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Channel Surfing: NBC Exiles "Kings" to Saturday Nights, Thomas Calabro Returns to "Melrose Place," Liza Weil and Debra Mooney on "Grey's," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing.

NBC has exiled struggling freshman drama Kings to the dire Saturday night at 8 pm timeslot, where the network will burn off the remaining installments beginning April 18th. In its former Sunday night slot, the Peacock will air two-hour episodes of Dateline NBC from 7-9 pm ET/PT. In its last outing, Kings captures a lowly 1.1/3 among adults 18-49 and 3.6 million viewers overall. (Variety)

Thomas Calabro will reprise his role as Dr. Michael Mancini in the CW's revival of Melrose Place in a recurring capacity. Casting marks the second former cast member from the original FOX series joining the cast of the updated Melrose Place as he'll join Laura Leighton, who will reprise her role as Sydney Andrews. Could these two have ended up unhappily-ever-after, after all? (Entertainment Weekly)

Liza Weil (Gilmore Girls) and Debra Mooney (Everwood) will guest star in Grey's Anatomy's two-hour season finale, set to air on ABC on May 14th. Weil, best known for her role as Paris Gellar on Gilmore Girls, will play "a cancer patient who crosses paths with Izzie," while Mooney will play the mother to Kevin McKidd's Owen. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Pilot casting alert: Leah Remini (The King of Queens) will star in ABC comedy pilot Don't Try This at Home (formerly known as the untitled Jeff Strauss comedy), where she will play a newspaper editor married to Matthew Lillard's character with three kids. Elsewhere at ABC, Rebecca Creskoff (Mad Men) been cast as one of the leads in comedy pilot This Little Piggy, and Spencer Breslin (Center of the Universe) has joined the cast of the untitled Anita Renfroe comedy pilot. (Hollywood Reporter)

FOX has ordered reality series Someone's Gotta Go, in which real businesses facing layoffs will let the employees decide who will get pink-slipped. Project, from Endemol USA, could be on the network's schedule by late summer or early fall. "It's Survivor meets The Office," said FOX reality chief Mike Darnell. "When someone is arbitrarily let go the first reaction usually is 'How come that person was fired when another idiot is still here?' This finally gives employees a chance to make that decision instead of a boss." (Variety)

Bravo has announced that the ten-episode culinary competition series Top Chef Masters will kick off on Wednesday, June 10th at 10 pm ET/PT. Series will be hosted by food journalist Kelly Choi and regular judges will include New York Magazine food critic Gael Greene, James Oseland, the editor-in-chief of Saveur, and British journalist Jay Rayner. 24 master chefs (including several that have appeared as guest judges on Top Chef) will compete to win $100,000 in money for charity in a format that resembles Top Chef's weekly Quickfire and Elimination Challenges. Guest judges for the season include Lost executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, How I Met Your Mother's Neil Patrick Harris, Zooey Deschanel, and Flipping Out's Jeff Lewis. (via press release)

Elsewhere at Bravo, the cabler will launch docusoap NY Prep, described as a real-life Gossip Girl, on Tuesday, June 16th, following the season finale of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. (Futon Critic)

ABC Family announced several new series debuts, including drama Make It or Break It launching June 22nd; half-hour comedy 10 Things I Hate About You launching July 7th; and half-hour multi-camera comedy Ruby and the Rockits on July 21. The Secret Life of the American Teenager will return with its second season on June 22nd; Lincoln Heights kicks off its fourth season on August 14th; and Season Three of Greek will debut on September 14th. (Variety)

ITV director of acquisitions Jay Kandola will step down from her position at the broadcaster in June following a corporate restructuring that saw the loss of hundreds of jobs and a refocusing of the network's acquisitions priorities, which will see US series as less of a priority. (Hollywood Reporter)

Michael Shanks will reprise his role as Daniel Jackson in a cameo appearance in the upcoming series premiere episode of Stargate Universe on Sci Fi, according to consulting producer Joseph Mallozzi. Also returning in some form to reprise their roles: Richard Dean Anderson and Gary Jones. (Digital Spy)

Nickelodeon has ordered two live-action pilots, including an untitled surfing single-camera comedy, from executive producer Tommy Lynch and writers Boyce Bugliari and Jamie McLaughlin (Quintuplets), about two high school surfers looking for the perfect wave and Telepathic, a multi-camera comedy, from executive producer Conan O'Brien and writer Darin Henry (The War at Home), about three teenage misfits who navigate the treacherous waters of high school aided by telepathic powers. (Hollywood Reporter)

The New York Post is reporting that MTV is looking at Washington D.C. as a locale for an upcoming season of its reality franchise The Real World and has placed an ad looking for an accountant for a 20-week shoot in the nation's capital. (New York Post)

A&E has ordered nine episodes of The Fugitive Chronicles," a hybrid docu-drama series that will recount some of the most memorable captures of fugitives over the last twenty years and present these stories in dramatized verite-style re-enactments told from the point of view of both law enforcement and the fugitive. Project, from RDF USA, will premiere later this year. (Hollywood Reporter)

Planet Green has renewed five series for second seasons, including: Emeril Green, Focus Earth with Bob Woodruff, Greensburg, Renovation Nation, and Wa$ted!
All are expected to premiere new episodes during the week of April 19th-25th in celebration of Earth Day. (Broadcasting & Cable)

Stay tuned.


Marissa said…
I'm very excited about Top Chef Masters! It will be fun to see some master chefs sweat through Quickfires and Elimination Challenges and it will be a nice interlude until the next season of Top Chef.

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