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The Daily Beast: "TV's New Prostitute Fixation"

When Mad Men 's Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) received her indecent proposal this season on the AMC period drama, viewers were sharply divided about her actions within the controversial and polarizing episode. But Hendricks' Harris is emblematic of a larger trend within television this year: the virtual proliferation of prostitutes within scripted dramas. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "TV's New Prostitute Fixation," in which I examine the sudden proliferation of prostitutes on television, from Game of Thrones and Crimson Petal to True Blood and Copper , and what may be behind the trend. On BBC America’s period drama Copper, which premiered on Sunday, the first person encountered by Kevin Corcoran, the 19th century New York City policeman played by Tom Weston-Jones, is a child prostitute who promptly offers to “pleasure” him in exchange for coin. No more than 10 years old, Copper’s Annie (Kiara Glasco) acts as a conduit t

The Daily Beast: "Fall TV Report Card: The Winners and Losers"

With the 2011-12 television season in full swing and the cancellation orders stacking up, Jace Lacob rounds up the season’s winners ( Revenge ! Homeland !), losers ( Man Up! Whitney! ), and draws. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest story, "Fall TV Report Card: The Winners and Losers," in which I offer up not a critic's list, or a Best of 2011 TV list, but a business story selecting the winners and losers (as well as draws) for the first half of the 2011-12 television season. (Those selections are in the gallery.) With the 2011-12 television season well underway, it’s become increasingly clear that this isn’t the best fall the broadcasters have ever had. Back in May, when the networks touted their new offerings to advertisers, it appeared they were trying to take some risks with their programming. But the opposite is true: most of those shows featured what the networks hoped were built-in audiences for retro brand settings ( Pan Am ! The Playboy Club !)

Death Takes a (Long) Holiday: Thoughts on Starz's Torchwood: Miracle Day

When we last saw Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) and Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), they had managed to save the world from a menacing alien incursion that threatened to harvest the world's child population. While Team Torchwood managed to save the day, it came once more at a heavy price: the loss of team member Ianto, the sacrifice of Jack's own grandson, and the discovery that Gwen herself was pregnant. Jack took off for the stars, while Gwen went into hiding. Pyrrhic victories are something of Torchwood 's stock-in-trade, really. The spinoff of Doctor Who , which originally launched in 2006 on BBC Three (and on BBC America here in the States), is far less sunny than its predecessor, more concerned with the darkness of both the extraterrestrial threats to the planet and to that inside its alien hunters. This is a series that revolves around some inherently flawed, damaged individuals who are constantly forced to make some tough choices. It naturally then inhabits the g

The Daily Beast: "Torchwood Heads to America"

With Torchwood: Miracle Day , the British cult sci-fi drama travels across the pond to investigate a global conspiracy. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Torchwood Heads to America," in which I visit the Los Angeles set of the BBC/Starz series (a spinoff of the venerable British science fiction drama Doctor Who ), which premieres July 8 in the U.S., and sit down for breakfast with creator Russell T. Davies. Plus, allow Russell T. Davies to bring you up to speed on who’s who in among Torchwood: Miracle Day 's cast of characters . Torchwood: Miracle Day begins Friday, July 8th at 10 pm ET/PT on Starz.

The Daily Beast: "Summer 2011 TV Preview: 15 Reasons to Watch TV This Summer"

We’re starting our summer at a bit of a disadvantage: there is no new season of Mad Men to look forward to this year, as we’ll have to wait until March 2012 to find out what happens to Don Draper and the other staffers at Draper Cooper Sterling Pryce. It’s enough to put a damper on anyone’s television-viewing this summer, but there are still some bright points amid a series of repeats and burn-offs like NBC’s Love Bites . (Seriously, avoid that one like you would the plague.) Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled "Summer 2011 TV Preview: 15 Reasons to Watch TV This Summer," in which I round up what’s new and noteworthy on the telly in the coming months, from True Blood and Torchwood: Miracle Day to British period drama The Hour and the return of Damages and Breaking Bad . All in all, 15 reasons to come in from the warmth of the summer evening and sit down on the couch for a few hours. What are you most excited about heading to the small scr

Day of the Dead: Inside Torchwood: Miracle Day

On Friday, Russell T Davies, Eve Myles, Bill Pullman, and Mekhi Phifer gathered at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour to tease some details about Starz/BBC's upcoming Torchwood launch, which had been codenamed Torchwood: The New World . Up until now, very little information had been available about the ten-episode project, which is set to air Stateside on Starz beginning July 1st, airing day-and-date with the United Kingdom. John Barrowman's Captain Jack and Eve Myles' Gwen Cooper were back, some new characters were in the mix (look for Pullman, Phifer, Dichen Lachman, and others), and the action would be split between Cardiff and the United States. So just what is this new season about? And how is it connected to Torchwood: Children of Earth ? Read on. For one thing, the title isn't Torchwood: The New World , but rather Torchwood: Miracle Day and the plot revolves around a very strange set of circumstances that connect both to the fate of the pl

