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Channel Surfing: "Fire" Sale at ABC, Winslet Cops to "Mildred Pierce," Mr. Eko Wants to Get "Lost" Again, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing.

ABC has given a script order with a sizable penalty to a contemporary series take on 1985 feature film St. Elmo's Fire. Project, which comes from Sony Pictures Television, will be written/executive produced by Dan Bucatinsky and executive produced by Topher Grace, Jamie Tarses, and Joel Schumacher. The series would revolve around a group of six friends--three men, three women--who hang out together at a Georgetown restaurant called St. Elmo's Bar & Grill. "I feel it is time to re-create Friends in the hourlong genre and feel like this is the perfect opportunity," said Bucatinsky. ""More than anything, the movie evokes a feeling that doesn't go away, the feeling of bonding with your friends who become your surrogate family." (Hollywood Reporter)

Could Kate Winslet be headed for the small screen? HBO is said to be in the running to pick up a mini-series adaptation of 1945 feature film Mildred Pierce that would star Kate Winslet (The Reader) and be written and directed by Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven). The original film, which starred Joan Crawford, revolved around a murder investigation that ensnares a bored housewife-turned-restaurant-mogul, her spoiled daughter, and her vicious husband. (Editor: I'm a huge fan of the original and would love to see Winslet and Haynes work their magic on a remake, which I hope would remain period-set.) (Variety)

Could Mr. Eko be returning to Lost? If actor Adawale Akinnuoye-Agbaj has his way, he will be. "I loved playing that character," Akinnuoye-Agbaj told Entertainment Weekly. "I loved working with that team and the reception I got from people was phenomenal. Even at Comic-Con this year I went to sign my action figure for G.I. Joe and people had tons of questions about Lost. It makes you feel good that you could be off a show for more than a year and still have people thinking about your character. It was a great part. I’m here for them. Adewale is open for business. We have had talks about some things they might do for the final season and there are other dead folks coming back allegedly but at the moment it is still a maybe. A strong maybe but I have not shot anything yet or signed any contracts. But I’m hoping." Lost's executive producers, meanwhile, declined to comment. (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Reporter)

TNT has confirmed that drama series Saving Grace will wrap its run next summer with a final batch of nine episodes. According to the Hollywood Reporter's Nellie Andreeva, the cabler offered studio Fox Television Studios a full fourth season order, but the studio "declined to accept it for financial reasons." Instead, an additional three episodes have been tacked on to the six that were meant to run next year in an effort to tie up any dangling plot lines. "It's been a fantastic beacon for the network, which has both challenged and entertained viewers in ways few other shows on television ever dare," said TNT's programming czar Michael Wright. (Hollywood Reporter)

In other cancellation news, Comedy Central has confirmed that it has cancelled Reno 911! after six seasons. News of the axe was originally made by co-creator/star Thomas Lennon over Twitter. (Hollywood Reporter)

HBO has signed a deal with writer/producer Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files) to develop two new drama series. First up: Humanitas, a futuristic drama that Spotnitz has written and will executive produce with Gavin Polone, about a potentially threatening pandemic stemming from major advances in medical science and genetic manipulation. Spotnitz and co-writer Adam Rapp will also adapt Robert Silverberg's sci-fi novel "The World Inside," about a future where, following massive overpopulation, the planet's inhabitants live inside "carefully controlled urban centers where frustration and anger are eliminated, sex is rampant and fertility is the most prized human attribute." Meanwhile, Spotnitz is writing a drama pilot Arc for FX about a former spy who tries to leave behind the espionage game and settle into normal life. Based on a true story, it will be produced by Scott Free Prods. and CBS Television Studios. (Variety)

Reveille has acquired US remake rights for Italian drama series About My Brother, about a Manhattan lawyer who returns home to Italy and forms an unconventional partnership with his autistic brother, who has become a dogged investigator. (Hollywood Reporter)

Cartoon Network has ordered additional installments of animated series The Marvelous Adventures of Flapjack, which will now run throughout the remainder of 2009, and has ordered two new series: Regular Show, about groundskeepers and the animals who live on the ground who try to keep themselves busy, and Horrorbots, about two teenage robots who attend high school. (Variety)

A&E and Tony Danza (Who's the Boss) are developing reality series Teach, in which the actor would serve as a co-teacher of a 10th grade English class at a high school in Philadelphia. Production will commence if and when Philadelphia school board officials approve the cameras to enter the school. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.


Hadley said…
I actually just saw Mildred Pierce recently. It's a fantastic film and I can think of no better person to adapt it then Todd Haynes. HBO is the perfect home for it and I would love to see Kate Winslet in that role. I hope they can make it happen!
susie que said…
A TV show about "friends who become your surrogate family?" Um, yeah, like that's never been done before.

That theme exists in hundreds of movies and television shows. What I don't get is why, for this one, they need to call it a St. Elmo's Fire remake. Just because it takes place in Georgetown? It's not even like St. Elmo's Fire has much relevance anymore.

The lack of creativity is staggering.

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