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Channel Surfing: Russell T. Davies Defends "Torchwood" Twist, "Dexter" Animated Prequel for Fall, T.R. Knight Dishes on "Grey's" Departure, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing.

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello has an interview with Torchwood creator/executive producer Russell T. Davies, in which Davies defends the latest plot twist in Torchwood: Children of Earth (MAJOR SPOILER alert if you haven't yet seen "Day Four"), which has resulted in some angry fans. "It's not particularly a backlash," Davies corrected Ausiello. "What's actually happening is, well, nothing really to be honest. It's a few people posting online and getting fans upset. Which is marvelous. It just goes to prove how much they love the character and the actor. People often say, 'Fans have got their knives out!' They haven't got any knives. I haven't been stabbed. Nothing's happened. It's simply a few people typing. I'm glad they're typing because they’re that involved. But if you can’t handle drama you shouldn’t watch it. Find something else. Go look at poetry. Poetry’s wonderful." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Dexter fans have something to look forward to before Showtime launches the next season of Dexter. The pay cabler will release "Earl Cuts," twelve animated webisodes that will serve as a prequel to the series that explore how Dexter (Michael C. Hall) honed his craft as a serial killer, this fall. Hall will provide the voice for the titular killer. (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello has an exclusive interview with T.R. Knight, who candidly discusses the true reasons behind his departure from ABC's Grey's Anatomy after appearing on-screen for just 48 minutes during the entire fifth season of the series. Rather than confront Shonda Rhimes, Knight opted to just leave the series. "My five-year experience proved to me that I could not trust any answer that was given [about George]," Knight told Ausiello. "And with respect, I'm going to leave it at that." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Drama project Exit 19, from CBS Television Studios and writer/executive producer Jeffrey Bell, isn't quite dead. The project, which was shot as a pilot presentation for CBS in 2008, has been brought to cabler Lifetime, where it is being redeveloped. Bell will write a new version of the pilot script for Lifetime. (Variety)

Warren Leight (In Treatment) has come aboard FX drama project Lights Out, where he will serve as executive producer/showrunner alongside creator Justin Zackham should the project be ordered to series. Lights Out stars Holy McCallany and Melora Hardin. Elsewhere, Leight has signed a script deal with Peter Chernin's new production venture and, should HBO pick up another season of In Treatment, Leight will not stick with the series. (Hollywood Reporter)

TBS has ordered twenty additional episodes of comedy House of Payne--that's in addition to the twenty-six it recently ordered--bringing the series' total episodic count to 172 installments. (Variety)

ABC will launch reality competition series Crash Course on Wednesday, August 26th at 9 pm, following the run of I Survived a Japanese Game Show. (Variety)

30 Rock scribe Donald Glover--who also co-stars in NBC's Community this fall--has signed a two-year talent holding deal and blind script commitment under which he will write and star in a project for Universal Media Studios. (Variety)

AMC has hired former Brillstein-Grey Television executive Susie Fitzgerald as SVP of scripted series (though her title seems to still be under discussion), where she will spearhead series development at the cabler, which is quick to point out that she won't be a direct replacement for Christina Wayne, who resigned from the network in February. (Hollywood Reporter)

Reality shingle A. Smith and Co. is developing unscripted series Shark Boat, which follows diver Stefanie Brendl and the crew of Hawaii Shark Encounters, the only company in the US that allows people to free dive with sharks. (Variety)

American Idol executive producer Ken Warwick has signed a three-year deal to continue on as showrunner on the musical competition series, a deal that would making him "one of the highest-paid showrunners in TV -- if not the highest paid," according to Variety's Michael Schneider. (Variety)

UK network Channel Five has purchased the UK terrestrial and digital rights to ABC's upcoming drama series FlashForward for a sum believed to be between $500-600,000 per episode, significantly lower than the enormous sums paid by UK outlets for such Disney ABC Television series such as Lost and Desperate Housewives. (Hollywood Reporter)

Meanwhile, ITV has acquired the rights to US series The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl from Warner Bros. International Television Distribution. (Variety)

Stay tuned.

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