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Channel Surfing: Amy Acker Gets "Happy" for ABC, "Stargate Universe" Adds Cast, Lance Reddick, "Fringe," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing.

Amy Acker, who currently recurs on FOX's Dollhouse, has been cast in ABC supernatural mystery pilot Happy Town, where she will play the wife of small town cop Tommy Conroy (Geoff Stults). Elsewhere, Eric Christian Olsen (Brothers & Sisters) will play the lead in ABC's untitled Ricky Blitt comedy pilot, about a 30-something guy in a state of arrested adolescence who is stuck between the demands of his needy best friend and his new girlfriend, who has teenage children; Taylor Schilling (Dark Matter) will play the lead in NBC drama pilot Mercy, where she will play Veronica Callahan, a nurse who was previously stationed in Iraq; and Dakota Goyo (Ultra) has been cast as NBC's untitled Daniel Cerone drama pilot (formerly known as Brothers & Detectives), where he will play an 11-year-old genius who helps his older brother, a police detective (Jimmy Wolk), solve crimes. (Hollywood Reporter)

Ming-Na (ER) and Elyse Levensque (Smallville) have joined the cast of Sci Fi's Stargate Universe, opposite Robert Carlyle, Lou Diamond Phillips, Alaina Huffman, Justin Louis, David Blue, Jamil Walker Smith and Brian J. Smith. Ming-Na will play Camille Wray, an HR exec while Levensque will play Chloe Armstong, the wild daughter of a US senator on the series, which is slated to launch in October. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Lindsay Price (Lipstick Jungle) has been cast in ABC drama pilot Eastwick, based on the 1987 film The Witches of Eastwick. She'll play Joanna, a hardworking but shy reporter for the local paper, opposite the recently cast Jaime Ray Newman. The casting, however, doesn't bode well for NBC's Lipstick Jungle, whose chances for an eleventh hour renewal seem to be slipping. (Hollywood Reporter)

Following weeks of negotiations, CBS has locked in LL Cool J to star in the untitled NCIS spin-off series, which will launch later this season as an episode of NCIS. He'll play a former Navy SEAL who works undercover for the NCIS unit in LA. (Variety)

CW has renewed six series for the 2009-2010 season, including Supernatural, Gossip Girl, Smallville, 90210, One Tree Hill, and reality series America's Next Top Model (cycles 13 and 14) as well as ordered a pilot for drama The Beautiful Life. (Televisionary)

In other renewal news, Lifetime has ordered a fourth season of Army Wives before the third season has even aired. The cabler ordered 18 episodes for Season Four of Army Wives, set to air in 2010, and announced that Jeff Melvoin will take over showrunning duties from Nick Thiel. (Variety)

Michael Cera has agreed to appear in the big-screen version of much-missed series Arrested Development. (Televisionary)

The Los Angeles Times talks to The Wire's Lance Reddick, who currently appears on FOX's Fringe and ABC's Lost. Of Reddick's appeal, Lost executive producer Damon Lindelof said, "One of the things we really gravitated toward was that Lance is very scary-looking, and he's a very intensive actor who also has this incredible charisma." (Los Angeles Times)

In other Fringe-related news, The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan talks to Fringe executive producer Jeff Pinkner about the future of the series, the Observer, the ZFT manifesto, and David Robert Jones. ""We're learning how to tell this version of a detective story," Pinkner told Ryan. "It's not really a police procedural. There are elements of that. But it's an incredible mish-mash of genres. I think we're getting better at finding our way through these stories." (The Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

Pilot helmer alert: the extremely prolific James Burrows (The Big Bang Theory) will direct two comedy pilots this season: FOX's Absolutely Fabulous and NBC's cast-contingent 100 Questions for Charlotte Payne. (Hollywood Reporter)

Could Grey's Anatomy's Meredith Grey have another long-lost sibling? Michael Ausiello has the spoilery scoop. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

FOX will launch Season Five of reality competition series So You Think You Can Dance with a two-night four-hour event on Thursday, May 21st and Wednesday, May 27th. (via press release)

Andy Richter has signed on to be the announcer on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, when it launches on June 1st, reuniting Richter with the Late Night host. (Variety)

RDF USA is pitching French Kiss, a French reality format that tasks men with kissing as many women as possible in several days, to networks this week. Project will be executive produced by Chris Coelen, Karrie Wolfe, Lauren Gellert, and Thibault Vales. (TV Week)

NBC is said to be in talks with Granada America to revive UK reality franchise I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, a US version of which aired six years ago on ABC. (Hollywood Reporter)

Those worried that Joel McHale's recent casting in NBC comedy pilot Community would derail his duties as host of E!'s The Soup have nothing to fear. "Joel is fully committed to continuing as host of The Soup," said a network spokesperson. "We support his work on other projects." (McHale has juggled several projects in the past and still continued as host of The Soup.) (Broadcasting & Cable)

Cabler ION has acquired two Canadian series, which it will launch later this year: CBC's The Border, about members of the Canadian Immigration and Customs Security Unit, and Global TV's The Guard, about a Coast Guard Search and Rescue team. (Hollywood Reporter)

Once he steps down from his News Corp post on June 30th, Peter Chernin will segue into a lucrative six-year film and TV overall deal that stipulates that Fox will buy at least two put pictures a year from Chernin's shingle. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said…
"...French Kiss, a French reality format that tasks men with kissing as many women as possible in several days..."

Wow. So we're now getting reality tv show ideas from junior high school kids?
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the link to the Lance Reddick interview. Reddick is an enormously talented actor and was brilliant on The Wire. He's also been great on Lost and I'm excited to see him again on tonight's episode. I just wish that his role weren't so limited on Fringe as I feel like they are not taking full advantage of his talent.

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