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Channel Surfing: Gwyneth Paltrow Tackles Glee, V lands Jay Karnes, NBC Lands Legends, Showtime Renews Weeds, The Big C, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing.

E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos is reporting that Gwyneth Paltrow is in talks to join the cast of FOX's Glee in a two-episode story arc in which she would play a potential love interest for Matthew Morrison's Will Schuester. "According to rock-solid Glee sources, Gwyneth would play a substitute teacher in two episodes airing in November," writes Dos Santos. "Mr. Schuester gets sick, so Gwyneth's character steps in and takes over the glee club. The kids love her, and Will starts to fall for her... complicating his relationship with Emma (Jayma Mays)... I'm told Glee creator/executive producer/creative badass Ryan Murphy wrote this role expressly for Gwyneth, as the two are friends. If it all comes together, Ryan will be directing her first episode, which begins shooting in two weeks." Should the deal close, Paltrow would appear in two episodes slated to air in November. (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

[Editor: In other Glee news,'s Denise Martin has a set visit feature for Glee, returning tonight for its second season, which you can read here.]'s Adam Bryant is reporting that Jay Karnes (The Shield) has been cast in a recurring role on Season Two of ABC's V, which returns in November. Karnes will play FBI Agent Chris Boling, who will serve as the new partner for Elizabeth Mitchell's Erica Evans. "The two have some history, having trained together at Quantico," writes Bryant. "However, Bolling quickly begins to suspect Erica may have divided loyalties when it comes to her dedication to the Visitor resistance group, the Fifth Column." Casting marks a reunion between Karnes and former Shield writer/producer Scott Rosenbaum, who serves as V's showrunner. (

Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that NBC has given a put pilot order to espionage drama Legends, from writer Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard) and executive producers Howard Gordon (24) and Jonathan Levin (The Ex-List). Project, from 20th Century Fox Television, is said to be based on a Robert Littell book and revolves around "an CIA operative with an uncanny gift for 'legends' - aka false identities - who is sent on a variety of missions, while simultaneously coping with the possibility that his own identity may be a 'legend' itself." (Deadline, Variety)

Showtime yesterday handed out renewals to dark comedies Weeds and The Big C, which will return for their seventh and second seasons respectively next year. "The unprecedented viewership for both The Big C and Weeds proves that audiences love these shows as much as we do," said Showtime's President of Entertainment David Nevins in a statement. "There are definitely more comedic adventures in store for these fascinating, complex women. For six seasons, we've happily traveled along with Nancy Botwin and we're equally as excited to follow Laura Linney and The Big C team as they chart Cathy's unique journey through such a provocative and personal subject as cancer. We're thrilled that these two signature shows will be returning to the network in 2011." (via press release)

TV Guide Magazine's Will Keck has a first look at Celia Weston playing Barb Tucker, the mother of Eric Stonestreet's Cameron on ABC's Modern Family. "She's somebody who made him the person he is," Stonestreet told Keck about Cameron's mom. "When she comes to the door, she gives me her little puppy kisses. And we find out she called him her 'Little Bomber,' which was actually what my [real-life] grandma called me as a little kid — I think because I was a little gassy." (TV Guide Magazine)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello has details about the now prolonged absence expected to face Olivia Wilde's Thirteen on House this season, given that the actress has booked four major film roles, including one of the leads in Cowboys and Aliens and a newly minted role in The Change Up, starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman. “It’s going to be a while unfortunately,” series creator David Shore. told Ausiello. “We love her but it is going to be a while. It’s going to be this season, but well into this season.... She called us up and said she wanted to do [The Change Up]. And it just so happened that what we had worked out storyline-wise allowed her a couple of extra episodes [off]. So that movie just filled in the gap. There were no further adjustments to her schedule as a result of that.” (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Elsewhere, Entertainment Weekly has some further details about Community's upcoming zombie-based Halloween episode. “Knowing too much about this particular plot would ruin it, but I promise it’s an awesome, one-off crazy conceptual episode with plot points and effects that are more familiar to horror film fans than our show’s fans,” said creator Dan Harmon. “We’re going over schedule and over budget to get it right,” he adds. “I’ve had to promise to do a few what I call ‘Bottle Episodes,’ where the group never leaves the library, to make up for it.” (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

NBC has ordered a pilot script for an untitled comedy to star comedian Mo Mandel (Strange Brew). Project, from 3 Arts, will revolve around "what a group of twentysomethings do in the last five years of their lives before the Earth is destroyed by a meteor." (Deadline)

ABC's upcoming weight loss reality series Obese has already received an order for a second season... and will undergo a name change to the less provocative Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. Six episodes are on tap for the second season, which is being slated for sometime in the 2011-12 season, while Season One is being targeted for midseason, possibly with a March launch. Each episode follows a single person over their year-long weight-loss journey. (Variety)

Disney XD will launch new animated superhero series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! on Wednesday, October 20th at 8:30 pm ET/PT. (via press release)

Stay tuned.


Claire Bear said…
Ugh. Glee is becoming the Will & Grace of stunt casting. They should focus on making the show better instead of what star they can get. Someone like Kristin Chenoweth at least makes sense but Gwyneth? Really?

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