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Channel Surfing: "Lost" Star O'Quinn Shops Hitman Series, "Caprica" Cylon and Enforcer Speak, "Doctor Who," Farina and Oritz Find "Luck," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing.

This is a series I want to watch: Locke and Ben as cutthroat buddies. Well, sort of, anyway. TV Guide Magazine's Will Keck is reporting that Lost's Terry O'Quinn is shopping a bible for a series that would star him and fellow Lost cast member Michael Emerson, in which the duo would play suburban hit men who must balance their work and home lives. "I really hope this works out because Michael would be in his prime in this," O'Quinn told Keck. "We’d play kind of awkward partners." Michael Emerson, meanwhile, is more than open to working alongside Quinn again. "It’s very sweet of him," Emerson told Keck. "I’m all in favor of it. Any reason to work with Terry again." (TV Guide Magazine)

The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan has an interview with Caprica stars Sasha Roiz and Alessandra Torresani about what's coming up on the series and how their characters fit into the larger themes and storylines that the series is weaving together. "You can see the attraction [STO] has for the younger generation, because you can see how the [adult] generation has gone off the rails, morally," said Sasha Roiz, who plays Tauron mob enforcer Sam Adama. "There's a whole movement by the younger generation to create a new world and a new moral code." Look, meanwhile, for Torresani's virtual Zoe to mature over the next batch of episodes. "She's her own person," Torresani told Ryan about the avatar Zoe. "That's what you learn. She really grows up a lot on the show, compared to how she was in the pilot." (Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

BBC America has announced an April 17th launch date for Season Five of British sci-fi series Doctor Who, starring Matt Smith and Karen Gillan. Among the locales the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond will be travelling to this season: "sixteenth century Venice, France during the 1890s and the United Kingdom in the far future, now an entire nation floating in space." (Televisionary)

Dennis Farina (Law & Order) and John Ortiz (Public Enemies) have been cast in David Milch and Michael Mann's HBO drama pilot Luck, set in the world of horse racing. Farina will play Gus Economou, the longtime chauffeur to Chester "Ace" Bernstain, a criminal who has his sights set on pulling off a complex plan involving the racetrack. Ortiz will play Turo Escalante, described as "a successful trainer with sordid reputation." Milch wrote the pilot script, which will be directed by Mann; they'll executive produce alongside Carolyn Strauss and Henry Bronchtein. (Hollywood Reporter)

Three former ER stars have landed projects this pilot season: David Lyons has been cast as the lead in NBC vigilante drama pilot The Cape, where he will play a disgraced cop who becomes a hero; Shane West will star opposite Maggie Q in the CW action drama pilot Nikita, where he will play the agent whose task is to apprehend the rogue Nikita; and Laura Innes has joined the cast of NBC drama pilot The Event. (Hollywood Reporter)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Jurnee Smollett (Friday Night Lights) has been cast in CBS legal drama pilot Defenders, where she will play new associate Lisa opposite Jim Belushi. "Smollett is expected to shoot the Defenders pilot before returning to Austin in April to begin work on FNL’s fifth and (sigh) final season," writes Ausiello. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Pilot casting roundup: Malcolm Barrett (Better Off Ted) has been cast as one of the leads in FOX comedy pilot Most Likely to Succeed; Ravi Patel (Past Life) has been cast as the lead in FOX comedy pilot Nirvana (formerly known as Nevermind Nirvana); Tommy Dewey (Roommates) and Suzy Nakamura (Men of a Certain Age) will star opposite Sarah Chalke in ABC comedy pilot Freshmen; Patti LuPone (Oz) has joined the cast of CBS comedy pilot Open Books; and Eloise Mumford (Crash) has been cast in FOX drama pilot Midland. (Hollywood Reporter)

Spike has renewed sports comedy Blue Mountain State for a second season of thirteen episodes. (Variety)

It's official: Starz has cancelled struggling drama series Crash. The announcement was made yesterday on a conference call with investors as Starz confirmed that they will not go ahead with the series due to disappointing ratings. (Hollywood Reporter)

There are other suitors in the mix to host Comic-Con, whose contract with the San Diego Convention Center ends in 2012. Among the cities vying for the hosting rights: Anaheim, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, along with San Diego itself, which has submitted a proposal to keep the convention there through 2015. "They know what the concerns are, and each proposal really tries to address those," said David Glanzer, director of marketing and public relations for Comic-Con Intl. "It's not about how big we want to see it grow," Glanzer said. "We just want to accommodate those who want to attend." (Variety)

Broadcasting & Cable's Alex Weprin is reporting that Animal Planet has renewed docuseries Pit Boss for a second season of fourteen episodes, set to launch this summer. As with Season One, series will follow former felon "Shorty" Rossi as he dedicates his life to rescuing pit bulls. (Broadcasting & Cable)

Gillian Zinser has been promoted to series regular on the CW's 90210, where she plays tomboy Ivy Sullivan. (Hollywood Reporter)

Variety's Stuart Levine is reporting that the Television Critics Association has locked in its date for the 2010 TCA Summer Press Tour, which will be held at the Beverly Hilton. Tour begins July 27th with the broadcasters (NBC is up first) before cable takes over between August 6-8th. (Variety)

BBC is likely to cut its US acquisitions by a third, according to a report in today's Times following a strategic review of the broadcasting corporation. "Director-general Mark Thompson wants to cut the corp.'s annual acquisitions budget of around £100 million ($152 million) by 25%, according to the Times, which has clearly seen a leaked document relating to the review," writes Variety's Steve Clarke. "Currently the BBC gains a lot of credibility from upscale auds by showing such U.S. fare as The Wire, Heroes and Mad Men. But in an effort to appease commercial media companies that have been hit hard by the economic downturn and the emergence of digital media, the BBC topper wants to trim coin spent on U.S. imports and re-invest it in 'distinctive' British shows." (Variety)

TV Land has renewed Joan Rivers' How'd You Get So Rich for a second season of six episodes. Series, executive produced by Mark Burnett, Barry Poznick, and John Stevens, will launch on the cabler on May 5th. (Variety)

Stay tuned.

Comments

The CineManiac said…
I really want to see that O'Quinn/Emerson hit men series. Everyone start praying it happens soon!
Anonymous said…
That hit men show sounds amazing! I would totally watch that.

Maureen Ryan is an idiot.
Jace Lacob said…
Anonymous,

Play nice. First of all: not cool. Secondly, Mo is a friend, so doubly uncool.
Bella Spruce said…
I would LOVE to see O'Quinn and Emerson in their own show. Fingers crossed that it works out!
CL said…
O'Quinn and Emerson ftw!
Tempest said…
Of course, I think most of us would probably watch O'Quinn and Emerson sit and read the telephone book -- they're that good. Watching those two as hit men? Way cool.
Jon88 said…
It seems I am the only person on the Internet who thought O'Quinn's spin-off description was not to be taken seriously.
Jace Lacob said…
It's not a spin-off in any way, shape, or form. But it would appear to be real.

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