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Channel Surfing: Lauren Graham in Talks for "Parenthood," HBO Picks Up "Bored to Death," Kim Raver Scrubs in at "Grey's," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. I'm leaving Vancouver today after an extremely action-packed day that saw me tour the sets of Syfy's Caprica, Stargate Universe, and Sanctuary. More on that to come in the next few days... On to the headlines now.

Wowzers! Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that talks have broken down between Helen Hunt's reps and producers for NBC midseason drama Parenthood. But the fantastic news is that Ausiello is saying that Gilmore Girls star Lauren Graham has been offered the role of single mother Sarah Braverman (played by Maura Tierney in the original pilot episode) and that she "recently met with Parenthood boss Jason Katims... to discuss the plum part." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

HBO has given an early series renewal to freshman comedy Bored to Death, handing the Jason Schwartzman-led series a second season order following its third episode, which landed its largest audience to date when it jumped 51 percent in viewers week on week. (Hollywood Reporter)

24's Kim Raver has been cast in a recurring role on ABC's Grey's Anatomy, according to Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. Ausiello reports that Raver will play a new surgeon at Seattle Grace and will serve as a "possible new love interest for Kevin McKidd's doc," which would throw a wrench into the romance between McKidd's Owen and Sandra Oh's Christina. Raver's first appearance is set for the November 12th episode of Grey's Anatomy. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

E! Online's Jennifer Godwin has an interview with Friday Night Lights showrunner Jason Katims about Season Four of the drama series, which launches on October 28th on DirecTV's 101 Network (it will air next summer on NBC). Asked about the return of Minka Kelly's Lyla, Katims said, "She comes back for at least two episodes this year, so far, visiting from college. We will watch as she and Tim sort of rekindle their relationship and try to figure out what to do about that. The two of them have, in one way, really moved on, but once they see each other, they maybe realize it's not so easy to move on." Loads more in the Q&A. (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

TNT has handed out a cast-contingent pilot order to drama Rizzoli, which is based on the Jane Rizzoli mystery novels by Tess Gerritsen. Project, written by Janet Tamaro (Bones) and executive producer Bill Haber, will follow the crime-solving exploits of Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli. The Closer's Michael Robin is said to be in talks about coming aboard to direct the pilot. (Hollywood Reporter)

Don't expect another Simpsons movie. Not until the FOX comedy series has wrapped, anyway. That's the news from Cannes as Matt Groenig and Al Jean were interviewed by Morgan Spurlock at a Mipcom keynote event. "It took 18 years to get around to doing the movie," said Groening. "We got very frustrated. We thought it would take two years but it ended up taking four. Some day maybe we'll do another one -- but don't hold your breath." (Variety)

Tim Gunn will be making it work on How I Met Your Mother, according to The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan, who is reporting that the Project Runway mentor will guest star in the 100th episode of the CBS comedy when Neil Patrick Harris' Barney turns for help from the style guru. Gunn will serve as a "personal tailor/ fashion consultant as Barney tries to fix a major league 'Suit Catastrophe,'" Mother co-creator Craig Thomas tells Ryan. "Tim is basically like Barney's ER physician for a serious suit emergency." (Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

Breathe easy: There's absolutely no truth to rumors that Whitney Houston will be joining the cast of ABC's Desperate Housewives, according to an ABC spokesperson. (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

According to a report filed by Variety's Cynthia Littleton, Tribune's WGN America will be the off-network home of such series as How I Met Your Mother, Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and 30 Rock (the latter of which will join the lineup in 2011). "During the past year, Tribune has quietly been committing significant dollars to off-network acquisitions for the channel, something WGN has rarely done in its 30-plus years on the air," writes Littleton, adding that "WGN America intends to rebrand itself as a haven for contempo comedy skeins." (Variety)

Nickelodeon has given a series renewal to stop-motion animated comedy Glenn Martin, DDS, with twenty episodes on tap for next year. (Variety)

Former CBS drama topper Laverne McKinnon has been hired by nascent pay cabler Epix as head of development. The channel is a joint venture between Lionsgate, Viacom, and MGM. (Hollywood Reporter)

CBS Television Studios president Nancy Tellem, meanwhile, is said to be considering a change to her executive role at CBS, one that's said to be "less about day-to-day management and more on the big stragetic picture for TV shows and other content," according to Variety's Cynthia Littleton. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


Ally said…
I probably still won't watch, because I didn't love the pilot and Maura was my favorite thing about it, but I definitely am more intrigued about LG than Helen Hunt. I am, how shall we say, not a HH fan.
Holly said…
Not a Helen Hunt fan either but I LOVE Lauren Graham and think this could be a great role for her.
LucasR said…
Great news about Bored to Death!

If Lauren Graham joins Parenthood and Peter Krause stays on board I suppose I'll at least have to give it a chance.

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