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Channel Surfing: "Lost" Producers Talk Candidates, Nolte Circles HBO's "Luck," Cavanagh Lands "Edgar Floats," Delany Deal Done for "Body," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing.

TVGuide.com's Natalie Abrams talks to Lost executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse about candidates, numbers, and the flash-sideways. "The concept of the candidates is really central to the final season of the show," Cuse told Abrams. "Jacob is dead so that leaves a significant problem for the people on the island. Who is destined to be the person who is protecting this place?" Lindelof went further, stating that we'll get answers in the next few weeks about why these particular people have been brought to the island. "One of the big questions of this show is: Why were these people brought to this island?" said Lindelof. "At least now we have some sense — if Jacob is responsible for bringing them there — that it has something to do with the fact that he's been observing them for quite some time. We now have information that he had this lighthouse, that he was able to see these people, look into their lives. For some reason, he chose them. We'll find out what that reason is in the coming weeks." (TVGuide.com)

Nick Nolte (Tropic Thunder) is said to be in talks to come aboard HBO's horseracing drama pilot Luck from executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann. Project, which will begin shooting in a few weeks, stars Dustin Hoffman, John Ortiz, and Dennis Farina. Nolte would play one of the country's top racehorse trainers. Meanwhile, Kevin Dunn (Transformers), Kerry Condon (Rome), and Tom Payne (Waterloo Road) have also been cast in the pilot, which will be directed by Mann. (Variety, Hollywood Reporter)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Tom Cavanagh (Ed, Trust Me) has been cast as the titular character in Rand Ravich's NBC procedural drama pilot Edgar Floats, opposite Alicia Witt, Derek Webster, and Robert Patrick. Cavanagh will play Edgar Floats, a police psychologist who also works as a bounty hunter. "Edgar understands everyone but himself," Ravich told Ausiello. "Because of a personal financial crisis, Edgar is forced to leave the safety of his office and enter the dangerous world of fugitive recovery." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

[Editor: Cavanagh landed the role over former Friends star David Schwimmer, who was also reportedly up for the part of Edgar.]

TV Guide Magazine's Will Keck is reporting that a deal has closed that will enable Dana Delany to depart Desperate Housewives and star in ABC drama pilot Body of Evidence, with Marc Cherry writing Delany's Katherine Mayfair temporarily out of the series so Delany can have time to shoot the pilot, which also stars John Carroll Lynch, Geoffrey Arend, and Jeri Ryan. "The networks have become like the old studio system where they have their stable of actors," Delany told Keck. "They want to hold on to them and see what else they can do with them, so (ABC president) Steve McPherson said, 'Would you consider doing another show,' and I said, 'I love Housewives, but this is the lead role and something different.' It’s one of those bountiful things. I love the show I have, but they’re offering me the lead." But don't say goodbye to Katherine just yet: Cherry told Keck that he's leaving the door open for her return, should Body not get ordered to series. (TV Guide Magazine)

Rob Morrow (NUMB3RS) has landed the lead in Jerry Bruckheimer's ABC pilot The Whole Truth, opposite Joely Richardson. Morrow will play Jimmy, described as "an exuberant, larger-than-life, extremely successful defense attorney who is frequently pitted against Peale (Richardson), with whom he shares a fierce competitiveness, a passion for the law, and a mutual respect that has them carpooling together to sit on various panels even as they're duking it out in court." The casting on the pilot is said to be in second position for Morrow with CBS' NUMB3RS, which the network hasn't yet made a renewal decision on. [Editor: though it's thought extremely unlikely that NUMB3RS will return next season.] (Hollywood Reporter)

ABC's Castle won't be getting a trial run on Sundays after the network reversed its decision about giving the Nathan Fillion-led crime procedural the 10 pm timeslot on Sunday, March 21st after Desperate Housewives. "An ABC insider says that with the new Dancing with Stars cast getting good buzz, the network wanted to maximize the number of original episodes of Castle on Mondays," wrote The Wrap's Josef Adalian. "Airing a first-run hour on Sunday would've mean an extra Castle repeat in the show's normal timeslot." (The Wrap's TVMoJoe)

