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Channel Surfing: "Chuck" Trio to Return for Season Three, Acevedo Let Go From FOX's "Fringe," Diamantopoulos Counts Down for "24," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing.

Wondering just what Season Three of NBC's Chuck will be like? For one thing the series' core trio isn't going anywhere. "Yes. Chuck, Sarah, and Casey are in all episodes," said Chuck co-creator/executive producer Josh Schwartz. Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello catches up with Schwartz to find out about Season Three, budget cuts, Subway, returning supporting cast members ("We have plans for Anna to return"), and about being off the air for ten months. "It was really a tough choice that the network faced: Put us on Friday or [hold us until] midseason," said Schwartz. "I really believe Chuck is the little show that could. Our fans are clearly passionate, clearly loyal, and hopefully all we'll do is get them more and more [excited] for our return. And we'll come up with fun ways of stoking the fans throughout the fall. We also have something very, very fun planned for Comic-Con this year." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

One cast member who won't be returning for Season Two of FOX drama Fringe is Kirk Acevedo, who played FBI Agent Charlie Francis. Acevedo announced that he had been let go from the drama (due to budgetary cuts) via his Facebook profile status update, writing, "WELL BOYS AND GIRLS THEY DONE DID YER BOY WRONG! THEY FIRED ME OFF OF FRINGE, AND IVE NEVER BEEN FIRED IN MY LIFE!!!!" Series writer/producer Brad Caleb Kane confirmed the news via Twitter, saying: "They fired Kirk Acevedo? WTF?" Meanwhile, blog Oh No They Didn't has information on a casting call for Season Two of Fringe: "MID TO LATE TWENTIES. FBI AGENT SHE IS ATTRACTIVE, BRASH, OUTSPOKEN,QUICK-WITTED AND CAPABLE. CATHERINE HAS A STRONG PERSONAL CENTER THAT COMES FROM A DEEP CORE BELIEF IN THE WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE. (RECURRING WITH POSSIBLE OPTION FOR SR) PLEASE SUBMIT ALL ETHNICITIES"

Chris Diamantopoulos (The Starter Wife) has been cast as a series regular on Day Eight of FOX's 24. He'll play Rob Weiss, the "argumentative and tough new Chief of Staff to President Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones)," replacing Ethan Kanin (Bob Gunton), President Taylor's current Chief of Staff on 24. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Sarah Chalke likely won't be returning to Scrubs full-time next season. "I would've had Sarah in a heartbeat," Scrubs creator/executive producer Bill Lawrence told Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. "I think she's got enough going on in her career [right now]. I'd say it's 50-50 she's in some episodes. I know she'll at least be in one or two." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Producers of Bravo's reality hit The Real Housewives of New York City are reportedly negotiating deals with six replacements who could become the stars of the series' third season, should the network not be able to reach an agreement with the series' current stars, who are allegedly asking for additional compensation for their participation on Housewives. It is still possible, however, that all six women from the first two seasons could return for Season Three. (New York Post)

TNT unveiled a slew of series in development at yesterday's upfront presentation, including an untitled alien invasion drama pilot from executive producer Steven Spielberg and writer Robert Rodat about a group of everyday men and women who battle the invading aliens, legal drama Class Action from executive producers Steven Bochco and Stephen Godchaux about an unlucky attorney who fights the good fight for the disenfranchised, drama Zapata, Texas from executive producer Kyra Sedgwick and executive producer/director Kevin Bacon about the new sheriff of a small Texas border town, an untitled family drama from Roseanne creator Matt Williams about a middle American family, an untitled period noir drama from writer Daniel Pyne about a private detective in 1954 Los Angeles, Pastor Jazz, starring Charles S. Dutton as a minister who uses music to touch the hearts of his congregation, Macalister, about a professor at a school for boys that serves the wealthy and privileged, and Proof, about an eccentric neuroscientist who uses his expertise to help law enforcement solve tough cases. (Variety)

The New York Times' Bill Carter takes a look at why several networks are extending the life of canceled series by picking them up from their rivals, such as CBS' decision to pick up Medium after NBC passed on the series. Carter points to a worrying trend that has networks making programming decisions based on syndication money or DVD sales for their studio side. "The conflict over Medium was emblematic of what transpired at every network this week, when money and ownership were major factors in scheduling decisions," writes Carter. "CBS had no trouble committing to ordering a full season of Medium, which NBC had resisted, because as owner of the show it will benefit financially from the future sale of the episodes of the show produced for the coming season." (New York Times)

MTV will launch Season Twenty-Two of The Real World, set in Cancun, on June 24th. (Variety)

Wondering what Georgina's statement at the end of the season finale of Gossip Girl meant now that actress Michelle Trachtenberg's new medical series Mercy was picked up by NBC? Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello says that Gossip Girl producers "thought ahead and made sure Trachtenberg negotiated a three-episode Gossip Girl 'out' in her Mercy contract. You didn't really think the Georgina-Blair roommate thing would last longer than that, did you?" (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

National Geographic will launch Hooked as an ongoing series beginning June 29th. Series, hosted by Zeb Hogan, explores how various cultures "approach fishing (and underwater conservation) while highlighting the most dramatic catches." Cabler will also return series World's Toughest Fixes on June 4th and Locked Up Abroad on July 15th. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


Greer said…
I couldn't imagine Chuck getting rid of one of the three leads but scaling back screen time for some of the supporting cast members could actually be a good thing. Not having to have the Buy More or Ellie/Awesome in every episode could free things up a little and allow them to explore more storylines.
Melissa said…
Very sad to hear about Kirk Acevedo, I was really beginning to fall for him and I think his chemistry with Olivia was excellent.
Bella Spruce said…
I have nothing against Kirk Acevedo but there are too many cast members on that show with nothing to do and he was certainly one of them. If cutting his part means that other characters (Broyles? Astrid?) can be developed more, then I'm all for it.
Karen said…
I'm so glad they saved Chuck! I need to hurry up and buy a Comic Con ticket if there are any left. And on the Fringe side, bummers about Charlie. He was a nice piece of the puzzle.

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