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San Diego Comic-Con 2010 Diary: Day One

Apologies for not writing or tweeting yesterday during the first official day of San Diego Comic-Con. I was stuck in the cavernous expanse of the behemoth Hall H all day yesterday (yes, from waiting in line at 8 am until I left Hall H at 7 pm last night) and had limited internet connectivity and no access to Twitter. (Thank you, AT&T, for making the first day of SDCC so bloody unbearable.) But while internet issues were a headache, the day was actually quite a lot of fun. I spent the day covering the various film panels that were going on for The Daily Beast's Cheat Sheet , firing off small news items about such films as Megamind, Tron: Legacy, Salt, The Expendables, RED, Scott Pilgrim , and the Entertainment Weekly Visionaries panel for J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon. While there wasn't much in the way of news emanating from the latter (other than Joss "officially" confirming that he is directing The Avengers ), it was a blast to see these two genius creators in

Neil Patrick Harris: "Glee" Club Survivor?

More information is trickling out about Neil Patrick Harris' upcoming guest turn on FOX's musical-comedy Glee this May. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Harris will play Bryan Adam, a former glee glee club nemesis of Matthew Morrison's Will, who is now as a William McKinley High board member in the episode, to be directed by Buffy creator Joss Whedon. Citing an unnamed Glee insider, Ausiello goes on to report that the high school feud between Harris' Bryan Adam and Morrison's Will will be depicted via flashbacks which will show the two as rivals for solos and girls as teenagers... and that animosity has carried over into adulthood, where Bryan is now looking to cut the arts program. "Show choir ruined his life, made him feel he could be a star, but all he could do is book Carnival cruises,” the unnamed Glee insider told Ausiello. "Now he wants vengeance." I'm happy to add some further details to Ausiello'

Channel Surfing: Julianne Moore in Demand, Whedon Talks "Dr. Horrible," Flockhart to Cut Back on "Brothers," "House" Spinoff Possible, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Could Julianne Moore become the lead of the US adaptation of crime series Prime Suspect ? If NBC gets their way, she very well could be. Moore is being pursued by NBC for the remake of the Helen Mirren-starring British series as well as ABC to star in another remake: this time Scoundrels , based on Kiwi series Outrageous Fortune . Moore has some competition for the Prime Suspect gig as Maria Bello has also been approached about starring in the remake as well as starring in Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama pilot Chase , which has offers out to Bello, Tea Leoni, and Christina Applegate. Other in-demand stars this pilot season: Matt Dillon, Jason Isaacs, Michael Chiklis, and Josh Lucas. ( Hollywood Reporter ) E! Online's Megan Masters has an interview with Joss Whedon, in which the Dr. Horrible creator talks about the possibility of a sequel, directing FOX's Glee , Neil Patrick Harris, and more. "We very much want to

I've Got a Feeling: Joss Whedon to Meet with FX President

Could Joss Whedon's next series project end up at FX? Signs are pointing towards the remote possibility at least, following comments made by FX President John Landgraf at today's Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena. While there are no deals in place and no project necessarily on the table, Whedon is set to meet with Landgraf in a few weeks' time. "Actually his representatives called and scheduled a lunch," said Landgraf when asked about Whedon possibly developing something for FX. "I think I'm supposed to have lunch with Joss in the next two or three weeks... I have enormous respect for him. And by the way, if you look at Shawn Ryan who created The Shield and is running Terriers , Shawn learned at the feet of Joss Whedon, the Joss Whedon school. (And Carlton Cuse, by the way, as well.) I don't really know Joss, but I'm really looking forward to meeting him. I love his stuff." What do you think? Is cable the right

Channel Surfing: FOX Sends "Dollhouse" to the Attic, ABC Axes "Hank," Syfy Blasts into "Outer Space," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. It's official: FOX has canceled Joss Whedon's metaphysical drama series Dollhouse . The series, which is currently in production on this season's eleventh episode, will finish production and the network is currently expected to air all thirteen installments of the low-rated Friday night drama beginning December 4th. Whedon himself posted on Whedonesque about the cancellation news (which didn't come as a surprise to anyone tracking the ratings) and said, ""I don't have a lot to say. I'm extremely proud of the people I've worked with: my star, my staff, my cast, my crew. I feel the show is getting better pretty much every week, and I think you'll agree in the coming months. I'm grateful that we got to put it on, and then come back and put it on again. I'm off to pursue internet ventures/binge drinking," he wrote. "Possibly that relaxation thing I've read so much about. B

