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Channel Surfing: "Primeval" Rescued from Extinction, Sonnenfeld Suits Up for Super-powered Comedy, Stephen King Finds "Haven," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Sci-fi drama series Primeval has been saved from extinction thanks to an unprecedented international co-production deal between Impossible Pictures Limited (IPL), ProSieben, BBC Worldwide (BBCW), ITV, and UKTV. Under the terms of the deal, thirteen new installments of Primeval will be produced for 2011 (the thirteen episodes will comprise two seasons). BBC America will step in to take on a full co-production credit and UKTV will become a first-time investor. Adrian Hodges will again oversee the creative direction of the series, which will feature the return of stars including Hannah Spearritt, Andrew Lee Potts, and Jason Flemyng. " Primeval is one of BBC AMERICA's all time top ten shows and we're thrilled to be co-producing the new season," said BBC America SVP of Programming Richard de Croce. "It’s an innovative deal securing the future of an innovative show - and we can’t wait to bring it back to U.S. fan

Channel Surfing: Neil Patrick Harris Sings Again as "Batman" Villain, Spielberg Woos Wyle for TNT Sci-Fi Pilot, Mohinder Heads to "Psych," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Neil Patrick Harris ( How I Met Your Mother ) won't be reprising his role from Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible but he will be singing in an upcoming episode of Cartoon Network's Batman: The Brave and the Bold slated to air this fall. In the episode, Harris will play villain The Music Meister who "has the power to create song wherever he goes, and he’s trying to dominate the world," according to series executive producer James Tucker. Fans looking to catch an animated glimpse at Harris as the Music Meister should attend the Batman: Brave and the Bold panel at Comic-Con next month, where the entire "Mayhem of the Music Meister!" episode will be screened. ( TV Guide ) Steven Spielberg is said to be wooing Noah Wyle ( ER ) to star in his untitled TNT sci-fi pilot, which, according to Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello, "takes place six months after evil extra terrestrials decimate mankind.&q

Channel Surfing: "Flash Forward" Will Tell Complete Story, Lafayette Speaks, "Lost" Spin-offs "Impossible," ITV Axes "Primeval," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Producers of ABC's upcoming sci-fi series Flash Forward say that the series will offer a complete plot in its first season and will reveal answers in the first season finale. "We know exactly ... what season one is, with great specificity, because at ... the outset, we had to plan the entire season," showrunner/executive producer Marc Guggenheim told SCI FI Wire. "The first season ends with our characters' catching up to their futures. So you can't do that on the fly. I mean, I suppose you could, but I don't think it would be a very satisfying viewing experience for anybody. We made the commitment at the outset [to] plan out the entire first season before we start breaking episode two. So the very first thing we did, apart from ... figuring out character backstories and [all] that—when the time came ... to actually start breaking story, it was, 'OK, how are we going to move the characters from wher

Channel Surfing: FOX Renews "Dollhouse," "Bones" Gets Two Season Pickup, "So You Think You Can Dance" on Tap for Fall, and More

Welcome to (a very early edition of) your Monday morning television briefing on the first day of the 2009 network upfronts. In a surprising twist, FOX has renewed drama series Dollhouse for a second season. Dollhouse , which secured a thirteen-episode order from the network, is expected to remain on Friday evenings next season. Variety 's Cynthia Littleton writes, "The 20th Century Fox TV fantasy drama starring Eliza Dushku has delivered modest but consistent ratings on a low-trafficked night, thanks to Whedon's built-in fan base." It's believed that the renewal was secured after the studio agreed to drastically reduce the series' budget and accept a significantly lower license fee. Just what that decision will mean for the writing staff and cast of Dollhouse remains to be seen. ( Variety ) Good news for Bones fans (even those irked by the season finale's twist): FOX and studio 20th Century Fox Television have signed a deal to renew Bones for not one

