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Channel Surfing: Zuniga Returns to "Melrose Place," Pileggi and Plimpton on Call for "Grey's," Eliza Coupe "Scrubs" In as Regular, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing.

Daphne Zuniga (One Tree Hill) will reprise her role as photographer Jo Reynolds in the CW's relaunch of soap Melrose Place in at least two episodes. Zuniga will join several other cast members from the original Melrose Place on the CW series this fall, including Thomas Calabro, Josie Bissett, and Laura Leighton. (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider)

Martha Plimpton (ER) has been cast in a multiple-episode story arc next season on ABC's Grey's Anatomy, where she will play the mother of a young patient at Seattle Grace. Her first appearance is set for the sixth season premiere, slated to air September 24th. In other Grey's casting news, Mitch Pileggi (Stargate: Atlantis) will reprise his role as Larry Jennings, the chairman of Seattle Grace's board of directors, in the sixth season premiere. (Hollywood Reporter, TVGuide.com)

Eliza Coupe has been upgraded to series regular on Scrubs next season, which sees the series reboot after the departure of several regulars from the cast. Coupe will reprise her role as hyper-insensitive intern Denise on the ABC Studios-produced series, alongside returning regulars Donald Faison and John C. McGinley. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

NBC has handed out a script order with a sizable penalty to family comedy Nathan vs. Nature, about a heart surgeon who tracks down his birth parents and discovers that, after giving him up for adoption, the couple had three more children that they kept and forms a bond with his newly discovered slacker siblings. Project, from Sony Pictures Television, is written and executive produced by David Guarascio and Moses Port (Just Shoot Me). (Variety)

FX has ordered semi-improvised half-hour comedy pilot The League, about a married man debating fatherhood and his fellow members of a fantasy football league in suburban Chicago, from Curb Your Enthusiasm executive producer Jeff Schaffer and wife Jackie Marcus Schaffer. Project stars Mark Duplass (Humpday), Nick Kroll (I Love You Man), Steve Rannazzisi (Paul Blart: Mall Cop),Katie Aselton (The Puffy Chair), Nadine Velazquez (My Name is Earl), Paul Scheer (Human Giant), Jon Lajoie, and Alina Foley. Leslie Bibb (Iron Man) will guest star. (Hollywood Reporter, Variety)

TBS has ordered ten episodes of new comedy series Are We There Yet?, based on the 2005 feature film of the same name about a single man who starts dating a woman with two kids. Terry Crews (Everybody Hates Chris) will star. Ali LeRoi (Everybody Hates Chris) will write and executive produce the series, which has an option for ninety additional episodes. Series, from Debmar-Mercury and Cube Vision and executive producers Joe Roth, Ice Cube, and Matt Alvarez, is expected to debut in June 2010. (Variety)

Keegan Michael Key (MADtv) has been cast as a series regular for the second season of CBS' comedy Gary Unmarried, where he will play Clean, a high school friend of Gary (Jay Mohr) whose minor-league baseball career was cut short by a knee injury. (Hollywood Reporter)

ABC Studios has signed a first-look deal with Jennifer Garner's Vandalia Films, which intends to develop female-driven projects for the studio. Shingle is run by Garner and Juliana Janes and the company has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. for features. (Variety)

Despite the recent death of Billy Mays, Discovery Channel has ordered a second season of unscripted series Pitchmen. The cabler is said to be developing the format of the second season with Anthony Sullivan, Billy Mays III, and Thom Beers of Original Productions. No air date was announced. (via press release)

Disney Channel has found its lead for its newest comedy: 16-year-old Bridgit Mendler (Jonas), who will play the lead in Good Luck Charlie, about a girl and her brother Casey (Jason Dolley) who must care for their baby sister Charlie after their parents both go back to work full-time. Series is expected to launch early next year. (Hollywood Reporter)

Russell Brand will host MTV's 2009 Video Music Awards for MTV, following his hosting duties last year at the VMAs. (Broadcasting & Cable)

In other awards news, Kathy Griffin will host the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on September 12th. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Elsie said…
Having original cast members in the new Melrose Place oesn't inspire me to watch the show. If anything, it makes me want to go back and watch the original...which was actually good.

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