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PaleyFest09 Full Schedule Announced: "Pushing Daisies," "Battlestar Galactica," "Fringe," "Big Love," "Dollhouse," and Many Others to Be Feted

Ending several months of speculation, The Paley Center for Media has today announced the full lineup for PaleyFest09 , the 26th Annual William S. Paley Television Festival. Among the honorees this year are the casts and creators of 90210 , Battlestar Galactica and Caprica , The Big Bang Theory, Big Love, Desperate Housewives, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Fringe, The Hills, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Mentalist, Swingtown, and True Blood . PaleyFest09 will be held from April 10th to April 23rd at the Cinerama Dome at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood; the Paley Center will also present a special closing night presentation honoring Swingtown at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills on April 24. Other festival firsts this year? PaleyFest09 will be the festival event to honor a new media property, in this case Joss Whedon's celebrated web series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog , and will be the first to premiere the last three unseen episodes of A

Channel Surfing: "Gossip Girl" Spinoff Back to the 1980s, Chevy Chase to Torment "Chuck," Idris Elba Heads to "The Office," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Looks like Ashes to Ashes isn't the only series heading back to the 1980s (well, except for Mitch Hurwitz's Lost in the '80s , that is): Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage have announced that the untitled spinoff of CW's Gossip Girl will focus on a teenage Lily Rhodes van der Woodsen Bass (played in the original by Kelly Rutherford) as a wild child in 1980s Los Angeles who moves in with her sister in San Fernando Valley after a falling out with her parents and must adjust to life at a Valley public school and a nightlife on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. Spinoff will be produced as a backdoor pilot that will air May 11th as part of Gossip Girl 's current season. ( Variety ) Chevy Chase has been cast in a three-episode story arc on NBC's Chuck , where he will play Ted Roark, the billionaire technology mogul and owner of Roark Instruments, a company that Chuck Bartowski has always dreamed of working for. Bu

Channel Surfing: Oprah on "30 Rock," "Closer" Spin-off, "Lost" Casting, and More

Good morning and welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Zuleikha Robinson ( Rome, New Amsterdam ) has been cast as Ilana in Season Five of Lost ; she'll recur as "a European female who possesses great intelligence but who's also dangerous as all get out" and her contract contains an option for her to be bumped to series regular in Season Six. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Alice in Wonderland? Showtime has cast Leisha Hailey in the pilot presentation for its untitled The L Word spin-off, which is scheduled to shoot in December with Ilene Chaiken on board to write and executive produce. ( Variety ) Oprah Winfrey is said to be in final talks to guest star on 30 Rock 's second episode of the upcoming season (launching on NBC on September 30th). Winfrey is said to be playing herself (rather than Liz Lemon's BFF, which was Tina Fey's longtime wish) and will appear in scenes opposite Fey and will be involved in a storyline abou

Talk Back: CBS' "Swingtown"

Go on, I'm curious: what did you think of CBS' scripted summer series, Swingtown , a period-set drama about swinging married couples in the 1970s which launched last night on--of all places--the Tiffany network? I've now seen the pilot episode of Swingtown a few times in the last year since it was first produced and ordered to series. I do think that there is an interesting and intriguing drama opportunity in the Ice Storm -esque setting but I am not at all convinced that CBS with its network standards and practices was the right home for this cheeky and semi-provocative drama. No, this is an HBO- or Showtime-ready series that's slumming it a bit on broadcast television and the setting's innate restrictions renders much of it toothless and lacking in bite. Does this series need wanton sex and language in order to work? No, but the lack of (for want of a better word) adult realism does take you slightly off page, particularly when the subject matter itself is inh