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Channel Surfing: NBC Targets "Persons Unknown," Team Darlton "Shocked" By Nomination, Davies Has Ideas for Fourth Season of "Torchwood," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing.

NBC has acquired Fox Television Studio's international co-production Persons Unknown, written and executive produced by Chris McQuarrie (Valkyrie). Series, which stars Jason Wiles (Zodiac), Chadwick Boseman (Lincoln Heights), Daisy Betts (Out of the Blue), Tina Holmes (Six Feet Under), and Alan Ruck (Drive), revolves around a group of strangers who are seemingly kidnapped and taken to a deserted ghost town from which they cannot leave and where they are watched by omnipresent security cameras. McQuarrie is executive producing with Remi Aubuchon and Heather McQuarrie. No US launch date was announced for Persons Unknown, which has already produced thirteen installments with Italy's RAI and Mexico's Televisa. (Variety)

Lost's Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were surprised by the ABC drama series getting an outstanding drama series Emmy nod yesterday following this past season's heavily serialized time-travel story. "We are very happy, and we are kind of shocked," Cuse told "Doing the time travel-heavy genre, we did not have any expectations that we would get nominated." Especially considering that their fellow nominees in the category hail mostly from cable. "The idea that we made it into the mix with the limitations of broadcast is pretty exciting to us," said Lindelof. "Dexter, Big Love, Breaking Bad," added Cuse, "Those are shows we think are really well done." (

The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan talks with Torchwood: Children of Earth writer/executive producer Russell T. Davies about the groundbreaking five-episode event run (airing next week in the US). Of the possibility for a fourth season, Davies said, "I've got vague ideas. I know where to start. I know where the lead characters are. [...] But then, when the call comes, I shall be there. When Torchwood calls, you jump. Whether it is this format, whether they want a new format, whether they want the old format [I don't know]. I'll take on anything and make it work." (Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

John Goodman will star in FOX comedy pilot The Station, about a group of subpar CIA agents at a secret South American outpost where their mission is to install a new dictator. Goodman will play Ted Gannon, the head of the CIA's Altamara Station. Already on board the 20th Century Fox Television and Red Hour production: Justin Bartha, Whitney Cummings, Rob Huebel, and Julio Oscar Mechoso. David Wain (Role Models) has been attached to direct the pilot. (Variety)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello congratulates How I Met Your Mother executive producer Craig Thomas about the comedy series' Emmy nomination yesterday and gets some scoop about Season Five of Mother. "For a long time the mother was in this big vast ocean of New York City; she could be anyone," said Thomas. "And we ended the season with Ted teaching at Columbia University -- literally in the same room as the mother. So that has added a great suspense element in the writing. We've gotten some great material out of that, including a whole story that plays almost like a horror movie. Suspenseful ominous music is playing and at any point Ted can round a corner and run into the mother. It's been a really nice engine for writing the season so far." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

E! Online's Jennifer Goodwin caught up with 30 Rock star Jack McBrayer, who landed a first-time nomination for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series and said that Tina Fey and the 30 Rock writers place their emphasis on the characters' dynamics, which for McBrayer's Kenneth is his relationship with Alec Baldwin's Jack Donaghy. "I could not be more honored to work with him," said McBrayer of Baldwin. "I swear to God. [Laughs.] First season we were all scared to death of him. But the second season, he was a little more relaxed, therefore we were more relaxed. This season was a breeze; I'm so looking forward to season four. He's so generous. He hosted Saturday Night Live back in February, and he had this idea to bring me up during his opening monologue. My parents were in town, and it was just a perfect storm of 'I can't believe this is my life right now.'" (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

Sarah Carter (Shark) has landed a series regular role on CBS' CSI: NY, where she will play "a new clean-up tech who aspires to someday work in the crime lab. We'll find out later in the season that she's hiding a secret." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files,

John de Mol's Talpa Productions is said to be close to a deal to acquire reality shingle Bunim/Murray Prods., in deal said to be worth approximately $50-70 million. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.


Rorri said…
I think it's so cool that Jack McBrayer got an Emmy nomination. Well deserved!
NicholasJ said…
I am happy that Lost was nominated again for best drama but I have to say that the win should go Mad Men or Big Love. Both had truly extraordinary seasons!

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