Skip to main content

Channel Surfing: FOX Nabs J.J. Abrams' Alcatraz, House Lands Candace Bergen, ABC Waxes Over Prince of Tides, Boardwalk Empire, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing.

No surprise: J.J. Abrams and Elizabeth Sarnoff's hotly desired Alcatraz--from studio Warner Bros. Television--is headed to FOX after the network gave a pilot order to the project, which revolves around the infamous San Francisco island prison that was shut down in 1963... and once housed such inmates as Al Capone and the Bird Man himself. Abrams is no stranger to FOX: the network currently airs Fringe, which he co-created with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. (Variety)

How's this for kick-ass casting? Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Candace Bergen (Boston Legal) has signed on to a multiple-episode story arc on FOX's medical drama House, where she will play the mother of Lisa Edelstein's Cuddy. Bergen's first appearance is slated to air in November. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Lowenstein... Personally, I'm not sure what to make of this. ABC is reportedly developing a series based on Pat Conroy's novel "The Prince of Tides," which was previously adapted into a 1991 feature film starring Nick Nolte and Barbra Streisand. Project, from Sony Pictures Television, revolves around "a married Southern football coach from an abusive and dysfunctional family who falls in love with a New York psychiatrist." Conroy will serve as a non-writing consultant on the project, which will be written by Bob Brush and Mel Harris, who will executive produce alongside Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, Mitch Hurwitz, and Craig Anderson. (Hollywood Reporter)

Vulture's Lane Brown interviews Boardwalk Empire's Michael Kenneth Williams--best known for his brilliant turn as stickup artist Omar on HBO's The Wire--about his role as the real-life Chalky White in the period gangster drama. "Yeah, it’s pretty cool," said Williams about Chalky's amazing wardrobe. "Omar didn’t really care what he wore. He’d probably wear just a vest and a trench coat and a shotgun and a do-rag. Chalky definitely is a well-tailored man. All the suits are hand-tailored by Martin Greenfield. He’s an amazing tailor from Brooklyn. It’s a real honor to have him dress me. You put those clothes on and you walk on set, you’re definitely in character. You feel the clothes. It’s amazing." (Vulture)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that ex-Cold Case star (and former Wonderfalls mainstay) Tracie Thoms has been cast in FOX's Human Target, where she will guest star Michelle, the ex-wife of Chi McBride's Winston, in the second season's fifth episode, slated to air in November. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Lou Diamond Philips (Stargate: Universe) has been cast in Lifetime's untitled Josh Berman drama pilot, where he will play a police lieutenant and the boss to Sherry Stringfield's Molly Collins and Jamie-Lynn Sigler's Brooke Kross. Elsewhere, Dylan Baker (The Good Wife) has been cast in a potentially recurring role on USA's Burn Notice, where he will play Max, a power broker who could hold Michael's fate in his hands. He'll first appear in the fourth season finale and could return in Season Five. (Deadline)

CBS has given a script order to an untitled New Jersey crime drama pilot from writer/producer Gary Lennon (Justified). Project, from CBS Television Studios, revolves around the first female police chief of Newark who "must battle crime and law-enforcement corruption as well as a difficult home life," and will be executive produced by Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman. (Hollywood Reporter)

Lifetime has ordered four-hour miniseries Marry Me, which will star Lucy Liu, Steven Pasquale, Bobby Cannavale, Enrique Murciano, and Annie Potts. Project, from Sony Pictures Television, revolves around a woman (Liu) looking for Mr. Right. (Variety)

File this under sick and wrong. The Hollywood Reporter's James Hibberd is reporting that E! has given a series order to reality competition series Bridalplasty, in which "brides-to-be compete in wedding-themed challenges to win extensive surgical procedures" with "the winner [receiving] the chance to choose a plastic surgery procedure from her 'wish list.' She's given the procedure immediately, and results are shown at the start of the following week's episode." [Editor: Color me absolutely disgusted.] Project will be hosted by Shanna Moakler and executive produced by Guilana Rancic, Mark Cronin, and Cris Abrego. (Hollywood Reporter)


TLC renewed a brace of series yesterday, giving pickups to Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, Four Weddings, Strange Sex, Toddlers and Tiaras, and I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Me Want Food: Jenna Gets Famously Fat on "30 Rock"

I don't know about you, but I've already ordered my "Me Want Food" t-shirt from the NBC store. Last night's episode of 30 Rock ("Jack Gets in the Game") was, in my opinion, one of the strongest of the series and has officially pushed the zany comedy into the realm of Arrested Development : deftly plotted and intricately layered, with so many jokes piled atop of jokes that it requires several viewings in order to catch them all. While at its heart, 30 Rock is a workplace comedy, it's left that narrow pigeonhole behind to become a witty example of how intelligent and taut humor can work (and flourish) on television... and exist in harmony with hilarious throwaways like the Thriller -inspired Werewolf Bar Mitzvah music video that would have done the AD crew proud. I want Will Arnett to appear on this series whenever possible. His gay exec Devin is hilarious, manipulative, and has an inexplicable weakness for Kenneth the Page, but he claims to have

"Gilmore" Guy: Who is New Showrunner David Rosenthal?

A few days later and I am still processing the news that Gilmore Girls showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino--and her exceptionally talented husband, writer and producer Daniel Palladino-- announced their departure from the whip-smart drama after six seasons. The news wouldn't be such a blow, save for the fact that Gilmore Girls is as much about Amy and Daniel as it is about Lorelai and Rory. In their capable hands, the show explored a supremely complicated family dynamic through the beautiful friendship of mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory... and did so with smart dialogue usually found in a Nick & Nora film rather than on television. Zany subplots abounded as did quirky, beloved supporting characters. And now, after six seasons (including this most recent--and very shaky--season where Amy and Daniel wrote less episodes than usual), Amy and Daniel are passing on the showrunning torch to... Dave Rosenthal?!? For those of you in the audience unfamiliar with David Rosenthal ,