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Channel Surfing: No Torchwood for FOX, Mireille Enos Gets Killing for AMC, Gervais and Merchant Find Life's Too Short, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing.

Hollywood Reporter's James Hibberd is reporting that FOX and BBC Worldwide Productions have mutually agreed not to proceed on the US version of Torchwood that was in development at the network. However, it still appears that the project is alive and will be shopped to other networks. "BBC Worldwide Productions and the FOX Broadcasting Company have mutually agreed not to progress together with a 13-episode serialized Torchwood format," said BBC Worldwide in a statement. "We are currently in discussion with several interested networks." Furthermore, BBC Worldwide's Jane Tranter said that they are forging ahead with the development of the project: "It's very much ongoing and very much alive," she told Hibberd, but reiterated that the company is not planning an American version of Doctor Who. [Editor: Whew, though I can't imagine Torchwood without John Barrowman, either.] (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

Big Love's divine Mireille Enos has scored the lead role in AMC drama pilot The Killing, where she will star opposite Michelle Forbes and Billy Campbell in the project, which is based on Danish series Forbrydelsen. Enos will play Sarah, the lead homicide detective investigating the murder of a young girl as the story unfolds from multiple perspectives. Brent Sexton, Eric Ladin, Jamie Anne Allman, and Joel Kinnaman also star. Patty Jenkins (Monster) is set to direct from a script by Veena Sud. (

The Office and Extras creators Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant have landed a pilot commitment from Auntie Beeb for a half-hour single camera comedy project entitled >Life's Too Short, which will star Warwick Davis (Harry Potter, Willow) as himself in "an observation comedy which follows Warwick's day-to-day life in a small world where big things happen." Gervais and Merchant will also appear in the project in supporting roles. "We're having so much fun working with Warwick," said Gervais. "Pound for pound, he is one of the funniest men I know." (Variety)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy is already in talks with Madonna about a sequel to this week's Material Girl-themed episode ("The Power of Madonna") for the fall, with Murphy telling Ausiello, "Madonna and her people are into it and want it to happen." The episode would feature six tracks that didn't appear in this week's episode. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Cartoon Network is developing a new version of Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes, featuring Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck and will be moving further into the live-action arena over the next year. The Looney Tunes Show "takes Bugs and Daffy out of the woods and puts them into the suburbs with 'colorful neighbors' including Yosemite Sam, Granny, Tweety and Sylvester," according to Hollywood Reporter's James Hibberd. (Hollywood Reporter)

Julianne Moore has denied reports that she was ever attached to the US remake of Prime Suspect that NBC is developing, telling TV Guide Magazine's Will Keck, "That was never true. Rumor." (TV Guide Magazine)

HBO has ordered a second season of comedy How To Make It in America, with eight episodes on tap for summer 2011. (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider)

TLC has ordered six episodes of culinary reality series Best Food Ever, which offers a cross-country culinary overview of "popular dishes and restaurants." Series, narrated by John Goodman, will launch May 3rd at 10 pm ET/PT with an episode about the country's best sandwiches. (Variety)

Showtime will be bringing Lisa Kudrow's online series Web Therapy to television, announcing that it will thread together the series' 45 mini-sodes into half-hour episodes. Series will launch later in 2010. (Hollywood Reporter)

The Wrap's Josef Adalian (soon to be departing to take over as West Coast editor of New York Magazine's Vulture site) is reporting that TNT has slated the launch of Rizzoli & Isles on Monday, July 12th at 10 pm ET/PT, leading out of the sixth season of The Closer, which launches the same night. Elsewhere, TBS has slated the return of comedy My Boys for Sunday, July 25th at 10 pm ET/PT. (The Wrap's TVMoJoe)

Universal Media Studios has signed a one-year overall deal with former It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia writes Sonny Lee and Patrick Walsh, under which they will develop new comedy projects for the studio. (Congrats, Sonny!) (Hollywood Reporter)

TruTV is developing an unofficial spinoff of MTV's Jersey Shore called Wicked Summah that will depict Boston locals who summer on Cape Cod. (Broadcasting & Cable)

Nikki Finke is reporting that the CW is said to be considering picking up two UK reality series and retransmitting them here in the US this summer. (

Comedy Central has ordered seven additional episodes of animated comedy Ugly Americans, which will debut in October. (Hollywood Reporter)

BBC Worldwide has promoted Gareth Williams to SVP of content and production for South America. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


ticknart said…
Jace, I'm curious, have you taken another look at Happy Town since your early review last summer? (I may have missed the news, if you posted something in a Channel Surfing post.) Is it still as bad now as it was then? Did they try to retool anything to make it tighter?


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