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Channel Surfing: Helen Hunt Could Replace Maura Tierney, Denis O'Hare Crowned King on "Blood," "Gravity" Still Floating at ABC, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing.

Following the departure of Maura Tierney from the cast of NBC's Parenthood, producers have reportedly approached Helen Hunt about replacing Tierney on the Jason Katims-executive produced drama series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hunt "is said to be considering the offer, which would mark her return to series television and to NBC, where she starred on the comedy Mad About You for seven years before segueing into features." (Hollywood Reporter)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Denis O'Hare (Brothers & Sisters) has been cast as a series regular next season on HBO's True Blood, where he will play the Vampire King of Mississippi. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

(For more on Season Three of True Blood, you can read my exclusive one-on-one interview with Alan Ball here.)

Despite rumors to the contrary, the Futon Critic is reporting that ABC has not yet canceled its sci-fi romantic drama Defying Gravity, produced by Fox Television Studios, though it's not clear if or when ABC will air the remaining installments. "Nicole Marostica, the show's publicist for the network, has confirmed the Alphabet hasn't pulled the plug on the show and is still mulling scheduling options going forward," wrote Futon Critic staffers. (Futon Critic)

HBO is developing two historical mini-series, including Ida Tarbell, a biopic focusing on the early 20th century female investigative journalist Ida Tarbell, who exposed the Standard Oil monopoly. Mini will be produced by Harpo Films, with Oprah Winfrey and Kate Forte to executive produce and Mimosa Jones to write the script. The pay cabler is also developing The Black Panthers with Carl Franklin attached to write and direct the project. (Variety)

Eric Balfour (24) has joined the cast of the CW's The Beautiful Life in a multiple-episode story arc, where he will play Eric "a charming rival to Claudia (Elle Macpherson) at a competing modeling agency." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

HBO will make the pilot of its new comedy series Bored to Death available ahead of its September 20th broadcast on a number of platforms, including HBO On Demand, iTunes, Comcast's, and "We are very pleased with the excitement Bored to Death has generated and to capitalize on that buzz, we are looking forward to giving audiences a chance to preview the series prior to its network debut" Zach Enterlin, VP of advertising and promotion at HBO, told Broadcasting & Cable. "We feel that teaming up with our key online partners and affiliates through HBO On-Demand is a great way for us to allow viewers to discover this hilarious new show." (Broadcasting & Cable)

The Hollywood Reporter's Nellie Andreeva investigates whether the multi-camera comedy format is poised to make a comeback next season, with most of the comedy pilots ordered being multi-camera rather than single-camera. (Hollywood Reporter)

TLC has ordered six episodes of reality series Wedded to Perfection, which follow husband and wife wedding planners Jung Lee and Josh Brooks. Series, which originally ran as a special in May, will launch on October 2nd. (Variety)

Former JAG star David James Elliott has been cast in Hallmark Channel telepic Man of the House, about an advertising executive who loses his wife and his job and becomes a full-time parent to his two kids. Telepic, from Larry Levinson Prods., will air in 2010. (Hollywood Reporter)

Alchemy TV co-founder Simon Vaughan has started a new shingle, Lookout Point, whose goal is to co-produce and finance international drama both on the series and longform sides, but Vaughan has indicated that the company won't distribute the product. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


MeganE said…
I'm exciting about Bored to Death (especially after reading your advanced review!) and will be checking it out early on iTunes.

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