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Channel Surfing: FOX to Get "AbFab," Jane Espenson Will Be Showrunner on "Caprica," Lauren Graham, Pilot News, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing.

FOX has handed out a pilot order to a US remake of BBC comedy series Absolutely Fabulous, which follows the boozy exploits of PR magnate Edina Monsoon, her magazine editrix best friend Patsy, and Edina's uptight daughter Saffy. US version will be set in LA and the script written by Christine Zander (Less Than Perfect), who will executive produce with Jennifer Saunders, Ian Moffit, Mitch Hurwitz, Eric Tannenbaum, and Kim Tannenbaum. Project will be produced by Sony Pictures Television, Tantamount, and BBC Worldwide Americas. (Variety)

Battlestar Galactica's Jane Espenson will serve as an executive producer on BSG prequel series Caprica and will eventually become the showrunner on the series, slated to air on Sci Fi in 2010. Espenson, whom many fans will know from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Gilmore Girls, will take over the reins of Caprica's writers' room from co-creator Ron Moore later this year. Production on Caprica--which will also feature BSG writers Michael Taylor and Ryan Mottesheard, production designer Richard Hudolin, composer Bear McCreary, and special effects supervisor Gary Hutzel--is scheduled to begin in July. (Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

Lauren Graham talks to Michael Ausiello about her upcoming run in Guys & Dolls on Broadway, the likelihood of a Gilmore Girls movie (slim to none), and her new ABC pilot--about an embittered self-help guru--which she says is a much "darker" comedy than Gilmore and features a character who is "deeply flawed." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

In other pilot news, ABC has ordered a two-hour pilot for mystery Happy Town from writers/executive producers Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, and Scott Rosenberg (October Road, Life on Mars). Project is said to be in the same vein as Twin Peaks and is "set in the hamlet of Happy Town, which had enjoyed a seven-year peace after a series of kidnappings until it is hit by another crime." (Hollywood Reporter)

As expected, NBC has given a pilot order to medical drama Trauma, from writer/executive producer Dario Scardapane, that is said to be a "a high-octane emergency medical procedural that takes place out in the field." Project, from Universal Media Studios and Film 44, will also be executive produced by Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey. (Hollywood Reporter)

Disney has renewed syndicated fantasy drama Legend of the Seeker for a second season on Tribune-owned stations. (Variety)

As anticipated, series 30 Rock and Mad Men, and mini-series John Adams swept the television categories at the SAG Awards last night and House's Hugh Laurie and Brothers & Sisters' Sally Field took home individal awards. (Hollywood Reporter)

Shortly after upgrading Sara Gilbert from recurring to series regular status on CBS' The Big Bang Theory, the former Roseanne star has now been bumped back down to recurring on the comedy series. The reason for the about-face is said to be due to the fact that the series' writers couldn't create enough story for her and Johnny Galecki's Leonard. "They couldn't write for her, so they changed her status to recurring," a source told Michael Ausiello. "It's a little mystifying." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Lauren Allen (Dirt, The 4400) will appear in a two-episode story arc on ABC's Grey's Anatomy, where she will play the ex-girlfriend of Kevin McKidd's Dr. Owen Hunt. [Editor's note: the story says ER, but they clearly mean Grey's Anatomy.] (Variety)

Executive producer John Wells is writing the series finale for NBC's ER, which is wrapping its run on April 2nd after fifteen seasons. "You want to try and find the essence of the series," said Wells about writing the finale script. "You want to find the thing that people actually identify with in the series and do something that leaves them feeling satisfied for having spent X number of hours of their lives devoted to watching your ongoing narrative." (Los Angeles Times)

CBS has ordered a pilot presentation for Missing You, an unscripted crime series which follows missing persons investigators as they take on various cases each week. Project will be executive produced by Shaun Cassidy, Ned Nalle, and James Bruce. (Hollywood Reporter)

NBC Universal has signed a deal with American Airlines to provide the carrier with in-flight entertainment. Under the terms of the exclusive two-year deal, NBC Universal will replace CBS and provide American with four 90-minute programs each month beginning March 1st. Content won't be limited to NBC, as the studio will draw from the Peacock as well as Bravo, Sci Fi, USA, Oxygen, MSNBC, films from Universal, and programs from NBC News and NBC Sports. (Variety)

Starz is developing a comedy series based on online series Tom and Sam Are Stuck, from creators Tom Saunders and Sam Laybourne, about a man and his uncle from the future who find themselves trapped in the present day when their time machine fails. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Ugh. I'm horrified that they're doing an Ab Fab remake but somewhat soothed by the news that the absolutely fabulous Jane Espenson will be serving as showrunner on Caprica.
par3182 said…
Sally Field - singular.
Anonymous said…
TERRIBLE IDEA

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