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Channel Surfing: Elizabeth Banks Joins "Modern Family," Shawn Ryan to "Ridealong" with FOX, Tina Fey Talks Emmys and "30 Rock," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing.

Elizabeth Banks (Scrubs) has signed on guest star on ABC's upcoming comedy series Modern Family in a potentially recurring role. TV Guide Magazine's William Keck is reporting that Banks will play Sal, a close friend of gay couple Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet), in an October episode and that she came to the project via her real-life friendship with Ferguson. "Sal is their old running buddy," executive producer Steven Levitan told Keck. "Mitchell and Cameron decide they need a night out on the town, so they call her up." Lloyd adds, "She's thrilled to be back with her old friends until they start talking about their new (adopted) baby and she doesn't want to hear about the baby, so she starts saying things like, 'I wouldn't mind killing the baby.'" (TV Guide Magazine)

FOX has given a put pilot commitment to Shawn Ryan's one-hour drama project Ridealong, about a group of Chicago-based cops ranging from uniformed beat cops to a female police chief. Ryan will write and executive produce the pilot, which will be shot on location in Chicago. Ryan, who said that the project won't be as gritty as The Shield, indicated that the series will focus on episodic cases "but something will happen in the pilot that will have overarching (ramifications) that we deal with over time. It will be less serialized than Grey's but more than CSI." Project hails from 20th Century Fox Television and Ryan's shingle Midd Kid Prods. (Variety, Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

Broadcasting & Cable's Melissa Grego has a fantastic interview with 30 Rock creator/star/executive producer Tina Fey about the Emmys, Ben Silverman, 30 Rock, syndication, and much more. Of Silverman, Fey said, "Ben was always very good to us and good to 30 Rock, and anyone who left us on the air is all right by me. We'll miss him, but all seems well with the new guy, too. I spoke to Mr. Gaspin last week and he seems like a good guy—so far. So far. I'm giving him 10... no, I'm kidding." (Broadcasting & Cable)

Mike Vogel (Empire State) has replaced Richard Coyle on CBS' midseason medical drama Miami Trauma. Vogel will play a "charming and fiercely competitive surgeon with a healthy ego." (Is there any other kind?) Series, from Warner Bros. Television and executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer, follows the lives of trauma specialists in Miami. (Hollywood Reporter)

Despite comments made by Kevin Reilly at last week's TCA Summer Press Tour, FOX will be airing the final installments of King of the Hill, according to a new press release. FOX has slated the one-hour series finale of King of the Hill for Sunday, September 13th at 8 pm ET/PT. (via press release)

Hilary Duff will star in ABC Family romantic comedy telepic The Business of Falling in Love, based on the book "Diary of a Working Girl" by Daniella Brodsky about a fashion reporter who goes undercover in the financial world to write an article about dating business men. Gil Junger will direct the two-hour telepic, which was adapted by Mike Horowitz (Burn Notice). (Hollywood Reporter)

ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson confirmed that comedies The Goode Family and Surviving Suburbia have been canceled and won't be returning to the schedule. (Futon Critic)

Two more cast additions to TNT's untitled alien invasion drama pilot from Steven Spielberg: iCarly's Drew Roy and The Hole's Peter Shinkoda have signed on to star opposite Noah Wyle. (Hollywood Reporter)

Clint Black will executive produce anthology series American Storytellers from ITV Studios, which transforms country music songs into one-hour drama installments. Black will executive produce the series with Mark Roberts, Lorena David, and Joel C. High. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


Prez said…
Really looking forward to Modern Family. It's supposed to be hilarious and having Elizabeth Banks pop up on the show would be an added bonus.

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