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Channel Surfing: ABC to Revamp Edgar Floats, Undercovers Recasts, Weatherly to Return to NCIS, Criminal Minds Cuts Female Cast, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing.

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Rand Ravich's ABC drama pilot Edgar Floats, which recently received an order for six additional scripts, will be completely reconceived, with nearly all of the original cast--including series leads Tom Cavanagh and Alicia Witt and supporting players Derek Webster, Alex Solowitz, and Raoul Trujillo--getting the axe. (Only Robert Patrick will remain.) Deadline's Nellie Andreeva, meanwhile, has some further insight into the decision made by ABC. "People have been divided on Cavanagh's performance, while Patrick has been almost universally hailed as the pilot's scene stealer," she writes. "I hear ABC brass like the idea of Edgar Floats and the central character but the project is being re-conceived, with the six additional scripts still being written." [Editor: seeing as Edgar Floats was my favorite broadcast pilot of the development cycle, I'm gutted by this news.] (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files, Deadline)

Mekia Cox (90210) has been cast in JJ Abrams and Josh Reims' upcoming NBC drama series Undercovers, where she will play Lizzy, the sister of Gugu Mbatha-Raw's Samantha, who is unaware of her sister's professional capacity as a CIA agent. Cox replaces Jessica Parker Kennedy, who appeared in the role in the pilot. [Editor: while I have nothing against Kennedy, per se, I did think that Lizzy and the catering company was the weakest and most labored part of Undercovers pilot.] (Hollywood Reporter)

It's official: Michael Weatherly has closed his deal to return to CBS' NCIS next season, following a successful renegotiation for Season Eight of the crime procedural. Of the four actors who went into the summer without a deal in place--Pauley Perrette, David McCallum, Michael Weatherly, and Sean Murray--only Murray has yet to finish renegotiating, however, Deadline's Nellie Andreeva said that the two sides are "optimistic" that a deal can be reached. (Deadline, Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that CBS' Criminal Minds is gutting most of its female cast for financial reasons, opting not to pick up the option of series regular A.J. Cook, while Paget Brewster will be appearing in a "reduced number of episodes next season." Cook may reprise her role as Jennifer Jereau next season so that the writers can wrap up her storyline, though no deal has been made. Move means that Kristen Vangsness will be the only female cast member to appear in all episodes next season. (Deadline)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Adrianne Palicki and Taylor Kitsch have signed on to appear in multiple episodes of Season Five of Friday Night Lights. Ausiello, citing unnamed sources, writes that Palicki will guest star in the final two episodes of the season (likely the series' end), while Kitsch will appear in the final four. (Also set to return, at least for one episode: Scott Porter, Zach Gilford--who will be in four installments--and likely Jesse Plemons.) (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Brian Kirk (Dexter) will direct two episodes of HBO's upcoming fantasy drama Game of Thrones. Production is slated to begin July 26th in Northern Ireland. (Hollywood Reporter)

Christopher Eccleston has broken his silence about why he left Doctor Who after just one season in a new interview with Radio Times. "I was open-minded but I decided after my experience on the first series that I didn't want to do any more," said Eccleston. "I didn't enjoy the environment and the culture that we, the cast and crew, had to work in. I thought if I stay in this job, I'm going to have to blind myself to certain things that I thought were wrong." (BBC News)

SPOILER! TV Guide Magazine's Will Keck is reporting that Fringe producers are looking to cast the role of the mother of Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), who would appear in a story arc that would last roughly three or four episodes next season. "The character is described as loving, stable and sweet," writes Keck. "She dotes on Olivia since her other daughter died at birth." [Editor: I would assume that this role would be taking place "over there," in the other dimension, since Olivia's sister Rachel is, uh, alive and well in "our" world.] (TV Guide Magazine)

Faran Tahir (Star Trek) is set to guest star in two episodes of Syfy's Warehouse 13 this summer, as the series returns for its second season. Tahir will play Regent Adwin Kosan, described as "one of the mysterious and powerful Regents, the shadowy governing body charged with keeping the Warehouse safe," who turns up at the Warehouse in the midst of a crisis. (via press release)

In other Warehouse 13-related news, TV Guide Magazine's Will Keck has more details about the role that former Bionic Woman Lindsay Wagner will be playing when she guest stars on the Syfy dramedy as Dr. Vanessa Calder. "She's the official doctor for Warehouse agents. She is quite worldly and knows lots of secrets," Wagner told Keck. (TV Guide Magazine)

Stay tuned.


Amber Simpson said…
You've seen the Undercovers pilot? Is it any good? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Westeros said…
Small mistake: the Game of Thrones director is Brian Kirk, not Brian Keck (I suspect the news item about Will Keck threw you).

Baffling about Edward Floats. I'm guessing the "has people divided" line means that it was actually an interesting cast but it was "too" interesting and so they're going back to aiming at bland to satisfy the lowest common denominator...

Bah. Network TV.

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