Channel Surfing: Incredible Hulk to Smash ABC, Wentworth Miller Spies Spartacus, HBO Eyes Tea Leoni, Weeds' Shane, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Hulk smash... TV? The Hollywood Reporter 's James Hibberd and Brys Kit are reporting that ABC and Marvel are developing a television series based on comic "The Incredible Hulk," which was previously a 1978-82 television series that starred Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. Hulk is one of two projects, along with Cloak and Dagger (which is said to be in development at ABC Family), that Marvel Studios has in development, though the company is also said to be looking at other properties to develop as series, including Heroes for Hire, The Eternals, Agents of Atlas, Alter Ego, Moon Knight, The Hood, Ka-Zar, Daughters of the Dragon, and The Punisher , the latter of which is said to also be high on Marvel's radar, possibly as a cable series. [Editor: The story, however, fails to discern between several properties, which it has erroneously merged into single entities.] ( Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed ) Entertainme

Channel Surfing: Full Season for Raising Hope, Outlaw Arrested, Mary-Lynn Rajskub to Modern Family, The Office Has Glee, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. While the focus so far this season has been on early cancellations, FOX yesterday announced the first full season pickup for this woeful fall season, granting comedy Raising Hope a 22-episode order. News comes a week after the network axed drama Lone Star after just two episodes. "With Raising Hope , Greg Garcia captures a smart take on the working-class family with a great mix of wild comedy and a big dose of heart," said Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly. "The show is running like a Swiss clock, and we're very happy with how well audiences have responded so far -- so we're confident it will build an even bigger audience throughout the season." Meanwhile, the fate of timeslot lead-out Running Wilde is still very much up in the air. ( Variety ) The news wasn't so good for the crew of NBC's struggling freshman drama Outlaw , as the production grinded to a halt after three low-rated inst

Channel Surfing: Starz to Recast Spartacus, Warehouse 13 Renewed, Mad Men's John Slattery to 30 Rock, Glee, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. It was only a matter of time, really. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello (who is soon to depart the magazine/website ) is reporting that Starz has begun the search for a replacement for Spartacus ' Andy Whitfield, who was forced to drop out of the production due to a recurrence of cancer. "According to the just-released casting notice, producers are searching for a Caucasian male in his mid to late 30s to play the 'smart, intense, passionate' title role," writes Ausiello. "Interested parties must have an authentic British accent and be prepared to sign a three-year contract." ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) The Hollywood Reporter 's James Hibberd is reporting that Syfy has renewed Warehouse 13 for a third season, with 13 episodes on tap for next season. Additionally, Jack Kenny will remain aboard the series as the showrunner and has signed a development deal with the cab

Channel Surfing: ABC Axes My Generation, David E. Kelley to Tackle Wonder Woman, Spartacus, Lara Flynn Boyle, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. And another one bites the dust. The axe has fallen on Noah Hawley's drama My Generation , which was cancelled by ABC after just two episodes. Production has come to a screeching halt on the series, which debuted to more than 5 million viewers in its initial airing and then plummeted a staggering 31 percent for the second episode. ABC has yet to announce a replacement for My Generation , which had the Thursday evening at 8 pm ET/PT timeslot. News comes on the heels of FOX's decision to can Lone Star after two airings, while all eyes are on ABC's Whole Truth and NBC's Outlaw , which mark the two most likely targets for cancellation, should ratings not improve. ( Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed ) Better fire up that invisible plane: The Hollywood Reporter 's James Hibberd and Borys Kit are reporting that Warner Bros. Television is said to be developing a modern-day take on DC Comics' Wonder Woman for

Channel Surfing: Summer Glau to Chuck, Zucker's Replacement Named at NBCU, Starz Considers Spartacus Options, Community, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Summer Glau ( Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles ) is set to guest star on NBC's Chuck this season, where she will turn up in the eighth episode as the latest Greta, the rotating CIA/NSA joint intelligence task force agent assigned to the Buy More. Glau, who stars in NBC's midseason action drama The Cape , follows in the footsteps of Olivia Munn, Stacy Keibler, and Isaiah Mustafa. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Jeff Zucker is out and Steve Burke is in. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts' right-hand man Burke, will succeed Jeff Zucker as CEO of NBC Universal once the merger deal--valued at $30 billion--is completed. Zucker announced that he would be stepping down from the position on Friday once the merger transaction is closed. "Steve Burke is an experienced, talented and visionary leader with over 25 years in the media and entertainment ind

