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Channel Surfing: Laura Vandervoort to Return to Smallville, Terra Nova Comic-Con Confusion, Nikki Finke on Tilda, Doctor Who and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing.

They have... returned? V star Laura Vandervoort will reprise her role as Kara on the CW's Smallville for the series' tenth and final season, reports Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. But don't get too excited, Supergirl fans: Vandervoort is only expected to appear in one installment of the Warner Bros. Television-produced superhero drama, scheduled to air in October. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Just what is going on with FOX's Terra Nova at Comic-Con? After the official San Diego Comic-Con 2010 schedule was announced over the last few days, 20th Century Fox Television opted to pull the panel for its upcoming prehistoric/time-travel drama starring Jason O'Mara from the convention. "Since production on the Jason O’Mara starrer isn’t expected to start until September, the producers don’t have any footage to show the fans in San Diego," writes Entertainment Weekly's Lynette Rice. "Plus, the writers don’t want to reveal too much about the high-concept series, which Fury promises will have an 'ongoing mythology.'" [Editor: I get that there is no footage but that was always going to be the case and no one expected a screening of the pilot or, indeed, anything.] “There are a lot of surprises, a lot of reveals that come out throughout the course of season,” Fury told Entertainment Weekly. “If we talk about the more interesting aspects of the show now, we’re afraid we’ll ruin the surprise for the audience. In this case, everything is moving along steadily, the script has been well-received. We just don’t have anything to wow anyone with. It’s still in the preliminary stage, It’s a huge undertaking." Complicating things further is the fact that the panel appears to be back on the schedule, leading several to wonder whether 20th balked at the bad publicity such a move would engender among the fanbase... or it's just an error on the Comic-Con lineup. (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider, Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed)

Deadline's Nikki Finke has offered her "first and last statement" about HBO's comedy pilot Tilda, which revolves around a Finke-like blogger who has Hollywood trembling. Writing on her own site, Finke attempted to set the record straight about her involvement with the Diane Keaton-led project, offering the following statement after closing an agreement between herself, MMC, and Watski Prods:

"I had no prior knowledge that this show was being created or put into development. I have never written about the show. I have never encouraged Deadline.com journalists to write about the show. I had no prior agreement with HBO or anyone regarding the show. I had no creative or consulting involvement with the show... I still have no creative or consulting involvement with the show nor wanted any. I still won't write about the show. And Deadline.com journalists can still write whatever they want about the show. As for all of you who've asked for a quote from me about Tilda, here it is: 'It should have been called Toldja!' (Deadline)

Doctor Who head writer/executive producer Steven Moffat has joined Twitter, where he has begun to tease details about the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas Special. "Oh, he's back behind the bow tie - and better than ever," wrote Moffat about Matt Smith returning to the set. (via Digital Spy)

Looks like Larry King's successor at CNN will be Piers Morgan, after all. The Hollywood Reporter's James Hibberd writes that Morgan is thisclose to a deal that would see him take over Larry King's timeslot on the 24-hour news cabler. "Sources caution that Morgan is still under contract and that CNN may be unable to directly negotiate with the TV personality directly," writes Hibberd. "But if a deal could be struck between CNN and NBC, that allows Morgan to take over the position. Sources say the proposed deal allows for Morgan to remain as a judge on [America's] Got Talent, with the CNN talk show in second position for his schedule." (Hollywood Reporter)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Josh Stewart (Dirt) has been cast in ABC's upcoming family superhero drama No Ordinary Family in a recurring capacity as the mentor for Michael Chiklis' character. Series launches September 28th. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

BBC Two's reality series The Restaurant, which aired Stateside on BBC America as Last Restaurant Standing, will not be returning for a fourth season, according to the BBC. "The time is right for The Restaurant to close its doors after three successful series." Raymond Blanc is said to be in talks with Auntie about a new season of Kitchen Secrets and other potential projects. (BBC)

TV Guide Magazine's Will Keck is reporting several series are looking for new characters, including FOX's Glee, which is going to add a jock named Sam to the mix (who *could* be a potential love interest for Kurt), Starz's Torchwood is looking to add a series regular and two recurring characters, including the following: "Rex Matheson is a white, twenty-something CIA agent who sounds sort of like... [FX's] animated Archer spy: a fearless, cocky thrill seeker. Recurring characters include Esther Katusi, a newbie Watch Analyst in the CIA who is deeply (and secretly) in love with Rex. And Oswald Jones is the dangerous psychotic villain. He's a forty-something murderer and pedophile who gets sprung from the slammer into the spotlight." (TV Guide Magazine)

Fox Television Studios has signed a rare overall deal with White Collar creator Jeff Eastin which will keep him aboard White Collar and allow for future development of new projects for the studio. (Deal is similar to that held between FTVS and Burn Notice creator Matt Nix.) "Once the dust settles, I'll dig out the ideas book and see if something else lends itself to a TV show," Eastin told Variety. "It's about finding something else I'm passionate about. I appreciate Fox TV Studios for having faith in me to make a deal. Especially as they're few and far between these days." (Variety)

MTV is shoring up the writing staff for the upcoming US adaptation of UK teen drama Skins, hiring Mark Hammer, Matt Pelfrey, and Monica Padrick, who will join the writing staff of the series, expected to launch early next year. (Hollywood Reporter)

ABC Studios has signed a one-year overall deal with Ghost Whisperer executive producers Kim Moses and Ian Sander. The duo currently have to supernatural-themed projects in development at ABC, including reality series Ghost Town and drama Ghost World, from writer Dana Stevens, about "a ghost on the other side who helps an ambitious young female homicide detective solve crimes in the hopes of uncovering clues to his own life and death and centers on the mysterious, intense and sometimes infuriating connection the two feel toward each other." (Deadline)

Maxine Peake (Criminal Justice), Rupert Penry-Jones (Spooks), Natalie Dormer (The Tudors), Tom Hughes (Sex, Drugs And Rock And Roll) and Neil Stuke (Reggie Perrin) have been cast in legal drama series Silk, from writer Peter Moffat (Criminal Justice), which will revolve around "lives, loves and hard cases facing barristers on the front line of criminal law." (Silk, of course, referring to the robes worn by Queen's Counsel members, the highest-level barristers in the UK.) "Bafta-winning writer Peter Moffat marks his return to BBC One with a brilliant new legal drama series, which takes a modern look at the genre," said BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning Ben Stephenson. "Maxine Peake and Rupert Penry-Jones lead an incredible cast and star as ambitious barristers competing for much coveted Silk." (BBC)

VH1 has ordered eight episodes of an untitled docusoap that will follow Mario Lopez and his girlfriend Courtney Mazza as they await the birth of their child. Project, executive produced by Cris Abrego, Mark Schulman, Jeff Olde, Jill Holmes, Kristen Kelly, and Lopez, is expected to launch this fall. (Hollywood Reporter)

Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) has been cast as the lead of an upcoming Lifetime telepic Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story, in which she'll play a woman who underwent a daring rescue mission to locate and free her seven-year-old son Kobe, who was seized by her ex-husband during a custody battle and taken to South Korea. (Deadline)

From weird to weirder: former Monkees star Mickey Dolenz has signed on to star opposite Debbie Gibson and Tiffany in Syfy's upcoming telepic Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. [Editor: I did warn you it would be weird.] (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Rory T. said…
I have mixed feelings about The Restaurant not coming back. It was one of my favorite reality shows (rivaling Top Chef for best culinary reality show) but this last season was truly awful! It didn't even seem like the same show. So, maybe it's a good thing it's over!

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