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Channel Surfing: Sonya Walger Talks "FlashForward," "Big Love," FOX Scales Back "Past Life," Showtime Gets "Shameless," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing.

TVGuide.com's Natalie Abrams has an interview with FlashForward and Lost star Sonya Walger, in which Walger talks about her time on Lost and teases some details about what is coming up for Olivia on FlashForward. "She's going to be forced quite soon to deal with whether or not you can change the future," said Walger. "She keeps being reminded — evidence keeps being presented all around her — that you can't change it. Every time she thinks she's seen the last of Lloyd and that she's managed to avoid it, he keeps coming back." (TVGuide.com)

Mark your calendars: HBO has set a return date for drama series Big Love, which will launch its fourth season on January 10th. (Variety)

In a twist that surprised no one, FOX has reduced its episode order for Warner Bros. Television-produced drama procedural Past Life to seven installments (including the pilot). The series, which follows an investigative team that solves crimes by using past-life regression, is currently slated to air on Tuesday evenings starting in midseason. (Hollywood Reporter)

But it's not all bad news for Warners as Showtime has given a pilot order to a US adaptation of Paul Abbott's British drama series Shameless, which will star William H. Macy, from Warner Bros. Television and John Well Prods. According to Variety's Cynthia Littleton, the US Shameless will be "set in present-day Chicago among a blue-collar family where an 18-year-old daughter is tasked with keeping her five younger siblings in line" and must contend with her alcoholic father (Macy). Production on the pilot is set to begin in December. (Variety)

ABC has given a thirteen-episode contingent commitment to crime drama The Gates, about a "big-city cop who becomes chief of police in a seemingly sleepy planned community only to discover there's much more to the residents than meets the eye." Project, from writer/executive producers Richard Hatem and Grant Scharbo and executive producer Gina Matthews, will be produced by Fox Television Studios under its international co-production model. The studio will need to secure international financing in order to have the contingency lifted off the project; production is currently set to begin in mid-2010. (Hollywood Reporter)

The CW announced their development slate for the 2010-2011 season, which includes Rob Thomas' Plymouth Rock, about a group of young astronauts who must travel to a distant planet in order to colonize and "save the human race." Other projects in development include Spy School for Girls, from writer/executive producer Mark Schwahn, about female spy trainees; Nashville--from Brad Paisley, Mark Schwahn and writers Matthew Bomer (yes, that Matthew Bomer) and Neal Dodson--about a female singer and a male songwriter looking to make it big in the country music capital; Confessions of a Backup Dancer, about a woman who lands a job as a backup dancer to major music star, from Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television, and writer/executive producer Ilene Chaiken; The March Sisters, an update of "Little Women" about a group of working-class sisters who are looking to strike it rich in Manhattan, from writer/executive producer Jill Gordon; family soap Bitches in Britches, about the equestrian set from Lionsgate and Ish Entertainment; and an untitled drama about the life of socialite Sloan Barnett, who worked in the Early Case Assessment Bureau in Manhattan, from writer Julie Martin and Tribeca Entertainment's Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal. (Variety)

FOX appears to be keeping Dollhouse on the air through November sweeps. (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

Fox Cable Networks will shut down Fox Reality next year, according to The Wrap's Josef Adalian, with a view to likely launch a new cable venture with an outside party. The cable network will end its operations on March 31st. "With the changing cable landscape, we've made a strategic decision to shift some resources and refocus on emerging channels," said a Fox Cable Networks spokesman. "However, Fox Reality Channel will remain on on our lineup for at least the next several months." (The Wrap's TVMoJoe)

FOX has given a pilot presentation to an untitled animated comedy from writer/executive producers Jonah Hill, Andrew Mogel, and Jarrad Paul about a seven-year-old wealthy scion who acts like an adult and is thrown out of his comfort zone when he's forced to attend a public school. Hill will lend his voice to the project, which hails from 20th Century Fox Television and Chernin Entertainment. FOX is also developing a script for dysfunctional family comedy The Bradleys, based on Peter Bagge's graphic novel series, from 20th Century Fox Television and write/executive producers Peter Bagge and Matthew Lawton. (Variety)

Starz has cast Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad), Ivan Sergei (Charmed), Ving Rhames (Surrogates), Rachel Hunter, Robyn Cohen (Starved), James Martinez (Brother to Brother) and Seth Numrich (How to Kill a Mockingbird) in ten-episode ensemble dramedy series Gravity, about a group of suicide survivors who receive treatment together in an outpatient program. Project, formerly known as Failure to Fly, was created by Eric Schaeffer and Jill Franklyn, the former of which will also co-star. (Hollywood Reporter)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Jorja Fox's five-episode story arc on CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has been extended indefinitely. "We will be seeing a lot more of Jorja," executive producer Carol Mendelsohn told Ausiello. "The season is about bringing the [CSI] family back together again, so [this] was just a natural. Jorja has been the glue that has really helped to reform the bond of our team." The exact number of episodes that Fox will appear in this season has yet to be determined but Mendelsohn also said that there are no plans for William Petersen to reprise his role as Grissom, despite Fox's Sara returning to the series. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

FOX has ordered the back nine episodes of Season Two of animated comedy series The Cleveland Show, just weeks after launching the first season of the Family Guy spin-off. The order will keep Cleveland on the air through the entirety of the 2010-11 season and brings the episodic order to 44 episodes. (Variety)

Bravo will use a new Kathy Griffin stand-up comedy special, entitled Kathy Griffin: Balls of Steel, as the lead-in for Season Two of reality series Tabatha's Salon Takeover on November 3rd. (The Wrap's TV MoJoe)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Sianne said…
Hurray for Big Love! Just three months to go. (Not that I know how they're going to top last season!)

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