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Channel Surfing: ABC to Air "V" in Pod Form, CW Kills "Beautiful Life," Marc Cherry Talks "Desperate" Reveal, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing.

ABC has confirmed that it has now altered its launch plan for sci-fi drama series V, which is set to premiere November 3rd. The network has decided to air just the first four installments of the Warner Bros. Television-produced series and then place V on hiatus until after the Winter Olympics. The news comes as a surprise as the series, which is written and executive produced by The 4400's Scott Peters, has enjoyed extremely positive buzz from critics and from Comic-Con audiences who screened the pilot episode earlier this summer. However, both Warner Bros. Television and ABC were quick to point out that the episodic order for V hadn't been shortened; series is still set to air 13 installments. (Los Angeles Times/Show Tracker)

The first official cancellation of the fall season is here: The Beautiful Life, we hardly knew ye. The CW has confirmed that it has axed The Beautiful Life after just two episodes, which plunged to just 1 million viewers in its second outing. Series, which was executive produced by Ashton Kutcher, had been filming its seventh episode when the crew received word to shut down on Friday. The series has been pulled from the schedule and its timeslot will be filled by repeats of Melrose Place beginning this Wednesday. (Hollywood Reporter)

SPOILER! Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello talks to Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry about the resolution to last May's wedding cliffhanger, which was revealed in the opening minutes of the series' sixth season premiere, which aired last night on ABC. Cherry says his decision about which woman Mike would marry "plays better for this season's mystery" and gives the jilted woman a hell of a storyline as well. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

A&E has canceled drama series The Cleaner after two seasons. The series, which starred Benjamin Bratt as a professional interventionist, wrapped its second season earlier this month. (Hollywood Reporter)

The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan talks with new Lie to Me showrunner Shawn Ryan about what's coming up on the second season of the procedural drama series, which kicks off tonight on FOX. (Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

Crista Flanagan (Mad Men) has been cast in a recurring role on ABC's new comedy series Hank, where she will play Dawn, the wife of David Koechner's Grady. She replaces Melissa McCarthy (Samantha Who?), who dropped out of the series in order to take a role in romantic comedy feature film Life as We Know It. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

The CW has ordered eight episodes of an untitled reality series that will follow the life of New York socialite Tinsley Mortimer, whom some may recall appeared on-screen on the CW's Gossip Girl. Project, from executive producer Andrew Glassman, will follow "Mortimer, currently embroiled in a high-profile divorce, as she hits the New York scene." (Variety)

Production has begun on the third and final season of Life on Mars sequel series Ashes to Ashes, which will air on BBC One in early 2010. "Everyone has their own theory about who Gene Hunt is, and why Alex Drake and Sam Tyler ended up in his world," said executive producer Jane Featherstone. "Alex's journey is nearing its end and Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah have planned a fabulous finale. We're now at the point where we can finally reveal some of the answers and we can't wait to hear what the fans think about it all." (BBC)

As if he weren't animated enough already. Gordon Ramsay is the basis for a new stop-motion animated series entitled Gordon Ramsay, At Your Service from Canadian production company Cuppa Coffee, which will be pitched next week at Mipcom in Cannes. Project, which is currently seeking a writer, will focus on the hot-tempered celebrity chef and television personality. (Broadcast)

TBS has canceled comedy series The Bill Engvall Show after three seasons. (C21)

Charlie Cox (Stardust), Donald Sutherland (Dirty Sexy Money), and Gillian Anderson (Bleak House) have been cast opposite William Hurt and Ethan Hawke in TeleMunchen's big-budget Moby Dick telepic. Cox will play Ishmael; Sutherland will play Father Mapple; Anderson will play Elizabeth, the wife of Captain Ahab (Hurt). (Variety)

Annie Potts, Kim Zimmer, Drew Seeley will star in Hallmark Channel telepic Freshman Father, about a Harvard student who finds himself in a shotgun wedding and must juggle school and parenthood. Project, slated to air in 2010, is written by Bill Wells and directed by Michael Scott. (via press release)

BermanBrauun has hired former Fox Television Studios executive Jerry Longarzo as the head of business affairs. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


The CineManiac said…
ABC did you learn nothing from the disaster that was airing Lost in "Pod" form? This sounds like a horrible plan, and a great way to kill the momentum of a new series.
Maybe they should have just started the show earlier before taking a break.
Howard Moon said…
So upset about V. I've heard only good things about this show and can't believe they're f-ing around with it. Just stupid.
Anonymous said…
I'm with The CineManiac, airing the first four episodes with a long hiatus is going to be a disaster. If ABC was worried about the Olympics, then they should've moved V's premiere to the spring.
Brad said…
The V news is odd, but I'm more annoyed that there's a feature film called "Life as we Know it" when there was a great (but blandly-titled) ABC show with the same name a few years ago.

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