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Channel Surfing: Alan Ball Brings Charlie Huston to HBO, Wire Star Heads to Fringe, Glee Circles Britney, Doctor Who, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing.

True Blood's Alan Ball is furthering his relationship with HBO. Ball, who created the pay cabler's vampire drama (based on the novels by Charlaine Harris), has signed on to direct and executive producer noir drama pilot All Signs of Death, which is based on Charlie Huston's novel "The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death." Huston himself will pen the pilot script, with production set to begin next month in Los Angeles... though there are no current cast attachments on the project, which will revolve around "a knockaround twentysomething who discovers he has a knack for being a crime scene cleaner, and his life gets messy from there." (Variety)

Bubs Alert! Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Andre Royo (The Wire) has been cast as a guest star in the third season premiere of FOX's Fringe, citing unnamed sources. Royo will reportedly play Henry, described as "a soulful taxi driver who is unexpectedly forced into a tense situation with Olivia (Anna Torv)." Will Henry be the one to put the red hat on the alternate universe interloper posing as our Olivia Dunham? [Editor: yes, I love Wire-based humor.] (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Let's take a look at the current state of Glee rumors: we now know for certain that Javier Bardem won't be appearing on the FOX musical comedy... and neither will Britney Spears either, despite a campaign launched by her manager to bring the scandal-prone singer to the set of the Ryan Murphy-executive produced series. However, Ryan Murphy has confirmed that there will be a Britney tribute episode next season. "We are writing a Britney Spears episode," Ryan told Entertainment Tonight late last week. (E! Online's Watch with Kristin, Hollywood Reporter)

[Editor: in other Glee-related news, actress Amber Riley will sing the national anthem at the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.]

SPOILER! Doctor Who head writer/executive producer Steven Moffat has teased details about this year's Doctor Who Christmas Special, which will feature Michael Gambon and singer Katherine Jenkins, appearing alongside Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill. "Oh, we're going for broke with this one," said Moffat. "It's all your favorite Christmas movies at once, in an hour, with monsters. And The Doctor. And a honeymoon. And... oh, you'll see. I've honestly never been so excited about writing anything. I was laughing madly as I typed along to Christmas songs in April. My neighbors loved it so much they all moved away and set up a website demanding my execution. But I'm fairly sure they did it ironically." (BBC)

In a move that will surprise no one, Peter Serafinowicz has been promoted to series regular on FOX's upcoming comedy series Running Wilde, reports Deadline's Nellie Andreeva. Serafinowicz, who appeared in the pilot as wealthy scion Fa'ad Shaoulin (the nemesis of Will Arnett's Wilde), will now serve as a regular on the Lionsgate-produced series, which launches this fall. He'll join Will Arnett, Keri Russell, Stefania Owen, and Jayne Houdyshell, while the role of Migo Salazar is currently being recast. (Deadline)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Taylor Kinney (Trauma) will join the cast of the CW's Vampire Diaries in a recurring capacity. Kinney will play Mason Lockwood, the younger brother of the late Mayor Lockwood, according to unnamed sources. He's slated to make his first appearance on the second season opener of Vampire Diaries, airing September 9th. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Mark your calendars now: HBO will launch its new Prohibition-era drama Boardwalk Empire--from executive producers Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter--on Sunday, September 19th. [Editor: while the announcement is all over the place, this story links to an older piece that offers a look at Boardwalk's set.] (Los Angeles Times' Show Tracker)

Looks like now is not a good time to be an AT&T U-Verse subscriber. The cable provider is in the midst of a carriage dispute with Rainbow Media Holdings... which means that subscribers are in danger of not being able to watch the Season Four launch of AMC's Mad Men, which premieres in less than two weeks. The two sides have been locked in negotiations that have lasted more than six months without any indications of reaching a conclusion and now U-Verse has threatened to drop AMC, IFC, and We from its lineup. (Vulture)

Despite the fact that the actor options have expired, the CW's medical drama pilot HMS is said to still be in contention for a series order. "There is still no final word from the CW but I hear producer Warner Bros. TV is not giving up and is still hoping for a series order for the project, written/executive produced by Amy Holden Jones, co-executive produced by Hayden Panettiere and directed by Mark Piznarski," writes Deadline's Nellie Andreeva. "The actors are aware of the studio's efforts and appear willing to return if there is a pickup soon." (Deadline)

Fancast's Matt Mitovich talks to The Closer's Jon Tenney about Season Six of the TNT drama series as well as the relationship between Fritz and Kyra Sedgwick's Brenda. "In the very first episode, there’s a scene I love where they’re ostensibly discussing a case that she has, and we’re talking about having affairs," said Tenney. "But we’re play-acting, so we’re also sort of feeling each other out a bit… There’s this Nick and Nora sort of banter about the issues of work and personal life and commitment to both of those. That comes to the forefront this season for Brenda and Fritz." (Fancast)

Disney Channel has renewed comedy Good Luck Charlie for a second season as well as greenlighting an original telepic based on the series. (Hollywood Reporter)

Universal Media Studios has signed a two-year overall deal with former Scrubs executive producer Tad Quill, under which he will develop projects for the studio as well as come on board NBC's comedy Perfect Couples. (Deadline)

Former TNT executive Susan Oman Gross has been hired by GK-TV as EVP of television, where she will report to Craig Cegielski and oversee all business and legal affairs for the company. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


Walker said…
I'm thrilled that Andre Royo is going to be on Fringe (and totally appreciate your Wire-based humor).

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