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Channel Surfing: Glau to Don "Cape," "Parks and Rec" to Lose an Actor, "Doctor Who" Companion, USA Orders "Facing Kate," Callis to "Eureka," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing.

It was only a matter of time before someone snapped up River Tam. Former Firefly and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles star Summer Glau, who most recently appeared in a multiple-episode story arc on Dollhouse this season, has landed one of the leads in NBC's vigilante drama pilot The Cape. Project, from writer Tom Wheeler and directed by Simon West, revolves around a a disgraced former cop (David Lyons), framed for a crime he didn't commit, who becomes a costumed vigilante in order to clear his name. Glau will star opposite Lyons, James Frain, and Dorian Missick, and will play Orwell, described as "a cute and intrepid investigative blogger who fearlessly goes after corrupt cops and costumed bad guys" and who "gets physical and is quite capable of kicking ass." If that isn't a part made for Glau, I don't know what is. (Hollywood Reporter)

Los Angeles Times' Denise Martin talks to Parks and Recreation co-creator Mike Schur about Paul Schneider's planned departure from the NBC comedy, set to return for a third season this fall. "It was a combination of us always knowing that the character would always leave some day, the timing of this movie, and then sort of feeling like, well, the way the character's gone...we were all on the same page here and we decided to write the character out," Schur told Martin. "But the goal and the aim is to have him come back as soon as his schedule permits and as soon as the arcs we're writing call for it. We very much want him back and he has told us he very much wants to come back in the future. It really is one of those mutually beneficial situations. And we're hoping we can have him back in Season Three." And the door will definitely be open for Schneider to return as Mark Brendanawicz and possibly recur in Season Three. "He's going to remain in the world of the show in a way that not only allows but hopefully demands that he'll reenter it," said Schur. "He's not going to be killed in some weird accident." (Los Angeles Times' Show Tracker)

The Observer's Euan Ferguson has an interview with Doctor Who's Karen Gillan, who plays Amy Pond, the latest traveling companion to the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith). "To be honest, I wasn't really a huge follower of Doctor Who before I got this part," Gillan told Ferguson. "But having read the first episode I was utterly smitten, and with the character. Amy's a sassy lady, funny and passionate, and her relationship with the doctor has a really interesting dynamic... She has a love for him, a really deep love for him. But not romantic." (The Guardian)

USA has given a series order to legal drama Facing Kate, which stars Sarah Shahi. The cabler ordered eleven episodes (plus the 90-minute pilot) for the series, which hails from Universal Cable Prods. and was created by Michael Sardo, who will executive produce with Steve Stark. Series, which follows Shahi's Kate Reed as she leaves behind litigation for mediation, also stars Michael Trucco, Virginia Williams, and Baron Vaughn. (Hollywood Reporter)

Former Battlestar Galactica star James Callis--who will next be seen later this season on ABC's FlashForward, has joined the cast of Syfy's Eureka, which returns for its fourth season this summer. Callis will play Dr. Grant, a former resident of Eureka who is a romantic interest for Salli Richardson-Whitfield's Allison Blake. (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting, citing multiple unnamed sources familiar with the situation, that 20th Century Fox Television, the studio behind FOX's 24, is in talks with NBC about picking up the serialized action drama should FOX opt to make Day Eight Jack Bauer's last. "A move to NBC — while still considered somewhat of a long shot given the hefty price tag — would likely delay 20th’s plans to launch a Jack Bauer film franchise," writes Ausiello. "From a production standpoint, 24 execs have long maintained that it would ne next to impossible to make a movie while the series was still on the air. Reps for 20th and NBC declined to comment." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

HBO's upcoming miniseries Mildred Pierce just gets better and better. The Todd Haynes-directed adaptation of James M. Cain's novel, which stars Kate Winslet as the the titular character, has cast Guy Pearce (The Hurt Locker), Evan Rachel Wood (True Blood), and Melissa Leo (Treme). [Editor: Also cast: James LeGros and Brian F. O'Byrne.] (Variety)

