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Channel Surfing: Sean Bean Plays "Game of Thrones," "Futurama" Could Return with New Voices, Jorja Fox Returns to "CSI," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing.

Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings) has been cast as the lead in HBO fantasy drama pilot Game of Thrones, based on the series of novels by George R.R. Martin that Tom McCarthy is directing from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss' script. Bean will play Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark, the close friend and adviser to King Robert. Also cast in the pilot: Mark Addy, Kit Harrington, Jack Gleeson, and Harry Lloyd, who join the previously announced Peter Dinklage. Addy will play King Robert; Harrington will play Jon Snow, Ned's illegitimate son; Lloyd will play the conniving usurper Viserys; Gleeson will play Joffrey, the son of King Robert. (Editor: this project just keeps getting more and more exciting; I absolutely loved the pilot script!) (Hollywood Reporter)

Talks between studio 20th Century Fox Television and Futurama stars Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, and Tress MacNeille broke down on Friday over compensation after the studio's offers came in well beneath what the stars had asked for. Despite the announcement last month that Comedy Central had ordered 26 new episodes of Futurama and that the original cast was on board, the latter part doesn't quite seem to be true. 20th Century Fox Television is now looking to recast the roles following major budget slashes, but this could be seen as posturing as the studio is likely playing hardball until the actors fall in line with their salary requirements and negotiate their contracts. Meanwhile, the studio does seem serious about recasting the roles in the meantime, a threat they called in during contract negotiations with the cast of The Simpsons a few years back. (Variety)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Jorja Fox has signed a deal to appear in multiple episodes of CBS' CSI next season, where she will reprise her role as Sara Sidle. Fox is set to first appear in the September 24th episode, which according to series executive producer Carol Mendelsohn, will show viewers "where life has taken Sara Sidle and what brings her back to the CSI team in Las Vegas." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Big Love casting news! Adam Beach (Flags of Our Fathers) has joined the cast of Big Love next season in a recurring role that will have him turning up all season long. He'll play Tommy Flute, the son of Indian Gaming Casino overseer Jerry Flute (Robert Beltran). (Hollywood Reporter)

Brooke Burns (Miss Guided) has joined the cast of the CW's Melrose Place in a multiple-episode story arc where she will play Vanessa, the wife of Thomas Calabro's Michael Mancini and the mother of his younger son Noah. (E! Online's Watch with Kristin) catches up with True Blood star Stephen Moyer to find out about Bill and Sookie's road trip to Texas. "Toward the end of the season, we're going to see the hierarchy taken almost to its peak," said Moyer. "We're going to meet the monarchy, if you will. Last year, we met the grand judge of Louisiana, and this year we're going to meet the monarch of Texas. But he's not the monarch of America. It's kind of an almost feudal system. I love the idea of this incredibly detailed society in which manners are very important as to how you relate to people that are above you. As much as Eric does to piss Bill off, Bill never has a childlike fit. The hierarchy is incredibly strong. So no matter how much Eric does against Bill, Bill will never bad-mouth him. It's sort of an elevated playground mentality. However horrible a kid is to you, you don't go and report him." (

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi has signed a development deal with NBC and Universal Media Studios under which she will star in a half-hour comedy pilot about a woman in the culinary world. Project will be executive produced by Original's Charlie Corwin. (Variety)

Amber Clayton has joined the cast of CBS medical drama Three Rivers as a series regular, where she will play "witty pragmatic young ER doctor Lisa Reed who helps facilitate transplant cases." (Hollywood Reporter)

Current TV has hired former MTV Networks COO Mark Rosenthal as CEO following the shift of co-founder Joel Hyatt from the CEO set to vice chairman of the company. (Variety)

The start of production on the CW's The Beautiful Life has been pushed back a week to July 31st but sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the cause isn't the recent psychiatric hospitalization of series co-star Mischa Barton but rather that some of the sets weren't completed. Barton's participation on the series remains unclear, given her medical issues at this time. (Hollywood Reporter)

TLC has ordered six episodes of a docusoap tentatively titled One Big Happy Family about the lives of a morbidly obese family, from RDF USA. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.


Veronica said…
Very excited about Game of Thrones. Excellent cast and, if you liked the script, it must be good!
Padma Lakshmi in a comedy pilot? I like her as the Top Chef host but she seems about as funny as a cutting board.
jgodsey said…
As much as I love Futurama...without the original voices, it would just sound weird and be bothersome. Those are complete characters to many of us, with new voices they would be just knockoffs.

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