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Channel Surfing: NBC Drops Axe on "Southland," CBS Books "Hawaii Five-O," Marc Cherry Developing New ABC Series, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing.

NBC has axed Southland... before the cop drama even began its second season. The Peacock made the announcement about Southland's demise yesterday afternoon, informing studio Warner Bros. Television had it was cancelling the series, which had so far shot six episodes for its sophomore season, slated to begin October 23rd. NBC was quick to point to the series' dark storylines and tone, saying that it wasn't appropriate for a 9 pm timeslot. For their part, creator John Wells and Warner Bros. Television will begin to shop the series to other networks. (Editor: TNT is a likely first port of call for the series.) "I'm disappointed that NBC no longer has the time periods available to support the kind of critically acclaimed series that was for so many years a hallmark of their success," said Wells in a statement. "We remain extremely proud of Southland and are actively looking for another home for the series." NBC hasn't yet announced when--or if--it intends to air the six installments that have already been shot. (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

Hawaii Five-O has landed a pilot order at CBS. Fringe co-creators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have teamed up with Peter Lenkov (CSI: NY) to develop an contemporary take on the classic series. Lenkov will write the pilot script, under the guidance of Kurtzman and Orci and will be the showrunner should the project be ordered to series; the trio will executive produce the project, which hails from CBS Television Studios. (Variety)

Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry is developing a new series for ABC, which he will write with Desperate Housewives executive producer Alexandra Cunningham. The premise for the series is still being hammered out but, according to Hollywood Reporter's Nellie Andreeva, it will be a standalone series, rather than a spin-off from Desperate Housewives. Cherry is currently under a multi-year deal with ABC Studios. (Hollywood Reporter)

ABC has given full season pickups to comedies Modern Family, Cougar Town, and The Middle. (Televisionary)

The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan offers an impassioned plea about why FOX should save Dollhouse, once again on the brink of cancellation, and talks with Dollhouse writer Jed Whedon about Dollhouse and a Dr. Horrible sequel. "We did consciously try to do [more standalones at the start of Season 2] because we want to earn the large, arc-y stuff that we're only hinting at in those first couple of episodes," Whedon told Ryan about Dollhouse's sophomore season. "We want her transformation to someone who is self-aware to be gradual. But we end up getting there pretty quickly." (Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

Bradley Whitford (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) has been cast as the lead in Matt Nix's FOX drama series Jack and Dan, which already has a thirteen-episode order from the network for next season. Whitford will play Dan, a "drunken, lecherous, wild-card cop who hangs onto his job only because of a heroic act years before." He's paired with a morally-minded and uber-ambitious cop named Jack. Series, from Fox Television Studios, is slated to start shooting early next year. (Hollywood Reporter)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Nate Corddry (United States of Tara) will guest star on NBC's 30 Rock, where he will play Brian, Liz's upstairs neighbor in a storyline that "finds duplex-obsessed Liz scheming to get Brian to ditch his apartment so she can buy it and combine it with hers. Natch, her plan hits a snag when she discovers… um… something unexpected and extremely spoilery." Corrdry will appear in the sixth episode of 30 Rock's fourth season, which begins next week. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Richard Curtis has teased some details in ShortList about his upcoming episode of Season Five of Doctor Who. "I am writing a new episode of Doctor Who, which is great," said Curtis. "I wanted to write something my kids would like. So I'm doing a Doctor Who that will be on TV next February. I've got Van Gogh stabbing a monster... Someone from the BBC just sent me a picture of my monster. I had to decide if it was yellow enough." (Digital Spy)

ITV has canned Stephen Fry-led drama series Kingdom after three seasons. Fry announced the cancellation via his Twitter feed, where he wrote, "Our masters at ITV have decided that there shan’t be a fourth series of the television series Kingdom. I am sorry because it was such a pleasure making them in my beloved Norfolk. I am sorry because the crew of mostly local East Anglians was so cheerful, professional and delightful to work with." Series starred Stephen Fry as Peter Kingdom, a Norfolk solicitor who juggles his family and work lives as well as those of the clients looking to him for legal guidance; series also starred Hermione Norris, Celia Imrie, Karl Davies, Phyllida Law and Tony Slattery.(Broadcast)

HBO will air documentary Terror in Mumbai, a co-production with Britain's Channel 4 that examines last year's deadly terrorist attack, on November 19th, one week ahead of the one-year anniversary of the bombings. (Variety)

Warner Bros. Animation has named Peter Girardi as SVP of series and alternative animation, where he will oversee development and production of the new studio unit's animated series, including Cartoon Network's Batman: The Brave and the Bold. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

Comments

susie que said…
I have nothing but respect and admiration for Joss Whedon but I can't support another chance for Dollhouse, which has failed to find its footing after already getting a second chance, which is pretty much unthinkable in TV Land. I would much rather see a Dr. Horrible sequel!
damagesfan said…
I find it amusing that NBC can't handle dark and gritty for "Southland" and yet this is the same network who is remaking "Prime Suspect", the iconic Helen Mirren BBC series which is also dark and gritty. What is Prime Suspect going to look like a caddy version of Police Woman?
This network is a mess. Hopefully TNT or FX can pick this show up.

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