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Channel Surfing: Gary Cole on "Chuck," ABC's "The Unsuals," Pilots, Barry Sonnenfeld, and More

Good morning and welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. I stayed in last night with the wife and watched the first three hilarious and fun episodes of Season Two of Chuck. (More on that before the season launches.) And just a reminder: don't forget to tune in tonight to FOX's series premiere of Fringe, from J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman!

Chuck has scored yet another guest star. Gary Cole (Desperate Housewives) will join the cast in an episode slated for November sweeps as the con man father of Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski), which means that we'll finally get some answers about Sarah's mysterious past and her true identity. (I can't wait!) After seeing how well guest star John Larroquette was used in Chuck's second episode of the upcoming season (really, the three eps are brilliant), I have complete faith in Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak to put Cole to good use. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

In other casting news, Grant Bowler (Lost's Captain Gault) will join the cast of ABC's Ugly Betty in the recurring role of the Meade Publications CFO. "He's running the business part of the magazine," said Betty executive producer Silvio Horta. "He's hot and cool and all the women are in love with him." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

I chatted with The Office's Amy Ryan and Paul Lieberstein about what to expect for Season Five of the NBC comedy. (Televisionary)

Wondering what Pushing Daisies director/executive producer Barry Sonnenfeld is up to these days? The prolific producer and director has several new projects in the works under his deal at Sony Pictures Television, including an adaptation of Argentinean drama The Pretenders, about a group of con men who solve regular peoples' problems, at FOX with writer Jorge Zamacona; The Nelsons, a live-action superhero drama from writers Peter Steinfeld (21) and Dee Steinfeld for ABC that is said to be in the vein of The Incredibles; and My World, and Welcome to It, a CBS comedy with writer Jay Kogen (Frasier) that is based on James Thurber's collection of essays. Whew. (Hollywood Reporter)

Bob DeLaurentis has joined ABC's upcoming cop dramedy The Unusuals as a showrunner/executive producer alongside series creator Noah Hawley. Series, which stars Amber Tamblyn, Jeremy Renner, Terry Kinney, Harold Perrineau, and Adam Goldberg, was ordered by the Alphabet last month. Given that the pilot was produced on a relatively small presentation budget, I have to say that I was pretty damn impressed with The Unusuals; it still needs a little work to get the tone just right but I'll be tuning in when this launches. (Hollywood Reporter)

FOX has ordered a pilot to Eva Adams, Kevin Falls (Journeyman)'s adaptation of the Argentine telenovela Lalola, about a womanizing man who wakes up one day, transformed into a woman and experiences the hell he perpetrated upon the fairer sex. Project will be set in the worlds of fashion and sports management (which seem fairly non-complimentary, but okay). Falls will serve as writer and executive producer on the Sony Pictures TV pilot, with Jamie Tarses on board to executive produce. (Hollywood Reporter)

Cavemen's Bill Martin and Mike Schiff (we'll see if they ever live that doozy of a credit down) have signed on as executive producers on CBS' comedy pilot We Need Girlfriends, based on a series of YouTube videos about three recent college grads who all reenter the NYC dating scene after they're each dumped by their respective girlfriends. Pilot, from Sony Pictures Television, will be executive produced by Darren Star, Steven Tsapelas, Angel Acevedo, and Brian Amyot. (Variety)

BermanBraun have snagged the television rights to New York Times column "Modern Love," which features essays about--you guessed it!--love. Company is currently meeting with writers to develop a series take on the column. (Variety)

Patricia Heaton, Treat Williams, and Jimmy Wolk will star in CBS telepic Front of the Class, based on the true story of a man who suffered from Tourette syndrome and defied all odds to become a gifted teacher. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Big Brother 10 (CBS); America's Got Talent (NBC; 8-10 pm); 90210 (CW); Wipeout (ABC); Fringe (FOX; 8-9:35 pm)

9 pm: Fashion Rocks (CBS; 9-11 pm); Privileged (CW); Wipeout (ABC); Hole in the Wall (FOX; 9:35-10 pm)

10 pm: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC); Primetime: Medical Mysteries (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Fringe.

You've all read my advance review of the pilot episode from May, so now you'll get to check out the new drama from J.J. Abrams and Transformers writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci for yourselves. In the series premiere ("Pilot"), FBI Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) recruits a brilliant but incarcerated scientist (John Noble) and his maverick estranged son (Joshua Jackson) to help cure her colleague/lover after he is exposed to some lethal contaminants.

8 pm: 90210.

I was less than thrilled with the series premiere, so I'm giving it only one more chance to wow me. On tonight's episode ("Lucky Strike"), Harry and Debbie plan a family bowling night without consulting Dixon and Annie first, Naomi has an awful evening with her father, Dixon finds Silver asleep in his car, and Kelly must deal with her mother.

8:40-9:20 pm: Gavin & Stacey on BBC America.

If my gushing review of this bittersweet (yes, it's literally bitter AND sweet) comedy wasn't enough, why not tune in yourself to see just how wonderful the brainchild of writer/co-stars Ruth Jones and James Corden really is? On tonight's episode, Stacey and Gavin get some mixed reactions from their friends and family when they announce their suddenly engagement.

10 pm: Million Dollar Listing on Bravo.

I can't look away, no matter how hard I try... On tonight's season finale, Josh tries to find land for a designer's compound, Chad helps a family friend land their dream house, and I continue to laugh at both of their inane hairstyles.


Anonymous said…
I cannot wait to see Gary Cole on Chuck. Especially as Sarah's father. Great casting! I saw episode with John Larroquette and it was fantastic. I hope they bring him back again.
Anonymous said…
ooh - Gary cole on chuck. I love it!
Anonymous said…
wow im jealous! you saw 3 episodes! you even beat out ausiello who only got to see 2.

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