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Channel Surfing: Team Darlton Talk Lost's "Across the Sea," NBC Likely to Axe Heroes, 24, Fringe Preview, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing.

Hitfix's Alan Sepinwall has a fantastic (and lengthy) interview with Lost showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse about this week's divisive "Across the Sea" episode and the end of the series. "We told the story the way we wanted to. Like David Chase, we tried to make the show to entertain the audience. That was our primary goal," said Cuse about making the sixth and final season of Lost. "We kind of planned this episode to come at this period of time because we actually wanted to take a break after the deaths of these major characters. It felt like this was the perfect time to take a time out from the main narrative. And since this was the final big mythological episode that we were going to do, we felt like it was a good placement for it, and now we'll roll into the finale. We make no apologies. We planned this to be the way it is. Again, it is funny, because there are a lot of people who are very happy with the show, there's going to be a very vocal group of people who are not happy, and that just kind of comes with the territory. We're making the show the best way we know how to make it, and we stand by it, and we're excited about how it ends and how the journey's unfolded." (Hitfix)

Over at Los Angeles Times, Maria Elena Fernandez has a fantastic piece on Lost's composer Michael Giacchino, who will be conducting a full symphony orchestra at tonight's Lost Live event here in Los Angeles (I'll be attending, of course) and speaks to Lindelof and Cuse about Giacchino's impact on the series. "We've always talked about the central aspect of Lost being character, character, character, and his music is so evocative of a certain moment or person in the show," Lindelof told Fernandez. "If you close your eyes and play 30 seconds of one of Michael's themes, you'd know which character's theme that is." (Los Angeles Times)

Vulture's Josef Adalian is reporting that Heroes is very unlikely to earn a spot on NBC's fall schedule and that all indications are currently pointing towards the superhero drama being deader than a dodo. Previous reports had indicated that the Peacock was considering ordering a final chapter of thirteen episodes but that appears not to be the case any more for the Tim Kring-overseen drama after screening the pilots that they had ordered. "NBC (which declined to comment for this story) is nothing if not appreciative of the few Heroes fans who still care about the saga and doesn't want to leave them hanging," writes Adalian. "While a half-season appears to be out of the question, we hear there's a good chance the network will at least try to find a way to fund a two- or four-hour movie event in order to give some finality to the franchise." (Vulture)

Entertainment Weekly's Lynette Rice has an interview with 24's Cherry Jones about the "trippy story arc" this season for President Allison Taylor. "By the end of the season, these guys are just this side of brain dead," said Cherry about Howard Gordon and 24's writers. "They have been trying so hard. They don’t have an arc. Most TV shows would have an arc and they would figure out how to nudge everybody in the direction they wanted to go in. These guys look at the performances, look at who they’ve got and try to follow things they think will be the most shocking. The fact that my character has suddenly taken this turn was never anticipated by anyone, but they have to figure out a way to justify it. They and I have managed to do that. I’ve got to hand it to them, they live right on the edge. They don’t take the easy road." (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider)

E! Online's Megan Masters takes an early look at Part One of season finale of FOX's Fringe (airing tonight), offering up side-by-side photos of Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and Walter Bishop and their alternate reality counterparts. [Editor: I think that Olivia looks amazing in either reality but her "over there" counterpart has got a smoldering look.] (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

And here's the promo for the two-part Fringe season finale:



[Editor: FOX and NBC ordered a whole slew of series yesterday afternoon, which you can read about here.]

