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Channel Surfing: Bryan Fuller Leaves "Heroes" Again, Cross, Jonze, and Arnett Team Up, "Doctor Who," Justin Kirk Talks "Weeds," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing.

Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller has left his position as consulting producer on NBC's Heroes, just a few months after he rejoined the writing staff of the NBC drama. The reason behind the departure: to focus on developing new series for the network (he has an overall deal with Universal Media Studios), rather than creative differences with Heroes creator Tim Kring. "I'm crafting two pilots right now and it's a lot of work," Fuller told Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. "It was just too hard to [juggle] Heroes and my development; something had to give." Meanwhile, Fuller told Ain't It Cool News' Herc, ""Development was really starting to heat up, And it appears like I may be writing multiple pilots for NBC so that wasn't leaving a ton of room for Heroes, unfortunately. We crafted some really great arcs for the season that I'm excited to see come to fruition. I love that cast dearly and am sad to go, but the plate -- she was over-flowing." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files, Ain't It Cool News)

Holy comedy legends: David Cross has written a comedy pilot entitled The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret for UK's Channel 4 with Extras' Shaun Pye that will star Arrested Development's Will Arnett, Being Human's Russell Tovey, and director Spike Jonze (who appeared on-screen in feature film Three Kings). The pilot, produced by RDF Media, is slated to air this winter. "I shot a pilot for Channel 4," Cross told The Los Angeles Times. And it’ll air, I believe, in December. When we picture-lock on Friday, it will be almost two years to the day that I was first approached by those guys. The cast is a crazy dream team." As for the plot, here's the official description from the RDF Media site: "American Todd Margaret (David Cross) bluffs his way into an apparently great job opportunity, heading up the sales team in his employer’s London office. All he has to do is sell several thousand energy drinks before his boss visits him in a week. Simple. Apart from the fact that he knows nothing about British culture and nothing about sales. This is further complicated when he lies continuously to cover his ignorance and spectacularly fails to impress Alice the first beautiful girl he meets. Dave his British co-worker, soon takes full advantage of Todd’s situation and chaos ensues." (Los Angeles Times, via /Film)

BBC has denied reports made by British paper The Mirror, which claimed that the channel would air an "all-Doctors reunion" installment of Doctor Who during this year's Children in Need charity campaign. According to The Mirror, David Tennant would reprise his role as the Doctor and call upon every other incarnation of his character (including Matt Smith's upcoming Eleventh Doctor) in order to help him retrieve a missing piece of Time Lord paraphernalia... and that William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, and Jon Pertwee would also appear on the series via archival footage. (All three, who played the Doctor's first three incarnations are all deceased.) "Nothing has been finalised yet, although there is discussion of a Children in Need Doctor Who special," said a BBC spokesperson. "It is too early to say what." (Digital Spy)

Weeds' Justin Kirk dishes about Alanis Morrisette, Kate del Castillo, Andy's relationship with Nancy, and Jennifer Jason Leigh's Jill. And, oh, a familiar face from the past is set to return this season. (Hmmm.) "I don't know what's going to happen," said Kirk of Andy's relationship with Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker). "But I like exploring that world. I would like that relationship to go on. I think their relationship, whether it's consummated or not, remains to be seen. But it's one that is a lot of fun to do, and I like working with Mary-Louise, so I hope it goes on. Sometimes it's heartbreaking and sometimes it's funny." (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

USA's Burn Notice will definitely be having a presence at this year's Comic-Con next month, according to The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan. Executive producer Mikkel Bondesen announced that Burn Notice would be hosting a panel next month via Twitter that will include creator Matt Nix, though Ryan says that the network has confirmed the panel but hasn't yet confirmed the date. (Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

VH1 has given a series order to RDF USA's docuseries The Price of Beauty, which will feature Jessica Simpson traveling the world "to meet every day women as well as some local pop culture icons" and "study local fashions, dietary fads and beauty regimes and even participate in some of the extreme practices she discovers." The series, which will begin shooting next month, is executive produced by Jessica Simpson, Joe Simpson, Chris Coelen, Claire O'Donohoe, Greg Goldman, Jeff Olde, Jill Holmes, Alex Demyanenko, and Sean Boyle. (Hollywood Reporter)

Bravo's weekly topical, interactive series Watch What Happens: Live, hosted by Andy Cohen, will launch on Thursday, July 16th at midnight ET/PT. The series will feature Cohen talking to guests from Bravo's stable of series as well as celebrities from other areas of entertainment to "chat about what has transpired on-air and in pop culture that week for a live half-hour full of viewer interaction." The network also promises that viewers will be able to interact "via email, phone, video, Twitter and Facebook." Series is produced by Embassy Row and executive producer Michael Davies. (via press release)

NBC's launch of British acquisition Merlin reached an average of five million viewers on Sunday, less than that for the US Open golfing championship but more than those who tuned in for ABC's mini-series Impact, which only garnered 4.7 million viewers. (New York Times)

Despite the announcement that series stars Jon and Kate Gosselin will be divorcing, TLC has confirmed that docusoap Jon & Kate Plus 8 will continue. "The show must go on," said Kate Gosselin on camera. (Variety)

Actress Kathryn Hahn is said to be developing a pilot script at Sony Pictures Television with her husband, writer Ethan Sandler, which will be a potential starring vehicle for Hahn. Details about the script's plot are being kept firmly under wraps. (Hollywood Reporter)

Robbie Coltrane, Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, James Corden, John Hurt, and Tom Wilkinson will lend their voices to one-off animated Christmas special The Gruffalo, based on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's children's book, which BBC One will air this winter. (BBC)

Former Dominant Pictures executive Ben Spector has been hired by Tollin Prods, as EVP of television, where he will develop scripted projects for the shingle, overseen by produced Mike Tollin. (Variety)

FOX has hired Ron Taylor as VP of diverse programming and content, where he will identify and develop scripts that contain diversity-based themes or are written by minorities, as well as advise producers of scripted projects at the network about how to "expand a diversity presence to those comedies and dramas." Taylor will report to Matt Cherniss. (Variety)

Stay tuned.

Comments

NicholasJ said…
David Cross + Shaun Pye + Will Arnett + Russell Tovey + Spike Jonze?!!! Sounds too good to be true!
AskRachel said…
Very happy to hear that Bryan Fuller is developing new shows of his own rather than overseeing the sinking ship that is Heroes!

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