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Channel Surfing: Bryan Fuller Heads to Universal, More Hamm for "30 Rock," Stoltz Stalks Halls of Seattle Grace, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. I'm still behind on telly so I haven't seen the latest episode of Dirty Sexy Money yet...

That sound you hear? It would be the final nail in the coffin for Pushing Daisies... Daisies creator Bryan Fuller has signed a two-year overall deal with Universal Media Studios, under which he will rejoin the staff of NBC's Heroes and develop new series projects for the studio. Fuller, who is completing post-production on WBTV's Daisies, will rejoin Heroes starting with episode 320 though it is unknown what his official position will be, other than that he will be working closely alongside showrunner/executive producer Tim Kring. (Hollywood Reporter)

In other Pushing Daisies news, Kristin Chenoweth has joined the cast of FOX's animated midseason comedy Sit Down, Shut Up, where she will replace Maria Bamford as Florida high school science teacher Miracle Grohe, opposite Arrested Development's Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Henry Winkler, Will Forte, Kenan Thompson, Tom Kenny, Cheri Oteri, and Nick Kroll. (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider)

More info on Mad Men's John Hamm joining the cast of NBC's 3o Rock, first reported back in October, has emerged. Hamm will play a new love interest for Tina Fey's Liz Lemon, a doctor who lives in her NYC apartment, and could return for future installments. "I just finished a couple of episodes," said Hamm, "and I'll go back in the new year and do another one of those, and then we'll see what happens." (Associated Press)

Eric Stoltz, who will star in Sci-Fi's Battlestar Galactica spinoff Caprica, will guest star in a three-episode story arc of ABC's Grey's Anatomy, where he will play a serial killer "in need of immediate medical attention" whose story "takes a surprising turn around the second episode [and] will raise a myriad of thorny ethical questions for McDreamy and Co." Also cast in a multiple-episode story arc: Jessica Capshaw (The Practice) who will scrub in as pediatric surgeon Arizona Roberts. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

NBC has unveiled their midseason schedule, which includes a super-sized episode of The Office in the post-Super Bowl timeslot, a reduced episode count for Knight Rider, and that 3-D episode of Chuck. (Televisionary)

Showtime has renewed comedy series Californication for a third season of twelve episodes, which will debut later in 2009. The series, currently down 16 percent from its freshman season, will begin production on Season Three this spring. (Variety)

Fred Thompson will guest star on a February sweeps episode of ABC's Life on Mars, where he will play the NYPD chief of detectives. Producers are also said to be casting the role of the daughter of Gene Hunt, described as "mid-30s, beautiful, confident, and be willing to work long hours alongside Harvey Keitel." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Courteney Cox guest stars in the January 6th launch of Scrubs on ABC, where she will play the uber-friendly new chief of medicine. (TV Week)

Bravo has ordered a second season of unscripted series The Rachel Zoe Project and is expected to launch Season Two in mid-2009. (Los Angeles Times)

Miranda Richardson, Christopher Evan Welch (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), and Lauren Hodges (My Guide to Becoming a Rock Star) will star in AMC's untitled political thriller pilot about an analyst at a national think tank who discovers that his employers aren't what they appear to be and uncovers evidence of a secret society that influences world political events. Project, from Warner Horizon, comes from writer/executive producer Jason Horwitch (Medical Investigation), director Allen Coulter (Damages), and executive producer Josh Maurer. Richardson will play the widow of a billionaire who leaves her a cryptic message when he dies mysteriously; Welch will play an arrogant analyst at the think tank and Hodges will play the youngest analyst on the team. (Hollywood Reporter)

Laura Breckenridge (Related) will appear in at least three episodes of the CW's Gossip Girl as Rachel Carr, a new (and very young) English teacher at Constance Billard, who finds herself mistaken for a student and quickly finds herself sparring with Blair. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

BBC has commissioned an eighth season of Spooks (a.k.a. MI-5), to air in 2009. (BBC)

An Echolls Family Christmas, anyone? TV Land has ordered a pilot presentation for an untitled reality series that will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of acting couple Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin (who appeared together as a married couple on Veronica Mars) and their two daughters. Project, executive produced by Jason Carbone, could air as early as 2009 if ordered to series. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said…
It's bad enough that Pushing Daisies won't be coming back but the fact that the extremely talented Bryan Fuller will be schlepped off to a show as lame as Heroes is just heartbreaking.
Anonymous said…
I can't wait to see Mad Men's John Hamm on 30 Rock! It will be like my favorite drama and comedy rolled into one uber-fantastic show!
R.A. Porter said…
Man, I hope Harry Hamlin only wears Sans-a-belts on that reality show.

I'm incredibly depressed that Bryan Fuller's moving over to Heroes. Like @susie que, I just don't see the point. Although maybe if he just comes on as a consultant and gets to develop a new pilot for Universal, that would be okay.

Great post title, btw. "Stoltz Stalks" is very catchy.

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