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Channel Surfing: Evan Rachel Wood Bites into "True Blood," Mary-Louise Parker Not Leaving "Weeds," "Lost" 100th Episode to "Flash Forward," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing.

Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler) has been cast on HBO's True Blood, where she will guest star in two episodes as Sophie-Anne, a 500-year-old French vampire who is the Queen of Louisiana. Woods will turn up towards the end of Season Two, which kicks off on June 14th, but is expected to reprise her role should True Blood be renewed for a third season. Her character, Sophie-Anne, is described as "who is charming, wily, ruthless and wise. She's a consummate diplomat who has (or had) many of history's most famous people on speed dial." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Nancy Botwin may have left Agrestic behind but Weeds' Mary-Louise Parker isn't going anywhere. "No. That's not true," said series creator Jenji Kohan when asked whether Parker would leave Weeds now that Jennifer Jason Leigh had been cast in the series. Leigh's character will appear in just a handful of episodes in Weeds' upcoming season. "Right now we've written two that she's in, but as we write, we'll see where she fits in and if she wants to come back and play," said Kohan. "She's doing a movie, so her schedule is kind of crazy right now. It's a great piece of guest casting. We love having Jennifer here; we'd love her to do as many as she wants to do, but by no means does it edge out Mary-Louise." (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

ABC hasn't yet ordered sci-fi pilot Flash Forward, starring Joseph Fiennes, Sonya Walger, and a host of others, but the network will be giving viewers of Lost's upcoming 100th episode, set to air next week, a sneak peak at the project via a "stealth promo campaign" that will actually be spots for Flash Forward, "part of an elaborate marketing campaign for the drama, which has not been officially picked up to series but is quietly being positioned on ABC's schedule for next season." (Hollywood Reporter)

ABC has acquired thirteen episodes of Canadian co-production Copper, a cop drama from studio E1 Entertainment. Series, which revolves around five rookie cops, will be executive produced by Ilana Frank, Tassie Cameron (Flashpoint), John Morayniss, and Noreen Halpern. Series will air on Canwest Global in Canada. (Variety)

Elsewhere at the Alphabet, ABC has announced that it will return game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, hosted by Regis Philbin, for a special eleven-night run to celebrate its tenth anniversary, beginning Sunday, August 9th. (via press release)

Chuck creator Josh Schwartz is still hoping that the series' rabidly loyal fanbase can keep the series afloat for another season. Speaking at NAB, Schwartz said that he "had a good meeting with NBC about Chuck's future, but he would not speculate on whether the show would survive" and pointed to some fan-based efforts such as continually mentioning Chuck on Twitter and organizing an effort to buy Subway sandwiches on Monday (the sandwich chain was recently featured on the series). Of the latter, Schwartz said, "It shows a real sophistication on the part of the viewer." (Los Angeles Times' Show Tracker)

Christopher Gorham (Harper's Island) will reprise his role as Henry on ABC's Ugly Betty in the May 21st episode, which marks a two-hour season finale for Betty. Gorham's Henry will run into Betty while with his new girlfriend Chloe (Gossip Girl's Dream Walker) and they end up on a double date with Betty and her new boyfriend Matt (Daniel Eric Gold). "As Henry and Betty reconnect, it could potentially threaten her relationship with Matt," Ugly Betty creator Silvio Horta told Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. "Chris has always been, and will always be, part of the Ugly Betty family." (
Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

NBC is expected to announce that it has cut back on the episodic order for Heroes next season, with aims to produce only 18-20 episodes rather than 25 installments, as the series did this current season. The network is also expected to run those episodes closely together and try to avoid interruptions in the storyline. [Editor: look for the timeslot to be most likely filled during the series' hiatus by Jesse Alexander's sci fi project Day One.] (Advertising Age)

Comedy Central has given a pilot presentation order to an untitled half-hour sketch comedy starring blue-collar comedian Ron White. Project, executive produced by White, Eddie Feldmann, John MacDonald, Michael Pelmont, Brian Volkweiss, and Barry Katz, will feature White as he shares stories from the heartland of America. (Hollywood Reporter)

VH1 has renewed Celebrity Rehab for a third season and has handed out an eight-episode series order for Sex Rehab With Dr. Drew, in which the titular Dr. Drew tackles everyday people's sex compulsions and its "destructive effect on those who suffer from it." Also on tap at the cabler: Gotti's Way 2 and New York Goes to Work, both of which will launch May 4th. (Variety)

Style has given an eight-episode series order to docusoap Mothers and Daughters of Dallas, which will follow four mother/daughter socialites in Texas as they strive to maintain their position in society. Project, from executive producers Allison Grodner, Peter Tartaglia, Sarah Weidman, and Merah Chung, will launch this fall. (Hollywood Reporter)

Spike has renewed 1000 Ways to Die, which will return with thirteen episodes, and MANswers, which got a ten episode pickup, while the cabler has also ordered a 1000 Ways to Die spin-off entitled 1000 Ways to Lie. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.


The CineManiac said…
Glad Schwartz is sounding excited. I'm currently working on a few Save Chuck shirts to buy hopefully by the end of the week. As well as one addressed at NBC that people can buy and send in to NBC.
AskRachel said…
I'll take any positive news about Chuck right now! Wish we had more details but will keep my fingers crossed.

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