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Channel Surfing: Evangeline Lilly to Stay Put on "Lost," "Gossip Girl" Spin-off Finds Its Lily, Capshaw to Stay on at Seattle Grace, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing.

Kate isn't going anywhere, any time soon: Reps for Evangeline Lilly have denied a recent report on that claimed that the Lost star was seeking work on another television project for this fall and have maintained that the actress is under contract on Lost until May 2010, when the series ends. We have no idea how this rumor got started," Lilly's rep told Michael Ausiello, "and whoever started it didn’t call us or ABC to verify the validity of it, for which there is none." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

UPDATE: E! Online's Kristin has spoken with Lilly herself, who said that she isn't leaving Lost anytime soon. "I am very happy on Lost," said Lilly, "and have no reason to look anywhere else for a home." (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

Brittany Snow (American Dreams) will star in the Gossip Girl prequel spin-off, currently being referred to in the press as Lily. Snow will play wealthy teenage scion Lily Rhodes (who is played in the present day by Kelly Rutherford) who, after a fight with her parents, is forced to move in with her unconventional sister Carol (Krysten Ritter) in the San Fernando Valley. Also cast in the project: Shilo Fernandez (Jericho). The backdoor pilot for the spin-off will air as an episode of Gossip Girl on May 11th. (Hollywood Reporter)

Jessica Capshaw, originally slated to appear in a three-episode arc, has been signed to a contract on ABC's Grey's Anatomy, where she is currently playing Arizona Roberts, a pediatrician at Seattle Grace who has caught the eye of Sara Ramirez's Callie. Under the deal, Capshaw will appear in all of this season's remaining episodes and has an option to return next season as a series regular. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Rebecca Rand Kirschner Sinclair has signed a deal with CBS Paramount Network Television that will keep her on as executive producer/showrunner on CW's 90210 for the next two seasons. It's thought likely that the series' current executive producers/showrunners Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah will leave the series at the end of the season. (Hollywood Reporter)

The Los Angeles Times talks to Damages' Tom Aldredge, who plays Patty's nefarious (if dutifully loyal) Uncle Pete. "I had to decide early on: Why was it that Uncle Pete was willing to do these things for Patty?" Aldredge told LA Times' Denise Martin. "Why was he so loyal? Her enabler, in a sense. So I had decided on my own that he loved her." (Los Angeles Times)

Pilot casting news: Denis O'Hare (Milk) will star opposite Christina Cole in FOX's untitled Ian Biederman drama, where he will play a schizophrenia specialist who treats Maggie (Cole); David Morse (John Adams) will star in ABC's Empire State, where he will play the blue-collar father of the boy involved in a star-crossed romance with a wealthy girl; Lloyd Owen (Viva Laughlin) has joined the cast of ABC drama pilot Inside the Box, where he will play an Englishman who is named to replace the retiring Washington bureau chief; and Ben Feldman (Cloverfield) will play Amy Smart's boyfriend and colleague in ABC drama pilot See Cate Run (formerly known as I, Claudia). (Hollywood Reporter)

Elsewhere, Busy Philipps (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Dan Byrd (Aliens in America), and Brian Van Holt (John from Cincinnati) will star opposite Courteney Cox in ABC comedy pilot Cougar Town, from writer/executive producers Bill Lawrence (Scrubs) and Kevin Biegel. And CBS Paramount Network Television have closed a deal with Chris O'Donnell to star in CBS' untitled NCIS spin-off. (Hollywood Reporter)

Tom Fontana will write a twelve-episode series entitled The Borgias, about the villainous Renaissance-era Borgia clan for executive producers Chris Albrecht and Anne Thompoulos and French producers Lagardere Entertainment and Canal Plus. Project will be shot in English and sold to worldwide broadcasters, with emphasis made on a US sale. Production on The Borgias is slated to begin this fall in Europe. (Variety)

ABC is shooting a pilot for potential reality series Crash Course, in which couples must navigate driving through an obstacle course. Project shouldn't be confused with CBS' Thunder Road, which shares a similar concept; the ABC version is described as having "a comedic tone" and will feature couples rather than single contestants. Orlando Jones and Dan Cortese are attached to host the series, which comes from executive producers Arthur Smith and Kent Weed. (Hollywood Reporter)

Former NBC executive Teri Weinberg is launching her own production company, Yellow Brick Road, which has signed a two-year first-look deal with NBC Universal. Additionally, under the terms of her deal, Weinberg will receive an executive producer credit on upcoming NBC drama series The Philanthropist. Prior to her stint at NBC, Weinberg worked with Ben Silverman and Reveille, where she oversaw the company's scripted division, which hatched such series as The Office, Ugly Betty, and The Tudors. (Hollywood Reporter)

Gene Stein has been promoted to head of television at BermanBraun, six months after joining the company. Stein, who was most recently an ABC Studios-based producer, will oversee development and production on both the scripted and unscripted fronts. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said…
Whew! Very glad to hear that the Evangeline Lilly rumor was, well, just a rumor. It would have been very odd if Kate suddenly disappeared so close to the end of the Lost saga.
Anonymous said…
Also glad about Lilly staying on Lost. Would have been weird without Kate. Thanks too for keeping us up to speed on all the pilot castings! Yours is the site I visit first every morning.

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