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Channel Surfing: Michael Emerson Talks Annie, Jacob on "Lost," Richard Hatch Pitching Docusoap, James Tupper Finds "Mercy" at NBC, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing.

TV Guide has an interview with Lost's Michael Emerson, in which the actors teases some details about upcoming storylines on the ABC drama. My favorite bit? "I may go so far as to say we may already know Annie," said Emerson cryptically. "Have you considered that? I'm not speaking from knowledge of a script because that's not a thing that has been written, but stranger things have happened on the show. Everyone is more connected then they ever thought, and it's often by blood." Hmmm...

And, speaking about Jacob, the enigmatic leader of the Others, Emerson had this to say: "Jacob seems to have fallen away from our consciousness. The show is so much more wrapped up in intermediary leader figures. There seems to be a whole raft of people Ben must answer to, but they're not as high up as Jacob. Jacob seems to have receded into the mist again — sort of mysterious and godlike. He continues to be much talked about, and ultimately is the force behind the island. And the island is changing. We thought of it as a rock in the water, but now it appears to be more of a movable organism now. So to be in charge of such a thing — what does that mean? These are questions I ask myself." (TV Guide)

While the following article is actually about the potential rise of Canadian series on US broadcast networks, what struck me is that Battlestar Galactica's Richard Hatch has his own reality series entitled Who the FRAK is the REAL Richard Hatch, which is being shopped to US networks by Frogwater Media. Series would follow Hatch has he tries to score acting gigs, pitch projects to studios, and host the Galacticruise, a BSG-themed vacation cruise. What would Tom Zarek have to say about that? (Hollywood Reporter)

James Tupper (Men in Trees) has been cast in NBC drama pilot Mercy, about the friendship between three nurses at Mercy Hospital. Tupper will play Dr. Chris Sands, a new physician at the hospital who previously had an affair with one of the nurses while they were stationed in Iraq. Elsewhere, Pushing Daisies' Anna Friel and ER's Noah Wyle remain the most sought-after actors this pilot season, with each receiving about six pilot offers. Lizzy Caplan (Party Down) is also said to be in high demand, while Dirty Sexy Money's Peter Krause and Shopgirl's Claire Dane are said to be mulling returns to television. (Hollywood Reporter)

19 Entertainment, creators of American Idol, and ITV Studios, the production arm of ITV, have signed a co-production deal, under which they will jointly develop six unscripted formats for the international market. "I believe our combined talents will give us a real opportunity to develop some innovative and exciting exploitable formats together," said ITV Studios head Lee Bartlett. (Variety)

Charisma Carpenter (Angel) will guest star in an upcoming episode of CBS' CSI, where she will play a skydiver named Mink. (TV Guide)

A&E has ordered docusoap Hammertime, which will follow performer M.C. Hammer, his wife, and his five children. The cabler ordered eleven half-hour installments of the series, executive produced by J.D. Roth, Hammer, Robert Sharenow, Todd Nelson, Scott Lonker, and Stephen Harris, which it plans to launch later this year. (Hollywood Reporter)

SAG resumed talks with the AMPTP yesterday, marking the first time the two sides have spoke in three months. General thought around town is that a tentative deal will soon be formed, however there is a bit of bad news: if SAG and AMPTP don't reach an agreement before the end of this week, further talks would likely be delayed until March 1st, as the negotiation committee will begin a week of talks regarding their commercial contract. (Variety)

GSN has renewed game show Catch 21, hosted by Alfonso Ribeiro, for a second season, ordering 65 episodes which will launch on April 6th. Series will be paired with the debut of Michael Davies-executive produced revival of The Newlywed Game. (TV Week)

G4 has announced that it will now only produce four episodes a week of Attack of the Show! and only three episodes per week of X-Play, beginning March 2nd. Additionally, the Comcast-owned cabler will also scale back personnel in the face of these changes. "Savings resulting from this move will go directly toward producing more original programming in 2009," said G4 in a prepared statement. "This is not a budget cut. G4 remains dedicated to these core franchises." (Variety)

20th Century Fox Television has hired Sky1 acquisitions head David Smyth as VP of sales; Smyth will oversee sales of feature films and television series to European broadcasters and expand the studio's co-production initiatives. Smyth, who spearheaded Sky1's acquisitions of such US series as Lost, Prison Break, Eureka, and Bones, will report to Yoni Cohen. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said…
I can't decide which is worse - the Richard Hatch reality show or the MC Hammer reality show. Is anyone really going to watch either of them? Maybe they could be combined into one show called Nobody Cares.
Anonymous said…
Haha Richard Hatch has a reality show. Who the frak is the real richard hatch. It should be called hatch vs hatch.....
Anonymous said…
Richard Hatch Show Where can we see this? Whos on it? This could be interesting.

Anonymous said…

I seen them shooting the show last Aug in Las Vegas Nevada and Richard Hatch had his son and friend Actor Producer Michael Wehrhahn on the show.
Anonymous said…
Richard has a reality show? I can wait to see this!

Colin F. said…
Mr. Hatch seems like a cool guy and I would be interested in seeing what kind of show he puts together. I have seen him at a few conventions now and met him twice, and each time he was very approachable and friendly to all the fans.

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