Former Sopranos star James Gandolfini has been cast opposite Diane Lane and Tim Robbins in HBO's telepic Cinema Verite, a dramatization of the seminal 1970s reality series An American Family, where he will play the series' producer Craig Gilbert. (Robbins and Lane will play Bill and Pat Loud, the married couple at the center of the series.) Project, written by David Seltzer and directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, will begin production this summer. (Variety)

BBC One has unveiled the cast of its upcoming eight-part sci-fi drama series Outcasts (created by Ben Richards), which will include Battlestar Galactica's Jamie Bamber, Ashes to Ashes's Daniel Mays, Clash of the Titans' Liam Cunningham, Spooks' Hermione Norris, Being Human's Amy Manson, Small Island's Ashley Walters, Ugly Betty's Eric Mabius, Shameless'Michael Legge, Generation Kill's Langley Kirkwood, Invictus' Patrik Lyster, and Jeanne Kietzmann. Series revolves around a group of human colonists who are attempting to build a new society on a distant planet. Here's how BBC describes the series: "They are a diverse group of individuals who left their old lives behind in extraordinary circumstances; promised a second chance at life they created a society, far away from their home, friends, family... and their pasts. Settled in the town of Forthaven on Carpathia, they are passionate about their jobs, confident of their ideals and optimistic about the future. They work hard to preserve what they've built on this planet they now call home, having embraced all the challenges that come with forging a new beginning.The planet offers the possibility for both corruption and redemption; while they try to avoid the mistakes made on Earth, inevitably our heroes cannot escape the human pitfalls of love, greed, lust, loss, and a longing for those they've left behind. As they continue to work and live together they come to realise this is no ordinary planet... is there a bigger purpose at work? Mystery lurks around them and threatens to risk the fragile peace of Forthaven." (BBC)

Entertainment Weekly's Lynette Rice is reporting that Steven Spielberg has pre-taped a "special introductory message" that will be played to advertisers at FOX's upfront presentation next week," signifying that his project--the prehistoric drama Terra Nova (which revolves around a family from the future who travels back in time)--has secured a thirteen-episode commitment and will be presented to advertisers even though a single frame of film has yet to be shot. (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider)

Entourage's executive producers Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson are developing a female-oriented comedy for HBO which will be written by Leah Rachel (with an assist by Emily Montague) that will revolve around a group of female friends in Los Angeles. (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that Warner Bros. Television is in the final negotiations of a deal with Angus T. Jones that will keep him on CBS' Two and a Half Men for two additional seasons. Still no progress, meanwhile, in the ongoing renegotiation talks between WBTV and series lead Charlie Sheen... (Deadline)

Hitfix's Alan Sepinwall has an interview with Cougar Town co-creator Bill Lawrence about how the series got beyond a thin concept and rickety title... which Lawrence would love to change. "I'd like to (change it), and the studio has been talking about it for three reasons: One, partly as a result of common sense and partly from their research, they find too many instances of testing of people saying they would never watch a show called Cougar Town - 'I don't want to see some show about a 40-year-old woman nailing younger guys' - and then they screen an episode, and people go, 'Oh, I would watch this show,'" said Lawrence. "Second point is simply what you already said, which is you would be hard-pressed to watch the last three episodes of the show and asked anyone for titles - I doubt anyone would say Cougar Town. Third, in a world where ABC and Steve are looking to promote Modern Family and capitalize on it to promote all their new shows next fall, anything you can do to create some kind of dialogue about your existing show is smart and savvy. The reasons not to do it I think solely come down to business reasons." (Hitfix)

Community's Joel McHale and Modern Family's Sofia Vergara will be announcing the primetime Emmy Award nominations on July 8th. (Hollywood Reporter)

Deadline.com's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that FOX has passed on the following projects: Breakout Kings, Breaking In, Tax Men, Strange Brew, Most Likely to Succeed and The Station, while NBC has passed on Matthew Broderick-led comedy Beach Lane. In other pilot news, FX has passed on comedy project Sweat Shop, after filming a pilot. (Deadline)

Lionsgate has acquired international distribution rights to Comedy Central's upcoming series Big Lake, from executive producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Chris Henchy. Cabler has given the comedy, which stars Chris Gethard, Chris Parnell, and Horatio Sanz, a ten-episode commitment, with an option to order an additional 90 episodes. (Broadcasting & Cable)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Hannah Moon said…
So jealous that you're attending the Lost Michael Giacchino event! I expect we'll get a full report, though. :) Looking forward to it!

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