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Channel Surfing: Drea de Matteo Moves to Wisteria Lane, Meloni and Hargitay Return to "Law & Order: SVU," Showtime Axes "Brotherhood," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing.

Sons of Anarchy's Drea de Matteo (best known as The Sopranos' Adrianna) is joining the cast of ABC's Desperate Housewives next season as a series regular, reports Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. De Matteo will play "the matriarch of a new Italian family," writes Ausiello. "Casting is underway for her landscape designer husband and their tightly wound son." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay WILL be coming back to NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit next season, after all. The duo have finally signed deals that will keep them in the lead roles on the NBC drama series for the next two seasons and will be paid just slightly less than $400,000 per episode. Neal Baer also closed a deal to remain on board the series as showrunner and Christine Lahti (Jack & Bobby) has signed on to guest star in the first four episodes of next season's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as an ADA, while Stephanie March will appear in at least ten episodes next season. (Variety, Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Showtime has confirmed to E! Online's Watch with Kristin that it has canceled drama series Brotherhood and will not be returning the series for a fourth season. (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

My Name is Earl creator Greg Garcia has landed a put pilot deal at FOX for an untitled single-camera comedy about a 25-year-old man who has a one-night stand with a woman on death row for murder and then has to raise the resulting baby with his family. Project, from 20th Century Fox Television, will be written by Garcia. (Variety)

SCI FI Wire spoke to Edward James Olmos and Grace Park about what to viewers should expect from Battlestar Galactica prequel telepic The Plan, which Olmos directed. "What their plan was, I think that's a big surprise," said Olmos. "Finding out what the plan was and how it was structured and how close they were to completing it." Park said that there's more than meets the eye with The Plan. "[There is more than] the obvious, which is what was the Cylon perspective," said Park. "If they had a plan, what their plan was, what it entailed. I think besides that, [The Plan shows] probably how alike or unlike humans they really are." (SCI FI Wire)

CBS is launching seven-episode reality competition series There Goes the Neighborhood, in which eight suburban families are enclosed by a twenty-foot wall in compete for a cash prize of $250,000, on Sunday, August 9th. (via press release)

Chris Kattan (Saturday Night Live) has been upgraded from guest star to series regular on ABC comedy The Middle, where he plays car salesman Bob, a co-worker and friend to Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton). He'll next be seen in IFC's three-part Bollywood Hero. (Hollywood Reporter)

SOAPNet has renewed Canadian drama Being Erica for a second season of twelve episodes that is slated to air early next year, according to Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider. "Sources say the next season will find Erica (Erin Karpluk) learning more about the dynamics of time travel," writes Jennifer Armstrong, "and will reveal more about her enigmatic psychiatrist, Dr. Tom (Michael Riley)." (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider)

VH1 ordered three new series including an eight-episode untitled reality project starring Salt-N-Pepa's Sandra "Pepa" Denton as she looks for love after a "self-imposed romantic and sexual dormancy," an untitled eight-episode project starring TLC's Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas as she also looks for love, this time with the help of relationship expert Tionna Smalls, and an untitled ten-episode docusoap featuring Frank "the Entertainer" Moresco from I Love NY as he looks for love and tries to move out of his parents' basement. The cabler also renewed Celebrity Fit Club for a seventh season and Sober House with Dr. Drew for a second season. (Variety)

Danneel Harris will reprise her role as Rachel Gatina in at least seven episodes of the CW's One Tree Hill next season after she was written out of the series in Season Five. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Stay tuned.


Houston said…
I'm really looking forward to The Plan. I wasn't thrilled with the Battlestar finale and am hoping that this will be a more satisfying project.

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