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Channel Surfing: David Tennant Crowned "Rex" for NBC, Naveen Andrews to Guest on "Law & Order: SVU," Ramsay Brings "Masterchef" to US, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing.

Looks like the TARDIS has deposited the Doctor on our shores. Outbound Doctor Who star David Tennant has signed on to topline NBC's legal dramedy pilot Rex Is Not Your Lawyer. Tennant, who departs from Doctor Who at the end of the year, will play the titular character, Rex Alexander, a Chicago lawyer who suffers from crippling panic attacks who begins coaching his clients on how to represent themselves in court. Project, from Universal Media Studios and BermanBraun, is written by Andrew Leeds and David Lampson and will be directed by David Semel, who executive produces with Barry Schindel, Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun, and Gene Stein. (Hollywood Reporter)

Lost's Naveen Andrews will guest star on an upcoming episode of NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Details on his role are being kept firmly under wraps, though it's known that his episode is slated to air in January. (

FOX has ordered roughly twelve to fifteen episodes of a US adaptation of British culinary competition series Masterchef from Reveille, One Potato Two Potato, and executive producer Gordon Ramsay, who will likely also appear on the series, possibly as its host. The format is still under discussion but it's thought to likely resemble the Australian version of Masterchef more than the BBC version of the series; hundreds of amateur chefs are invited to audition for a slot on the series which then becomes an American Idol-style elimination-based competition. (Variety, Broadcast)'s Natalie Abrams interviews V star Scott Wolf about his role on ABC's new iteration of the classic 1980s mini-series. "When we meet him and see his first encounter with [Anna], the leader of the Visitors, he's put in a position where he's forced to either give up the opportunity of a lifetime or compromise himself in a deep way," said Wolf of his character Chad. "You come to understand why Chad is wired the way he is. On the surface, Chad is not necessarily the best guy. He's very ambitious, but I think the thing that makes him really complicated and fun to play is that he's ambiguous. There's a sense that he's a little up for grabs. In a larger way, he represents an idea, in terms of how much faith should be placed in our media figures. It asks the question: Is that a good idea? Or is it potentially dangerous?" (

Mark Mylod (Shameless) has will direct the pilot of the US adaptation of British drama series Shameless for Showtime, Warner Horizon, and executive producer John Wells. (William H. Macy is attached to star.) Elsewhere, Clark Johnson (Lights Out, The Wire) will direct TNT drama pilot Delta Blues, which is executive produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov and hails from Warner Horizon as well. (Hollywood Reporter)

Both projects hail from Warner Bros. TV and its cable division Warner Horizon.

Jim Belushi, Diane English, and Barry Levinson have teamed up to develop a drama project that would star Belushi as a defense attorney based on the real-life lawyer Mickey Sherman. Project, currently being packaged by ICM, has yet to be pitched to studios or networks. (Variety)

E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos has broken her vow of silence about the Heroes cast member who is getting the axe this season on the NBC drama series. Said actor only found out about the character demise by reading about it in a script... (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

TNT's run of Season One of Southland could feature bonus, never-before-seen footage that had been cut out of NBC's broadcasts. "It’s my understanding that the actual episodes will have more airtime on TNT, so I believe they will be going back in and [adding] content," series star Michael Cudlitz told Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. "They’ll have the opportunity, and, in my opinion the need, to open up the [initial seven] episodes a little bit." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

ABC will produce two additional episodes of reality series Shark Tank using already shot footage, bringing the total of unaired episodes in its stash to five installments. It's unclear when ABC will air these episodes or if the network plans to renew the series for a second season. (Variety)

HBO is developing a telepic based on Steve Knopper's nonfiction book "Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age," about the rise and crash of the US recording industry from the 1970s to the present day. Victoria Stewart is attached to adapt and Bob Cooper will executive produce. (Hollywood Reporter)

Robert Wagner has been cast as the father of Michael Weatherley's Tony DiNozzo on the 150th episode of CBS' NCIS, set to air in January. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Comedian Tom Papa will host NBC's upcoming reality series The Marriage Ref, from executive producer Jerry Seinfeld. Series, which is slated to air in midseason, has couples involved in marital disputes "present their case to a panel of comedians and celebrities." (Hollywood Reporter)

Kathy Griffin will host ABC reality competition series Let's Dance, in which celebrities will perform famous pop dance routines. The series, from FremantleMedia North America, is set to launch Monday, November 23rd at 9:30 pm. (The Wrap's TVMoJoe)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Fisher Stevens has been cast in a potentially recurring role on ABC's Ugly Betty, where he will play Mr. Z., Betty’s "dry, sarcastic new landlord." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Stay tuned.


joy said…
I'm happy. And I'm scared. About David, I mean.
Unknown said…
I'm cautiously optimistic about David. While I'm OVERJOYED to have him here in the States, this IS NBC we're talking about. I'm sad to loose the Scottish accent too. Or the posh English accent, whichever. But NBC really doesn't have anything else worthwhile, so I say bring on the Doctor!
rockauteur said…
I don't understand all the hoopla with the so-called character death on NBC's HEROES. The character in question died in the finale... sorry folks to spoil it, its Adrian Pasdar! Nathan died in the finale... Matt Parkman and Nathan's mom manipulated Sylar's mind to think he was Nathan... and when Nathan's mom's friend had Nathan killed, Nathan's body disappeared (since he was dead, Sylar had temporarily morphed into Nathan), and Sylar returned... we hadn't seen Nathan in weeks since Sylar returned, so we have known for weeks that Nathan was dead. There's no plausible reason that Adrian Pasdar could come back besides flashbacks.
rockauteur said…
That's Lets Dance show sounds AWFUL! And Kathy Griffin hosting it will be a disaster!
Bella Spruce said…
Thrilled to have David Tennant on our shores but really, really wish that he was doing an HBO (or other cable) project more worthy of his talent rather than something on NBC which makes me very nervous!
Peridot said…
I'm not getting my hopes up about this pilot. It's only a pilot. If 13 episodes were already ordered I'd be excited because we'd be certain to see it, but there's not a lot of certainty this will get aired. So fingers crossed this gets somewhere.
lisaj said…
David is so talented and the premise sounds like it's right up his alley. I just hope NBC gives this pilot a chance--if they do, American women will flip for him like they do in the UK.

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