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Channel Surfing: Syfy Brings Caprica Back Early, No Heroes Movie, Office Succession Plans, Fringe, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing.

I'm still not entirely sure what to make of the news that Syfy has bumped the premiere of the second half of Caprica's freshman season up by several months. While the series premiere aired this past January, Syfy surprised many by announcing that it would be a year later that the back half of Caprica's first season would launch. Cut to yesterday when Syfy seemingly reversed their decision, announcing a shocking soon launch date--Tuesday, October 5th, in fact--while Sanctuary, which was to have that timeslot, will now move back to Fridays this fall, where it will share the lineup with Friday Night Smackdown. “Though we initially announced the January return of Caprica, we still had hopes of finding a way to get the series back on the air sooner,” Syfy EVP Mark Stern told Deadline's Nellie Andreeva. “We’ve been able to successfully re-work our schedule, and are thrilled to bring the show back during what is traditionally Syfy’s most-watched time of the year." I can't help but wonder whether the move is intended to capitalize on Caprica or it's an effort to bury it among the slew of new network and cable series, given that there's now less than a month to get a promotional campaign off the ground. Hmmm... Meanwhile, still no word on a second season pickup. (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed, Deadline)

File this under "hardly surprising." Entertainment Weekly's Lynette Rice is reporting that NBC is not moving forward on a Heroes telepic that would tie up the loose plot points left dangling after the series ended this spring. Despite NBC's discussion of said film, series creator Tim Kring was less than hopeful that said film--like the ones discussed at HBO for Deadwood--would ever make it to air. Which means that the series finale of Heroes will remain just that: the finale, though Kring and Co. could in future again tap into the mythology of Heroes in some other fashion. [Editor: Was anyone really clamoring for a Heroes movie anyway?] (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider)

The Hollywood Reporter's James Hibberd has a very long feature examining just how NBC will deal with the departure of Steve Carell at the end of the upcoming season of The Office and cites unnamed sources who say that "the final decision likely won’t be made until after the upcoming seventh season wraps," but "by season’s end, you will know who is getting Michael Scott’s job." According to Hibberd, the current strategy is to use the first half of the season to shine a spotlight on specific characters, giving them each a specific episode in which to be the focal point. The second half of the season will focus then on the issue of succession as Carell's Michael Scott makes his plans known for his departure, while NBC will launch online polls and the like designed to make the decision of his replacement interactive. "By season’s end, one character will have Scott’s job — but that person is not necessarily Carell’s replacement as the show’s star," writes Hibberd. "Sources say writers are tempted to have the character who becomes the Scranton branch's new boss fail in some spectacular manner, leaving the seat open again for another successor during Season 8. One radical notion being explored is the possibility of subtly shifting the show’s point of view so that a current character is the star instead of the boss." (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello has a first look at the Season Three cast photo for FOX's Fringe, which features Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Jasika Nicole, and Blair Brown... and a shadowy figure lurking in an open doorway that looks suspiciously like the silhouette of an Observer to me. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

E! Online's Megan Masters talks to Life Unexpected creator Liz Tigelaar about Julia, the mysterious character that Jamie Ray Newman (Eastwick) will be playing on the CW series this fall. "We [introduce] Julia in the premiere, and then we let Cate and Ryan go on with their lives for a little bit. But her name starts coming up again, and Cate's confused about who this person is. We'll actually see some flashbacks of who this person is, and how she knows Ryan," said Tigelaar. "Julia's a person who was an integral person in Ryan's past. He's moved on and is with Cate, but in the course of season one she reappeared and there are repercussions of that. She's definitely lightly threaded into the first 13, and if we get a back nine, she'll be back. She be a character who's going to stir some stuff up for them." (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

It's official: Jennifer Morrison (House) has joined the cast of CBS' How I Met Your Mother, where she will play Zooey, a new love interest for Ted Mosby. Morrison's Zooey, according to Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello, is "a rabble-rousing activist who’s hell-bent on saving the Arcadian, an old New York hotel that’s scheduled to be torn down to make way for the Goliath National Bank tower—which Ted just so happens to be designing." But this won't be another date-of-the-week for Ted, according to the show's producers. "This is going to be a big saga for Ted," Carter Bays told EW. "[It's] going to be a big overarching story that will take Ted on a journey that we’re really excited about." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

HBO has confirmed the launch of Season Three of therapy drama In Treatment, which will kick off with two back-to-back half-hour episodes on Monday, October 25th, and Tuesday, October 26th at 9 pm ET/PT. Subsequent episodes will follow the same scheduling. New cast members include Irrfan Kahn, Debra Winger, Amy Ryan, and Dane DeHaan. (via press release)

American Dad producer Bob Kushell has sold two comedy pitches, animated comedy Red Roofs to FOX and an untitled multi-camera comedy to NBC about a "blended family dealing with the death of the clan's patriarch (who had been living a double life)." (Variety)

Stay tuned.


SamSee said…
Why can't they just let The Office die a quiet corporate death? I'm so happy that Carell is leaving because, although the show was once hilarious, it's now alternately ridiculous and tedious and his talents will go to better use elsewhere!

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