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Channel Surfing: "24" Producer Urges Patience, More on Matt Damon and "30 Rock," "Mad Men" Looks to Diversify Emmy Noms, "Grey's," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing.

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello talks to 24 executive producer Howard Gordon about this season's ridiculous storyline involving Katee Sackhoff's Dana Walsh. "God almighty there has been a Dana backlash," Gordon told Ausiello. "I understand how it appears [to be] tiresome and lazy storytelling, but I really would betray anyone to try to sit in our chair and figure out how to do 24 continuous, real-time episodes, without using certain devices. I would implore people to be more patient with Dana." [Editor: out of curiosity, I'd love to know what readers think of Dana's plotline...] (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos has more details on Matt Damon's upcoming appearance on 30 Rock, where he'll be playing--gasp!--a love interest for Tina Fey's Liz Lemon and he may appear in more than one episode. "Though 30 Rock's producers are still hammering out all the details, sources tell me NBC is hoping to get Matt on for multiple episodes," writes Dos Santos. "However, Matt is shooting another project this spring, so it all depends on Matt's schedule and whether 30 Rock can be squeezed in. So at this point only one Damon-Lemon episode is guaranteed, but there may be more." (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

Do you consider Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss a supporting actress? In this year's Emmy Awards race, she is. Looking to score two actress nominations this year, Mad Men's producers are putting Moss into the supporting category instead of the lead actress pool, according to the Hollywood Reporter's Randee Dawn. The idea would be to prevent Moss and fellow Mad Men actress January Jones competing for votes in the same category. "Sources tell us the thinking is that January Jones, snubbed last year and the year before, will have a better chance in the lead actress category without competition from Moss, so great as corporate climber Peggy Olson," writes Dawn. (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

SPOILER! Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello has the details on whether the whereabouts of Katherine Heigl's Izzie will be addressed on screen on ABC's Grey's Anatomy. "They’re definitely not going to pretend she never existed," writes Ausiello. "In fact, I’m told the Izzie issue will be addressed during May sweeps. For her part, Katherine Heigl thinks her Jan. 21 farewell — while not originally intended to be her last episode — oddly works as a bookend to Izzie’s story." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Monica Breen and Alison Schapker (Brothers & Sisters) have been hired as co-executive producers on FOX's Fringe and will also develop new series projects for Warner Bros. Television, likely in connection with J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot shingle. (Hollywood Reporter)

TVGuide.com's Adam Bryant talks to CSI: NY executive producer Pam Veasey about the decision facing Gary Sinise's Mac Taylor when former girlfriend Peyton Driscoll (Claire Forlani) returns to his life. It's actually like he doesn't have to make the choice; it may be that these two women are trying to make the choice for him," Veasey told Bryant. "It's a great place for a character to be in: There's an old love who could return or a new relationship and new possibilities. These are two very smart, talented, attractive women that are in his life." (TVGuide.com)

ITV has commissioned a fifth season of medical drama series Doc Martin, expected to launch in 2011. (Broadcast)

Syfy has partnered with After Dark to produce two telepics slated to air on the cabler's Saturday night feature franchise including Scream of the Banshee, which will star Lauren Holly and Lance Henriksen, and 51. (Hollywood Reporter)

A&E has ordered six episodes of docusoap Growing Up Twisted, which will feature former Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider, his wife, and their three children. Elsewhere, the cabler ordered twelve episodes of Heavy, which will focus on individuals who are crippled by their weight and who struggle to slim down. A&E also ordered four episodes of Ice-T-executive produced The Peacemaker, about gang interventionist Malik Spellman, and ten episodes of The Squad: Prison Police, about the police force inside a Tennessee prison. (Variety)

David Lyle, the former president of Fox Reality Channel, has been tapped as the head of Fox Look, described as "a new international-fueled division of Fox Network Group" that will license and produce unscripted programming for the international market. He will report to Tony Vinciquerra and work closely with 20th Century Fox International's Marion Edwards. (Variety)

Lionsgate Television has hired MGM executive Priscilla Pesci as SVP of television marketing, where she will have oversight of domestic and international marketing for the studio's television division and will report to Peter Iacono. Additionally, Tori Crotts has been promoted to executive director of TV marketing. (Hollywood Reporter)

Season Three of Comedy Central's Supreme Court of Comedy will feature Jamie Kennedy, Kevin Nealon, Jeff Garlin, Paul Mooney, and Tom Arnold. The new season is slated to launch on the cabler in June. (Variety)

Bob Oswaks has departed his position as TV marketing chief at Sony Pictures Television. No immediate reason was given but The Wrap's Josef Adalian indicated, via an unnamed source, that "the decision to leave wasn't his own." He had reported to Steve Mosko. (The Wrap's TVMoJoe)

TBS has hired former Carsey-Werner development chief Kathryn Ann Busby as VP of comedy development. She will be based in Los Angeles and report to Lillah McCarthy. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Mrs. James Ford said…
The Dana storyline on 24 was boring from the beginning and then became ridiculous especially with the "reveal" a couple weeks ago. Lazy/messy writing. There's no way they had that in mind for her character when they first started writing this season. Even worse than the Boyd reveal on Dollhouse. It also doesn't help that Katee Sackoff is a terrible actress.

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