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Channel Surfing: Cuthbert Gets "Happy Endings," Betty White to Host "SNL," Madsen Clocks in for "24," Acker Finds "Human Target," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing.

Elisha Cuthbert (24) has been cast as the female lead in ABC comedy pilot Happy Endings, where she will play Alex, a woman whose relationship ends at the alter and she and her would-have-been husband have to figure out how they and their friends can keep their relationship intact. Project, from writer David Caspe, directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and Sony Pictures Television, also stars Adam Pally, Casey Wilson, Eliza Coupe, and Damon Wayans, Jr. (Hollywood Reporter)

Facebook has spoken and Lorne Michaels has listened: 88-year-old Betty White (The Proposal) will be hosting NBC's Saturday Night Live on May 8th. "It took on a groundswell," Michaels told USA Today's Gary Levin. "It isn't something we would have said no to, [but the campaign] validated that... It was the outpouring of affection from fans, and we feel the same way." White's episode will also feature former SNL-ers Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph, and Rachel Dratch. (USA Today)

TV Guide Magazine's Will Keck is reporting that Michael Madsen (Kill Bill) will be turning up later this season on FOX's 24, where he will play "an ex-military guy from Jack Bauer’s past." (TV Guide Magazine)

Amy Acker (Dollhouse) is slated to guest star in the season finale of FOX's Human Target, according to series star Mark Valley. "Baptiste [Lennie James] comes back, and Amy Acker shows up and plays this one character who's very pivotal in Chance's past," Valley told reporters on a recent press call, "she was the catalyst for him becoming Christopher Chance." (via Digital Spy)

Richard Kind (A Serious Man) and Ian Hart (Dirt) have been cast in David Milch and Michael Mann's HBO horseracing drama pilot Luck, opposite Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Dennis Farina, and John Ortiz. Kind will play a jockey's agent, while Hart will play "a loudmouth who comes into some cash and bankrolls a series of Pick Six bets." (Variety)

Mamie Gumer (The Good Wife) has been cast as one of the leads in Shonda Rhimes' ABC medical drama pilot Off the Map, where she will play Mina Minard, a doctor who takes a position in a remote South American medical clinic. Gumer, the daughter of Meryl Streep, will star opposite Caroline Dhavernas, Enrique Murciano, Jason George, Martin Henderson, and Valerie Cruz. (TVGuide.com)

Bravo has ramped up its development on both the unscripted and scripted fronts. The cabler announced at yesterday's upfront that it had ordered Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Miami Social Club, Million Dollar Decorators, and Pregnant in Heelsto series, renewed The Fashion Show, Million Dollar Listing, Real Housewives of Atlanta, and Tabatha's Salon Takeover, and was developing several unscripted series, including Around the World in 80 Plates, Commander in Chef, Hitmakers, Fashion Masters, and an untitled docusoap following So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Mia Michaels. On the scripted front, Bravo is developing two dramas, including a Darren Star-executive produced musical-drama adaptation of Josh Kilmer-Purcell's book "I'm Not Myself These Days," about a New York City power broker who moonlights as a drag queen at night, and an untitled dramedy from writers Damian Harris and Gary Marks about a high-end hotel that offers male escorts to its guests. (Variety)

Pilot casting update: Traylor Howard (Monk) will star opposite Dana Gould in Gould's untitled ABC comedy pilot; Lyndsy Fonseca (How I Met Your Mother) will star opposite Maggie Q in the CW's remake of Nikita; Maria Thayer (State of Play), Lauren Weedman (Hung), and Mahaley Hessam (Easy A) have joined the cast of Larry Charles' NBC comedy pilot Our Show; James Frain (The Tudors) has scored one of the leads in NBC vigilante drama pilot The Cape; Stephen Rea (Father and Son) has been cast in CBS drama pilot Chaos; David Gallagher (7th Heaven) has joined CW's supernatural drama pilot Betwixt; Sonja Sohn (The Wire) has been cast in ABC drama pilot Body of Evidence opposite Dana Delany; Raoul Trujillo (True Blood) has been added to the cast of ABC drama pilot Edgar Floats; Will Sasso (MADtv) and Stephanie Lemelin (Cavemen) have joined the cast of CBS' comedy pilot Shit My Dad Says. Finally, FOX is recasting two roles on Greg Garcia's comedy pilot Keep Hope Alive, with The Riches' Shannon Marie Woodward landing one of the available spots. (Hollywood Reporter)

BBC America will segue to becoming a dual-feed network on Monday, April 26th. Move means that primetime and late night scheduled will be changed as the cabler will air programming at the same time in both Eastern and Pacific time zones. The British-themed network also announced that it will bring back Peep Show and That Mitchell and Webb Look in April, which also marks the launch of Season Five of Doctor Who. (via press release)

ABC has ordered a pilot from executive producer Mark Burnett for unusual game show Trust Me, I'm a Game Show Host, in which two hosts will compete with the contestants on a variety of topics in front of a live audience. One of the hosts will be telling the truth, the other lying, and the contestants will have to figure out which is which. (Hollywood Reporter)

SPOILER! Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello talks to The Good Wife executive producer Robert King about whether Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Will (Josh Charles) will ever hook up. "[They have] one of the most complicated relationships… because it really is a friendship that doesn’t want to lose its friendship by going to the next step," King told Ausiello. "There’s an episode [coming up in April] that’s all about not knowing what a jury is thinking and it’s a metaphor for how Alicia and Will can’t get into each other’s heads. During this trial, they have to make moves, guessing where the jury is headed. Sometimes we see that they’re just completely wrong." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Gene Hunt returns! BBC has a first look at Season Three of 1983-set sci-fi/period/trippy drama Ashes to Ashes, featuring Philip Glenister's Gene Hunt and Keeley Hawes' Alex Drake, which returns to BBC One for its final season of eight episodes this spring. Dean Andrews, Marshall Lancaster, and Montserrat Lombard all return, and the team gets a new member in Daniel Mays' Jim Keats, a discipline and complaints officer who adds "an unsettling twist to the team dynamic." Look for the final season of Ashes to resolve its mysteries as well as those lingering from its predecessor, Life on Mars. (BBC)

E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos has a first look at the four original cast members from FOX's Melrose Place--Heather Locklear, Thomas Calabro, Josie Bissett, and Daphne Zuniga--reuniting on the CW revival series. "We've had visits by original castmembers throughout the year, and we all thought, 'Let's get them together in one show,'" executive producer Darren Swimmer told E! Online. "One of the highlights of the season for me was walking on the set to see all four original castmembers together on the courtyard staircase. There was a true sense of reunion in the room, and I think you can see in their performances how tickled they are to be acting together again." (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

The CW is developing two reality competition series, including Stone & Co's One Mass Dance, which features choreographers who assemble a huge dance team from three cities and then perform a "mass dance" in front of surprised viewers, and 25/7's Shed to Wed, in which couples compete to lose weight before their weddings. (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

Planet Green is preparing to launch a 24-hour daily schedule, including a three-hour primetime block of programming called Verge on March 29th, which will feature such series as Future Food, Living with Ed, Conviction Kitchen, Operation Wild, Blood, Sweat and Takeaways, and off-net acquisition 30 Days. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Katelyn said…
I was really happy with this last episode of Human Target. It was nice to see a bit more of Chance's back story and to see the normally easy going Winston flipping out in the plane.

I'm also glad to see that one of the excellent cast members of Monk is landing a new role.

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