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Channel Surfing: ABC Family Fires "Middleman," Jenna Elfman and Amy Smart Land Pilots, Sean Gets a Brother on "Nip/Tuck," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing.

ABC Family has canceled quirky dramedy The Middleman, with the cabler confirming that it has "decided not to renew the series for a second season." Fans looking for closure can keep their eyes open for a Season One DVD, slated to be released this summer, and a comic book written by creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach that will tell the story of the original season finale, which was scrapped for budgetary reasons. (New York Post)

Jason Clarke (Brotherhood) has been cast as the lead in CBS' untitled US attorney drama pilot from writer/executive producer Frank Military. Clarke will play "the powerful, charismatic section chief who oversees four lawyers and a handful of paralegals in their overlapping cases." Elsewhere, Jonathan Sadowski, Kevin Simpson, Noureen Dewulf, and Ricky Mabe been cast in FOX comedy pilot Two Dollar Beer and Nick Bishop, Kelli Giddish and Ravi Patel have all been cast in FOX's untitled reincarnation drama from writer/executive producer David Hudgins and Warner Bros Television. (Hollywood Reporter)

Jenna Elfman (Brothers & Sisters) will star in CBS comedy pilot Accidentally on Purpose, from CBS Paramount Network Television, BermanBraun, and writer Claudia Lonow. Elfman will play a movie critic who finds herself pregnant after a one-night-stand with a younger man and decides to raise the baby. (Variety)

Amy Smart (Smith) has been cast as the lead of ABC drama pilot See Cate Run (formerly known as I, Claudia), in which she'll play a prosecuting attorney who will one day be a serious contender for the US presidency. (Hollywood Reporter)

Following the success of Flashpoint, CBS has given a 13-episode order to Canadian drama The Bridge, which it will co-produce with CTV. Series, which stars Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica), Paul Popowich, Inga Cadranel, Frank Cassini, Theresa Joy, Ona Grauer, Michael Murphy, and Stuart Margolin, is based on the life of a former Toronto police union head who must "battle criminals and fight his own bosses in order to protect other officers." The Bridge will air next season on CBS and CTV. (Variety)

Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch offers up five reasons why the CW should renew Privileged and keep on the schedule next season as the series is set to air its season finale on February 24th. Among the reasons: Joanna Garcia, The Gilmore Vibe, The Twins, Its Dark Side, and Underrated Actors. (
Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch)

Bravo has announced the hosts and judges for its new sartorial competition series The Fashion Show, set to launch later this year. Isaac Mizrahi will host the series alongside Kelly Rowland and joining Mizrahi and Rowland as judges is frequent Project Runway guest judge Fern Mallis, the creator of New York Fashion Week. The Fashion Show follows professional designers as they compete for an opportunity to have their designs sold for the mass market. (via press release)

Neil Hopkins (Lost) has been cast in FX drama series Nip/Tuck where he will play Sean's long-lost brother Brendan, a recovering meth addict who has been living on a nature preserve. "Sean thought his brother had died," a source told Michael Ausiello. "So he's definitely surprised to see him." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Robert De Niro and Van Morrison will be among the first guests for Jimmy Fallon's debut as the host of Late Night, beginning March 2nd. Also slated to appear in the first week of Fallon's run: Tina Fey, Jon Bon Jovi, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Donald Trump, and Serena Williams. (Variety)

Fremantle has acquired a 75 percent stake in Thom Beers' Original Prods., which produces such reality hits as Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers, among others. Beers will stay on as CEO and Philip Segal will remain president under the terms of the deal. (Hollywood Reporter)

AMPTP has offers a "last, best and final offer" to SAG that is said to contain a $250 million improvement over SAG's now-expired contract. SAG has 60 days to decide whether or not to accept the producers' offer, after which time AMPTP reserves the right to withdraw those terms. "The AMPTP made these enhancements in an effort to conclude the AMPTP's sixth major labor agreement in the past year," said the producers in a statement. "The terms in the offer are the best we can or will offer in light of the five other major industry labor deals negotiated over the past year and the extraordinary economic crisis gripping the world economy." (TV Week)

With the future of an AMPTP-SAG contract still up in the air, it's become clear that at least 50 of the planned 70+ pilots being produced this development season will be shot under AFTRA digital guidelines rather than SAG jurisdiction, a significant increase from the typically small number of pilots usually shot under the SAG rival. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stuart Murphy has been hired by British Sky Broadcasting as director of programs for Sky1. Most recently creative director at TwoFour, Murphy was previously a controller at BBC3, where he commissioned such hit comedies as Gavin & Stacey and Little Britain. He will replace outbound director of programs Richard Woolfe, who will be leaving Sky1 next month to oversee Five's programming. Murphy, who will oversee all three of Sky's general entertainment channels, is expected to begin his new post in May. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said…
Hmm...I like Amy Smart but I can't really picture her as a "serious contender for the US presidency" (even in TVland).
Anonymous said…
Does this mean Brotherhood is done?
Jace Lacob said…

To my knowledge, Showtime hasn't renewed "Brotherhood" for a fourth season...

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