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Channel Surfing: Robin Takes Flight at CW, "Partridge" Lands at NBC, Norman Lear, "Sarah Connor" Woes, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. I suffered through some sweltering heat here in Los Angeles last night and watched the latest lackluster episode of 90210 and a fantastically taut episode of Fringe (more on that in a bit).

CW has given a put pilot commitment to drama The Graysons, based on the pre-Boy Wonder life of Batman sidekick Robin before he dons the mask and cape (a la Smallville). Drama, from Smallville executive producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson and Chuck/Supernatural executive producer McG, will follow Dick "DJ" Grayson in a new take on the iconic character. (In the original comics, Robin was the orphaned son of a high-flying trapeze artist family who was taken in by Bruce Wayne and trained to be Batman's sidekick.) Series is viewed as a potential replacement for Smallville, should this be final season, or as a companion piece if Smallville is renewed. Studio Warner Bros. Television also hopes to use this development to prove that the netlet isn't in any serious jeopardy. But they're really going to call Robin "DJ"? Ick. (Variety)

Could Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles be canceled in an effort to save the ratings of FOX's Prison Break? That's what one network source has said as the axe could come swinging down on ratings-starved Terminator as early as this week. "All I can say is that production will likely stop," said the unnamed source, "and I would think that Fox might try to air some of the episodes already in the can. But I don't know. They don't want to lose Prison Break, so there could be some schedule shuffling in the future."(SyFy Portal)

Television icon Norman Lear is developing Everybody Hurts, a drama series following a pro-wrestling business in 1970s New York, at HBO. Project is written by Aaron Blitzstein (The Riches) and will be executive produced by Lear and Lara Bergthold. (Hollywood Reporter)

The revamped single-camera comedy pilot The Partridge Family has landed at NBC. This version, from Reveille, Geffen Records, and Sony Pictures Television, will have a struggling single mom "pimping her kids in order to create a wholesome-slash-sexy cash cow." Pilot will be written by Jeff Rake, who also serves as executive producer. (Hollywood Reporter)

Rake has also teamed with Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz on an untitled action dramedy pilot about ""a Pentagon-based inventor who decided he couldn't live another day standing on the sidelines while Rome burns and accordingly set out [to] put his inventions to very real use, behind the back of friends, family and the entire U.S. government," according to Rake. Arrested Development pilot helmers Anthony and Joe Russo are attached to direct the project, which has been set up at FOX. (Hollywood Reporter)

CBS and CBS Paramount Network Television have signed a talent deal with Cole Hauser (K-Ville), who recently starred in drama pilot The Tower for the network and studio. (I actually quite liked the journalism drama pilot, which also starred Rosamund Pike, Marcia Gay Harden, Denis O'Hare, and CCH Pounder.) (Variety)

Fred Willard will guest star in two episodes of CBS' comedy series Worst Week. The former Back to You star and Connie Ray (Thank You for Smoking) will play the parents of hapless Sam (Kyle Bornheimer) in two installments set to air later this fall. (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider)

Cory Monteith (Kaya) has joined the cast of FOX's Ryan Murphy pilot Glee, opposite Jayma Mays and Matthew Morrison. He'll play Finn, a football player who is coerced into joining the high school glee club by its new advisor. (Hollywood Reporter)

Valerie Bertinelli just got some company on her untitled TBS comedy: Nadia Dajani (Emily's Reasons Why Not), Kevin G. Schmidt (Cheaper by the Dozen), and Dean Collins (The War at Home) have joined the cast of Dave Caplan's comedy pilot about a woman whose husband leaves her to deal with their kids, his struggling lumber business, and life in general on her own. Already cast: Juliette Goglia and Anjelah Johnson. (Hollywood Reporter)

Vanessa Marcil (Las Vegas) will serve as the host for Lifetime's upcoming reality competition series Blush: The Search for the Next Makeup Artist alongside judges Hal Rubenstein and Joanna Schlip and mentor Charlie Green. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


The CineManiac said…
I'm kind of excited about The Graysons, but agree DJ is just dumb. why can't they just call him Dick, or if they're really worried about it call him by his real first name Richard or even Rich.
But it will be interesting to see what will happen with this series. Hopefully it will work out better than Aquaman.
I think anything would be better than Aquaman. Sadly, though, I don't have very high hopes as it's from the Smallville people.

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