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Channel Surfing: Brenda DeathWatch on "90210," HBO Tackles Sam Kinison, John Noble, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. I'm still laughing about last night's unintentionally hilarious episode of Gossip Girl, which in true Thanksgiving spirit, featured seemingly mortal enemies being polite to one another and everyone refusing to acknowledge the pink elephant in the room: namely Little J's ghastly "makeover." (Shudder.)

Are the producers of CW's 90210 update going to do the unthinkable and kill off toothy Brenda Walsh? Fans are in an uproar about a possible rumor that Brenda (Shannen Doherty) will contract a terminal illness on her latest batch of 90210 episodes and, well, die. While some are livid about the potential storyline, Jason Priestley seemed open to the possibility of Brenda dying on-screen. "This is all news to me, but this is fantastic," Priestly told Access Hollywood. "That is going to be awesome. No they haven't given me anything yet. I don't even know if the episode is written yet, but I love all those rumors. That is juicy stuff." (Los Angeles Times' Show Tracker)

Unhappy people watch more TV than people who describe themselves as "happy," according to a new report from the University of Maryland. Hmmm, I watch quite a lot of television and consider myself to be a pretty happy person. Do you agree with these findings? (Reuters)

Showtime is developing an untitled comedy series with executive producers Seth Rogen and writing partner Evan Goldberg (Superbad) about three twenty-something friends who navigate life and friendship while running an adult store. Rogen and Goldberg's assistant Matthew Bass will write the script and co-executive produce the project. (Variety)

Janina Gavankar (The L Word) has departed Grey's Anatomy after just two episodes. Gavankar played intern Lisa; insiders say that she was disappointed with how small her role ended up being on the ensemble drama and did not receive any guarantee that her character would get more screen time in the future. She's also allegedly circling a larger role in USA drama pilot White Collar with Matthew Bomer, Tim DeKay, and Tiffani Thiessen. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Mad Men's Patrick Fischler will guest star in an episode of Lost when the series returns in January. No word on who the former Jimmy Barrett will be playing but I have to say that I hope it's in a vintage Dharma video because Fischler is so damn perfect as a period cut-up. (Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

NBC is developing a buddy comedy series based on Nick Adams' book "Making Friends with Black People," which will focus on race relations in America vis-a-vis the friendship of two men--one African-American, the other white--who don't always agree on their viewpoints. The timing of the script order seems to captialize on the election of America's first African-American president; project will be written and executive produced by Mara Brock Akil (Girlfriends) and Salim Akil (The Game). (Variety)

Sci Fi Wire has a new Q&A with John Noble, who plays the deliciously zany Walter Bishop on FOX's Fringe. Look for Walter and Peter's relationship to deepen over the next few episodes, Walter to support Olivia in a paternal manner, and for some added shades of vulnerability when Walter returns to the mental hospital in tonight's episode. (Sci Fi Wire)

Sarah Baron Cohen's Bruno character disrupting shooting on an episode of NBC's Medium recently when he continually interrupted a courtroom scene featuring Patricia Arquette and was escorted from the set by security. Whether or not the altercation was in fact captured on tape remains to be seen. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

HBO is developing a biopic about the life and death of comedian Sam Kinison to star Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury). Directed by Tom Shadyac, the biopic will be based on memoir "Brother Sam: the Short, Spectacular Life of Sam Kinison," by Bill Kinison and Steve Delsohn. As for who will write the telepic, look no further than American Splendor writer/directors Shari Spring Berman and Robert Pulcini. (Variety)

Fremantle is in talks to acquire production company Original Prods., founded by Thom Beers, which produces such reality staples as Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers, and Axemen, among others. Fremantle previously picked up international distribution rights to several of Original's series in August and this deal, said to be in the just under $100 million range, would expand Beers' relationship with the distributor. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said…
Gossip Girl really was hilarious last night. I don't know who looked sillier - Little J (sporting a cross between a mullet and a long-hair version of Nate's haircut) or The Captain (who looked mysteriously like Clayton from Benson with that little mustache).

Luckily, Lily and Blair saved the day with their sumptuous, sophisticated Thanksgiving frocks. But, apart from that, the episode was one big turkey!

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