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Channel Surfing: Grant Show Open to "Melrose" Return, Ehle Plays "Game of Thrones," Third Season of "Inbetweeners" on Tap, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing.

Grant Show, set to star on CBS comedy Accidentally on Purpose this fall, has said that he's open to appearing on the CW's revival of Melrose Place. "We've been talking, but nothing solid," Show says. "I'm not opposed to it... They haven't come up with the writing for me yet. I'm not sure they're even going to need me this year — maybe next year." Should Show close a deal to return to the series, he'll join original stars Josie Bissett, Thomas Calabro, Laura Leighton, and Daphne Zuniga as those who have turned up on Melrose 2.0. (TVGuide.com)

Jennifer Ehle (Possession) has joined the cast for the HBO fantasy drama pilot Game of Thrones, where she will play Catelyn Stark, the wife of Sean Bean's Ned Stark. Ehle's character was originally promised to Ned's older brother who was killed before they could marry; she then "fulfilled her duty by marrying Ned and securing the alliance between their two houses." Ehle joins a cast that includes Bean, Mark Addy, Peter Dinklage, Jack Gleeson, Kit Harrington, and Harry Lloyd. In other casting news, Swoosie Kurtz (Pushing Daisies) has joined the cast of Lifetime's comedy series Rita Rocks in a recurring capacity, where she will play the mother of Nicole Sullivan's character, and Brenda Vaccaro (Nip/Tuck) has will star in HBO Film's Jack Kevorkian biopic You Don't Know Jack, directed by Barry Levinson. (Hollywood Reporter)

E4 has announced that it has recommissioned comedy series The Inbetweeners for a third season. The Bwark-produced comedy created by Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, stars Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison, and Joe Thomas. It has already aired two seasons on Channel 4 digital sibling E4 and is set to air Stateside this fall on BBC America. According to E4 head Angela Jain, The Inbetweeners had "some of the most beautifully crafted puerile and funny jokes ever seen on British television but also moments of crushing heartbreak, which are all testament to the brilliance of the writing and acting." [Editor: I totally agree! Congrats, Iain and Damon!] (Broadcast)

FOX has announced that American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi will be returning to the reality competition series next season following the conclusion of her contract negotiation. "Kara's spitfire personality and sharp musical sensibility infused American Idol with a new energy last year," said FOX president of alternative Mike Darnell. "She clearly has a keen eye for talent -- spotting Adam Lambert's superstar quality early on last season -- and her performance on the Season Eight finale was one of the most memorable in recent Idol history." (Hollywood Reporter)

Slight changes afoot at Bravo, which announced that it had changed timeslots and launch dates for its returning programs Flipping Out and The Rachel Zoe Project. Flipping Out will now air Tuesdays at 10 pm ET/PT beginning August 18th, while The Rachel Zoe Project will air Mondays at 10 pm ET/PT beginning August 24th. (Futon Critic)

As expected, Greg Meidel has been named president of Twentieth TV, following Bob Cook's decision to leave the position. Meidel, who will continue to oversee MyNetworkTV, will assume oversight of Twentieth TV's programming and distribution. (Variety)

At yesterday's TCA session for CBS, entertainment topper Nina Tassler hit back at outbound NBC Entertainment chairman Ben Silverman. Asked to comment about his departure from NBC, Tassler declined to comment, saying rather cheekily, "I’m really just a D-girl," referring sarcastically to an off-hand remark Silverman made of her early on during his tenture at NBC. Touché! (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider)

TruTV has ordered seven episodes of unscripted series Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura, in which the former Minnesota governor will "investigate controversial plots and schemes that have been circulating in the news for many years and have piqued the public's interest." Project, from A. Smith and Co., will launch later this year. (Variety)

Bashar Rahal (War, Inc.) has been cast a multiple-episode story arc in Day Eight of 24, where he will play a general from the Islamic Republic of Kamistan who is enmeshed in a conspiracy involving President Hassan (Anil Kapoor). (Hollywood Reporter)

E! has ordered eight episodes of unscripted half-hour spoof series Reality Hell, in which actors attempt to persuade a person that he or she is appearing on a new reality series. Series, which launches August 16th, is executive produced by Peter M. Cohen. (Variety)

WE has ordered six episodes of two new series, a one-hour unscripted series Girl Meets Gown, in which brides look for their dream wedding dress; and Jilted, in which "women give their boyfriends ultimatums." Both will launch next year. The cabler also renewed The Locator, Little Miss Perfect, and High School Confidential, all of which will return to the schedule in 2010. (Variety)

More than 100 showrunners and executive producers have formally signed a protest against the changes planned for the Emmy telecast by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which seeks to exclude several categories from the live telecast next month. "We, the undersigned showrunners and executive producers of television's current line-up of programs, oppose the Academy of Television Arts and Science's decision to remove writing awards from the live telecast," said the protesters in a prepared statement. "This decision conveys a fundamental understatement of the importance of writers in the creation of television programming and a symbolic attack on the primacy of writing in our industry. We implore ATAS to restore these awards to their rightful place in the live telecast of the 2009 Emmy Awards." (via press release)

Meanwhile, the Emmy telecast producer Don Mischer said at a TCA panel yesterday that the TV Academy could become irrelevant, unless they make certain changes. "We are trying to keep the Emmys alive as a major television event," said Mischer. "It may come to that... The writing is on the wall, and every other award show knows it." Among the changes necessary for the awards show to stay alive, Misher said, was presenting series that mainstream viewers can recognize and not featuring narrow series that have niche appeal. We're going to have to connect the show to the big picture of television," said Mischer. "Its high points and memorable moments... We want to maintain a major profile. This is broadcasting, not netcasting." (Variety)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Hadley said…
SO happy that The Inbetweeners is getting a third season! The show is so painfully funny. I'm glad they are going to show it in the US!
Veronica said…
Can't wait for Flipping Out to return! I am strangely addicted to that show!

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