In other Castle-related news, Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that former Nip/Tuck star Kelly Carlson will guest star in an upcoming episode that's loosely based on NBC's latenight wars. Carlson will play actress Ellie Rose, a love interest for Nathan Fillion's Castle who is desperate to land a role in the film adaptation of his book. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Academy Award nominee Gabourey Sidibe has signed on to Showtime's upcoming dark comedy The Big C as a recurring guest star. Sidibe, who appeared in the pilot, will play "a smart-alecky student" in a class taught by Laura Linney's Cathy, "a repressed suburban wife and mother who reclaims her life after a terminal cancer diagnosis." Oliver Platt also stars. (via press release)

Brittany Snow (Gossip Girl) has landed a lead in David E. Kelley's NBC legal dramedy pilot Kindreds, opposite Kathy Bates. Snow will play the assistant to Bates' former patent lawyer now working a storefront law firm. Elsewhere, Sarah Wynter (Damages) has joined the cast of ABC dramedy pilot Cutthroat, opposite Roselyn Sanchez. She'll play a "Hollywood mom whose life is in shambles." (Hollywood Reporter)

Fancast's Matt Mitovich is reporting that Heroes' Sendhil Ramamurthy has been cast in USA's upcoming drama series Covert Affairs, where he will play Jai Wilcox, described as "the aide-de-camp to the CIA’s Director of Clandestine Services, Arthur Campbell (played by The O.C.'s Peter Gallagher)." Ramamurthy joins a cast that also includes Perabo Piper, Christopher Gorman, Kari Matchett, and Anne Dudek. "Considering Ramamurthy’s new gig and the conspicuous lack of screen time for Mohinder," writes Mitovich, "even if Heroes were to be renewed for one more season, he is not expected to return." (Fancast)

Jean Smart (24) has been cast in CBS' remake of Hawaii Five-O, where she will play Hawaiian governor Pat Jameson, described as "'a local Hawaiian with a Washingtonian's backbone' and a completely honest politician." (Hollywood Reporter)

Former Third Watch star Coby Bell has signed on as series regular for Season Four of USA's Burn Notice, where he will play Jesse Garcia, described as a "cocky, smooth, and sexy counter intelligence expert who has a chameleon-like ability to assume different aliases. He’s also able to read people instantaneously and come up with a character perfectly suited for preying on their vulnerabilities." Season Four is set to launch on USA this summer. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Dania Ramirez (Heroes) has been cast in a recurring role on HBO comedy series Entourage, where she will play a new love interest for Jerry Ferrara's Turtle. Lennie James (Jericho) will recur on HBO's Hung as love interest for Jane Adams' Tanya. Kenny Johnson (The Shield) will reprise his role as Kozik on Season Three of FX's Sons of Anarchy, where he will recur. (Hollywood Reporter)

UK fans of Doctor Who may get a chance to attend a regional premiere of Season Five's premiere installment, hosted by new series leads Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, in Belfast, Inverness, Sunderland, Salford, and Northampton, part of a BBC Outreach tour that will visit under-served communities by the BBC. "This is a great opportunity for the new Doctor and his Companion to interface directly with the people who matter most to Doctor Who: the fans," said executive producer Piers Wenger. "The chance to visit them in their hometowns will ensure that the 11th Doctor's maiden voyage is an utterly magical one." (BBC)

Spencer Locke (Cougar Town) has been cast in a guest starring role on the CW supernatural drama series Vampire Diaries, where she will play Amber Bradley, a contestant in a beauty pageant that also happens to feature Elena and Caroline. (Hollywood Reporter)

Starz's gladiator drama Spartacus: Blood and Sand is heading to the UK this summer, following a deal with Virgin Media's Bravo. (Broadcast)

NBC and Donald Trump have renewed their Miss Universe/Miss USA franchise rights for three more years, keeping the beauty pageants on NBC through 2013. (Variety)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Francisco said…
Nick Nolte? Dustin Hoffman? What a powerhouse cast for Luck!

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