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Channel Surfing: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Ascends to "Thrones," FOX Breaks in with Olmstead and Santora, Edie Falco Talks "Nurse Jackie," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing.

Virtuality star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has been cast in the pilot for fantasy drama Game of Thrones, HBO's adaptation of George R.R. Martin's novel series. Coster-Waldau will play Jaime Lannister, described by The Hollywood Reporter's James Hibberd as "one of the king's guards and a ruthless usurper of the previous king." Also cast in the Tom McCarthy-directed pilot: Tamzin Merchant (The Tudors), Richard Madden (Hope Springs), Iain Glen (Into the Storm), Alfie Allen (The Other Boleyn Girl), Sophie Turner (Doctor Who), and Maisie Williams, all of whom join the previously announced Sean Bean, Mark Addy, Jennifer Ehle, Kit Harrington, Harry Lloyd, Peter Dinklage, and Jack Gleeson. Production begins this October in Ireland. (Hollywood Reporter)

FOX has handed out a pilot script order with penalty to drama Break Out Kings, from 20th Century Fox Television and Prison Break writer/producers Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora, about a group of former convicts who become members of the US Marshall service in Manhattan and track down fugitives. Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) is attached to direct and executive produce, alongside Olmstead and Santora. (Variety)

The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan has a fantastic interview with Nurse Jackie star Edie Falco, the series' creators Linda Wallem and Liz Brixius, and Showtime president Robert Greenblatt about the dark comedy, which wraps its first season run on Monday. "Don’t pin it down," said Falco of her belief that she doesn't want the audience to have any specific conclusions about Jackie's complex life. "Leave questions. Treat the audience like they’re smart. Let five people who are viewing it have five different ideas about what just happened in that scene."(The Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson will star in HBO's adaptation of Cormac McCarthy play The Sunset Limited, about a man who saves another from throwing himself in front of a subway train. Jones will direct the two-hour telepic, which will be produced by Barbara Hall. (Variety)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Kirsten Johnston (3rd Rock from the Sun) has been cast in a recurring role on ABC's Ugly Betty, where she will play Helen, a new office temp at Mode magazine who befriends Becki Newton's Amanda. If the character description sounds familiar, it's because the role was originally meant to be played by former American Idol judge Paula Abdul before talks between Abdul and the series' producers collapsed. "I’ve always considered myself a poor man’s Paula Abdul," Johnston joked to Ausiello and then described her character as "Amanda in 10 years. She’s still trying to get into the right clubs, wearing tight dresses... tragic. I think [Helen] sees herself as Samantha from Sex and the City. Except, of course, she’s a temp." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

FOX has given a premium script commitment to an untitled multi-camera family comedy pilot from My Name is Earl executive producer Bobby Bowman about a strange kid who attempts to be normal, even while living among a highly eccentric family. Project, which will be written by Bowman, hails from Peter Chernin's new company and 20th Century Fox Television. (Hollywood Reporter)

Broadcast is reporting that the BBC has announced that it will not order a second season of period fantasy comedy Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire after its funding partner--that would be Comedy Central here in the US--pulled out of the international co-production. (Broadcast)

Anyone else troubled by executive producer Todd Slavkin's recent comments in an E! Online interview about the CW's new Melrose Place, where he describes the "sexual revolution" going on in the series as "post-AIDS"? Said Slavkin: "We feel that there is a current sexual revolution going on. Kind of post-AIDS—where the boundaries are off. Their parents have been shackled, and they want to explore." (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

Canadian sketch comedy troupe Kids in the Hall have reunited for Death Comes to Town, an eight-episode "comic murder mystery" for the CBC. According to Variety's Brendan Kelly, the series will revolves around a "small town when all its most distinguished citizens are murdered. A suspect is arrested, there's a trial and many dark secrets are revealed along the way." Production is currently underway for a January launch on CBC. (Variety)

BBC Two has given a series order to culinary comedy Whites, starring Alan Davies (Jonathan Creek) as a highly successful executive chef who lacks the motivation to turn his restaurants into an empire, Pam Ferris (The Darling Buds of May), Darren Boyd (Saxondale), and Isy Suttie (Peep Show). Project was created by Matt King (Peep Show's Superhans) and Oliver Lansley (FM) and six half-hour episodes will be shot. (Broadcast)

FearNet has acquired five unaired episodes of short-lived NBC horror anthology series Fear Itself, which it will begin running on beginning September 2nd and on FearNet OnDemand beginning September 7th. (Hollywood Reporter)

Cartoon Network has ordered a second season of reality series Destroy Build Destroy, which Andrew W.K. attached to return as host of the live-action series. (Variety)

Tijuana Entertainment has hired former Reveille executive Ronak Kordestani as director of development and Todd Berger as a creative consultant. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


AllenJ said…
I've been hearing good things about Game of Thrones and the cast list is pretty amazing. Hope it's as good as it sounds.
LucasR said…
The books are pretty much the best in the genre, so here's hoping.

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