Channel Surfing: Shonda Rhimes Talks "Grey's" Twists, FOX Delves into "Past Life," CW Staffing on "Melrose Place" and "Vampire Diaries," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Still reeling from last night's season finale of ABC's Grey's Anatomy ? Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello has an exclusive interview with series creator Shonda Rhimes about some of the shocking plot twists in last night's season ender. Responding to rumors about whether Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight wanted off of Grey's Anatomy and how this impacted their characters' fates, Rhimes said simply, "I don't think there are any coincidences. I think Katherine's stated publicly that she's happy to stay. I think that there have been lots of rumors about TR, but TR's never said anything. Take from it what you will." Rhimes also discusses the fates of Izzie and George, Mer and Der's wedding day, Jessica Capshaw, and a host of other Grey's related issues. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) FOX has given a series order to supernatural drama Past Life (formerly

Channel Surfing: Lindelof on "Lost" Finale, Olyphant Not Leaving "Damages," "Southland" Cast Feeling Positive About Renewal, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Just shortly after the airing of Lost 's 100th episode, The New York Times ' Dave Itzkoff recalls a recent interview with showrunner Damon Lindelof about he and the writing staff are preparing for the end of Lost in May 2010. "I think one of our biggest concerns is reaching the climax of the story too soon – you have to time it right, you have to walk that line between giving a steady supply of story and character pathos and mysteries being answered along the way, so that the audience doesn’t feel like it all comes in one big chunk," said Lindelof. "But then if you do it too soon, they kind of feel like, 'I got everything that I cared about halfway through the season, so why am I still watching?' And it’s terrifying. Finally, we’re going to do it. There’s no excuses, we don’t get to say, 'We didn’t get to end the show on our own terms. They kept us on the air three years longer than we wanted to be

Message from the Action Man: BBC America Pulls "Ashes to Ashes" Season Two, Slots "Primeval" Season Three Instead

Those of you anxious to see Season Two of the Life on Mars sequel series Ashes to Ashes had better hold on to your hats... and sit tight. BBC America, which was slated to launch Season Two of Ashes to Ashes on Saturday, May 2nd, has indicated that it will be delaying the launch date for the second season, instead opting to launch Season Three of sci-fi series Primeval in the Saturdays at 9 pm timeslot. The news comes as a bit of a surprise and was discovered only when BBC America sent out a press release for the launch of Primeval announcing that the series, which stars Douglas Henshall, Jason Flemyng, Lucy Brown, Hannah Spearritt, Andrew Lee Potts, Ben Miller, Laila Rouass, Juliet Aubrey, and Ben Mansfield, would be launching on Saturday, May 16th at 9 pm ET/PT. What it failed to share was that Primeval would be taking over Ashes to Ashes ' current timeslot. Listings services, including TiVo's on-screen guide, Yahoo! TV, and Zap2it, had Ashes to Ashes ' sophomore

BBC America Announces "Being Human" and "Survivors," Season Three of "Primeval"

BBC America has announced three sci-fi dramas that will premiere later this year. The digital cabler has announced that it will air supernatural drama Being Human , a co-production between Touchpaper Television and BBC America that recently launched on BBC Three in the UK, as six one-hour installments. It follows the lives of three roommates in Bristol, a vampire, a werewolf, and a female ghost, all struggling with what it means to be human. Apocalyptic drama Survivors , a remake of the 1970's drama series (itself based on a Terry Nation novel) about the survivors of a worldwide viral holocaust, will air as a 90-minute pilot and five subsequent one-hour installments. BBC America also announced that it had acquired Season Three of ITV's Primeval , comprised of ten one-hour episodes. Full descriptions of the three series, slated to premiere later in 2009, can be found below. BEING HUMAN - U.S. PREMIERE Mixing the mythic with the commonplace, the farcical with the horrific a

From Across the Pond: BBC America's "Primeval"

I'll admit that I was skeptical about the premise for BBC America's latest series offering, Primeval , which launches next weekend on the digital cabler. After all, it is the story of a motley band of scientists who investigate anomalies in time and the strange creatures--both prehistoric and futuristic--which have emerged from these rips in the fabric of time. If it sounds to you vaguely like Torchwood , you'd be correct, though I don't believe it was the Primeval producing team's intent to rip-off the Doctor Who spin-off, which teams with a motley band of, er, adventurers and scientists who investigate anomalies in time and the strange creatures--alien in origin--that have emerged from the rift. But while Torchwood is an incredibly bleak, sex-fueled romp through the underbelly of Cardiff (not to mention the entire Doctor Who mythos), Primeval is just the opposite: at times impossibly sunny and inoffensive, it's an action/adventure series for the entire