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Channel Surfing: Christopher Gorham Embroiled in "Covert Affairs," Franka Potente Moves into "House," NBC to Revive "Rockford Files," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing.

Christopher Gorham (Harper's Island) will star opposite Piper Perabo in USA's spy thriller pilot Covert Affairs. Gorham's attachment would seemingly lift the casting contingency on the project, which follows Annie Walker, a polyglot CIA trainee (Perabo) whose relationship with an enigmatic ex-boyfriend makes her of interest to the agency. Gorham will play Auggie Anderson, a blinded CIA military intelligence operative who helps Walker. (Hollywood Reporter)

Franka Potente (The Bourne Identity) will guest star in the season premiere of House this fall, where she will play a mystery character that Gregory House encounters in the mental hospital. What's unclear is whether Potente will be playing a doctor, a patient, or a figment of House's imagination. Hmmmm.... (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

House creator David Shore has come on board to oversee a remake of private eye drama The Rockford Files with NBC, Universal Media Studios, and Steve Carell's Carousel Television. "It's one of the shows that made me want to become a writer," said Shore. "I had no interest in adapting any old stuff, but this was the one exception." Like the original, the update will likely focus on an LA private investigator who is trying to make a living solving cases. NBC apparently wanted to fast-track this for mid-season but Angela Bromstad now tells Variety's Cynthia Littleton that they will "take our time and get it right." (Variety)

Marti Noxon and Dawn Parouse Olmstead's Grady Twin Prods. have set up several projects in development around town. Diane Keaton is now attached to the duo's untitled comedy project at HBO about a feminist icon who starts a porn magazine for women. Noxon will write the pilot script. Elsewhere, the duo have teamed up with Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan on an adaptation of their horror novel series The Strain, which they plan to shop to networks as a three-season arc. (Variety)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that FOX is "toying with the idea of staging a crossover next season that would find [Bones'] Booth and Brennan working on a case with Tim Roth’s Lie to Me doc Lightman," citing an unnamed insider who warns Ausiello that plans are still in the early stages and "may not even happen." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Donal Logue (Life) has been cast as the lead in FX's gumshoe drama pilot Terriers, from Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and Ted Griffin (Ocean's Eleven). Logue will play ex-cop Hank, who teams up with his best friend to start a private investigation firm where the "duo, both with maturity issues, solve crimes while trying to avoid danger and responsibility.... Hank is an affable, talkative fellow who's not always the best liar but is adept at adopting different personas to find out information. He is alarmed by what he perceives as signs of his encroaching senility." Project hails from fox21. (Hollywood Reporter)

TLC has renewed unscripted series Cake Boss, which follows the staff of a family-run bakery in New Jersey, for a second season. (Variety)

Mike Soccio (The King of Queens) will write and executive produce an untitled single-camera comedy about a modern interracial couple in LA. Project will be executive produced by Martin Lawrence, Robert Lawrence, and Darice Rollins. (Hollywood Reporter)

Cabler G4 has ordered a spin-off of its imported series Ninja Warrior, entitled American Ninja Warrior, which will be executive produced by Craig Piligian and is set to launch this fall. Series, according to Broadcasting & Cable's Alex Weprin, "will chronicle the search to find10 American competitors to send to Japan and tackle the original series' obstacle course. The challenger who completes all four stages the fastest will be crowned the American Ninja Warrior." (Broadcasting & Cable)

Across the Pond, BSkyB has announced that it will be the first European broadcaster to offer 3D television when it launches the UK's first strictly 3D channel in 2010. Customers will need a 3D ready television set in order to watch the channel, which will offer a mix of movies, entertainment, and sporting events. (Broadcast)

UK satellite network Sky1 has ordered eight episodes of Just Dance, an X-Factor style dancing competition series that will replace outbound unscripted series Don't Forget the Lyrics. Series, from Shine and Princess Prods., will launch in January 2010. (Broadcast)

TruTV has ordered a second season of reality series Black Gold, which follows Texan oil rig crews. Season Two is said to include "Rooster" McConaughey, the brother of actor Matthew McConaughey. (Hollywood Reporter)

Syfy has hired Andrew Plotkin as SVP of original programming. Plotkin, who was a former Warner Bros. Television executive, will be based in Los Angeles and will report to Mark Stern and will work alongside SVP Erik Storey. Plotkin replaces Tony Optican, who now runs FremantleMedia North America's scripted division. (Variety)

Stay tuned.

Comments

rockauteur said…
Tru TV also said that Rooster was in the first season of Black Gold... yet he only appeared in about one or two episodes. He is a pipe salesman, not someone who actually works on an oil rig, so it would be odd if he was a series regular anyway.
Piper said…
I like the idea of Diane Keaton in an HBO comedy. Her sublime talent has been wasted lately in too many cheesy movies.
Anonymous said…
So this is what happened to Shore's whole PI spin-off from House. LOL.

Also, Marti Noxon rules. She made Buffy what Buffy is.
Unknown said…
I loved James Garner in The Rockford Files (and pretty much anything else he did). It'd be great if they could do justice to a remake. It'll be tough though. I wonder how Garner feels about this new project. Any chance of a cameo?
wooster182 said…
A new Rockford Files??? Matt Keeslar should definitely have Garner's part.

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