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Channel Surfing: CBS Cans "Unit," "Eleventh," "Without a Trace," CW Orders "Melrose," "Vampire Diaries," "Beautiful Life," NBC Axes "Earl," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing.

CBS has opted to cancel dramas The Unit, Without a Trace, and Eleventh Hour and will renew dramas Cold Case and NUMB3RS and comedies The New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried. (Hollywood Reporter)

CW has ordered three new drama series for next season, giving the greenlight to Melrose Place, Vampire Diaries, and The Beautiful Life, while Privileged, Reaper, Everybody Hates Chris, and The Game have all been officially cancelled. Meanwhile, the CW has announced that it will not go ahead with the planned spin-off of Gossip Girl but has indicated that drama Life Unexpected remains in contention for a midseason order. The network will unveil its schedule to advertisers tomorrow. (Variety, Hollywood Reporter)

After NBC's cancellation of comedy series My Name is Earl, producers on the 20th Century Fox Television-produced series are said to be shopping it elsewhere, including to FOX and ABC. Series co-star Ethan Suplee has started a Save Our Show campaign on Twitter and urges fans of Earl to spread the word. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

ABC Entertainment Group president Steve McPherson has defended the network's decision to move dramedy Ugly Betty to Friday nights, saying that it's not a sign that Betty is on her way to the grave. "I love the show [and] America [Ferrera] is one of our biggest stars," said McPherson. "[But] you look at [Betty's declining ratings on] Thursday night and we think we have a big opportunity with Flash Forward. You have to make some bold moves sometimes. To me, I'd love to see [Betty] have a great run on Friday night the way Ghost Whisperer has [for CBS]." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Meanwhile, My Name is Earl creator Greg Garcia lashed out at NBC, which announced that it was not bringing Earl back next season. "It’s hard to be too upset about being thrown off the Titanic," said Garcia, who said he intends to shop the series to other networks. "They woke me up at 7:30 to let me know. I e-mailed Jeff Zucker [president and chief executive of NBC Universal] on Sunday, and I never got a response. But this is show business. The writing was on the wall. When you go to bed the night before the schedule is out, and no one has spoken to you, you know what’s happening. You get somewhat frustrated with how it’s being handled, but that’s the business we work in. I’ve never fooled myself that it’s a fair or friendly business." (Los Angeles Times' Show Tracker)

Richard Coyle (Coupling) will be recast on CBS' new series Miami Trauma. (Futon Critic via Twitter)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello talked with Privileged creator Rina Mimoun about the CW's decision not to bring back the series for a second season. "It's truly heartbreaking," Mimoun told Ausiello via e-mail. "I'm so grateful to everyone out there who supported our little show and fell in love with Megan Smith. She was the most delightful character I've ever had the pleasure to write and watching JoAnna Garcia bring her to life every day was a gift I will never forget. I'm incredibly proud of the work we did and forever indebted to all the fans, critics and to Warner Bros. for being so wonderful and supportive. I will miss this more than you know." (
Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

A&E will launch Season Two of drama The Closer, starring Benjamin Bratt, on June 23rd. Guest stars for the upcoming series include Christine Lahti, Whoopi Goldberg, and Lori Petty. (via press release)

Nickelodeon has given a pilot order for a series based on DreamWorks Animation's Monsters vs. Aliens feature film. Also on tap for DreamWorks Animation: a Shrek Halloween special entitled Scared Shrekless and a Kung Fu Panda holiday special. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.


joy said…
Sigh. I'm sad about the Unit and Privileged.
Unknown said…
Oh well. I had scarce hope for Reaper and Privileged, but I did enjoy them. I wish shows had a chance to wrap things up before being taken out back and shot.
susie que said…
Garcia is shopping "Earl" around to other networks? Why? The show has been faltering for quite some time and is not really relevant any more. It's lame how NBC handled the cancellation but I don't see why another network would be interested in picking it up.
CL said…
The Unit is canceled, eh? Saw that coming. I loved the show and the characters, but lost interest somewhere during the third season - right after Hector died, I think. Don't really know what happened, but the show just suddenly lost the will to live.

Vampire Diaries... I've heard it described (by quite a few people) as "Twilight, but as a TV show." Heh. I'll pass.

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