Channel Surfing: One Former "Lost" Star Won't Be Returning, Joss Whedon to Direct "Glee," FOX Gets In Bed with Thieves and Polygamists, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos is reporting that one former castmember of ABC's Lost is holding out against a return to the series for its sixth and final season. "Sources close to ABC's Lost tell me that although most of the original cast—holler!—will be seen in some capacity for the show's upcoming season, one former Lost castmember has turned down an offer to return to the series," writes Dos Santos. "So who is it? Well, you know we can't name names in such cases, but suffice it to say that this is a person you'd assume would very much want to return to the series. According to my moles, offers went out to the original castmembers several weeks ago, and this particular Lost star decided to decline. While some of the other returning Losties have already filmed scenes, this Lost holdout has not been on the set or filmed anything for the series, according to insiders." And, oh, it'

Sweet Little Dolls: An Advance Review of Season Two of "Dollhouse"

I was largely on the fence about the freshman season of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse . Conceptually, I felt that there were some fascinating ideas about identity and perception embedded in the series' overarching concept but I felt that these concepts were often let down by some fundamentally flawed execution on a weekly basis. In other words: I wanted to love the series but I found time and time again that I couldn't. Perhaps it was the regular occurrence of plot holes large and numerous, making Dollhouse resemble something akin to Swiss cheese. The unaired thirteen episode of Dollhouse 's first season, entitled "Epitaph One," did manage to change my feelings about the series; it offered a much darker and edgier version of Dollhouse and imbued the series with a strong throughline and narrative purpose. Given that the episode never aired in the US (and is still only available to screen on the Season One DVD boxset or on iTunes), it will be interesting to see as

Channel Surfing: Whedon Talks "Dollhouse" Season Two, J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Lands FOX Comedy, Amaury Nolasco Leaves "Southland," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Los Angeles Times ' Show Tracker has an interview with Dollhouse creator Joss Whedon about Season Two of the FOX drama series, which returns on Friday. Asked about how malleable the future depicted in the unaired thirteen episode "Epitaph One" is, Whedon said, "We talked about whether it was malleable or not, and right now we pretty much take it as gospel. But then we have a lot of different opinions about how it gets there and who does what. We're fascinated by the implications of this future, and a lot of this season has been guided by it without being so beholden to it that people who didn't see it won't understand. We were incited by the idea that the abuse of power is more widespread than just this one house." ( Los Angeles Times ' Show Tracker ) J.J. Abrams' production shingle Bad Robot has landed a pilot presentation order from FOX for a half-hour comedy series that's being

Comic-Con Update: 20th Century Fox Announces Panels, Talent For SDCC Next Month

After weeks of anticipation (and speculation), 20th Century Fox has finally announced which series they will be bringing down to San Diego Comic-Con next month. The unusual suspects-- 24, Bones, Dollhouse, The Simpsons --are all going to be on hand to present cast and producer panels throughout the weekend but the studio has also announced panels for Glee, Cleveland Show, American Dad , and Futurama to boot. Meanwhile, such boldface names as Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Anil Kapoor, Freddie Prinze, Jr. Katee Sackhoff, Joss Whedon, Eliza Dushku, David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Matt Groening, Seth MacFarlane, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, and the cast of Glee will be on hand as well. The full press release from 20th Century Fox Television can be be found below, along with dates and times (and descriptions) of each of their panels. TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX TELEVISION BRINGS NINE SHOWS TO COMIC-CON Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Anil Kapoor, Freddie Prinze, Jr. Katee Sackho

Pendragon Aflight: Anthony Head Talks "Ripper," "Buffy," "Merlin"

