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Channel Surfing: James Marsters to Spike "Caprica," ABC Checks into "Hotel," Davies Has Plan for "Torchwood" Season Four, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing.

Buffy and Angel's James Marsters--who appeared last year in Season Two of Torchwood to boot--has been cast in a multiple-episode story arc on Syfy's upcoming Battlestar Galactica prequel series Caprica. Marsters, who is slated to appear in at least three installments, will play Barnabus Greeley, a dangerous terrorist leader who is described as being "driven by desires both moralistic and carnal" and is "as lethal as he is unpredictable." Caprica premieres January 22nd on Syfy. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

ABC has given a script order to Clive Barker's Hotel, described as a "series of ghoulish incidents at a haunted hotel," from writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton. Project, from Warner Bros. Television and Wonderland Sound and Vision, will be executive produced by Clive Barker and McG, who could direct the pilot episode if the network moves forward with the project, which had drawn attention from FOX and several other networks before landing at ABC. (Hollywood Reporter)

Torchwood creator Russell T. Davies has indicated that he has a direction in mind for the fourth season of Torchwood, whose format is under discussion at BBC One. "I could write you scene one of Series Four right now. I know exactly how to pick it up," he told Torchwood Magazine. "I've got a shape in mind, and I've got stories. I know where you'd find Gwen and Rhys, and their baby, and Jack, and I know how you'd go forward with a new form of Torchwood... If the BBC asked for another 13 one-part stories, that's what we'd do. I'm ready for anything, but I think it works well as one continuous story. But if the BBC decide they want 13 one-offs, I'll suddenly decide that's the best format in the world!" (Digital Spy)

Casting alert: Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break) has been cast in NBC's Southland, where he will play a rowdy new partner to Detective Lydia Adams (Regina King). Elsewhere, Joy Bryant (Virtuality) has been added to the cast of NBC's midseason drama series Parenthood as single mom Jasmine, who moves to the Oakland in order to introduce her five-year-old son to his father. And Jurnee Smollet (The Great Debaters) has joined the cast of Friday Night Lights, where she will play Jess, described as "he daughter of a onetime NFL hopeful who knows the game and helps raise her siblings with the help of her father." (Hollywood Reporter)

Gina Torres (Firefly) has been cast in at least two episodes of CW's Gossip Girl, where she will play Gabriela Adams, a.k.a. Vanessa's mom, according to TVGuide.com's Mickey O'Connor, who describes her character as "a free spirit, a former Brooklynite who lives 'off the grid' in Vermont and has definite opinions about things, especially concerning her daughter." (TVGuide.com)

Cabler TNT has announced that it has extended the run of its drama series Leverage this summer, adding two additional episodes to the series' summertime run. (Televisionary)

ABC Studios has signed a two-year overall deal with writer Michael Seitzman (Empire State, House Rules) under which he will develop new series concepts for the studio. Seitzman, according to Variety's Cynthia Littleton, "said he intends to pen two pilots in the coming development season, and he's in the process of winnowing his candidates from a host of ideas that he's been kicking around to develop under his Michael Seitzman's Pictures banner." (Variety)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Amy Aquino (ER, Felicity) and Peter Gerety (The Wire) have been cast in multiple-episode story arcs on ABC's Brothers & Sisters, where Aquino will play a "doctor treating a member of the Walker clan who shall remain nameless," while Gerety will play a "surprising outsider." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Showtime has ordered ten episodes of Oliver Stone-narrated documentary series Oliver Stone's Secret History of America, which will air on the pay cabler next year. (Televisionary)

Shania Twain, Kelly Clarkson, and Joe Jonas are said to be among the guest judges on tap for next season of FOX's American Idol. (Hollywood Reporter)

On the eve of the anniversary of the investment bank's breakdown, BBC Two has commissioned The Last Days of Lehman Brothers, a 24-style "dramatization" of the collapse of Lehman Brothers that will star James Cromwell, James Bolam, Ben Daniels, Michael Landes, and Corey Johnson. Slated to air around September 12th, the one-year anniversary of the bank's collapse, the one-hour drama is directed by Michael Samuels. (Broadcast)

Actress and fashion icon Nicole Kidman will make a cameo appearance on Thursday evening's Project Runway: All-Star Challenge, which airs on Lifetime just prior to the series' sixth season premiere. (via press release)

Penelope Ann Miller (Vanished) will appear in at least five episodes of TNT's upcoming drama series Men of a Certain Age, where she will play the ex-wife of Ray Romano's character. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

ABC soap All My Children will transition to 720p high definition production in 2010, following a long-term deal reached between the network and Broadcast Facilities, Inc. at the company's satellite transmission and post facility in LA, with the first HD episodes expected to air in February. (Broadcasting & Cable)

Stay tuned.

Comments

wildhoney said…
The Caprica cast list just keeps getting better and better! Can't wait to see Marsters back in action.
Cassandra said…
Gina Torres on Gossip Girl? Not sure how I feel about that. Love Gina but loathe Vanessa and will feel conflicted every time they are on screen together.
It's great to know "James the Great" is back in action, besides in a high class' cast & crew as Caprica. But I can't say I like the news a lot. Ausiello and TVsionary has made the point: "James Masters to Spike Caprica". I am pretty sure Masters deserves a deep, full-sized role to starr _as Spike himself developed to, actually. Seeing him playing always the good-bad guy/maniac it's a waste of his talent.
Veiriti said…
I agree with you Small Blue Thing, James Marsters deserves more... I'd love to see him in his own show as Spike again - Spike is my favorite tv. character ever... but...
Anyway I can't wait to see James Marsters on Caprica! I loved Caprica's pilot and BGS! And I'd love to see James on Torchwood again as Capt. Hart. He was cool character as well!

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