Skip to main content

Channel Surfing: Mary-Louise Parker to Keep Puffing on "Weeds," "Scrubs" Back to School, Meg Ryan to Guest Star on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. I'm back from vacation so there's loads of television-related headlines to catch up on. Buckle your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy ride!

Weeds star Mary-Louise Parker has put those rumors that she's leaving the Showtime comedy series to bed, stating that she's sticking around for quite some time. "Sometimes when I think about the show ending I get sad. I just can't imagine what it's going to be like," Parker told E! Online's Watch with Kristin. "We for sure have one more year, so I don't have to be sad yet. I can smile a little bit longer. I would stay on, but at a certain point it would get a little bit tired. It'd be like, we don't need to see Nancy and Andy running around in their 60s. I think it will depend on how this season goes, as to whether or not it will have a little velocity for staying around a little longer." (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

When Scrubs returns for a ninth season this fall, there will be more change than just some of the regular cast, with the focus of the series shifting from Sacred Heart Hospital to the classroom. "It'll be a lot like Paper Chase as a comedy," series creator Bill Lawrence told Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. "It's going to be a different show. It'll still be life-and-death stakes, but if the show is just Scrubs again in the hospital with a different person's voiceover, it would be a disaster and people would be mad." But there will be some familiar faces, with Donald Faison and John C. McGinley on board as series regulars and Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke, Judy Reyes, and Ken Jenkins slated to make guest appearances when the medical students are working at Sacred Heart. "Med students in their first three years have to spend anywhere from 10 to 50 percent of their time at a hospital," said Lawrence. "And that's when you'll see some of the [original cast members]. Continuity-wise, Sacred Heart will still exist with those people still working there." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

I'll have what she's having: Meg Ryan will guest star on an upcoming episode of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. The former When Harry Met Sally star will appear early on in the series' seventh season, which returns to HBO in September. The season will also feature an ongoing storyline that will reunite Larry David with his Seinfeld cast. (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider)

Confirmed: T.R. Knight won't be returning to ABC's Grey's Anatomy this fall following his request to be let out of his multi-year contract. "Leaving Grey's Anatomy was not an easy decision for me to make," said Knight in a statement. "I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to play this character and will miss my fellow cast and crew very much." Series creator/executive producer Shonda Rhimes, meanwhile, wished Knight "the best in his future endeavors" and said of the actor: ""He is an incredibly talented actor and a person whose strength of character is admired by all of us." (Variety)

Katherine Heigl, meanwhile, WILL be back next season on Grey's Anatomy, reprising her role as Izzie Stevens, despite a cliffhanger ending that made it seem as though Heigl was off the series for good. Sources close to the production have indicated that Heigl's option has been picked up and she will continue as a regular on the ABC medical drama series. (Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly)

Linda Hunt (The Year of Living Dangerously) has joined the cast of CBS' NCIS: Los Angeles as a series regular; she'll play "an efficient and hard-nosed former film industry technician who now oversees the 'backroom' support staff -- the folks tasked with providing everything from micro surveillance cameras to cars for the team," according to Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Clayne Crawford (Jericho) has joined the cast of Day Eight of FOX's 24, where he will play "a bad boy from Dana Walsh's (Katee Sackhoff) past." (Hollywood Reporter)

Showtime has renewed comedy series Tracey Ullman's State of the Union for a third season, with seven new installments set to debut in 2010. (Variety)

Battlestar Galactica's Rick Worthy is reportedly in talks to join the cast of NBC's Heroes, entering its fourth season this fall. If a deal is reached, Worthy will allegedly be playing a Los Angeles cop and the new partner for Greg Grunberg's Matt Parkman. (Digital Spy)

Musical chairs: The Primetime Emmy Awards telecast is back on September 20th, its original ceremony date. The move comes after CBS and the TV Academy moved the telecast to September 13th in order to avoid starting late due to NFL double-header overrun... but failed to take into account that the date clashed with MTV's Video Music Awards. So it's back to September 20th, after all. (Variety's Emmy Central)

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane will recur on ABC's Flash Forward this fall, as will ER's Alex Kingston. MacFarlane plays an FBI agent in the David S. Goyer and Marc Guggenheim-overseen drama series. (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

Reville has signed a talent holding deal with actor Bobb'e J. Thompson (30 Rock, Role Models) under which the company will develop a sitcom for the 13-year-old actor. (Variety)

The CW will begin rolling out its fall premieres on September 8th, which will see the second season premiere of 90210 and the series premiere of Melrose Place. Gossip Girl, meanwhile, will swap timeslots with One Tree Hill next season, with the former moving to the 9 pm timeslot; both series will launch their new seasons on September 14th. America's Next Top Model kicks off on September 9th, Vampire Diaries and Supernatural on September 10th, Beautiful Life on September 16th, and Smallville on September 25th. (Hollywood Reporter)

TLC has given a series order to Stager Invasion, which depicts professional stager Lisa Lynch giving frustrated home sellers tips on how to get their houses sold in difficult times. The twelve-episode series will launch June 30th at 8 pm ET/PT. (Variety)

Travel Channel has ordered reality competition series The Streets of America: The Search for America's Worst Driver, in which awful drivers are placed in a series of challenges in order to determine which is really the worst driver. Series, based on an international format and from A. Smith and Co. and Mentorn, will launch in the first quarter of 2010. (Variety)

USA Network has hired Spike executive Bill McGoldrick as SVP of original scripted programming; it's a return for McGoldrick who previously worked at USA. He will report to Jeff Wachtel. (Variety)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Me Want Food: Jenna Gets Famously Fat on "30 Rock"

I don't know about you, but I've already ordered my "Me Want Food" t-shirt from the NBC store. Last night's episode of 30 Rock ("Jack Gets in the Game") was, in my opinion, one of the strongest of the series and has officially pushed the zany comedy into the realm of Arrested Development : deftly plotted and intricately layered, with so many jokes piled atop of jokes that it requires several viewings in order to catch them all. While at its heart, 30 Rock is a workplace comedy, it's left that narrow pigeonhole behind to become a witty example of how intelligent and taut humor can work (and flourish) on television... and exist in harmony with hilarious throwaways like the Thriller -inspired Werewolf Bar Mitzvah music video that would have done the AD crew proud. I want Will Arnett to appear on this series whenever possible. His gay exec Devin is hilarious, manipulative, and has an inexplicable weakness for Kenneth the Page, but he claims to have

"Gilmore" Guy: Who is New Showrunner David Rosenthal?

A few days later and I am still processing the news that Gilmore Girls showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino--and her exceptionally talented husband, writer and producer Daniel Palladino-- announced their departure from the whip-smart drama after six seasons. The news wouldn't be such a blow, save for the fact that Gilmore Girls is as much about Amy and Daniel as it is about Lorelai and Rory. In their capable hands, the show explored a supremely complicated family dynamic through the beautiful friendship of mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory... and did so with smart dialogue usually found in a Nick & Nora film rather than on television. Zany subplots abounded as did quirky, beloved supporting characters. And now, after six seasons (including this most recent--and very shaky--season where Amy and Daniel wrote less episodes than usual), Amy and Daniel are passing on the showrunning torch to... Dave Rosenthal?!? For those of you in the audience unfamiliar with David Rosenthal ,