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Channel Surfing: CBS Bites Into Chuck Lorre's "Mike and Molly," Three Get "Shameless" for Showtime, FOX Tosses "Cube," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing.

More Chuck Lorre on the way... CBS has given a pilot order to multi-camera comedy Mike and Molly, written by Mark Roberts (Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory) and executive produced by Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men). Project, from Warner Bros. Television, will center on a couple who are overeaters and meet at an Overeaters Anonymous support group. (Variety, Hollywood Reporter)

Emmy Rossum (Dragonball Evolution), Allison Janney (The West Wing), and Justin Chatwin (Dragonball Evolution) have been cast in Showtime drama pilot Shameless, a US adaptation of Paul Abbot's UK skein that will star William H. Macy. Rossum will play Fiona, the 18-year-old daughter of an alcoholic (Macy) whose wife has gone missing and who must raise her five younger brothers. Janney will play a potential love interest for Macy's character, while Chatwin will play a car thief who has a thing for Fiona. (Hollywood Reporter)

The Wrap's Josef Adalian is reporting that FOX has ceased its development of the US version of British game show The Cube, from Objective Media. Format had participants climb into a stress chamber and perform various tasks. The network confirmed that the series is no longer in development at FOX but declined to give a reason behind the switcheroo. Adalian notes that whatever the reason it gives an advantage to NBC, which had been developing the similarly-themed format Perfect 10, hosted by Guy Fieri. (The Wrap's TVMoJoe)

Richard Shepard will direct the untitled backdoor spinoff of CBS' Criminal Minds, following a deal with CBS under which Shepard will direct two of the Eye's pilots this season. Pilot for the spinoff, written by Ed Bernero and Chris Mundy, will air as an episode of Criminal Minds, the pilot for which Shepard directed originally. (Variety)

Syfy will air an eight-episode marathon of NBC's Chuck on Thursday, January 7th, just ahead of the Season Three launch of Chuck that weekend. The eight episodes--"Chuck vs. The First Date," "Chuck vs. The Seduction," "Chuck vs. The Break-Up," "Chuck vs. The Santa Claus," "Chuck vs. The Predator," "Chuck vs. The Dream Job," "Chuck vs. The Colonel," and "Chuck vs. The Ring"--represent the "best of" Chuck's second season, as selected by creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak. (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

Hulu has signed on to be the exclusive online broadcaster of Simon Fuller's new web-based reality series If I Can Dream, which will follow "five young, aspiring performers who will live together in the Hollywood Hills and spend time trying to make it in the entertainment biz" as their lives inside the house are streamed 24/7 on the official website for the series. Hulu will get an weekly pared-down one-hour broadcast, which it will stream exclusively on the web. Project, from 19 Entertainment, is set to launch in February. (Variety)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Kelly Bishop (Gilmore Girls) has been cast in a multiple-episode storyline on NBC medical drama Mercy. She is set to play Elaine, a patient in the care of Jamie Lee Kirchner's Sonia. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

USA is said to be developing a series adaptation of 1990 feature film The Freshman, which starred Matthew Broderick and Marlon Brando. Project, adapted by Andrew Bergman (who wrote and directed the original), hails from Sony Pictures Television and centers on a freshman at NYU who unwittingly becomes an errand boy for a mobster. (Hollywood Reporter)

HBO has announced a start date for its WWII miniseries The Pacific, which will air ten episodes beginning Sunday, March 14th. Miniseries, produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, depicts Marines fighting in the Pacific Theatre during the second world war. (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

MTV is getting deeper into the comedy and animation business, creating a new department that will develop the two genres together and tasking SVP of series development Brent Haynes to oversee the new division. The cabler named Jason Gwozdz as VP of comedy and animation and hired Brooke Posch as senior director. (Variety)

Steve Stark Prods., the shingle run by former Grammnet Prods. executive Steve Stark, has set up a number of projects at various networks, including: USA drama pilot Facing Kate, starring Sarah Shahi; NBC drama pilot The Event from writer Nick Wauters, about a huge government cover-up that quickly unravels; an untitled Lifetime drama pilot written by Gay Walch about a female psychologist at the Dallas Police Department; USA dramedy pilot Stick from writers Mark Altman and Steve Kriozere about a suspended pro hockey player who helps people; a NBC comedy based on the life of Paula Deen; and comedy Last Resort, a Warner Bros. Television-set up pilot about "a single mother and an eccentric lifelong bachelor who form a strange family." (Hollywood Reporter)

Comedy Central has ordered a second season of Tosh.0, commissioning 25 episodes for the series' sophomore run, which will launch on January 13th. The cabler has also signed a rich overall deal with host Daniel Tosh that includes a one-hour standup special, a national tour, and DVDs and CDs. (Hollywood Reporter)

Looks like teen superheroes will be sticking around the UK for a while longer. Channel 4 satellite spinoff E4 has announced that it has commissioned a second season of superhero drama Misfits, which it will air in 2010. (Broadcast)

The CW's canceled drama series The Beautiful Life has been resurrected... sort of, anyway. Following a deal between executive producer Ashton Kutcher's Katalyst Films and sponsor HP, the series will launch on YouTube, which will run the two episodes that aired earlier this season and three unaired installments beginning December 21st. (Hollywood Reporter)

In a rare reversal, BBC One commissioned a fourth season of comedy Not Going Out after canceling the series earlier this year. The fourth season will air in a new, later timeslot. (Broadcast)

Jodi Lynn O'Keefe, Justin Bruening, Constance Marie, and Eric Roberts have been cast in Hallmark Channel telepic Class, which will premiere in 2010. Elsewhere, the cabler announced that it will begin broadcasting in high definition. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


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