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Channel Surfing: Dexter News Round-Up, FOX Locks Up Cleveland for Third Season, Whalley and Cox to The Big C, Borgias, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing.

SPOILER! E! Online's Megan Masters and Kristin Dos Santos talk to Dexter's Julie Benz and Jennifer Carpenter about what's coming up on the Showtime serial killer drama. "Rita is not going to be a ghost!" Benz revealed about her planned appearance on Season Five of Dexter. "The writers would never do something so cheesy. I am not going to confirm or deny anything, but if she does come back, it would be to move things along." Meanwhile, viewers shouldn't expect that Dexter will lose its humor, even in the face of unspeakable horror. "What's funny is that even in the face of tragedy [of Rita's death], there's still room to laugh with our show," Carpenter told E! Online. "That's why people can stomach it, because as bloody as it gets, they make you laugh two seconds later." (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Southland's Shawn Hatosy has been cast in a multiple-episode story arc next season on Showtime's Dexter. While the pay cabler wasn't forthcoming on details about who Hatosy would be playing, Ausiello cites an unnamed source who tells him that Hatosy will be appearing in Miami as "a bad guy." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Elsewhere, Deadline's Nellie Andreeva reports that Maria Doyle Kennedy (The Tudors) will join the cast of Dexter in a recurring capacity next season, where she will play the Irish nanny that Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) hires to look after his child. (Deadline)

It looks like Glee isn't the only show FOX has locked up for the 2011-12 season. The network has renewed animated comedy The Cleveland Show for a third season ahead of the fall launch for Season Two of the Family Guy spinoff. Move gives the series' animators time to get a jump on the time-consuming process. (Variety)

Brian Cox (Kings) has been cast in a multiple-episode story arc on Showtime's upcoming Laura Linney comedy series The Big C, which will premiere on August 16th. It wasn't immediately clear just who Cox would be playing on the series, which follows a terminally ill suburban woman (Linney) following her cancer diagnosis. In other Showtime casting news, Joanna Whalley (Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis) has joined the cast of Showtime's period drama The Borgias, opposite Jeremy Irons. She'll play Vanossa, described as the "mother of the Borgia children who were fathered by Rodrigo Borgia (Irons) before he became one of history's most infamous popes," and who was "once was a courtesan with a disreputable past." (Hollywood Reporter)

NBC has ordered a pilot for D.L. Hughley-hosted game show Who's Bluffing Who?, which will be produced by ITV Studios with the network co-producing the skein. Series, which is created by Jeff Apploff, will see contestants attempt to bluff their way into walking away with a half a million dollar cash prize. (Hollywood Reporter)

The Futon Critic's Brian Ford Sullivan is reporting that USA has extended the current seasons of Burn Notice and Royal Pains to eighteen episodes apiece, while it will end the current season of In Plain Sight after just thirteen episodes, citing the medical leave of showrunner/executive producer John McNamara as the reason behind the curtailed season. (Futon Critic)

Aya Cash (Mercy) has been cast in FOX's upcoming midseason comedy series Mixed Signals, where she will replace Alexandra Breckinridge in the role of Callie. (Hollywood Reporter)

E! has ordered eight episodes of reality series The Spin Crowd, which will follow the clients and employees of publicity firm Command PR. Project, which is executive produced by Kim Kardashian, Jon Murray, Jeff Jenkins, and Gil Goldschein, is slated to launch in August. (Variety)

Barry Watson (Samantha Who) has been cast as a guest star in an upcoming episode of Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva, where he will play "a grieving man fired from his job [who is] represented by Jane (Brooke Elliott) and Grayson (Jackson Hurst) in his wrongful termination case." (Hollywood Reporter)

Celebrity chef Curtis Stone, Chipotle founder Steve Ellis, and restaurateur Lorena Garcia will join Bobby Flay as investors and judges to NBC's upcoming culinary competition series America's Next Great Restaurant, which is set to premiere next season. Project, from executive producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, sees contestants compete for the opportunity to turn their idea into a national restaurant chain. (via press release)

Sony Pictures Television has opted not to renew several overall deals, leading producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum--as well as Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly--to move from Sony to CBS Television Studios. As part of the move, the Tannenbaums have parted ways with their Tantamount partner Mitch Hurwitz, though all three will continue to executive produce their FOX comedy Running Wilde. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


rockauteur said…
Hate Curtis Stone. Love Chipotle. Great idea to have the head of that on the panel of the NBC show.

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