Wonder just what ever happened to Joss Whedon's Buffy prequel Ripper ? Speaking on a press call last week to promote his new series Merlin (which launches later this month on NBC), former Buffy star Anthony Head addressed some questions about that long-stalled Ripper project, plans which Head says were "sideswiped by Dollhouse ." Head, who plays Uther Pendragon on the NBC/BBC series, was candid about the likelihood of donning Rupert Giles' specs for another go-around as the much-beloved Watcher, created by Joss Whedon. " Ripper is a kind of a - it's a funny old thing," said Head. "Whether it ever gets made or not... if it does ever get made, I'll probably be an octogenarian by the time it does. But it is something I actually introduced Joss to [ Doctor Who producer] Julie Gardner, who was a producer with the BBC. She has long wanted to do something with the project. There are obviously complications with Ripper because there are lots o

Channel Surfing: Westfeldt and Boyd Clock in for "24," Grillo-Marxuach Bound for "Day One," "Doctor Who" Feature in Development, "Buffy," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Jennifer Westfeldt ( Grey's Anatomy ) and John Boyd ( The Notorious Bettie Page ) have been cast in Day Eight of FOX drama series 24 . Westfeldt will recur as journalist Meredith Reed, an ambitious writer who has ties to Middle East leader Arman Hashemi (Anil Kapoor), who arrives in the U.S. on a peacemaking mission. Boyd, meanwhile, will be a series regular and will play CTU analyst Jonah Schwartz. ( Hollywood Reporter ) The Middleman creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach has joined the writing staff of NBC's upcoming sci-fi series Day One, where he will serve as writer/co-executive producer. Also joining the writing staff, according to series creator Jesse Alexander (who broke the news via Twitter): Kings ' Erik Oleson, and Angela Kang. ( io9 ) BBC Films has confirmed that a big screen version of Doctor Who is being developed and that development of a script is currently underway. It's unclear whether inbound showru

Channel Surfing: "Buffy" Feature Sans Whedon, Tennant to Appear on "Sarah Jane Adventures," Sarah Chalke Uncertain about "Scrubs" Return, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Could Buffy be heading back to the big screen... sans Joss Whedon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, or any of the supporting talents that made the franchise a success? Sadly, yes, in what appears to be shaping up as one of the worst ideas of the year. Executive producers Fran and Kaz Kuzui, along with Vertigo Entertainment's Roy Lee and Doug Davison are said to be developing a reboot of the Buffy franchise. (Fran Rubel Kuzui directed the original Buffy feature.) However, said project would not involve characters like Willow, Xander, Angel, or Spike (or, indeed any of the above elements) and would instead focus on a new slayer and would kick off a new franchise. The producers are currently meeting with writers and have not reached out to Joss Whedon about any involvement with the project. ( Hollywood Reporter ) David Tennant will star opposite Elisabeth Sladen in two upcoming episodes of Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures &

Valley of the Dolls, Part Two: Joss Whedon Talks "Man on the Street" and "Needs" Episodes of "Dollhouse"

A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to participate in a press call with Dollhouse creator Joss Whedon, who was answering questions about the series beyond the first initial episodes. As Whedon had promised, Dollhouse would kick into gear with the "game-changing" episode "Man on the Street," which featured Patton Oswalt as a Dollhouse client with a specific need for Echo's skills as an Active. While you were able to read the first part of the Dollhouse interview with Whedon here , I had to bank certain elements of his answers until the last three episodes had aired. Below you'll find what wasn't included the first time around as Whedon talks specifically about "Man on the Street" and Friday night's episode of Dollhouse , entitled "Needs." As for why I couldn't include this information the first time around, it's because it's really spoilery. (Or maybe I did include it and just had Topher wipe your memory.) Wi

Valley of the Dolls: Joss Whedon Discusses "Man on the Street" Episode of "Dollhouse"

Tonight's episode of Dollhouse on FOX? It's the Joss Whedon-scripted "Man on the Street," the series' sixth installment and the one episode which many are holding up as the first time the dark drama series really hits its stride. To promote this all-important episode, Dollhouse creator Joss Whedon participated in a conference call with press and answered some questions that were lingering in the minds of both audience members and journalists alike: will we ever see any of the Dollhouse 's employees' personal lives, do some of the engagements (ahem, midwife) that Echo is assigned to make sense, and where's the trademark Whedon sense of humor? Will Whedon really leave television behind for new media? And, yes, Joss addressed all of those questions and more. (You can read Whedon's earlier comments, made prior to Dollhouse 's premiere, here .) Given that tonight's episode, "Man on the Street" better represents Whedon's visio