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Channel Surfing: NBC Dethrones "Kings" Until June, Team Darlton Talks "Lost," ABC Circles "Old Christine," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing.

NBC has pulled freshman drama Kings from its schedule, effective immediately. The drama was originally set to air on Thursday evenings but the Peacock shifted it to Sundays, where it aired four low-rated episodes before being pushed to the graveyard on Saturday nights. NBC has once again managed to surprise, this time by pulling Kings from its lineup altogether, although the network has pledged to return Kings to the schedule on June 13th, when it will begin to burn off the remainder of the series' unaired installments on Saturday nights at 8 pm. In the meantime, NBC will air repeats of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Southland, and Law & Order on Saturdays. (Hollywood Reporter)

Variety's Season Pass has a brand-new Q&A with Lost executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse as they look back at the five seasons that have gone by and the final season yet to come. "I think our hope is that looking back on the entire run of the show, that people remember the EXPERIENCE of watching it — what it actually felt like to be mystified and frustrated and surprised — as opposed to just where it landed storywise," said Lindelof. "When all is said and done, we’ll have consumed six years of our fans’ lives and our greatest wish is that they look back on that time and feel that it was all worth it. As far as whether we’ll want to revisit Lost 20 years from now, the answer is probably no… though it would be pretty cool to see what someone else might come up with!" Team Darlton also talks about the death of Mr. Eko, an aborted Sawyer plotline with Joelen Blalock, and which works of literature have most directly influenced them. (Variety's Season Pass)

ABC is making eyes at Old Christine. The Alphabet has made it clear that they are looking to pickup comedy series Old Christine once again, should CBS opt not to renew the Warner Bros. Television-produced series starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. According to Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello, who claims that unnamed sources close to production have told him that "WB execs are engaged in active discussions with ABC about picking up the four-year-old comedy, which once again finds itself on the dreaded bubble at CBS." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Meanwhile, ABC has pulled struggling comedies Samantha Who? and In the Motherhood from its schedule much sooner than anticipated. Both were slated to air one final episode this Thursday evening but ABC has opted instead to pull both series and instead and air a repeat of Grey's Anatomy in the 8 pm ET/PT hour. It's not expected that ABC will renew In the Motherhood, but Samantha Who? is said to have decent chances of returning next season. (Variety)

Lifetime will debut the long-delayed sixth season of reality competition series Project Runway on Thursday, August 20th at 10 pm ET/PT, followed by half-hour behind-the-scenes spin-off Models of the Runway at 11 pm. The network also announced launch dates for new scripted dramedy Drop Dead Diva on July 12th and the third season of Army Wives on June 7th. (Variety, Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider)

The Washington Post talks to former Wire star Idris Elba--currently appearing in a multiple-episode story arc on NBC's The Office--about his career as an actor and DJ/musical artist, The Wire's Stringer Bell, working on The Office, and being a sex symbol. Of the latter, Elba said, "It's weird because, you know, I've been just the ordinary chap for 30 odd years and suddenly, I'm going into this [situation]: "Oh my God, all the ladies love you!" And I'm like, "Huh? Me? It doesn't make any sense!" I didn't grow up like some sort of sex symbol. It does make a gentleman walk with a stride in his step, believe me." (
Washington Post)

ABC's Ugly Betty has locked The View hosts Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Joy Behar for guest roles on the May 21st episode, in which Daniel Meade (Eric Mabius) appears on The View to "discuss his management of Mode magazine (because that always happens), but instead becomes the target of their daily 'Hot Topics' segment." (The episode will also, according to Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello, feature Rachel Dratch in a guest role as a Mode staffer.) (TVGuide.com)

Elsewhere, Embeth Davidtz (In Treatment) has been cast in a ten-episode story arc on Season Three of Showtime's Californication, where she will play the wife of Peter Gallagher's character, the dean at the college where David Duchovny works. And Alicia Witt (Law & Order: Criminal Intent) will also guest star on Californication as a gyneocologist whom Duchovny's Hank falls for, while Michael Weston (House) will guest star on an upcoming episode of USA's Burn Notice, where he will play a mentally unbalanced MIT grad who uncovers a scheme to sell the names of undercover spies. (
Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Food Network has ordered three new primetime series, including Chefs vs. City, in which chefs Chris Cosentino and Aaron Sanchez face off against local foodies in various cities each week, which launches in July; Extreme Cuisine With Jeff Corwin, which launches in September, and Worst Cooks in America, which follows chefs Anne Burrell and Beau MacMillan as each train six woeful home cooks and attempt to transform them into top chefs in ten days' time. The latter is slated to launch in January 2010. Also on tap for next year: mini-series Foods That Changed the World, hosted by Alton Brown, which will debut in third quarter 2010. (Hollywood Reporter)

FTVS has signed a first look deal with Initial A's Andrew Lau (Infernal Affairs) and Andrew Loo and Zinc Media's Zach Sherman in an effort to jointly develop new English-language programming for FTVS that could be produced in Southeast Asia and then sold back into the US and globally, much like the studio is doing with such drama series as Mental, Persons Unknown, and Defying Gravity. (Variety)

A federal judge has denied disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich's request to travel to Costa Rica in order to participate in NBC's upcoming reality series I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, refusing to loosen Blagojevich's travel restrictions. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Neena said…
I'm sad about Kings. I've really been enjoying it. I really do hope that it comes back in June. I want to see the remaining episodes.

If only the makers had gone to HBO with this...oh well.
TxGowan said…
Wait, an actor named Michael Weston is going to be on a show about a guy named Michael Weston?

That's gonna get confusing on-set.

Speaking of confusing, why would ABC not show those two episodes of Samantha Who and In The Motherhood and get it over with? Is a Grey's repeat really going to help any more during sweeps?
Lacey said…
I'm really happy that Idris Elba is being offered so many excellent roles but no matter what part he's playing, I will always think of him as Stringer Bell...which makes him particularly creepy on The Office and which makes me laugh when he describes himself as an "ordinary chap" because Stringer was anything but ordinary.
Jace Lacob said…
TX Gowan,

I believe that ABC is hoping that a repeat of "Grey's Anatomy" will be a better lead-in for a new episode of "Grey's" than the floundering combo of "In the Motherhood" and "Samantha Who?" would be. June seems to quickly becoming the networks' dumping ground once more for unwanted series.
Mrs. Ph!lyaw said…
I'm so sad about Kings being out until June. I was really starting to get into it. Granted it's no Lost but it was still getting really good. If it doesn't come back in June, I hope they at least are decent enough to put it out to buy the season.

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