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McKidd to Seattle Grace?

One of the biggest disappointments last season was that NBC's trippy sci-fi/time travel/romantic drama Journeyman failed to pay off the promise in its pilot and, after sliding ratings, was canned after twelve episodes. I had predicted that Journeyman would be a breakout series for lead Kevin McKidd ( Rome ) but he's been pretty quiet since the drama was axed at the end of last year. So what is McKidd up to these days? Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello (still can't get used to saying that) claims that McKidd is in talks with the producers of ABC's ratings juggernaut Grey's Anatomy to join the cast as a doctor who signs up at Seattle Grace after a stint with the army in Iraq. I'm thrilled to see McKidd working and think that the producers may have cannily cast him in an effort to bring his diverse fans to Grey's Anatomy . While I think he'll be a good fit for the medical series, I do wish that the producers on another ABC drama had managed

StrikeWatch: And... It's Over

It's official: the WGA strike, which began November 5th, has finally come to a close, following a member vote overwhelmingly in favor of ending the strike (92.5% to be precise) and getting back to work during the official ten-day ratification process. You can literally hear the sound of relief echoing through Hollywood today as writers return to their keyboards to try to pound out as many scripts as possible in time to salvage the 2007-08 season. "Our membership has voted, and writers can go back to work," said WGA West President Patric Verrone in a statement. "This was not a strike we wanted, but one we had to conduct in order to win jurisdiction and establish appropriate residuals for writing in new media and on the Internet. Those advances now give us a foothold in the digital age. Rather than being shut out of the future of content creation and delivery, writers will lead the way as TV migrates to the Internet and platforms for new media are developed." S

"Journeyman" Creator Deal Axed at 20th Century Fox

It's not looking too good for Dan Vassar right now. On what the Hollywood Reporter has deemed Black Monday, the studios axed dozens of overall deals yesterday, utilizing the force majeure clause and blaming the writers strike for the cancellation of the pacts. Among those with their deals terminated: Hugh Jackman (whose Seed Prods had signed a multi-year deal at CBS Paramount), Rene Echevarria ( The 4400 ), Greg Yaitanes ( Drive ), Barbie Adler ( My Name is Earl ), Kristin Newman ( How I Met Your Mother ), Alex Herschlag ( Will & Grace ), among many, many others. The news of these terminations, from NBC Universal, 20th Century Fox, CBS Paramount, and Warner Bros Television, came after ABC Studios gutted nearly 30 overall deals on Friday. In each of these cases, the studios mostly went after writers, producers, and directors (as well as multi-hypenates) with no active projects. Bad news then for fans of Journeyman , whose creator Kevin Falls received word yesterday via a te

"Journeyman" to Make Final Journey; "Big Shots" Downed?

Things are not looking too good for Dan Vassar. NBC had until yesterday to give a full-season pickup to its time-travel drama Journeyman but instead quietly let the option lapse , a move which has likely all but killed the Kevin McKidd-starring drama about a family man who discovers that he can travel to the past, where he encounters his dead fiancee, who also happens to be a traveler. Journeyman did manage to complete production on its 13-episode initial order and the Peacock plans to air the final two installments next week (Monday and Wednesday evenings, if you're keeping score). The news of Journeyman 's likely demise comes just shortly after full-season pickups for fellow freshman series Life and Chuck . ( Chuck 's Monday night at 8 pm timeslot will be taken over by reality revival American Gladiators come January and NBC recently tested out procedural Life in Journeyman 's soon-to-be-vacated timeslot.) The jury is still out on the fate of Bionic Woman , t

End of the Road for "Journeyman"?

It goes without saying that NBC's time-traveling drama Journeyman has taken quite a hit in the ratings since it launched earlier this season. With only its initial order completed before the WGA strike began, it's always been suspected that Journeyman would wrap its freshman season earlier. In an interview with Premium Hollywood , Journeyman creator Kevin Falls ( The West Wing ) admitted that it was possible the series would end with its twelfth episode, given the series' low ratings. "Episode 12 is the end of our order," said Falls. "And let's not kid ourselves. It's a longshot that we would get a back nine, given the strike and our questionable numbers." Falls went on to say that the episode in question was written in a way that would tie up some dangling plot lines as well as leave the door open for the series to continue, should the Peacock look kindly upon the struggling drama, which Falls says is in a "much better place" cr

Peacock Spreads Wings (And Script Orders)

A few freshman series got a slight vote of confidence from their respective networks. NBC has ordered three additional scripts for each of its new dramas, including Chuck , Journeyman , Bionic Woman , and Life . While it's not quite the back nine order that I've been hoping for (especially in the case of Chuck ), it's definitely a step in the right direction. CBS, meanwhile, extended the order for four additional scripts from its primetime soap Cane . So far the CW's Gossip Girl has been the only freshman drama to receive a full season pickup, despite a staggering 30 percent drop in viewership between the series opener and second episode. Given the immediacy of the strike situation (nearly everyone--myself included--now believes that the strike is definitely happening), I am surprised that the networks aren't handing out additional script orders--even as many as nine--left and right. There's no guarantee that these scripts will ever be shot but, given the l

Talk Back: NBC's "Chuck" and "Journeyman"

NBC launched several of its new fall series last night, including dramas Chuck and Journeyman . Now that you've seen the pilot episodes of both series, what were your reactions to both series? And how did my original advance reviews of the pilots (found here for Chuck and here for Journeyman respectively) live up to the hype? Which series has joined your TiVo Season Pass list and which, well, has fallen right off of it? Discuss in brutal and/or glowing terms right here.

NBC Shifts "Chuck" to Mondays, Unveils Revised Fall Schedule

I can't say that I'm surprised that NBC has reconfigured its fall lineup, in the wake of Ben Silverman's appointment at the network but I am pleasantly surprised to see that the Peacock has taken Chuck , one of my new favorite fall dramas, slightly out of the line of fire and moved it to another night. Chuck , from Warner Bros. Television and creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak, will now kick off Monday nights at 8 pm, joining returning drama Heroes at 9 pm, which leads into new fall drama Journeyman at 10 pm. Hmmm, Chuck , Heroes , and Journeyman in a row? Could NBC have cracked a way to keep audience tune-in on Mondays? Only time will tell but I think it's a wonderful combination that should have been devised from the get-go. Meanwhile, Deal or No Deal , which had occupied that Monday night timeslot, will relocate to Fridays, which also gets a makeover, as well. Deal or No Deal kicks off the night at 8 pm, followed by a relocated Friday Night Lights at 9 p

Pilot Inspektor: NBC's "Journeyman"

What is it exactly that sparks our imagination when it comes to time travel? Is the notion of traveling beyond our lifetimes to catch a glimpse of a future world, unfettered by the bonds of our mortality? Or is the sense that we all would love a chance to travel backwards in time and get a shot and fixing the wrongs in our own lives? In NBC's new fall series, Journeyman , Dan Vassar (Rome's Kevin McKidd) gets an opportunity to do the latter when he finds himself unwittingly traveling back in time to points within his own life. It's the first time travel story on television that I can think of that doesn't use a time machine (thank god!); instead the wherefores and hows of Dan's ability are left a mystery... for now, anyway. Created by Kevin Falls ( The West Wing ), Journeyman deftly manages to combine several different genres--sci fi, relationship drama, action, romance--into one slickly produced package that is beautifully directed by Alex Graves ( The Nine ). T