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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

Syfy's Caprica is Toast; Better News for Bored to Death and Eastbound and Down

Bad news for Caprica fans. Syfy has axed the Battlestar Galactica prequel spinoff and will be pulling the remaining episodes from the schedule, effective immediately. Which doesn't mean that you won't get to see how the season ended. Syfy also announced that it would air the remaining five episodes sometime next year, according to the press release: "The remaining first run episodes of Caprica -- airing Tuesdays at 10/9c -- will be removed from the schedule as of next Tuesday, November 2. These final five episodes of the season will be re-scheduled to air at a to-be-announced time in the first quarter of 2011, and will conclude the run of the series." News comes on the heels that the cabler has ordered a pilot for another Battlestar Galactica prequel series, entitled Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome , which will return the series' setting to war-torn battles and Viper maneuvers. (I had wondered just what Syfy would do with Caprica last week when t

Syfy Plots Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome Pilot: Where Does that Leave Caprica?

AOL's Maureen Ryan broke the news this morning that cabler Syfy will air its upcoming web series Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome as a two-hour backdoor pilot for a potential spin-off series that will focus on a young William Adama during the First Cylon War. The project, written by Michael Taylor, shouldn't be confused with Syfy's current BSG spinoff Caprica , which ALSO features a young William Adama, here a pre-teen whose character is vastly different from the Admiral Adama played by Edward James Olmos that we came to know on Battlestar Galactica . Production on the pilot is expected to begin in early 2011 in Vancouver, according to Ryan, though it won't make it on air until at least fourth quarter 2011, if not later. "When we read Michael's script, it was so clearly a full-blown pilot for a series," Syfy's executive vice president of original programming Mark Stern told Ryan. "The scope is fantastic and bigger, I think, than antici

Channel Surfing: Quick Headlines Edition

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Today's briefing will be shorter than usual as I'm typing this on my iPhone, as my internet connection is down. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that ex- Lost executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz are teaming up with co-creator Damon Lindelof to develop a drama pilot that's said to be "fairy-tale-themed" and will feature "a female lead." No other details are available, but it's thought that ABC Studios will be the studio behind the project as Kitsis and Horowitz have an overall deal there. Should the project get ordered to pilot, Lindelof would join the staff in a consulting capacity. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Vulture's Josef Adalian is reporting that NBC is developing an adventure/dating reality mashup that's being described as a blend of The Bachelor and Survivor . Project, currently being called Love in the Wild , hails fro

Channel Surfing: Sons of Anarchy and Haven Renewed, Walking Dead Novels, NCIS: LA, Modern Family, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. FX has renewed motorcycle drama Sons of Anarchy for a fourth season. Series, which wraps up its third season on November 30th, is the most-watched series in the cable network's history. " Sons of Anarchy is the most popular show FX has ever had, and the No. 1 series in basic cable for our key demographic," said FX president/general manager John Landgraf. "It is also one of the best, most original series on television." ( Variety ) Elsewhere, Syfy renewed freshman drama Haven for a second season, with thirteen episodes on tap for next summer. Production is slated to resume in the spring in Nova Scotia on the sophomore season. ( Variety ) Robert Kirkman's zombie comic, "The Walking Dead," which is heading to the small screen later this month with AMC's television series of the same name, will also be transformed into a trilogy of original novels, the first of which will be released in 2011

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

Heading Off-World: An Advance Review of Season 1.5 of Caprica

I was planning to write a lengthy review of the first two episodes of the back half of Caprica 's first season, which returns to Syfy tonight after a considerable hiatus (one that was unexpectedly truncated), but AOL Television's Maureen Ryan did all of the heavy lifting yesterday and pretty much summed up everything I was going to say . I've found Caprica so far to be maddeningly frustrating, a series of false starts, lackluster characters, and thwarted intrigue. (I wrote about my feelings about the first half of the season here .) The two episodes provided to press for review ("Unvanquished" and "Retribution") haven't alleviated any fears I may have had about the series after its fantastic and thought-provoking pilot. Two episodes back and I'm already restless, already losing interest in the plights of these characters, who remain unsympathetic and icy. (I will say, however, that the second episode was significantly better than "Unvan

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: Bryan Fuller to Tackle The Munsters, J.J. Abrams Talks Alias Reboot, Matt Smith Talks Doctor Who Xmas, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. File this under: oh my god. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello and Andy Patrick are reporting that Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller is developing an update of--wait for it-- The Munsters . NBC has ordered a pilot for the project, which is being described as " Modern Family meets True Blood ." If that wasn't enough to whet your appetite, Ausiello and Patrick also report that Guillermo del Toro ( Hellboy ) might executive produce as well. Jaw officially on the floor... ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos talks to Undercovers executive producer J.J. Abrams about the NBC espionage drama and about several topics on everyone's minds: namely that rumored Alias reboot and the Terry O'Quinn/Michael Emerson NBC drama pilot. News of a potential Alias reboot were news to Abrams, despite unnamed sources at the network telling Dos Santos that they're stil

