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Channel Surfing: HBO Returns to Curb, NBC Has Faith in Parenthood, Top Gear Heads to US, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing.

HBO yesterday announced that it had renewed Larry David vehicle Curb Your Enthusiasm for an eighth season of ten episodes, slated to air in 2011. Production will begin this summer in New York and Los Angeles. "After much soul searching – and by the way, it was nowhere to be found – I have decided to do another season of Curb,” said Larry David in a statement. "I look forward to the end of shooting, when I can once again resume the hunt for my elusive soul. I know itʼs here somewhere or perhaps in the rugged mountainous regions of Pakistan." The renewal was announced by Michael Lombardo, president, Programming Group and West Coast Operations, HBO. "Larry always loves to paint himself into a corner, and after the incredibly wonderful seventh season of Curb, you have to ask, "How does he ever top this?' But he always finds a way," said Lombardo. "We canʼt wait to see what he does in season eight." Having said that... (via press release)

NBC has renewed its midseason drama series Parenthood for a second season. "We are so happy to welcome back this multi-layered and compelling series about an extended American family for another season," said Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios, in a statement. "It's gratifying that Parenthood continues to garner critical acclaim and is generating highly positive reaction from viewers, thanks to the fearless creativity of its producers and the extraordinary performances delivered by its ensemble cast." The series has averaged a 3.2 rating/9 share in the key demo and 7.8 million viewers overall since it launched on March 2nd. [Editor: still no news about Chuck's future, however...] (via press release)

BBC Worldwide Productions is bringing a US format of Top Gear to History Channel this fall, following a ten-episode order from the cable network for the automotive series. Top Gear, executive produced by Scott Messick, will be hosted by
Adam Ferrara (Rescue Me), stunt driver Tanner Foust, and racing analyst Rutledge Wood. "It will have a completely different landscape," BBC Worldwide's Jane Tranter told Hollywood Reporter. "There's a different relationship with cars in the U.S. and a fascination with customization that's much greater than in the U.K. There's the potential for the U.S. Top Gear to have even greater traction with an audience." (Hollywood Reporter)



Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that David Sutcliffe (Gilmore Girls) is set to guest star on Season Two of Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva, where he will play a man who is secretly married to two women (Vivica A. Fox and Bellamy Young) in a June episode. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

TVGuide.com's Adam Bryant is reporting that Monet Mazur will be returning to ABC's Castle for its second season finale, where she will reprise her role as Gina Cowell, Castle's ex-wife and book editor. "Cowell, who last appeared in the show's pilot, turns up because Castle (Nathan Fillion) has fallen behind on his latest book. Gina hopes to get Castle back on track — in more ways than one," writes Bryant. "The old flame will be rekindled, creating some interesting reactions from Beckett (Stana Katic). However, Gina's reappearance may just open both Beckett's and Castle's eyes." (TVGuide.com)

FX has announced that Rescue Me will kick off its penultimate season on June 29th at 10 pm ET/PT and will be followed by the series premiere of the 13-episode Louis C.K. comedy series Louie at 11 pm. "The pairing of Rescue Me and Louie this summer will create an hour and a half of the funniest and most ruthlessly honest comedy and drama about men ever seen on commercial television," said John Landgraf, President and General Manager, FX Networks, in a statement. "We're thrilled by the quality of both these shows." (via press release)

Elsewhere, A&E has renamed its upcoming crime drama Sugarloaf as The Glades and has announced a launch date of Tuesday, July 13th at 10 pm ET/PT. Series stars Matt Passmore, Kiele Sanchez, and Carlos Gomez. (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

The Onion A.V. Club has a fantastic interview with Party Down star--and soon to be Parks and Recreation ensemble member--Adam Scott. (The Onion's A.V. Club)

ABC is said to be developing a daytime talk show for Tori Spelling, according to Los Angeles Times' Joe Flint. "The program, which is in the very early stages of development, would feature Spelling and a male co-host who would basically serve as Spelling's best friend forever," writes Flint. "The network is looking for a Will & Grace vibe between Spelling and her as-yet-undiscovered BFF. Who knows, maybe finding a co-host can be its own reality show for Spelling." (Los Angeles Times' Company Town)

More restructuring at Starz: Chris Albrecht has brought in John Penney as EVP of strategy and business development, following the appointment of Carmi Zlotnick earlier this week. Both have previously worked with Albrecht at HBO and IMG. (Variety)

Sony Pictures Television has signed a two-year overall deal with Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar, under which they will develop series for broadcast and cable networks. (Hollywood Reporter)

CBS Television Studios has signed separate two-year overall deals with Medium showrunners Craig Sweeny and Robert Doherty. Under the terms of the deal, the two will remain aboard Medium, should CBS renew it for next season, and will develop projects for the studio. (Variety)

Stay tuned.

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