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The Daily Beast: "Skins Is Not Kiddie Porn!"

There's been a lot of furor in the last few days about MTV's adaptation of British teen drama Skins , particularly whether the show crosses the line into "child pornography." Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled " Skins Is Not Kiddie Porn!" As you might expect from the title, I examine, whether or not, despite the hype, MTV’s Skins breaks child-pornography laws. While I'm of the firm mind that it does not legally do so, I say that the show, a pale imitation of the original, still has plenty to be ashamed of. The conversation reminds me that just because you might disagree with something, or find it to be immoral, doesn't mean that it is in fact illegal. And that the parties who are throwing around the term "child porn" might actually have better things to do with their time: such as actually focusing on preventing and prosecuting distributors, producers, and suppliers of actual child pornography, rather t

Channel Surfing: Ron Moore Gets Wild, Criminal Minds Shakeup, Punk'd Returns with Justin Bieber, Big Love, Dirk Gently, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Hold on to your (ten-gallon) hats: Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Battlestar Galactica 's Ronald D. Moore is said to be developing a remake of The Wild, Wild West , which ran for four seasons in the mid-1960s and starred Robert Conrad and Ross Martin. Project is still in the very early stages, which means not only is there no network attached but Moore has yet to take the project out to networks. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Chris Mundy has left CBS' midseason Criminal Minds spinoff, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and will be replaced by Ed Bernero, who will now oversee both the flagship and spinoff series as showrunner, though he'll lean a little more heavily on Simon Mirren and Erica Messer, who will gain some oversight on Criminal Minds . Mundy's departure from the series was said to be due to the studio deciding that "the spin-off needed more direction

Channel Surfing: TBS Axes My Boys, John Schneider to Wisteria Lane, Top Chef: Just Desserts, Terra Nova, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. It's official: TBS has cancelled comedy My Boys after four seasons. News comes after series stars Jordana Spiro and Kyle Howard had to withdraw from pilots that had been ordered to series due to their first position on the TBS comedy, whose days many suspected were already numbered. According to Variety 's Jon Weisman, roughly 14 months passed between the end of the third season and the beginning of the fourth season, which kicked off in July. One cast member--Jim Gaffigan--left between the seasons. Spiro's role on Love Bites was eliminated when she was unavailable as the show under went some retooling. ( Variety ) Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that John Schneider ( Smallville ) has been cast in a multiple-episode story arc on ABC's Desperate Housewives this season, where he will play the father to Brian Austin Green's Keith, the new handyman/contractor overseeing the remodeling

Channel Surfing: Dark Tower Comes to TV (And Cinemas), Chuck Lands Freddie Krueger, TNT Mines Dallas, The Event, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Deadline's Mike Fleming broke the news yesterday that Universal has landed the rights to Stephen King's massive multiple-novel series "The Dark Tower," and is developing an adaptation that will comprise both a feature film franchise as well as a television series element, an unprecedented use of the two platforms. Ron Howard will direct the first film as well as the first season of the television series that would follow on its heels; likewise both elements will be written by Akiva Goldsman, with Universal Media Studios attached as the studio. The first season of the series would use the same actors and focus on gunslinger Deschain after the events of the film, while the second season would revolve around Deschain's past. “What Peter [Jackson] did [with Lord of the Rings ] was a feat, cinematic history,” Howard told Fleming. “The approach we’re taking also stands on its own, but it’s driven by the material. I

Channel Surfing: Psych Has a Twin Peaks Experience, HBO Orders Apatow/Dunham Pilot, SNL, Modern Family Casts Cam's Mom, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. I'm not even a Psych fan and this made me blissfully happy. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that USA's Psych is staging a Twin Peaks -inspired episode that will also feature original cast members Sheryl Lee, Sherilyn Fenn, Dana Ashbrook, Catherine Coulson, Ray Wise, Lenny Von Dohlen, and Robyn Lively. Um, yes please. The episode, co-written by series star James Roday, will air sometime this fall and will revolve around "a quirky Northern California town that has been rocked by the death of a high school student." Sound familiar? Coulson will even play a "mysterious Woman with Wood," a tongue-in-cheek take on her Log Lady from Twin Peaks . Sign me up. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that HBO has given a pilot order to an untitled comedy written/directed by 24-year-old Lena Dunham ( Tiny Furniture ) and executive produ

Channel Surfing: Kara DioGuardi Leaves Idol, Treadstone Heads to CBS, Ashmore Twins Land Fringe, Glee, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. With the holiday weekend having just wrapped, no one was breaking too much news. Which isn't to say that there are no key television-based headlines, because, well, there are. Let's get to it. It's official: Kara DioGuardi will not be returning to FOX's American Idol this season. The singer-songwriter joined the judges table two years ago and FOX has now confirmed the long-gestating rumors that DioGuardi would not be returning for another season of the musical competition series. "I felt like I won the lottery when I joined American Idol two years ago, but I feel like now is the best time to leave IDOL," said DioGuardi in an official statement. "I am very proud to have been associated with American Idol - it has truly been an amazing experience. I am grateful to FOX, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment, as well as the cast, crew and contestants, for all they have given to me. I look forward to my ne

