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Channel Surfing: TNT Renews Southland, Legend of the Seeker Axed, FX Heads to Outlaw Country, Royal Pains, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing.

In a surprise move, cabler TNT has ordered a third season of hyper-realistic cop drama Southland, commissioning ten episodes that will launch in January 2011. "Southland is a challenging, visceral show that engages viewers with its immersive style, provocative storylines and complex characters," said Michael Wright, EVP/head of programming, for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, in a statement. "These qualities have made Southland a favorite among critics and appointment viewing for an extremely loyal audience." It's a sign of support from the cabler, which picked up the drama series after it was cancelled by NBC before it had even aired a single episode of its second season. TNT aired the six-episode sophomore season run earlier this year. [It's noted in this Variety article that the median viewer age of Southland--47--is younger than any other series on the channel.] (via press release)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that syndicated fantasy series Legend of the Seeker has been cancelled and will not be returning for a third season. "The outlook had been bleak since last March, when many of Tribune Station Group’s markets dropped the syndicated series, which had been developed from Terry Goodkind’s fantasy novels by Hercules/Xena producers Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert," wrote Ausiello. "ABC Studios, which produces it, kept shopping it around. But, I’m told, they found no takers. So, after two action-packed seasons, Legend is history." Sorry, folks, it's the end of the road for Richard Cypher. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

FX is heading back South once more: the cabler has ordered a pilot for thriller/family drama Outlaw Country, written by Josh Goldin and Rachel Abramowitz and executive prodced by Art Linson and John Linson. Project, which has no casting attachments, will revolve around organized crime in the South. Production on the pilot, produced by FX Prods., will begin this fall. (Variety)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Marcia Gay Harden (Damages) has been cast in a multiple-episode story arc on USA's Royal Pains, where she will play Dr. Elizabeth Blair, described as "a surgeon, board member of Hamptons Heritage Hospital, and an adversary-turned-mentor to Jill (Jill Flint)." She's set to first appear in Royal Pains' second season premiere, set to air on June 3rd. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

The Wrap's Josef Adalian is reporting that The Amazing Race executive producers Bertram van Munster, Elise Doganieri, and Jerry Bruckheimer are developing a new action-based reality competition series at ABC, entitled Catch Me, details for which are being kept firmly under wraps. Adalian writes that the potential series--thought to still be in the pilot stage--is described as "a heart-stopping reality competition" that will reward contestants who "have an adventurous streak and a poker face." (The Wrap's TVMoJoe)

Freplicate alert: Merrin Dungey (Alias) has been cast in a recurring role on Season Two of HBO's Hung, which returns this summer. She'll play Liz, described as a potential new love interest for Thomas Jane's Ray Drecker who is one of his clients and a highly successful businesswoman. (

Adam Kane (The Mentalist) will direct the pilot for Syfy's upcoming supernatural series Haven, based on the Stephen King novella "The Colorado Kid." (Hollywood Reporter)

SPOILERS! Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello talks to House executive producer Katie Jacobs about what's coming up next on the medical drama, ahead of the sixth season finale next month, and what to expect next season. "Considering the fact that he’s not on Vicodin, things have been going as well as they could possibly go," said Jacobs about House's emotional journey this season. "He’s living with Wilson, and I think that’s helpful. And he’s really making an effort to hold it together. It sort of seems like in every episode there’s a new revelation about how well he really is doing. How is he faring just taking ibuprofen for the pain? Is that working? In episode 17 he was stuck in that room for two hours with David Strathairn and we found out he is in pain. And from now until the end of the season, there’s going to be something that challenges House’s [sobriety] in almost every episode." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Dane DeHaan (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) has joined the cast of Season Three of HBO's In Treatment, where he will play a teenage patient for Gabriel Byrne's Paul. He'll be joined by Irrfan Khan, while Debra Winger has not yet decided whether or not to accept a role. (Dianne Wiest will not be returning.) The series will now be overseen by new showrunners Anya Epstein and Dan Futterman, who replace Warren Leight. (Variety)

Vulture has a quick review of the pilot script for TNT's Untitled Alien Invasion Project, from executive producers Steven Spielberg and Robert Rodat. (New York Magazine's Vulture)

The Wrap's Josh Dickey offer his theory about what the real problem is with American Idol: Glee. (The Wrap)

FOX has ordered a pilot for reality series Panic Attack, in which a group of five participants will face off against the shared fear--whether that be heights, snakes, or spiders--with the help of a pair of therapists, Nik and Eva Speakman. Project hails from A. Smith & Co. (Hollywood Reporter)

Meanwhile, The Los Angeles Times' Scott Collins and Denise Martin have an article about the songwriters featured on FOX's Glee. "They really worked hard to make it their own," Steve Perry said of the series' use of "Don't Stop Believin'." "It's actually brought people's attention to go check out the original… It's something I never thought I'd see in my lifetime." (The Los Angeles Times)

Jamie Kennedy (The Ghost Whisperer) is set to guest star on Season Four of Syfy's Eureka, where he will play Dr. Ramsey in an upcoming episode that will be directed by Colin Ferguson. Here's how Syfy describes the episode ("The Story of O2"): "Sheriff Jack Carter (Ferguson) leaves Eureka to visit his daughter Zoe (Jordan Hinson) at Harvard while the town celebrates Space Week. A new self-propagating oxygen technology developed by Dr. Ramsey in order to potentially colonize on Mars mysteriously begins to build up in the atmosphere above Eureka threatening to incinerate the entire town. The episode is scheduled to premiere Friday, July 30, 2010." (via press release)

Looks like The Transporter is headed to the small screen, with an international production--in English--set to start shooting in Europe and Canada early next year. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.


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