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Channel Surfing: Shawn Ryan Talks "Shield" Finale, "The Office," CBS Spins Off "NCIS," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. I'm still trying to get the idea of hallucinatory killer butterflies out of my system after last night's episode of Fringe by thinking of tomorrow's turkey feast.

I'll keep the SPOILER ALERT on for the next few posts as not everyone may have seen last night's season finale of The Shield. Michael Ausiello chats with series creator Shawn Ryan about that ending, Shane and Vic's fates, Andre Benjamin's character attempting to run for mayor, and why Ryan knew there had to be a final confrontation between Claudette and Vic. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

TV Guide also talks with Ryan about his work on the series finale with some questions about justice, not knowing what the end of the series would be, what's next for the writer/producer, and Ryan's favorite TV series on the air at the moment. (Hint: Lost, Mad Men, and 30 Rock are some of them.) (TV Guide)

The Office's Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak chat with The Boston Herald as the duo return to their respective home towns of Cambridge and Newton for Thanksgiving. "My character on the show is just an exaggerated version of myself... which is a little embarassing,” said Kaling. “Kelly isn’t a role model. She’s just sort of an idiot. It’s fun to play a character who’s not a forensics expert, or computer-science genius... the way other shows have Asian characters portrayed.” (The Boston Herald)

NBC is developing a procedural drama to star Gabrielle Union (Ugly Betty) from writer/executive producer Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files, Breaking Bad) and Universal Media Studios. The untitled project, based on an original idea deviced by Union and Spotnitz, is about a detective (Union) who has to race to save someone's life before she runs out of time. (Variety)

Speaking of NBC, the Peacock unveiled its January schedule, which is missing Chuck, Life, and Heroes. (Televisionary)

CBS is developing a spin-off of procedural drama NCIS, itself a spin-off--one can't help but remember--of JAG. Series would be based around a new team of naval investigators that will be introduced later this season on NCIS and could be launched as early as next fall and will likely cause the planned Criminal Minds spin-off to be placed on hold for now. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Among fears of a possible SAG strike early next year, studios are said to be talking to SAG's rival AFTRA about coverage on projects for pilot season. (Variety)

Looks like we'll be seeing more of Rickety Cricket and Artemis. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia recurring actors David Hornsby and Artemis Pebdani have been cast in the pilot for FOX space-set workplace comedy Boldly Going Nowhere, from the creators of Sunny, Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Glenn Howerton. Hornsby will play Lt. Lance Grigsby, the captain's devoted second-in-command who supports his cheating wife back home. Pebdani will play Startemis, the ship's alien communications officer. (And, yes, the original script--which I read last winter--called for Startemis by name.) (Hollywood Reporter)

In other casting news, Jason Butler Harner (Fringe) has replaced Jason London in Showtime drama pilot Possible Side Effects about a family that runs a pharmaceutical company. Harner will play middle son Silas.
(Hollywood Reporter)

TMZ has been renewed for two more seasons and will stay on the Fox Television Stations group through the 2010-11 season. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


Startemis...heh, heh. I love it.

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