Channel Surfing: Olivia Munn Tackles Chuck, Scott Porter Investigates The Good Wife, Chris Isaak Could Replace Simon, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. A few things to get through before I hit the road for San Diego and Comic-Con. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Olivia Munn (the newly minted Daily Show correspondent) will guest star on NBC's Chuck this fall when the series returns for its fourth season on September 20th. Munn, who is a series regular on NBC's midseason comedy Perfect Couples , will play "an impossibly cool, smart, and pretty CIA agent who intimidates and schools Chuck and Morgan" in the same installment that features Dolph Lundgren. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) In other scoop, Ausiello writes that former Friday Night Lights star Scott Porter will be joining the cast of CBS' The Good Wife this fall. Porter, whose CW pilot Nomads was not ordered to series, will play Blake, described as "Kalinda’s private-eye counterpart at the D.C. firm that’s merging with Lockhart & Gardner"

Channel Surfing: Laura Vandervoort to Return to Smallville, Terra Nova Comic-Con Confusion, Nikki Finke on Tilda, Doctor Who and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. They have... returned? V star Laura Vandervoort will reprise her role as Kara on the CW's Smallville for the series' tenth and final season, reports Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello. But don't get too excited, Supergirl fans: Vandervoort is only expected to appear in one installment of the Warner Bros. Television-produced superhero drama, scheduled to air in October. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Just what is going on with FOX's Terra Nova at Comic-Con? After the official San Diego Comic-Con 2010 schedule was announced over the last few days, 20th Century Fox Television opted to pull the panel for its upcoming prehistoric/time-travel drama starring Jason O'Mara from the convention. "Since production on the Jason O’Mara starrer isn’t expected to start until September, the producers don’t have any footage to show the fans in San Diego," writes Entertainment Weekly '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 Still Up in the Air, MTV Orders US Skins Series, Lost, True Blood, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that multiple sources have confirmed to him that NBC will be renewing action-comedy Chuck for a fourth season and that "the show has thus far figured into all of the network’s preliminary plans for its May 17 upfront presentation," with Chuck likely to get a thirteen-episode initial order with the possibility of a full season order still in the cards as well. However, co-creator Josh Schwartz hadn't heard anything regarding a renewal as of yet. "That’s news to me," said Schwartz. "I would urge fans to take nothing for granted..." ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) NBC's Angela Bromstad also cautioned fans about reading too much into rumors about Chuck 's future and wouldn't confirm that it had been picked up when speaking with The Hollywood Reporter 's James Hibberd. "It's our highest performing Monday

Channel Surfing: Fringe Musical, Conan Heads to TBS, Ryan Devlin Checks into Grey's, Fred Willard, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello has an exclusive first-look at the upcoming musical episode of FOX's Fringe , set to air April 29th. "We didn’t set out to do a musical," Fringe 's executive producer Jeff Pinkner told Ausiello. "We set out to do an episode that explored Walter’s state of mind — he’s dealing with some very upsetting news. When we realized that the way Walter would deal with such news would be to try to anesthetize himself with copious amounts of marijuana, well, singing and dancing became a natural outcome." [Editor: Hmmm, just what could that "very upsetting news" be?] ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) A rather big speed bump has emerged during the ongoing talks between Conan O'Brien at FOX. Hollywood Reporter 's James Hibberd and Matthew Belloni are reporting that while the negotiations between the former Tonight Show host and FOX have been smo

Channel Surfing: Natalie Morales Joins "Parks and Recreation," Jane Espenson to Write "Game of Thrones" Script, FOX Close to Coco Deal, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Former White Collar co-star (and The Middleman star) Natalie Morales has landed a recurring role on NBC's Parks and Recreation , according to Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello. Morales has signed on to Parks for a multiple-episode story arc in which she will play Lucy, described as "a smart and funny busgirl at a local Pawnee bar." [Editor: Hollywood Reporter 's Nellie Andreeva, meanwhile, indicates that Morales will be appearing "in at least two episodes," the same ones that are set to feature guest stars Rob Lowe and Adam Scott.] ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files , Hollywood Reporter ) The Chicago Tribune 's Maureen Ryan is reporting that Caprica executive producer Jane Espenson--who previously wrote for Battlestar Galactica and Buffy the Vampire Slayer --will write a script for HBO's upcoming fantasy drama series Game of Thrones , based on the George R.R. Martin no