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Channel Surfing: Leigh and Morissette Return to Weeds, Jamie Foxx Preps TV Pilot, Sarah Drew Talks Grey's, Doctor Who, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing.

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alanis Morissette will return to Weeds for the Showtime dark comedy's sixth season, set to launch August 16th. Leigh will reprise her role as Nancy's sister Jill in one episode, with Morissette due to appear in two episodes as Andy's girlfriend Audra Kitson, who also happened to be Nancy's doctor. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that Jamie Foxx has shot a trailer for a potential television project entitled Tommy's Little Girl, which features Paul Sorvino, Selma Blair, James Russo, and Tony Sirico. Project would revolve around the relationship between a mobster (Sorvino) and his daughter (Blair) and will be pitched to cable networks. (Deadline)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello has an interview with newly promoted Grey's Anatomy series regular Sarah Drew, in which they discuss her "polarizing alter ego" April, among other topics. " I definitely had that feeling," said Drew when asked if the season finale pushed April together with the rest of the Seattle Grace crew. "April has been kind of annoying this past season. [Laughs] Just neurotic and really insecure, and this was the first time she was able to band together — both with Cristina and Meredith — to help solve a [crisis]. Most of my stuff before was with Patrick [Dempsey] and fawning over him awkwardly. So this was the first opportunity to actually bond in a positive way with them. They say tragedy brings people together, so I guess that’s what happened." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

MAJOR SPOILERS! UK paper The Daily Mirror has an interview with Doctor Who head writer/executive producer Steven Moffat about the season finale of Doctor Who, which brings an end to the first season under new Doctor, Matt Smith, and finds the Time Lord in a bit of a bind. "The doctor is trapped inside a prison from which even he can't escape," said Moffat. "Amy Pond is dead. Rory is plastic. River Song has been blown up in the Tardis, which has been blown up and destroyed every sun in the universe. I think any other hero would be in a pickle but I think the Doctor can take it... I really do think episode 13, the episode we'll see on Saturday, is a story only Doctor Who can do - no other show could have come close to a story like this." The finale will air Saturday night in the UK on BBC One and in two weeks on BBC America in the US. (via Digital Spy)

Vulture's Josef Adalian is reporting that FOX will not go ahead with its unscripted Glee spinoff, which would have depicted the search for actors to play three new roles on the musical-comedy. "Though they collected the tryout videos, Murphy and Fox execs have since quietly agreed to kill the on-air competition after it became clear that working on the reality show would mean less time for planning season two (and the recently announced season three)," writes Adalian. "As it is, Murphy and his team have already had their schedules crowded by such extracurricular events as the brief Glee live tour, multiple hit soundtrack albums, a trip to the White House, and, of course, Oprah." (Vulture)

TVGuide.com's Gina DiNunno talks to Tom Colicchio about Season Seven of Bravo's Top Chef and weighs in on the change at the judges' table, where master chef Eric Ripert has taken over for Toby Young. "For me, I like having him there," Colicchio told DiNunno. "I liked working with Toby [Young], but he didn't have the most authoritative voice when it came to the food. Toby is more of a scene critic when it comes to restaurants — or at least that's my understanding of it. He did know a good amount about food though. Having Eric judging the food has a little bit more weight than Toby judging your food. But you're not going to get the one-line zingers that we got out of Toby. [Laughs]" (TVGuide.com)

[Editor: elsewhere, The Hollywood Reporter's James Hibberd has an interview with Top Chef executive producers Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth, in which they talk about why this season is Obama-less, the reason behind the name Magical Elves, how they pick the cities for Top Chef, and the status of other projects in development, including spinoff Top Chef Jr.)

Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that Jon Cassar (24) has come board FOX's upcoming adventure series Terra Nova as an executive producer/director. He joins a staff that includes former 24 executive producers Brannon Braga and David Fury and will direct multiple episodes of the series. (Alex Graves is set to direct the pilot episode.) (Deadline)

The Futon Critic is reporting that Project Runway will return to Lifetime on Thursday, July 29th at 9 pm ET/PT, right before half-hour spinoff series On the Road With Austin & Santino. (Futon Critic)

V star Elizabeth Mitchell has indicated that she's open for a possible romance between her character on the ABC sci-fi series, Erica Evans, and Charles Mesure's Kyle Hobbes. “He’s awesome, isn’t he? When he first came on, I said to [exec producer Scott] Rosenbaum, 'You need to make this guy a deal, now,'" Mitchell told Fancast's Matt Mitovich, though she added that Erica could fall for either Hobbes or Joel Gretsch's Father Jack. "Maybe it’s just because I’m a woman, but I’m up for a little romance!" (Fancast's The Big Tease)

TV Guide Magazine's Will Keck has the dish on the upcoming two-parter on USA's Royal Pains, in which Mark Feuerstein's Hank heads to Cuba. The two-episode arc will feature guest stars Tony Plana (Ugly Betty) and Ana de la Reguera (Cop Out), the latter of which will be a potential love interest for Hank. The actress will also appear on Season Two of HBO's Eastbound and Down, where she is set to recur all season as the new love interest for Danny McBride's Kenny Powers. (TV Guide Magazine)

ABC's reality series Shark Tank will return to the lineup this summer... for one episode (a shelved installment from last season) on July 15th at 8 pm ET/PT, while ABC will repeat several other episodes during July and August. There's been no official word on the fate of the Sony Pictures Television-produced series. (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer will produce the 83rd Academy Awards telecast, which is slated to air Sunday, February 27th on ABC. Mischer will also serve as the director for the awards telecast. (via press release)

In other Oscar-related news, Deadline's Nikki Finke is reporting that Board of Governor members have discussed moving the annual awards telecast to January, which could lead to conflicts with NBC's Golden Globes. "The awards season is too long currently. This will shorten and reduce the amount of campaigning," an unnamed studio head told Finke. "Also, it will make the Oscars the definitive awards show again. The Globes can't move a lot earlier as all the movies wouldn't be released yet. The only potential downside is how do people see all the films in time to vote for nominations?" (Deadline)

Lifetime has hired Discovery executive Gena McCarthy as SVP of reality and alternative programming at the cabler. She will report to JoAnn Alfano. (Variety)

Tyra Banks' production company Bankable has hired former Warner Music International chairman/CEO Patrick Vien as president/COO, effective immediately. He'll be based in New York and will report to Banks. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Bella Spruce said…
I didn't really have a problem with Toby Young on Top Chef but agree with Colicchio that, as a judge, Eric Ripert has more credibility. Too bad they didn't get Anthony Bourdain as a full time judge. Then they'd have the cred AND the one-line zingers!

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