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Channel Surfing: "Buffy" Feature Sans Whedon, Tennant to Appear on "Sarah Jane Adventures," Sarah Chalke Uncertain about "Scrubs" Return, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing.

Could Buffy be heading back to the big screen... sans Joss Whedon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, or any of the supporting talents that made the franchise a success? Sadly, yes, in what appears to be shaping up as one of the worst ideas of the year. Executive producers Fran and Kaz Kuzui, along with Vertigo Entertainment's Roy Lee and Doug Davison are said to be developing a reboot of the Buffy franchise. (Fran Rubel Kuzui directed the original Buffy feature.) However, said project would not involve characters like Willow, Xander, Angel, or Spike (or, indeed any of the above elements) and would instead focus on a new slayer and would kick off a new franchise. The producers are currently meeting with writers and have not reached out to Joss Whedon about any involvement with the project. (Hollywood Reporter)

David Tennant will star opposite Elisabeth Sladen in two upcoming episodes of Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures's third season. Reprising his role as the Doctor, Tennant will not just cameo but will play a leading role in a two-part episode when the series returns for its third season in September. "Viewers thought they may have to wait until November for the next full episode of Doctor Who, but this is an extra special treat," said executive producer Russell T. Davies. "And it's not just a cameo from David – this is a full-on appearance for The Doctor as he and Sarah Jane face their biggest threat ever." (BBC)

Sarah Chalke still hasn't made up her mind about whether she will reprise her role as Elliot on Season Nine of Scrubs, recently ordered by ABC. "I actually don't know yet what I'm going to do, but I will very soon. You guys will be the first to know. Regardless, I'm excited that the show got picked up again and it's going to go another year," Chalke, who stars in Lifetime's upcoming mini-series Maneater, told E! Online. ""I think the setup on Maneater kinds of lends itself to [an ongoing series] because you've got the close group of girlfriends, sort of a Sex and the City." (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

Reveille and Brillstein Entertainment have partnered to develop an unscripted series based on Twitter. Details are scarce but the project--to be executive produced by Amy Ephron, Kevin Foxe, Steve Latham, Mark Koops, Howard Owens, Jon Liebman, and Lee Kernis--is described as "putting ordinary people on the trail of celebrities in a revolutionary competitive format." (Variety)

Now that the dust has cleared after the network upfronts, it's clear who the real winner is this development season: studio Warner Bros. Television, who managed to sell a new series or have one renewed on every single broadcast network. Besides for NBC's Chuck, which got an eleventh hour renewal, the studio is behind such series as ABC’s Eastwick, Hank, The Forgotten, The Middle and V, Miami Trauma, Cold Case, and There Goes the Neighborhood at CBS, FOX’s Human Target and Past Life, and The CW’s Vampire Diaries, The Beautiful Life and Parental Discretion Advised, which will be co-produced with CBS Television Studios. "This season, it’s been very challenging," said WBTV President Peter Roth about the struggles the studio faced this year. "One network has five fewer hours of shelf space. The changing economic environment challenged every company. We are facing, most especially, the imperative to put on undeniable, can’t-miss, have-to-watch TV. It’s been a challenging year, perhaps more so than other years. I feel satisfied at least in terms of having been given our opportunities, a chance to get on the air with product I really believe in. The real test will be how many of these can be true long-term hits." (Broadcasting & Cable)

Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed takes a look at some of the timeslot competition this fall, rating such competitors as ABC's Desperate Housewives and CBS' Three Rivers, Fringe against Grey's Anatomy and CSI, Southland against Medium, Dollhouse, and Ugly Betty, and Flash Forward vs. Survivor, Bones, and NBC's comedies. (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

Season Two of Merlin, which is set to air on BBC One this fall, will feature guest stars such as Mackenzie Crook (The Office), Sarah Parish (Mistresses), Adrian Lester (Hustle), Charles Dance (Bleak House), and Santiago Cabrera (Heroes). The series, which will air its first season Stateside on NBC this summer, stars Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Anthony Head, Katie McGrath, Angel Coulby, Richard Wilson, and John Hurt. (BBC)

Former USA executive Lindsay Sloane has been named FOX's co-head of drama programming, where she will oversee the department with Terence Carter and report to Matt Cherniss. Sloane replaces Rachel Bendavid, who is leaving the network. "We've established the ideal team to lead the next generation of drama development at FOX," said Matt Cherniss, who called Sloane a "gifted scripted series development executive." (Variety)

Stay tuned.


The CineManiac said…
Buffy - Seriously, your going to alienate your core audience, those who love the TV show, by not involving anyone from the show. Also do we really need a 2nd reboot of this, as the TV show was the 1st reboot?

The Doctor - AWESOME!!!!!

Twitter: The Show - This may actually be a worse idea than the Buffy movie idea. Maybe each story will have 140 characters?
Heatherette said…
I heard "Buffy movie" and got all excited...apparently for nothing. They tried once before to do a Buffy movie without Joss at the helm (he wrote the script but they destroyed it) and it was a laughable mess. Not until the brilliant TV show was Joss able to correct the mistakes they made and tell the story properly. And now they're trying to do a movie again without him? Oh, will they ever learn?
wooster182 said…
The Kuzuis are apparently trying to make a 90210 with fangs. She ruined the first film; Joss Whedon has been explicit about that. Who in their right minds would have faith in her to do this one right?

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