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The Daily Beast: "The Death of Will-They-or-Won't-They"

In recent years, it’s been a given that romantic pairs on television had to be subjected to the will-they or-won't-they dilemma—where couples as clearly in love as Ross-and-Rachel, Sam-and-Diane, or Jim-and-Pam were prevented from jumping into bed together for years, as the writers forced them through increasingly tight narrative hoops. These days, though, it seems like more and more TV couples just will. As writer-producers have sought to surprise the audience, they’re puncturing romantic tropes in the process. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "The Death of Will-They-or-Won't-They," for which I talk to Community ’s Dan Harmon, Parks and Recreation ’s Mike Schur and Greg Daniels, and Bones ’ Hart Hanson about how TV is throwing off that age-old will-they-or-won’t-they paradigm in the post-Jim-and-Pam era.

Channel Surfing: HBO Renews Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order: Criminal Intent to Return, Lone Star DOA, Fringe, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Break open the moonshine! HBO has renewed period drama Boardwalk Empire for a second season, after airing just one episode of the Terence Winter/Martin Scorsese crime drama, which averaged 4.8 million viewers in its premiere broadcast. “All the ingredients aligned for this one, from Mark Wahlberg and Steve Levinson’s initial pitch, to Martin Scorsese’s enormous contributions as director and executive producer, to the genius of Terry Winter and the expertise of Tim Van Patten, to a stellar cast led by Steve Buscemi,” said Michael Lombardo, President of HBO Programming, in a statement. “The response from the media and our viewers has been nothing short of amazing.” (via press release) In other renewal news, USA has finally closed a deal to renew Law & Order: Criminal Intent for a tenth and final season of eight episodes, with original series lead Vincent D'Onofrio set to reprise his role as Detective Robert Goren, while p

The Daily Beast: "Fall TV Preview: Grey's Anatomy, Dexter, 30 Rock and More"

With so many new fall series premiering over the next two weeks, it's possible to forget that some of our favorites are heading back to the airwaves as well. Can’t remember how Grey’s Anatomy or 30 Rock ended? Head over to the Daily Beast to read my latest feature, "Here Comes the TV Season!" , in which I round-up 13 cliffhangers for returning shows—and offer previews of what’s to come. (It goes without saying: minor SPOILERS aheads.) The series in question? Oh, the usual suspects, including Dexter, The Good Wife, Fringe, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Chuck, Private Practice, Brothers and Sisters, Friday Night Lights, Bones, Community, Castle , and 30 Rock , presented in order of premiere dates. (Which means Chuck is up first.) Plus, you can watch video previews for all 22 new network series , to boot. Which returning series are you most excited about watching this fall? Head to the comments section to discuss.

Channel Surfing: Bones Bounces Sabato, Sam Page Lands Gossip, SOA's Hunnam Talks Season 3, Victor Webster to Castle, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. TV Guide Magazine 's Will Keck is reporting that Bones producers have turned lemons into lemonade with their upcoming Jersey Shore -inspired episode, following the breakdown in talks with The Situation. Instead, Bones has recruited Antonio Sabato Jr. to play a "guido bouncer at a Jersey Shore club that Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz) visit to question someone involved with a murder." ( TV Guide Magazine ) Mad Men 's Sam Page is heading to the Upper East Side, according to Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello, who reports that Page has been cast in a multiple-episode story arc on the CW's Gossip Girl , where he will play a new love interest for Blake Lively's Serena. He's first expected to turn up in an episode slated to air in October. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) The Chicago Tribune 's Maureen Ryan--soon to be AOL's chief television critic--has

