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Channel Surfing: Natalie Zea Tackles "Lawman," Armande Assante Targets "Chuck," CW Orders More Scripts for "Melrose" and "Diaries," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing.

Former Dirty Sexy Money star Natalie Zea, who most recently recurred on HBO's Hung, has signed on a series regular on FX's drama Lawman, starring Timothy Olyphant. Zea, who appeared in Lawman's pilot, will reprise her role as the ex-wife of Olyphant's US Marshall Givens in the series. Project hails from Sony Pictures Television and FX Productions. (Hollywood Reporter)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Emmy winner Armand Assante has been cast as a guest star on NBC's Chuck, where he will play "a Castro-esque dictator who Casey has unsuccessfully tried to assassinate multiple times." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

The CW has given a full season order to veteran drama series One Tree Hill, which is currently in its seventh season. Initially, the netlet had only ordered 13 installments for this season but the order bumps the episode total to a full 22. Elsewhere, the CW ordered nine additional scripts for drama series Vampire Diaries and six more scripts for ratings-starved soap Melrose Place. (, Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

NBC has given a script order to an untitled multi-camera comedy pilot starring former Saturday Night Live cast member Jim Breuer about a man who decides to stay at home to look after his three daughters and take care of his elderly parents at the same time. Project, from Sony Pictures Television and Varsity Pictures, will be written and executive produced by Wil Calhoun (Friends); Breuer, Brian Robbins, Judi Brown-Marmel and Sharla Sumpter. (Variety)

Stephen Root (True Blood) has been cast in a multiple-episode story arc on Day Eight of FOX's 24, where he will play Ben Prady, "an officer of the Department of Corrections looking into a parolee gone missing." (Hollywood Reporter)

E! Online's Watch with Kristin has the first official photograph of Charisma Carpenter on syndicated fantasy drama series Legend of the Seeker. Carpenter appears in the November 7th second season premiere, where she will play "Triana, one of the feisty Mord-Sith warrior women who regularly make Richard Cypher's life miserable—when they're not trying to sex him up, that is." (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

Empire creator Tom Wheeler has set up two high-concept dramas at NBC and FOX, which have received script commitments with penalties attached. The NBC project, entitled The Cape, is about a former cop who, after being framed for a crime, becomes The Cape, a marked vigilante out to clear his name and reunite with his son in a city beset with corruption. Project, from Universal Media Studios and BermanBraun, will be executive produced by Wheeler, Lloyd Braun, and Gail Berman. FOX project, The Mysteries of Oak Island, is about a mother and daughter who inherit a 200-year-old lighthouse on a privately owned island off the coast of Nova Scotia where there are legends of buried treasure. That project, hails from Warner Bros. Television, and is described by Wheeler as "mixing Romancing the Stone and What Lies Beneath with a little bit of The Goonies thrown in. It's a family adventure but also about the adventure of being a family." (Hollywood Reporter)

Daniel Mays (The Street) has joined the cast of BBC One's time travel drama series Ashes to Ashes for its third and final season. Mays will play Jim Keats, a Discipline and Complaints Officer with the Metropolitan Police on the series, which returns to BBC One in 2010. "Series three of Ashes To Ashes will have the same combination of thrilling crime drama, outrageous '80s outfits and cutting one liners," said executive producer Piers Wenger. "We’ll be sad to see Gene and the gang go but the journey that will take us to that finale will be one of the most exciting, compelling and edge-of-your seat rides on TV!" (Digital Spy)

Allison Silverman (Colbert Report) has signed a blind script deal with Broadway Video to write a pilot. Word comes shortly after Silverman announced her intention to step down from Colbert Report. (Variety)

The Hollywood Reporter's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that Simon Cowell is talks to bring his British reality competition series The X Factor to FOX in a deal that would also extend his role on American Idol for two additional years, through the 2011-12 season. (Hollywood Reporter

UK fans will get to watch Glee after all. Digital channel E4, home to Skins and The Inbetweeners, has closed a deal with 20th Century Fox Television for the UK rights to Glee. No air date was announced. (Broadcast)

Looks like MTV will be airing the late DJ AM's intervention series Gone Too Far after all. According to the Hollywood Reporter's James Hibberd, a source close to the cabler has indicated that the network will be airing the series and has been in touch with Adam Goldstein's family to consult about the timing of the broadcast. MTV for its part has declined to comment. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.


Jackie Ann said…
Seriously? Do we really need more One Tree Hill? In addition to the disastrous Vampire Diaries and Melrose Place? Remember when the CW (or WB) actually used to show great, innovative shows like Buffy? Felicity? Gilmore Girls?

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