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Channel Surfing: Team Darlton Talk "Lost" Final Season, Mann and Milch Team Up for HBO, Ball Staying on "True Blood," Sharon Stone to "SVU," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing.

The Hollywood Reporter's James Hibberd has an interview with Lost showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse in which they speak about the looming ending of the iconic ABC series, which launches its sixth and final season next month. While Cuse and Lindelof's involvement with the franchise will end at that time, both were quick to point out that they don't own Lost and that the studio could revive the series in some fashion down the road. "The Walt Disney Co. owns Lost," said Cuse. "It's a franchise that's conservatively worth billions of dollars. It's hard to imagine Lost will rest on the shelves and nothing will ever be made with Lost. Eventually somebody will make something under the moniker of Lost -- whether we do it or not. We just made a commitment to this group of characters whose stories are coming to a conclusion this May." (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

Are David Milch (Deadwood) and Michael Mann (Public Enemies) joining forces for an HBO project? You read that correctly. Michael Mann is reportedly in talks to direct HBO horse-racing drama pilot Luck. Project, written by David Milch (who will executive produce with Carolyn Strauss), revolves around Ace Bernstein, described by Milch as "a guy versed in all the permutations of finance, elicit and otherwise. When he is released from jail for securities violations, he resumes his place at the race track, where he is a figure of long-standing repute." Production will begin in April, when it will shoot at the Santa Anita Race Track. (Variety, Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

Is Season Four of True Blood nearing a lock? True Blood creator/executive producer has reportedly signed a two-year deal with pay cabler HBO that will keep him at the helm of the vampire drama series through the fourth season. "I just closed a deal to show-run [True Blood] for two more seasons, so I would assume that [the series is at minimum] going through Season Four," Ball told Abbie Bernstein of Buzzy Multimedia. (Buzzy Multimedia)

Sharon Stone has signed on for a four-episode story arc on NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit later this season. Stone, who will first appear in an episode slated to air in April, will play "a former cop-turned-prosecutor who will (presumably) go toe-to-toe with Benson, Stabler, and the gang," according to Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Elsewhere at Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Mischa Barton (The Beautiful Life) has been tapped for a guest star role on the NBC procedural, where she will play a prostitute named Gladys on the March 3rd episode. According to TV Guide's Will Keck, "Mischa’s character is hiding a secret that will prove complicating for Mariska Hargitay’s Benson." (TV Guide Magazine)

FOX has given a put pilot order to Shawn Ryan's cop drama project Ridealong, which follows a group of police officers--ranging from beat cops to the female police chief--in Chicago. Project, written and executive produced by Ryan, hails from 20th Century Fox Television. "Something will happen in the pilot that will have overarching (ramifications) that we deal with over time. It will be less serialized than Grey's but more than CSI," Ryan told Variety's Michael Schneider. "I don't think it will be as gritty a world as The Shield was, but it will feel authentic." (Variety)

There's an online petition started by some diehard Lost fans to have Disney to consider creating a Lost-themed ride at one of its amusement parks. Lost showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse endorse the idea, according to The Wrap's Josef Adalian. (The Wrap's TVMoJoe)

ABC picked up two multi-camera comedy pitches from Sony Pictures Television and Tantamount, both untitled. The first, a family comedy from writers Mitchel Katlin and Nat Bernstein, will star comedian Carlos Mencia and his based on his life and stand-up act as he plays a man living amid a "very large multigenerational immigrant family." The second, a Cedric the Entertainer comedy vehicle, is written by Al Higgins ('Til Death) and Devon Shepard (Cedric the Entertainer Presents); Cedric will play "a retired baseball player-turned-radio host forced to re-evaluate the type of father he has been when his son and 6-year-old granddaughter re-enter his life." (Hollywood Reporter)

Could romance be in the cards for Ugly Betty's Daniel and Betty? According to executive producer Silvio Horta, it's definitely possible. "We’ve been batting around the idea," Horta told Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. "It is not outside the realm of possibility that something [could] happen, but we’re not sure yet." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

CBS has given a pilot order to Matt Tarses' comedy True Love, about a group of twenty-something friends in Manhattan looking for love. Project, from Sony Pictures Television, is executive produced by Tarses and his sister Jamie Tarses. (Variety)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting Jeffrey Tambor will lend his voice to an upcoming episode of FX's animated comedy Archer, slated to air January 28th. The casting reunites Tambor with his Arrested Development costar Jessica Walter, who is a series regular (or her voice is, anyway) on Archer as Malory, the mother/boss of the titular spy. "In the episode, Tambor plays a United Nations intelligence chairman who Walter’s Malory tries to woo for the benefit of her spy agency," writes Ausiello. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

TruTV has ordered eight episodes of docudrama Southern Fried Stings, which follows a former state trooper who investigates criminals as part of a private security firm. Series, from Zoo Productions and Studio Lambert, will launch in March. (Variety)

Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls) and Ryan Merriman (Taken) star in Hallmark Channel original telepic Elevator Girl, set to air on Saturday, February 13th. (via press release)

Two promotions at Syfy: Blake Callaway has been named SVP of marketing, brand and strategic and Michael Engleman has been bumped to SVP of marketing, global brand strategy and creative. Both executives report to Dave Howe. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


Cassie said…
Ugh. It would be horrible if Disney decided to revive Lost without Damon and Carlton. The show would be nothing without them.

That said, a Lost-inspired ride at Disneyland would be pretty darn fun.
Nils Hermans said…
"CBS has given a pilot order to Matt Tarses' comedy True Love, about a group of twenty-something friends in Manhattan looking for love."

"Friends", anyone?

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