Channel Surfing: Glee Finale Secrets, USA Gets Common Law, Sarah Drew Promoted on Grey's Anatomy, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos caught up with Glee 's Jane Lynch, co-creator Brad Falchuk, and executive producer Dante Di Loreto to discuss five secrets from the Glee season finale, including the fact that the smooch between Will (Matthew Morrison) and Emma (Jayma Mays) wasn't scripted ("Her reaction is totally real," he said), no tear enhancers were used, Jonathan Groff and Idina Menzel may return next season, the writers deserve an Emmy (according to Lynch), and Sue Sylvester won't be turning all mushy next season. [Editor: personally, I thought the Glee season finale was pretty weak, coasting by on sentimentality rather than genuine--or earned--emotion. But I've found that to be true throughout the first season.] ( E! Online's Watch with Kristin ) USA has given a cast-contingent pilot order to buddy/cop comedy Common Law , which revolves around two LAPD officers--Wes and Travis--whose once-s

Channel Surfing: ABC Clarifies Lost Wreckage Shots, Julie Benz to Return to Dexter, Friday Night Lights Heads to ABC Family and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. The Los Angeles Times 's Maria Elena Fernandez is reporting that the final shots of the Oceanic Flight 815 wreckage that accompanied the closing credits of the series finale of Lost were not placed there by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, but rather by ABC executives who wanted to "soften the transition from the moving ending of the series to the 11 p.m. news and never considered that it would confuse viewers about the actual ending of the show," according to Fernandez. ABC went on to release a statement to confirm this fact. "The images shown during the end credits of the Lost finale, which included shots of Oceanic 815 on a deserted beach, were not part of the final story but were a visual aid to allow the viewer to decompress before heading into the news," said an ABC spokesperson in a statement. [Editor: I am hoping this finally puts an end to the misread of the series' ending, as some have taken

Channel Surfing: Chuck Renewal Prognosis Improved, Sarah Wayne Callies Hunts The Walking Dead, Conan, Castle, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Could it be that things are looking up for Chuck ? Deadline.com's Nellie Andreeva breaks down the current on the bubble series at the broadcast networks, including NBC's Chuck . "Last year, NBC’s Chuck got an 11th hour reprieve, clinching a partial 3rd-season order on Sunday afternoon before upfront week," writes Andreeva. "This time around, its fate will be decided earlier if the show’s producers get their way. Several days ago, creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak pitched NBC their vision for Season 4 and producing studio Warner Bros asked the network for a quick resolution so the series could keep its writing staff. Even with NBC brass happy with their drama development, the spy dramedy’s chances of renewal are considered very good -- and certainly a lot better than last year when a sponsorship deal with Subway sealed the renewal. With the show rising in the ratings this week and fans staging rallies tom

Channel Surfing: Matthew Weiner Wants Six Seasons of Mad Men, More Breaking Bad (?), Lost, Doctor Who, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Looks like we're at the halfway point for AMC's Mad Men , at least according to creator Matthew Weiner. Speaking at last week's National Association of Broadcasters, Weiner stated that he would like to wrap up the period drama after six seasons as he couldn't see the series, produced by Lionsgate Television, going past that point. [Editor: Personally, I think that this is a good thing as an end date would allow Weiner to not only go out on a high note but begin planning the back half of the series' run while knowing just when it will end, much like Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse had requested an end date for Lost /] ( The Weekly Blend via The Wrap's Weekly Blend ) Elsewhere at AMC, The Wrap's Josef Adalian is reporting that Breaking Bad is likely to be back on the cabler for a fourth season, following news that executive producers were told that the series is ready for a renewal. However, there is curr

Channel Surfing: ABC Renews "Castle," "Fringe" Producers Talk Parallel Universe, "30 Rock" Lands Matt Damon, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Nathan Fillion fans, rejoice! ABC yesterday announced that it had ordered a full third season for procedural drama Castle , picking up the Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic-led series for a full season of 22 episodes. The pickup came a day after Castle hit a ratings high (14.5 million total viewers and 3.7/10 in the key demo) and as well as broke a record for scripted series at ABC on Mondays at 10 pm ET/PT and its best key demo ratings in the timeslot since 2001. (via press release) Meanwhile, The Wrap's Josef Adalian has a quick Q&A with ABC chief Steve McPherson about Castle 's renewal. "We all believed, on both the production side and the network side, we believed in the creative on this show from the get-go," McPherson told Adalian. "We loved the casting, we loved Andrew (Marlowe, executive producer) and the work he was doing on the story-telling. It's a great story of patience. It's good to

