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Channel Surfing: "Doctor Who" Travels to Dubai, "Rescue Me" Returns to FX in April, Devil's Son Hammer Gets Smoochy with a "Gossip Girl," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing.

The BBC has confirmed that Doctor Who's Easter Special, "The Planet of the Dead" will shoot scenes in Dubai. The special, which stars David Tennant, Michelle Ryan, Lee Evans, and Noma Dumezweni, already shot scenes in Cardiff last month. "We rarely take Doctor Who abroad although we did visit Rome for series four's 'The Fires Of Pompeii' which gave us some spectacular footage," said producer Tracie Simpson. "The locations in Dubai are a perfect match for writer Russell T. Davies's vision of the episode and we expect to film some incredible scenes while we are here." (BBC)

Cabler FX has announced that Rescue Me's fifth season, consisting of 22 episodes, will kick off on Tuesday, April 7th at 10 pm. Additionally, FX announced that it has already ordered eighteen episodes for the series' sixth season, expected to air next year. Series star/producer Denis Leary will also launch an 11-city live comedy tour featuring him and other Rescue Me cast members which will benefit The Leary Firefighters Foundation. (via press release)

Reaper's Armie Hammer has been cast in a multiple-episode story arc on CW's Gossip Girl, where he will play Serena's new boyfriend Gabriel Serrano, a European socialite whom Serena meets while he's dating her friend Poppy Lifton (Tamara Feldman) but he quickly falls for S. in a storyline seemingly inspired by Anne Hathaway's recent troubles. Hammer is slated to appear in three episodes toward the end of the current season. (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

FOX ordered a pilot for single-camera comedy Cop House, from 20th Century Fox Television and writer/executive producer Adam Resnick (The Larry Sanders Show), about a half-way house for troubled cops. (Hollywood Reporter)

CBS has ordered a pilot for multi-camera comedy Good Girls, about two women, friends since childhood, who attempt to reinvent themselves after realizing their mistakes; project comes from writer/executive producer Sherri Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer (Old Christine), EXPs Ashton Kutcher, Karey Burke, and Jason Goldberg, Katalyst, and CBS Paramount Network Television. ABC has ordered an untitled comedy pilot from writer/executive producer Jeff Strauss (Friends) and ABC Studios that investigates marriage and parenthood through the POVs of three different couples. NBC ordered an untitled multi-camera comedy pilot about adult siblings from Sony Pictures, Television, Tantamount, and writer Justin Adler (Samantha Who?). (Variety)

Lennie James (Jericho) has been cast in CBS' untitled US Attorney drama pilot from writer/executive producer Frank Military and CBS Paramount Network Television; James will play a paralegal who is a disbarred attorney. Elsewhere, Lauren German (Hostel: Part II) has been cast in ABC's two-hour supernatural mystery pilot Happy Town, where she will play a young woman who moves to Haplin with a secret agenda. (Hollywood Reporter)

Lionsgate Television has signed a two-year overall deal with writer Matthew Salsberg (Weeds), under which he will continue as a co-executive producer on Weeds for Season Five and be promoted to executive producer on Season Six, as well as develop new projects for the studio. (Variety)

Pilot helmer alert: Jon Cassar (24) will direct CBS drama pilot Washington Field; Michael Fresco (My Name is Earl) will direct ABC's redo of untitled Dave Hemingson legal dramedy pilot (starring Matt Long, Ben Lawson, Tina Majorino, and Norbert Leo Butz); and Adam Bernstein (30 Rock) will direct NBC drama pilot Mercy, which also sees Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts join as executive producers. (Hollywood Reporter)

E! has ordered a pilot for unscripted series Hot Girls in Scary Places, which like its title suggests, will follow three USC students as they spend the night in some creepy places like an abandoned hospital and compete for a cash prize. Project, from Go Go Luckey, will air as a special one-off on Friday, March 13th, and could return as an ongoing series. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said…
Cop House? Hot Girls in Scary Places? Good grief.
Anonymous said…
Good to know that the Easter Special is going to be feature length. Can't wait to see Michelle Ryan in action again, she'd make a good companion for the Doctor now that the Bionic woman has bitten the dust

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