Channel Surfing: J.J. Abrams Shops Emerson/O'Quinn Show, Linda Hamilton Talks Chuck, Spartacus, Community, True Lies, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Could Lost 's Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson be headed back your televisions? If J.J. Abrams gets his way, they'll be reuniting for a drama project--tentatively entitled Odd Jobs --that Abrams, along with Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, are pitching to the networks. Vulture's Josef Adalain is reporting that the drama, which will also contain a large amount of humor, revolves around "former black-ops agents." It's unknown whether the project is based on any part on the idea that Emerson and O'Quinn had floated a while back in which they'd play suburban hit men. But the fact that Abrams' Bad Robot--and possibly by association Warner Bros. Television--is behind Odd Jobs (or whatever it might eventually be called), is a good sign that the project will at least be picked up to pilot. ( Vulture ) AOL Television's Maureen Ryan talks to Linda Hamilton about her role as Mary Elizabeth Bartows

Risen Mitten: Torchwood Nails Down Writing Staff for Season Four

Good news for Torchwood fans: pre-production on the fourth season of Torchwood seems to be moving apace, with production set for January in the United Kingdom and North America. Overseen by Russell T Davies, Season Four of Torchwood --will will be titled Torchwood: The New World , according to publicity reports I've seen--has shored up its writing staff for the series, which is set to kick off next summer on Starz and BBC One. According to The Chicago Tribune 's Maureen Ryan , Davies will write several episodes out of the ten-installment season and has hired some noteworthy scribes to join him in the hub, including Caprica 's Jane Espenson (who is also contributing a script to HBO's Game of Thrones ), John Shiban ( Breaking Bad ), Doris Egan ( House ), and original-flavor Torchwood 's John Fay. The new season of Torchwood , if you couldn't tell from the subtitle, will have more of an international feel than the previous seasons, where the action was more or

Channel Surfing: Josh Jackson Ponders Vampire Diaries, Lone Star, Blue Bloods BTS Drama, James Marsters' Torchwood Dreams, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Quite a fair amount of headlines and stories to get through today, so let's get cracking! E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos is reporting that Joshua Jackson is possibly contemplating making a trip to Mystic Falls next season. The Fringe star is said to be weighing a possible guest stint on the CW's Vampire Diaries . "We talked about it," said Jackson about a conversation he had with Kevin Williamson at Comic-Con. "It turns out that he's not making a comedy with Vampire Diaries and it might be too inside baseball comedy if I popped up. But who knows... They're all too handsome." Meanwhile, was Dos Santos able to get any clues about Season Three of Fringe out of Pacey-Con's Jackson? "It picks up literally where it left off last year," said Jackson, "and our show just continues to get greater and more bizarre and strange and disgusting and wonderful every time we put it on the a

Channel Surfing: Damages Season Four Details, Susan Sarandon Gets Miraculous, RTD Teases Torchwood, Fringe, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Now that the ink has dried on Damages 's DirecTV deal, Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello talks to executive producers Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler, and Daniel Zelman about whether the format for the serpentine legal drama will be altered for its fourth and fifth seasons, whether the budget will be affected, why Ellen has gotten past the fact that Patty tried to have her killed, who will be returning, and a host of other issues. "DirecTV wants us to do the show that we’ve been doing," said Zelman. "If anything, they want us to push what we’ve been doing even further . They’re encouraging us to be as bold as possible, which is something we strive for anyway. There have been no discussions about altering the show in any fundamental way." Except for the fact that the episodes will be longer, that is. "What’s exciting for us as creators is that on the 101 Network there are no commercials, so it’l

Channel Surfing: DirecTV Saves FX's Damages, David Cross to Join Running Wilde, Gregory Itzin Finds Big Love for HBO, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Many had given up hope that FX's brilliant and labyrinthine legal drama Damages would survive another season, given the low ratings for the series' fantastically taut third season, which wrapped its run earlier this year. Not so: DirecTV has come to the aid of the Sony Picture Television- and FX Productions-produced series and has renewed the Glenn Close-led series for two seasons of ten episodes apiece. The only problem: it won't be airing on FX anymore as DirecTV has the exclusive rights to the series on The 101 Network. "We're excited to partner with Sony Pictures Television as we breathe new life into this outstanding drama," said Patty Ishimoto, general manager of The 101 Network and vice president of entertainment for DIRECTV, in a statement. "It's a win for our customers because only they will be able to see these new episodes and another great step forward for DIRECTV as we continue to bui