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Channel Surfing: ABC Cancels "Samantha Who," NBC Renews "Law & Order," CBS to Order at Least Seven Series, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing.

In a surprise twist, ABC has opted to cancel comedy series Samantha Who, after it was widely believed that the network would renew the Christina Applegate-led comedy. The reason behind the cancellation was budget-cutting by the network and the comedy series was unable to reduce its budget enough to make a third season financially viable for ABC. The network had attempted to transition Samantha to a multi-camera format from single-camera in efforts to cut as much as half a million dollars per episode. (Variety)

NBC has given out an eleventh hour renewal to long-running legal procedural Law & Order, bringing the series' total to twenty seasons, tying it with Gunsmoke for the longest running drama series on television. It's believed that the order is for sixteen episodes. NBC will unveil their fall schedule to advertisers later today. (Hollywood Reporter)

CBS is set to unveil its fall schedule to advertisers on Wednesday but some details are leaking out about which series will land a place on the lineup. CBS is said to have given series orders to the untitled NCIS spin-off (referred to by some outlets as NCIS: Legend), The Good Wife, Three Rivers, Miami Trauma, and comedy Accidentally on Purpose. All series got the go-ahead to start staffing, along with dramas House Rules and U.S. Attorney, a likely sign that the latter series will also be ordered to series, possibly for midseason. CBS also ordered an unscripted series called Undercover Boss, which follows an executive who goes undercover as an entry-level drone at their own company. It's also believed that Old Christine will return, possibly paired with Accidentally on Purpose, as will comedies Gary Unmarried and Rules of Engagement. (Hollywood Reporter, Variety)

Meanwhile, the CW is set to announce the addition of Melrose Place and Kevin Williamson-executive produced supernatural drama Vampire Diaries when it unveils its schedule on Thursday. Privileged, however, which had been rumored to get a second season renewal, will not go ahead at the network. (Los Angeles Times)

Following FOX's announcement that it would renew Dollhouse for a second season, The Live Feed's James Hibberd chatted with series creator Joss Whedon about the news and asked whether fans would notice if the budget were cut. "My hope is “No.” In the fifth year of “Angel” we cut our budget significantly, yet we built a completely new set, we had an episode set on a submarine in the ‘40s," said Whedon. "Nobody felt like it was a cut back. Ultimately if the stories aren’t involving and somebody is going, [snobbish voice] “This doesn’t look as expensive as the last episode,” then the person has strange priorities." As for what to expect next season, Whedon offered a few thoughts. "The last few episodes we got to play "the man behind the curtain" a lot. We did less of, “And this week, she’s a neurosurgeon!” Which we’ll still do to an extent, it’s part of the fun. But we got into what makes the place tick, what makes it wrong. It was less, “Murder She Was Imprinted to Write.” The episodes were more satisfying and the network responded to that. And we also responded to their ideas about pacing and it being more of a thriller and a conspiracy so they were seeing what they were hoping for when we got the aspect we were looking for." (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

Meanwhile, TV Guide.com's Matt Mitovich caught up with Dollhouse star Eliza Dushku to talk to her about the FOX series' renewal. "I was in Uganda the past two weeks. I landed Friday night about midnight, and when I touched down the first message was a text from Joss saying, "We're back on, kid! Get ready to raise hell!" [Laughs] It was a nice homecoming," said Dushku, who said that the reason the series returned for another season was down to the fans. "We are so grateful and just bowled over by the support and the love and the loyalty. We are so excited to do the second season because it took us until the last six or so episodes to hit our stride; now we get to really have some fun." (TVGuide.com)

Lifetime has ordered twelve episodes of comedy Sherri, starring The View's Sherri Shepherd as a woman who juggles being a single mother, a paralegal, and an actress. Series, from executive producers Sherri Shepherd, Terri Minksy, Nina Wass, and Gene Stein, does not yet have an air date. It also stars Tammy Townsend, Kali Rocha, Elizabeth Regan, and Kate Reinders. (Variety)

The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan checks in with Friday Night Lights star Zach Gilford about his recent appearance on the season finale of ABC's Grey's Anatomy, what is in store for his character next season on Friday Night Lights, and what's next for the actor. (Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

Cabler G4 will launch two new series in the next few months. First up is The International Sexy Ladies Show, which launches June 7th and features comedians--such as Doug Benson, Steve Byrne, John Caparule, Mitch Fatel, Joy Koy, Sherrod Small, and Alex Zane--as they offer humor-based commentary on clips from around the world featuring women "participating in unusual activities." Ten episodes of the series, from Colour TV, are on tap. In August, the cabler will launch 2 Months, $2 Million, a reality competition series where "four online players will hunker down in a Las Vegas mansion and, using their own money, try to accumulate a vast amount of cash by competing against anonymous players on the Internet." (Variety)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Tomer said…
Just what the world needs....another season of Law & Order.

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