Channel Surfing: Michael Trucco to "Castle," More "Doctor Who" on Tap, Nestor Carbonell Talks "Lost," Skeet Ulrich Returns to CBS, "24," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Battlestar Galactica 's Michael Trucco--next seen on ABC's V this spring--hs signed on for a multiple-episode story arc on ABC's Castle. Trucco will play a new love interest for Stana Katic's Beckett in the final four episodes of this season and is described as a "charismatic cop in the homicide division." Ausiello also indicates that, if the character clicks with the audience, he could return next season. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) BBC has ordered a sixth season of sci-fi series Doctor Who , which will once again feature Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. The broadcaster confirmed that Smith will return for Season Six of Doctor Who and that a Christmas special, written by new head writer/executive producer Steven Moffat, is on tap for this winter. ( Broadcast ) TVGuide.com's Natalie Abrams talks with Lost 's Nes

Channel Surfing: Time is Up for "24," Keri Russell Circles "Wilde Kingdom," Adam Scott Talks "Parks and Recreation," "Lie to Me," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. While FOX and 20th Century Fox Television won't comment, Variety 's Michael Schneider is reporting that it appears that Day Eight of 24 will be the series' last. A final decision on the fate of the Kiefer Sutherland-led serialized drama will be made in the next day or so but it's not looking as though 24 will continue for a ninth season, at least at FOX. "The studio is said to be considering shopping 24 to other nets -- but given the thriller's age and pricetag, it's believed interest from other outlets will be limited," writes Schneider. "Yet even as the bell tolls for 24 in primetime, the franchise is far from dead. Sutherland and the 24 team have been keen on adapting the show as a feature film, and have made major strides in recent months toward making that long-term goal a reality." ( Variety ) In quite possibly one of the best pieces of casting news around, Keri Russell ( Fel

Channel Surfing: "Lost" Producers Talk Candidates, Nolte Circles HBO's "Luck," Cavanagh Lands "Edgar Floats," Delany Deal Done for "Body," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. TVGuide.com's Natalie Abrams talks to Lost executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse about candidates, numbers, and the flash-sideways. "The concept of the candidates is really central to the final season of the show," Cuse told Abrams. "Jacob is dead so that leaves a significant problem for the people on the island. Who is destined to be the person who is protecting this place?" Lindelof went further, stating that we'll get answers in the next few weeks about why these particular people have been brought to the island. "One of the big questions of this show is: Why were these people brought to this island?" said Lindelof. "At least now we have some sense — if Jacob is responsible for bringing them there — that it has something to do with the fact that he's been observing them for quite some time. We now have information that he had this lighthouse, that he was ab

Channel Surfing: Adam Scott Heads to "Parks and Rec," "Rome" Heads to Big Screen, "Smallville Renewed," "Lost" Returnee, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Los Angeles Times ' Denise Martin is reporting that Party Down star Adam Scott is heading to NBC's Parks and Recreation , where he is slated to turn up in the final episodes of the season... alongside Rob Lowe, in fact. [Editor: could their sudden appearances in Pawnee be linked?] Scott, who will serve as as a series regular for Parks ' third season, has also signed a first-look deal with NBC and Universal Media Studios, under which he will develop new series projects. Parks and Recreation co-creator Mike Schur described Scott as "brilliant and funny -- and he's funny in a lot of different ways. There just aren't that many people with a comedic range that spans Step Brothers to Party Down ." As for Party Down fans worried that this would mean the end of Henry Pollard, Martin reports that "Scott said he'd be open to coming back to reprise his role should "Party Down" be renewed.&quo