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Channel Surfing: Judy Greer Finds Mad Love, David Strathairn Circles Alphas, Gossip Girl, True Blood Twist, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing.

Judy Greer (Miss/Guided) is heading to CBS. The actress--whose voice appeared this season on FX's animated comedy Archer--has signed on to star in CBS ensemble comedy Mad Love, which has been picked up for thirteen episodes and will launch in midseason. Greer replaces Lizzy Caplan, who had only signed on to appear as a guest star in the pilot, and will star opposite Sarah Chalke (who herself replaced Minka Kelly), Jason Biggs, and Tyler Labine (who replaced Dan Fogler). Project, from writer/executive producer Matt Tarses, revolves around a group of Manhattan friends looking for love. (Variety, Deadline)

Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that David Strathairn (Matadors) is in talks to topline Syfy's action-adventure pilot Alphas, which revolves around a team of people with extraordinary abilities. Strathairn would play the "the overseer/team leader/prescribing doctor and all around mother hen to the team: an eccentric, absent-minded professor at times, who is also a cunning and manipulative power-player willing to bend the rules in pursuit of his objectives." Ryan Cartwright (Mad Men), meanwhile, would play a team member with Asperger's Syndrome who is able to receive wireless transmissions. (Deadline)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Katie Cassidy (Melrose Place) has signed on to a multiple-episode story arc on the CW's Gossip Girl next season, where she will play "a student at Columbia and a love interest for fellow undergrad Nate (Chace Crawford)" who will cause trouble for the well-heeled set of the CW drama series. Her first appearance is slated to air during the fourth season premiere this fall. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

POTENTIAL SPOILER E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos has an interview with Mariana Kleveno--who plays vampire Lorena on HBO's True Blood--about the disturbing final-act twist in last night's taut installment. "[That scene] was actually the most shocking thing that I've ever read in a television script," Kleveno told E! "My jaw dropped on the floor when I read it and thought, 'Oh my god, I actually have to do that?!" Kleveno also goes on to say that filming the pivotal scene was "kind of uncomfortable." [Editor: when I interviewed Stephen Moyer a few weeks back, we discussed the scene and he referred to it as "f---ing gnarly."] (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

Remember those rumors circulating last week that the Beeb was considering resurrecting Philip Glenister's Gene Hunt character from Ashes to Ashes and Life on Mars? Looks like--thankfully--there is absolutely no truth to them whatsoever. Ashes co-creator Matthew Graham has denied the report, originally published by The Daily Mirror, stating in no uncertain terms that Gene's story was done. [Editor: Whew! As much as I love Gene and Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes, it had the perfect ending.] (Den of Geek)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that A.J. Cook will be returning to CBS' Criminal Minds this fall... at least for a "brief stint to tie up JJ's storyline." Additionally, Paget Brewster will also be returning for another season, having successfully concluded a contract renegotiation that will see her return in the fall for "a significant number of episodes," according to an unnamed Criminal Minds insider. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Lolita Davidovich and Kathleen Quinlan have joined the cast of of HBO telepic Cinema Verite, which revolves around the making of the landmark reality series An American Family. (Also cast: William Belli and Nick Eversman.) Elsewhere, Steve Hytner (Hung) has been cast in CMT's comedy pilot The Hard Life, where he will star opposite Matthew Lillard and Gillian Vigman, appearing in flashbacks to the 1970s. (Deadline)

SPOILER! TV Guide Magazine's Will Keck has some dirt on the Season Seven opener of FOX's House, which finds Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) taking Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) away for an "idyllic day." "Anywhere other than Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital is an easier place for them to be together in a relationship," House executive producer Katie Jacobs tells Keck. "That's where we start — 'What if we only have each other?' As their day goes on, Cuddy will learn that the locales they visit hold a secret significance... It would be impossible for Cuddy to spend every day as if her child and her professional life don't exist; a little easier for House, since he is somewhat of a child himself. But what's cool about Season 7 is that House is going to try to stay off drugs and have a meaningful relationship. We don't rush through this. It's taken six years to get there, so this is not a story that's going to be done in three episodes." (TV Guide Magazine)

Marvel Entertainment has created a television division and named scribe Jeph Loeb (Heroes) to head up the new sector. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Loeb will "oversee the translation of Marvel’s popular characters and stories to the television medium, in both live-action and animation formats" as well as "the development and distribution of live-action, animated and direct-to-DVD series." (Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision)

Peter Horton (Grey's Anatomy) will direct and executive produce FOX's upcoming con man drama Lonestar, signing a deal with 20th Century Fox Television and FOX that will also secured him a premium script commitment. He'll also direct a pilot for the studio and network next season. Horton will direct the first episode of Lonestar after the pilot episode, which was directed by Marc Webb. (Variety)

Former Dexter showrunner Clyde Phillips has signed a two-year overall deal with Lionsgate Television, under which he will develop programming for the studio. Anything that is ordered to pilot (or series) would be shot on the East Coast, where Phillips lives with his family. (Deadline)

Emily VanCamp (Brothers & Sisters) has been cast in CBS' upcoming Hallmark Hall of Fame telepic Let Them Shine, where she will play a novice teacher who makes a difference in the lives of several homeless students. Project is written by Camille Thomasson and directed by Jeff Bleckner. (Variety)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Hadley said…
Gene Hunt is one of my all-time favorite characters but I agree that his story ended on a perfect note and he should now rest in peace (in that great pub in the sky).

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