman having a corporate meeting in his home is hysterical. Maybe they should just turn it into a slumber party so they can braid each other's hair and play Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Network Executive...
Anonymous said…
Lauren Graham is quite a piece. She's hot. Did you see Bad Santa. Nuff said. I just found your site--I like the way you have all the big tv headlines in one post. Is this something you do every week? You just made my must read list. Thanks. Keep up the good work.

chris
Jace Lacob said…
Chris,

I round up all of the television-related news stories every DAY. Check back every weekday morning by 7:30 am PT for the day's headlines.
skye said…
Is "Let It Go" still going to be aired? If so when? Thanks a bunch.

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