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Channel Surfing: NBC Silences "The Listener," "Top Chef: Las Vegas" Premiere Moved Up, More on Acevedo's Cut from "Fringe", and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. I'm still recovering from a very late night involving French cuisine, wine and port, a 1 am viewing of last night's episode of Top Chef Masters, and an early rise for the Emmy nominations. Fortunately, just a few headlines to get through this morning....

NBC confirmed that it will end the run of Canadian drama series The Listener on Thursday, July 23rd and replace the series with repeats of Law & Order beginning July 30th. The remaining five unaired episodes of The Listener will be streamed over NBC.com. (Futon Critic)

Bravo has announced that it has moved the premiere of Top Chef: Las Vegas forward a week. The season premiere will now air August 19th at 9 pm ET/PT followed by the season finale of Top Chef Masters. (Twitter)

More on the reasons behind Kirk Acevedo's departure from FOX's Fringe, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. "Storyline dictated," wrote Ausiello. "Charlie wasn't going to have much to do this season, and rather than waste Kirk's time, they cut him loose. But as I teased last week, we haven't seen the last of him." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

NBC announced that, after shifting Parenthood back to midseason (due to actress Maura Tierney's medical condition), the Peacock will now launch medical drama Mercy on Wednesday, September 23rd at 8 pm ET/PT. Parenthood will now launch at a later date. (via press release)

Fox Television Studios has signed a first-look deal with Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment, a comedy production/management shingle that reps the likes of Jenna Ficher, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, and writers on several comedies including Ugly Betty, The Cleveland Show, and Cougar Town. Deal will likely focus on low-cost animated comedies. "We're starting to feel that there are opportunities both in cable and in the international market for comedy," said Fox TV Studios EVP David Madden. "We decided we wanted to figure out a way to get into edgier, less broadcast-oriented comedy. Something more adventurous. That's when Marc [Provissiero] and Naomi [Odenkirk] approached us." (Variety)

Peter Bowker (Blackpool, Occupation) will write a one-off 90-minute biopic about the lives of comedic duo Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise for BBC One. Bowker told Broadcast that Morecambe and Wise were "true British legends." "The comedy style at the time was very much about making gags to the audience, but Morecambe and Wise realised quite early on that they could be funny by talking to each other as well," said Bowker. "I’ve written quite a lot of extremely dark scripts lately so it was incredibly refreshing to be writing some comedy for a change." (Broadcast)

TLC has ordered eight episodes of reality competition series Ultimate Cake Off, in which three cake artists will create cakes head-to-head with a winner named in each installment. Series will debut on August 3rd with its premiere installment and then return on August 31st. (Variety)

RDF USA EVP of development and current Greg Goldberg has left the company in order to set up Blackbird Television and become an independent producer, signing a one-year first-look deal with RDF USA. (Hollywood Reporter)

Cox Communications might be looking to sell cabler Travel Channel, despite only acquiring the network two years ago, according to reports. "We have received unsolicited inquiries regarding Travel Channel Media," said Cox in a statement. "Our advisers will help us to better understand our options." (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

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