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Channel Surfing: Lindelof on "Lost" Finale, Olyphant Not Leaving "Damages," "Southland" Cast Feeling Positive About Renewal, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing.

Just shortly after the airing of Lost's 100th episode, The New York Times' Dave Itzkoff recalls a recent interview with showrunner Damon Lindelof about he and the writing staff are preparing for the end of Lost in May 2010. "I think one of our biggest concerns is reaching the climax of the story too soon – you have to time it right, you have to walk that line between giving a steady supply of story and character pathos and mysteries being answered along the way, so that the audience doesn’t feel like it all comes in one big chunk," said Lindelof. "But then if you do it too soon, they kind of feel like, 'I got everything that I cared about halfway through the season, so why am I still watching?' And it’s terrifying. Finally, we’re going to do it. There’s no excuses, we don’t get to say, 'We didn’t get to end the show on our own terms. They kept us on the air three years longer than we wanted to be. Blah blah blah.' It’s like Galactica, you have to say, 'Here it is, do you like it? I hope you like it.' There’s a lot of second-guessing going on. I think the show will end exactly as it began. There’ll be people who love it, there’ll be people who hate it. There’ll be people who’ll be confused by it, there’ll be people who love being confused. It’ll end on its own terms." (New York Times' ArtsBeat)

Despite landing the lead role in an FX drama pilot, Timothy Olyphant won't be leaving the cast of FX's Damages, says series co-creator Todd Kessler. "We had a fantastic time working with him, and he’s expressed interest in wanting to come back," said Kessler. "And that pilot that he’s in is actually for FX and for the same studio that does our show, Sony, so it couldn’t be more conducive to bringing him back for our season as well." Later, Kessler also added that, while they hope that Olyphant's pilot gets ordered to series, they would love him to return for Season Three of Damages, should the scheduling work out. (Business Insider)

The cast of NBC's new drama series Southland are certain that they'll be getting renewed for next season. "We are feeling positive," said Southland's Regina King. "We're getting really great feedback. The reviews have been good, but it's not the reviews that make us feel confident. It's the fact that all of us have had at least nine or 10 instances each where we've been in the grocery store or the car wash and someone has been like, ‘Oh my God, I love that show!' "(E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

Signs meanwhile are looking promising for a potential third season order for NBC's Chuck and a second season renewal for Parks and Recreation, while ABC is gearing up to order sci-fi series Flash Forward, for which the network launched a viral campaign this week during Lost. NBC is also said to be high on dramas Parenthood, Trauma, and Mercy while Legally Mad and Lost & Found received mixed responses but could still be in the mix. (Variety)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello talks to Ugly Betty showrunner Silvio Horta about what to expect next season on the ABC drama, Justin's sexuality, Betty's braces, and Ashley Jensen's departure from the series. Of the latter, Horta said, "It was mutual. She's amazing. From the get-go, we found some really good stories for her, but we never found enough to service her character the way we wanted to and the way she wanted to. She wanted to do more, but it was [difficult] with a large ensemble like this to give her more. I hope in the future she'll come back. She's an important part of the show. [...] Next week's episode will [set things in motion] with Wilhelmina's baby – or her supposed baby – and it's going to lead to a lot of complications." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick will guest star in the upcoming third season of Showtime comedy Californication, where he will play Balt, a vampire lit-obsessed student of Hank Moody (David Duchovny). He's slated to appear in the season's second episode. (TVGuide.com)

HBO will launch new comedy series Hung, which stars Thomas Jane, Anne Heche, Jane Adams, Charlie Saxton, and Eddie Jemison, on June 28th at 10 pm ET/PT behind the Season Two premiere of drama True Blood. (Futon Critic)

Disney Channel has ordered a third season of The Wizards of Waverly Place, starring Selena Gomez, and has announced an original Wizards telpic, following the Russo clan as they go on a vacation to the Caribbean resort where their parents met, set to debut in August. (Hollywood Reporter)

Showtime drama series Dexter won't return until the fall but Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello talks to executive producer Sara Colleton about what to expect for Season Four. "This season, we're going to deal with: Can a serial killer juggle a personal life, work, and his 'dark passenger'?" said Colleton. "In other words, can Dexter have it all? Which is something all of us grapple with every day of our lives. So we're taking something that is a very human dilemma and putting it through the prism of Dexter's special needs." Ausiello has more specific detail about what to expect for Season Four, but beware: it's very spoilery. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Mark Burnett Prods. has acquired international remake rights for Starz comedy Head Case, marking the first time that the company has attempted to sell a scripted series format outside of the US. (Variety)

NBC Universal executive Nora O'Brien died unexpectedly on the set of NBC pilot Parenthood on Wednesday evening after complaining of dizziness and then collapsing. "Our hearts go out to the family and friends of our beloved colleague Nora, who was respected and cherished by so many people in the entertainment community," said NBC Universal in a statement. "She'll truly be missed by all of us." [Those of you who knew Nora knew her warm and generosity. She'll definitely be missed.] (Hollywood Reporter)

ITV has denied reports in The Sun that it had canceled sci-fi series Primeval, which launches its third season Stateside on May 16th on BBC America. "It's not true - it's not going to be axed," said an ITV spokesperson. "It just hasn't been recommissioned and it is not unusual to wait for a series to run before considering recommission." (Digital Spy)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello has offered up a cheat sheet for the statuses of all new and returning series on broadcast networks. Take a quick look at the list, organized by network, to see which of your favorite series are tipped to return, guaranteed a renewal, or guaranteed a swift cancellation. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Heatherette said…
I really hope that Lost ends on a more satisfying note than Battlestar Galactica. I loved Battlestar but still feel somewhat disappointed by the ending. It's so difficult when a brilliant show, like Battlestar or Lost, ends because the expectations are huge! I will keep my fingers crossed that Lost can live up to the expectations and maybe, just maybe, surpass them.

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