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Channel Surfing: Jason Dohring and Minka Kelly Lead "Body Politic," Ashley Jensen Lands Pilot, Skeet Ulrich Goes "Back" to CBS, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing.

Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars) and Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) have signed on to star in CW drama pilot Body Politic, from CBS Paramount Network Television. Dohring will play a Washington Post reporter while Kelly will play Hope, a young woman who leaves Michigan after the death of her mother to take a position in Washington in as a staffer for a senator (Tim Matheson), who has just been named Attorney General. Fans of Friday Night Lights shouldn't worry, however: Kelly's casting here doesn't signal the end of FNL as she was not set to return as a series regular next season but will instead turn up in Season Four in a multiple-episode story arc should the series be renewed. (Hollywood Reporter)

ABC has confirmed that Ashley Jensen will leave Ugly Betty at the end of the season; it's no secret that the actress was "less than thrilled" when Betty moved production from Los Angeles to New York last year. Jensen, meanwhile, has been cast in CBS comedy pilot Accidentally on Purpose, where she will play the best friend of Jenna Elfman's character, a San Francisco movie critic who finds herself pregnant after a one-night stand. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files, Hollywood Reporter)

Skeet Ulrich (Jericho) has landed the lead in CBS drama pilot Back, from CBS Paramount Network Television, writer/executive producer Dean Widenmann (CSI: Miami) and director Mark Pellington. Project follows a man (Ulrich) who returns home only to learn that he's was reported missing after 9/11 and has to reconnect with his family. (Hollywood Reporter)

CBS has ordered four additional scripts for comedy series How I Met Your Mother, which has seen a 33 percent ratings increase this season. The script order, while not quite an early renewal, is seen as a sign that the comedy will be returning next season and will allow showrunners to begin to break next season's stories. (TV Week)

Pilot casting alert: Bruce Greenwood (John from Cincinnati), Miranda Otto (Cashmere Mafia), Kay Panabaker (CSI), and Nick Eversman will play the four leads in CBS drama pilot A Marriage; Billy Zane (Charmed) has been cast in ABC's untitled Dave Hemingson drama pilot; Zoe McLellan (Dirty Sexy Money) will play the lead in ABC drama pilot House Rules (also cast: Anna Chulmsky); Coupling's Richard Coyle will co-star in medical drama pilot Miami Trauma; Julie Gonzalo (Veronica Mars, Eli Stone) has been cast as the female lead on NBC sci-fi pilot Day One (also cast: Derek Mio and Addison Timlin); and Whitney Cummings (Made of Honor) will star in FOX comedy pilot The Station. (Hollywood Reporter)

Balthazar Getty (Brothers & Sisters) will guest star on an upcoming episode of NBC's Medium, where he will play a wealthy real estate investor whose wife is missing. [Editor: The episode will also feature Anjelica Huston and Rumer Willis, who will play a missing young woman whom Allison (Patricia Arquette) had rescued years before.] Elsewhere, Amy Madigan will return to Grey's Anatomy as Seattle Grace's on-call psychiatrist and will treat Kevin McKidd's Owen and Hector Elizondo will reprise his role as Callie's father in April. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Valerie Cruz (Hidden Palms) has been cast in HBO's True Blood in a recurring role; she'll play Isabel, an elegant Latino vampire. Elsewhere, Tim Guinee (Iron Man) will recur on FOX's 24 as reporter Ken Dellao, who has a connection to First Daughter Olivia Taylor (Sprague Grayden), and Clifton Powell (Rush Hour) has been cast as a psychologist on Lifetime's Army Wives. (Hollywood Reporter)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello has learned that CBS has told the producers of Warner Bros. Television-produced drama series Cold Case and Without a Trace that their series may be facing possible cancellation. "They no longer have the type of ratings that justify the massive overhead," an unnamed CBS source tells Ausiello. However, even if the studio is able to reduce budgetary costs on the series, "it's not a given that either show will be back."(
Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

USA Today speaks to Australian actor Chris Egan, the lead in NBC's new drama series Kings. "In the time where the world is right now, people need to be brave," said Egan of NBC's Kings. "That's what this story is. It's about a young soldier who makes a brave decision to go against orders and follow his heart. God described him as a man after his own heart. He was just this young kid who went out and faced this giant when all the odds are against him, when no one thought he could do it, and if anything, people were mocking him. I think there's such a great message behind that." (
USA Today)

Comedy Central has not renewed David Alan Grier's Chocolate News, which aired ten episodes last year. (New York Times)

Sara Foster (The Big Bounce) has landed a recurring role on CW's 90210, where she will play the older sister of AnnaLynne McCord's Naomi who arrives in Beverly Hills to cause some chaos. (Variety)

Stay tuned.

Comments

R.A. Porter said…
Jace, any word on whether Matheson will be doing double duty as a director on Body Politic?
Jace Lacob said…
R.A. Porter,

Not for the pilot anyway as Scott Winant is set to direct. We'll see if the project is picked up to series whether Matheson will get behind the camera.
Time Waster said…
Excited about the Jason Dohring news--he was AMAZING in Veronica Mars. If anyone else is a huge Veronica Mars fan, check out Ryan Hansen's exclusive behind the scenes tour of Josh Schwartz's new online series "Rockville CA" at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rockville-CA/55843554240?ref=ts#/video/video.php?v=70024295888.

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