Channel Surfing: Syfy Brings Caprica Back Early, No Heroes Movie, Office Succession Plans, Fringe, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. I'm still not entirely sure what to make of the news that Syfy has bumped the premiere of the second half of Caprica 's freshman season up by several months. While the series premiere aired this past January, Syfy surprised many by announcing that it would be a year later that the back half of Caprica 's first season would launch. Cut to yesterday when Syfy seemingly reversed their decision, announcing a shocking soon launch date--Tuesday, October 5th, in fact--while Sanctuary , which was to have that timeslot, will now move back to Fridays this fall, where it will share the lineup with Friday Night Smackdown . “Though we initially announced the January return of Caprica, we still had hopes of finding a way to get the series back on the air sooner,” Syfy EVP Mark Stern told Deadline's Nellie Andreeva. “We’ve been able to successfully re-work our schedule, and are thrilled to bring the show back during what is traditio

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: WBTV Developing Sandman, JJ Abrams' Alcatraz, Evil Wheaton Back to Big Bang, Free Agents, True Blood, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Hollywood Reporter 's Borys Kit and James Hibberd are reporting that Warner Bros. Television is in the process of acquiring television rights to Neil Gaiman's DC/Vertigo comic series "Sandman" with the view of adapting it as an ongoing television series. Among the contenders to tackle the project: Supernatural creator Eric Kripke. It's not the first time that Hollywood has courted the mythopoeic comic series: HBO nearly had a version in development at one time with James Mangold attached; Roger Avery attempted to get a feature film version off the ground in the mid-90s. It's still early days for the project as Kripke is said to be cautious about treading on such hallowed ground and attempting to translate the deeply complex and layered narrative for television. [Editor: Personally, I'd rather that Kripke and WBTV didn't: the plot of "Sandman" isn't a strict narrative in the tradition

Channel Surfing: Fox Snags Locke and Key, Trouble for Tilda, Torchwood Star Lands Three Inches, Temps, The Office, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Vulture's Josef Adalian is reporting that FOX is in talks with 20th Century Fox Television and Dreamworks to develop a series based on Joe Hill's comic book "Locke and Key," which revolves around "three kids who end up watching over a secret, spooky New England mansion filled with mystical doors that transport them to different worlds and give them special powers (like turning into a ghost)," according to Adalian. But FOX isn't turning to just anyone to adapt the series created by Hill (who happens to be the son of Stephen King): Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci ( Fringe, Hawaii Five-0 ) and Josh Friedman ( Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles ) as well as Steven Spielberg are attached as executive producers. ( Vulture , Hollywood Reporter ) Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that there's some major behind the scenes drama brewing at HBO's much anticipated dark comed

Channel Surfing: Syfy Renews Eureka, Lone Star Lands Chad Faust, Teri Polo to Law & Order: Los Angeles, True Blood, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. It's official: Syfy has renewed drama Eureka for a fifth season. The news of the renewal--no surprise given the ratings and the creative resurgence of the series this summer--was announced by Mark Stern, EVP of Original Programming for Syfy and Co-Head of Content for Universal Cable Productions, which produces the series. “ Eureka remains a steadfast performer for Syfy with its superb cast and perfect blend of drama, comedy and eye candy,” said Stern in an official statement. "Given what Jaime, Bruce and their entire team have done collectively to reinvent the show this year, we can't wait to see what's in store for season 5." (via press release) Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Chad Faust ( The 4400 ) has been cast in a recurring role on FOX's upcoming drama series Lone Star , where he will play Harrison, the ex-husband of Adrianne Palicki's Cat. Ausiello, per unname

Channel Surfing: AMC Finds The Killing, Lotus Caves for Syfy and Bryan Fuller, More Office Rumors, FNL Launch Date, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. AMC has given a series order to pilot The Killing , which hails from writer/executive producer Veena Sud and Fox Television Studios and is based on Danish television series Forbrydelsen , ordering thirteen episodes which will air sometime in 2011. Series, which will star Big Love 's Mireille Enos, revolves around the murder of a young girl and a police investigation that connects several seemingly separate story threads. "We are thrilled to be moving forward with this stunning piece of television," said Joel Stillerman, AMC's senior vp of original programming, production and digital content, in a statement. "It is a crime drama, but it is also a gripping character based story that pulls you in and doesn't let go. The storytelling is completely compelling, and the show is visually breathtaking." In addition to Enos, the project--which will be renamed, sadly--also stars Billy Campbell, Michelle Forbes,