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Channel Surfing: No Mr. Eko for Lost Finale, Lost Live in LA, Unhappy Ending for 24, Shawn Ryan Leaves Lie to Me, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing.

Don't expect Mr. Eko to turn up among the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815 this season on Lost. Entertainment Weekly's Lynette Rice is reporting that Adewale Akinnoye-Agbaje will not be returning to ABC's drama series Lost before it wraps up its epic run on May 23rd. "Though the producers wanted to find a reason to bring back the former tailie, EW has learned that a deal could not be reached in time," writes Rice. Akinnoye-Agbaje, who played Nigerian warlord-turned-pious-fake-priest Mr. Eko, had previously made it clear that he would be more than happy to return to Lost, which he departed during the series' third season. "I’m here for [the producers]," Akinnuoye-Agbaje said in an August 2009 interview. "Adewale is open for business. We have had talks about some things they might do for the final season and there are other dead folks coming back allegedly but at the moment it is still a maybe. A strong maybe but I have not shot anything yet or signed any contracts. But I’m hoping." It does appear than time was not on the side of Mr. Eko. Or the smoke monster managed to intervene once more. (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider)

Variety's Cynthia Littleton has details about Thursday evening's Lost Live: The Final Celebration event here in Los Angeles, during which Michael Giacchino will conduct a full live orchestral performance of the music from Lost for 1800 lucky fans (myself included), which will be followed by a screening of the following week's episode, the series' penultimate. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Colburn School of Performing Arts. We thought it was a great way to connect working musicians with students who are looking to make a living playing music," Giacchino told Variety. "And we want it to be fun -- not all academic and serious. We're celebrating what is quite an amazing ending to a long run." Executive producer Carlton Cuse, meanwhile, wanted a way to pay tribute to Giacchino's enormous contributions to the series and the fans. "Lost is so much about the community that has grown up around the show. It seemed like it would be a great culmination for all of us to watch the (penultimate) episode together and have that shared experience," said Cuse. "I think it's going to be a powerful and emotional evening." (Variety)

[Meanwhile, The New Yorker's Alex Ross has a fantastic interview with Lost composer Michael Giacchino that's worth reading.]

Fans of FOX's 24, also set to wrap its run this month, shouldn't expect a happy ending for Kiefer Sutherland's Jack Bauer, according to executive producer Howard Gordon. "[It] leaves him in a compromised place morally, ethically and emotionally," said Gordon. "This show is a tragedy, and to give Jack a happy ending didn't feel authentic..." Meanwhile, a first draft of the script has been written for the big screen version of 24, with a second draft currently being worked on. "We're honoring the series and the creative integrity of (Bauer) and then possibly bringing in a whole new group [of characters]," Gordon said. "What I do think is important is that we do not retread." (Hollywood Reporter)

Shawn Ryan, who took over as showrunner/executive producer of FOX's Lie to Me, has said that he's looking to depart the procedural drama, which is currently on the bubble for a third season renewal. "I had a great year working on the show and helped develop a team that’s ready for more responsibility," wrote Ryan on Twitter. "Time for me to go …When I took gig, I had things in development, nothing in production. Now with Terriers and possibly Ride-Along, too much work... As for timing, this allows studio time to give network succession plan to increase odds of pickup. Still very excited to show you 12 episodes we have in the can. The great Howard Hessman guest stars in one of them." Lie to Me is set to return to the schedule on June 7th. (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider)

Lifetime is developing a drama spinoff of its series Army Wives, which will revolve around Brigid Brannagh's Pamela, described as "a former police officer whose husband was a Delta Force soldier" who "is now divorced and back in her old job as a Charleston, S.C., cop," according to Variety's Michael Schneider. The potential new series, which will follow Pamela back to Charleston, will be written by Bruce Zimmerman and T.D. Mitchell and executive produced by Mark Gordon and Deb Spera. (Variety)

USA has announced an official launch date for Season Five of dramedy Psych, which will return to the schedule on Wednesday, July 21st at 10 pm ET/PT. (Hollywood Reporter)

In other USA news, Emmanuelle Vaugier (Human Target) has been cast in USA's upcoming espionage drama Covert Affairs, where she will star opposite Piper Perabo and play a "fearless journalist/blogger." Series is set to launch on July 13th. (Hollywood Reporter)

Variety's Rick Kissell is reporting that venerable crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation could be headed to a new timeslot when CBS unveils their new fall schedule network. "All three [CSI] shows remain fairly popular -- and on most weeks they win their hours in total viewers -- but there's no guarantee they will all be on the fall sked. And keeping all three in the same timeslot for a sixth straight fall seems even more unlikely," writes Kissell. "As currently scheduled, each CSI is the beneficiary of some of the Eye's strongest lead-ins, and CBS may feel the time is right to get more production out of those slots." He believes that CBS will leave CSI: Miami on Monday nights, possibly rest CSI: New York during the fall or shift it to Fridays, and either flip CSI and The Mentalist on Thursdays or move it to Fridays as a lead into another drama, such as The Good Wife. (Variety)

A new Facebook campaign has sprung up, perhaps in response to the success of the Betty White/Saturday Night Live grassroots effort, around Modern Family. The group, "Let Cam & Mitchell kiss on Modern Family," is look for just that: an on-screen smooch between Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson: "Cam & Mitchell, the adorable gay couple on ABC's Modern Family, have not been shown sharing even a brief kiss throughout the series' first hit season. ABC isn't afraid of gay characters, so why won't they let them show some love?" (New York Magazine's Vulture)

Classic detective drama Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) is getting another remake, this time for American television as Syfy has handed out a pilot order to an updated version of the project, which revolves around a pair of mismatched detectives, one of whom is a ghost who was killed in the line of duty. Josh Bycel and Jonathan Fener will write the script and executive produce along with Howard Braunstein; project hails from ITV Studios. (Variety)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Mary Lynn Rajskub will guest star in the June 10th episode of USA's Royal Pains, where she will play the stepdaughter of Christine Ebersole's Mrs. Newberg. "I play a girl who does yoga on diet pills," Rajskub wrote on Twitter. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

20th Century Fox Television drama development czar Patrick Moran has departed the studio and will be replaced by Michael Thorn, the former NBC executive who was most recently the president of Marty Adelstein's 20th Century Fox-based shingle, Lost Marbles Television. He'll move into the position of SVP of drama development in June, and report to Jennifer Nicholson Salke. "Marty has been a great friend and mentor, but this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up," Thorn told Variety. "Twentieth has a legacy of developing and producing some of the most creative drama series in TV. To get to be a part of that, and make my own mark, and be able to sell to Fox and the other networks, it was something I couldn't say no to." (Variety)

Stay tuned.


SamSee said…
That's sad that Mr. Eko will not be appearing again on Lost. He was definitely one of my favorite characters on the show. Of course, his storyline feels like it was a lifetime ago! But it still would have been fun to have seen him again.

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