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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: HBO Renews Tim, Prison Break's Chris Vance Targets Dexter, The Good Wife, 90210's Gay Character Revealed, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Sometimes the networks taketh and sometimes they give back. Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that HBO has had a change of heart about animated comedy The Life and Times of Tim , which it cancelled two months ago. The pay cabler has now reversed its position on the cult hit, ordering a third season of Tim , with ten episodes slated to air sometime next year. Media Rights Capital, the production company behind the project (along with Good Humor TV), attempted to shop Tim to other networks--including Comedy Central, Adult Swim, and TBS--but no buyer materialized... and now the project has headed back to HBO. [Editor: I'm relieved as I was really upset when I heard earlier this year that the series wasn't going to get picked up.] ( Deadline ) Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Chris Vance ( Prison Break ) has been cast in a multiple-episode story arc on Season Five of Showtime's Dext

Channel Surfing: Dexter Lures Miller, Jordana Spiro Out at Love Bites, Greenblatt Exits Showtime, Gene Hunt, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Showtime's Dexter is on a casting role. Variety 's Stuart Levine is reporting that Jonny Lee Miller ( Eli Stone ) is the latest to board the serial killer drama, signing on to appear in a multiple-episode story arc on Season Five of Dexter . Miller will play "a mysterious man who ends up tangled in a storyline with Julia Stiles, who is beginning her first season on the skein." ( Variety ) Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Jordana Spiro has exited NBC's midseason romantic anthology series Love Bites . Spiro's participation in the series was always in second position to her role on TBS comedy My Boys , which returns for its fourth season next month. "Although the odds appear slim that TBS will renew the show for a fifth season (season 4 premieres July 25), it was a risk NBC apparently wasn’t willing to take," writes Ausiello. "It’s unclear if her role will be recas

Channel Surfing: Chuck Renewed, ABC Keeps V But Not FlashForward, NBC's Law & Order Conundrum, Lost, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Good news for Chuck fans: Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Chuck has been renewed for a fourth season of thirteen episodes, though NBC declined to comment on the report. While I had hoped for a full-season order, any Chuck is better than no Chuck , right? ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Good news as well for fans of the Visitors: ABC has reportedly given a thirteen-episode renewal to freshman sci-fi drama V . " V was likely a no-brainer, as ABC wants to bring back at least one frosh drama, and the alien thriller is showing signs of life," writes Variety 's Michael Schneider. "Its fellow frosh sci-fi drama, FlashForward , is not." ( Variety ) Yep, it's not looking good for FlashForward , which Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting has already been cancelled, along with Better Off Ted, Scrubs, and Romantically Challenged . ( Entertainmen

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: Billy Campbell Lands The Killing, More on Conan-TBS Deal, NBC Gets Law & Order: Los Angeles, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Billy Campbell ( The 4400 ) has been cast as one of the leads in AMC drama pilot The Killing , where he will play Darren Richmond, a City Council President in Seattle. Series, executive produced by Mikkel Bondesen and Veena Sud, revolves around three interlocking stories that are connected by the murder of a young girl. ( Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed ) TBS' deal with Conan O'Brien for a latenight talk show is described as a "watershed moment" by Variety 's Stuart Levine, who reports that the cabler's deal with O'Brien will bring more viewers to the channel who may not have come to the comedy-centric cabler before. Deal will create a two-hour latenight block (with George Lopez's Lopez Tonight that will air Mondays through Thursdays on TBS. ( Variety ) The Wrap's Josef Adalian has an interview with Turner Broadcasting Company's Steve Koonin about TBS' surprising deal with Con

Channel Surfing: Showtime Renews "Jackie" and "Tara," MTV Axes "The Hills," Ricky Gervais to "Curb," Mary McDonnell Returns to "The Closer," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Huzzah! Just a few days after returning Nurse Jackie and United States of Tara to the lineup, pay cabler Showtime has handed out series renewals to both comedies, ordering twelve-episode third seasons for both, which will begin production later this year. "Showtime is enormously proud of these two series starring two of the best actresses working today," said Showtime President of Entertainment Robert Greenblatt. "Both are iconic shows for our brand and our thanks to the dedicated producers, cast, and crews who work so hard to make them so great. Edie Falco's portrayal of the fierce Jackie is another extraordinary example of her range and brilliance, and recent Emmy and Golden Globe wins for Toni Collette in her tour de force role as a woman with multiple personalities put her in a class by herself. Strong women will continue to rule on this network for a long time to come." (via press release) Sayonara Hei

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

Channel Surfing: Heigl to Leave "Grey's Anatomy," "Skins" Refreshes Cast Again, Tudyk Gets "Rockford" Gig, "Doctor Who" May Get Wii Game, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Katherine Heigl will be departing Grey's Anatomy for good this time, citing unnamed sources. "Series creator Shonda Rhimes has agreed to release the fast-rising movie star from her contract. It’s now up to ABC Studios and Heigl’s reps to hash out a final exit agreement," writes Ausiello. "After taking more than half of the current season off to make another movie and connect with her adopted daughter, Heigl was scheduled to return to the Grey’s set on March 1 to begin work on the five remaining episodes of the season. There’s just one problem: March 1 came and went and there was no Heigl." Long story, short: Heigl's final episode as Izzie has already aired and Heigl will not be returning to the set of Grey's Anatomy . ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) UK network E4 has commissioned two additional seasons of teen drama Skins

Channel Surfing: FOX Renews "Fringe," "Doctor Who," Rob Thomas Talks Adam Scott and "Party Down," Kathy Bates Circles "Kindreds," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Good news for Fringe fans: the Pattern will be continuing next season. FOX has officially renewed the drama series for a third season this fall. " Fringe tapped into a deep creative mine this year that built momentum throughout the season and helped give us our first real foothold on TV’s most competitive night,” said Kevin Reilly, President, Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company, in a statement. "The entire Fringe team – from the producers and writers to the cast and crew – has taken smart storytelling and top production quality to a whole new level. The rest of this season is mind-blowing, and we can’t wait to get started on the third installment of this amazing journey." Meanwhile, Fringe resumes with eight all-new episodes on Thursday, April 1st. (via press release) The Guardian 's Simon Hattenstone has a huge profile of new Doctor Who star Matt Smith, who takes over the mantle of the Doctor from for