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Channel Surfing: "Castle" Gets Full Season, Showrunner Marc Guggenheim Departs "FlashForward," Jason Momoa Ascends to HBO's "Thrones," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing.

Good news for Castle fans: ABC has picked up the Nathan Fillion procedural drama series for a full season of 22 episodes after the series has performed well in its Monday night timeslot against tough competition from CBS. The news comes on the heels of ABC picking up first year series Modern Family, Cougar Town, The Middle, and FlashForward for full seasons, leaving only Hank, Eastwick, and The Forgotten the only new series that haven't received back nine pickups. (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

I wonder if he saw this in his flashforward... Co-showrunner/executive producer Marc Guggenheim has stepped down from his position on the ABC sci-fi drama series FlashForward, leaving sole showrunning duties to co-creator David Goyer. "Because of Goyer's limited hands-on TV series experience, Eli Stone co-creator Guggenheim was brought in after the FlashForward pilot to help with the launch of the mystery drama based on Robert Sawyer's novel," writes the Hollywood Reporter's Nellie Andreeva. "After learning the ropes in a co-showrunner capacity on the original 12-episode order of FlashForward alongside Guggenheim, Goyer will fly solo for the series' back-nine order." (Hollywood Reporter)

Former Stargate Atlantis star Jason Momoa has been cast in HBO's fantasy pilot Game of Thrones, based on the George R. R. Martin novel series "A Song of Fire and Ice." Momoa will play "horse lord Khal Drogo," according to the Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan. Also confirmed: The Prisoner's Jamie Campbell-Bower as Waymar Royce, Joseph Mawle as Benjen Stark, Richard Ridings as Gared, Ron Donachie and Ser Rodrik Cassel, Donald Sumpter and Maester Luwin, and Ian McNeice as Ilyrio Mopatis. Filming on the pilot has just gotten underway this week in Northern Ireland. (Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

Judy Greer (Miss Guided) has attached herself to a comedy project based on Elaine Szewcyzk's novel "I'm With Stupid." Project, which has a script order at ABC, will star Greer as Kas Sienkiewicz, "a Manhattanite who has a fling with a park ranger while on safari in South Africa. She returns home -- and the ranger tracks her down in New York." Szewcyzk will write and co-executive produce the ABC Studios-produced project, with Allan Loeb, Steve Pearl, and Richard Lewis attached as executive producers. Elsewhere, the network gave out a script order plus penalty to comedy We Are Here, about four friends who met at the University of Texas but all still live in Austin and deal with adulthood in different ways. Project, from Sony Pictures Television, is written by Hilary Winston (Community), who will executive produce with Anthony and Joe Russo. (Variety)

NBC is developing an untitled sitcom from writer/star Paul Rust (I Love You, Beth Cooper) that is based on his experiences working at Wal-Mart after college in his small Iowa hometown. Project, from Conaco Prods and Universal Media Studios, will be written by Rust, who is attached to star as himself in a fictional version of his own experiences. (Variety)

ABC has given a script order plus penalty to single-camera comedy Boyfred, about six twenty-somethings who keep in touch via a Web site created by the titular Fred, a web designer whose girlfriend has gone overseas. Project, based on a $6000 presentation, is written by Alan Schmuckler, Michael Mahler, Blake Silver, and Jarrod Zimmerman and is executive produced by Thomas Schlamme. The Sony Pictures Television-produced project is said to be music-intensive, with several tunes written by Schmuckler and Mahler. (Hollywood Reporter)

Comedy Central has acquired off-network rights to FX comedy series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which the cabler will begin airing next summer. FX has already committed to a sixth and seventh season of Sunny, bringing the eventual total to 84 episodes. Deal marks the first time that a basic cable channel has purchased off-network rights to another basic channel's property. (Variety)

HBO has given a script order for an untitled drama to star Stanley Tucci as a "brilliant, one-time powerful politician struggling to rebuild his career and relationships with his family and friends after being brought down by a scandal." Project, from Lionsgate and Olive Prods., the shingle set up by Steve Buscemi, Stanley Tucci, and Wren Arthur, will be written by Stu Zicherman (Six Degrees). Elsewhere, the shingle has received a script order for animated family comedy Good and Evel at TBS; that project, written by Daria co-creator Glenn Eichler, "revolves around twin brothers Jack Good and Bo Evel [who were] stolen by gypsy cab drivers at birth and taught how to behave and drive badly; Bo is a career petty criminal, and Jack bends over backward to mend his brother's ways and help his dysfunctional family." (Hollywood Reporter)

The Wrap's Josef Adalian is reporting that GSN has given a series order to docusoap Carnie Wilson: Unstapled, which will follow Wilson's life as a "gameshow host, media personality, and wife/mother." Series, produced by World of Wonder, is slated to premiere January 14th. The move comes as GSN looks to broaden the scope of their lineup. (The Wrap's TVMoJoe)

Nat Geo will unveil its first global tagline, "Live Curious," on November 15th across all of its channels in 165 countries and 34 languages. The cabler also announced a seven-hour mini-series Great Migrations, which will explore animal migrations around the planet "using advanced camera technology." (Hollywood Reporter)

George Stephanopoulous is said to be in discussions to replace Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America when Sawyer leaves to anchor World News, according to Broadcasting & Cable's Marisa Gurthrie, citing multiple sources within ABC News. (Broadcasting & Cable)

iCarly co-stars Jerry Trainor and Jennette McCurdy have been cast in Disney Channel telepic Best Player, where they will play "two online game addicts who encounter each other on and off the computer." Project, slated for a 2010 premiere, is written by Rich Amburg and Justin Ware and will be directed by Damon Santostefano. (Variety)

Scott Sternberg Prods. and Weinberger Media will produce reality series Legal Ease, in which lawyers from Manhattan law firm Tacopina Siefel & Turano will give advice to ordinary people. It's still unknown whether the series will be pitched to cable networks or is intended for first-run syndication. (Hollywood Reporter)

Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic will produce the 82nd Academy Awards, replacing Bill Condon and Laurence Mark. The awards show is slated to air March 7th on ABC. (Variety)

Stay tuned.

Comments

susie que said…
Wow. I completely forgot that Castle wasn't canceled. Actually, I forgot it even existed. Nathan Fillion is SO much better than that show.
ted23 said…
Goyer is a hack. I fully expect FlashForward to crash and burn now. Even more than it has so far.
Beckacheck said…
"We Are Here" sounds like "Reality Bites" for the 2000s - and in Austin instead of Houston.

Also, I am one of the ones who likes "Castle." It's very predictable, but pleasant and charming. It's like the diner food of TV. Low effort, not exactly stimulating or challenging, but fun. I've seen every episode.
Tempest said…
@Beckacheck, you're not the only one who likes Castle. It's my Monday fun show.

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