TVGuide.com's Kate Stanhope is reporting that it's looking likely that HBO comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm will return for an eighth season. "I'm leaning towards it, so I would say there's a good chance," said series creator/star Larry David, though an eight season is "not definite yet, but we're working on it." (TVGuide.com)

E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos has an extensive recap of the Glee panel at the Paley Festival this weekend, which teased Lady Gaga, more romance, new characters, more Kristin Chenoweth, and more. (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

Zap2It's Marisa Roffman is reporting that Annabeth Gish (The X-Files) has signed on to appear on ABC's FlashForward, where she will appear as a guest-star during the back half of the sci-fi drama's first season. (Zap2It's KorbiTV)

Pilot casting roundup: Mary Steenburgen will star in ABC comedy pilot Southern Discomfort, where she will play the matriarch of a family whose grown children move back in with her and her husband; Carly Pope (Day One) and David Ramsey (Dexter) will star opposite Jimmy Smits in NBC's untitled John Eisendrath drama pilot (a.k.a. Rough Justice); Ian Reed Kessler (Sons of Tucson) has snagged one of the leads in NBC comedy pilot Friends with Benefits; Kerri Kenney (Reno 911) has come on board FOX comedy pilot Tax Man; Xander Berkeley (24) has joined the cast of CW drama pilot Nikita; and Odette Yustman (October Road) will play the female lead on FOX's untitled Adam Goldberg comedy pilot; and Lindsey Broad ('Til Death) has been cast as one of the leads in ABC comedy pilot Who Gets the Parents. (Hollywood Reporter)

Chris Parnell (Archer) and Horatio Sanz (In the Motherhood) will star opposite Jon Heder in Comedy Central's untitled multi-camera comedy about a man (Heder) who continues to chase his dreams despite failing miserably at everything he tries. Sanz will play one of his friends, an ex-convict, while Parnell will play a down-on-his-luck teacher. (Variety)

Colme Feore (24) is said to be in talks to star opposite Jeremy Irons in Showtime's upcoming period drama series The Borgias, where he would play Cardinal Giuliano Della Rovere, described as "Borgia's nemesis... who vigorously opposes Borgia's election as Pope Alexander VI and continues to tangle with him." (Hollywood Reporter)

Betty White is set to guest star in the season finale of ABC family comedy The Middle, where she will play "a school librarian who confronts Brick (Atticus Shaffer) over his failure to return numerous overdue books." (via press release)

Season Four of Showtime's period drama The Tudors, the series' last outing, is will premiere Sunday, April 11th at 9 pm ET/PT. (via press release)

Marsha Thomason (Lost) will return to USA's dramedy White Collar as a series regular, after she appeared in the pilot episode and the season finale. Move comes as Natalie Morales, who has recurred throughout the series' first season, will depart the Fox Television Studios-produced series. Elsewhere, Billy Brown (Star Trek) has joined the cast of FX's upcoming drama series Lights Out, where he will play Raymond "Death Row" Reynolds, described as "the current heavyweight champion and longtime rival of Leary (Holt McCallany)." And Gregg Henry (The Riches) has been promoted to series regular on HBO's comedy Hung, which returns later this year for a second season. (Hollywood Reporter)

Bobby Flay will serve as one of the judges/mentors on NBC's upcoming culinary competition series America's Next Great Restaurant (formerly known as United Plates of America), where he will search for a winning chef or businessman to launch a restaurant with. Casting is currently underway to select the participants on the series, which hails from executive producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz. (Variety)

Warner Bros. Television has signed a new two-year overall deal with Privileged creator Rina Mimoun, under which she will develop new series projects for the studio and work on current series. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Hannah Lee said…
What? No more Mark Brendanawicz on Parks? Kind of sad but I agree that he really hasn't had as much to do on the show lately. I guess he and Ann won't be staying together...

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