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Channel Surfing: Zach Gilford Goes Off the Map, Entourage to End Next Year, Fringe's Sebastian Roche to Supernatural, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing.

Former Friday Night Lights star Zach Gilford has joined the cast of ABC's midseason medical drama Off the Map, from executive producers Shonda Rhimes and Jenna Bans. TVGuide.com's Natalie Abrams reports that Gilford will play Tommy, a physician who travels to a remote medical clinic in South America along with fellow doctors Lily (Caroline Dhavernas) and Mina (Mamie Gummer). (The series' other stars include Martin Henderson, Jason George, and Valerie Cruz.) Gilford's casting comes on the heels of the hiring of Rachelle Lefevre as a regular and the departure of Enrique Murciano, though ABC was quick to point out that Gilford won't be playing the same role that Murciano did, a spoiled and uptight plastic surgeon. [Editor: I'm chuffed to see Gilford--who we all know best as Saracen--head back to primetime.] (TVGuide.com)

Not a moment too soon: HBO's long-running comedy Entourage will end next year, according to HBO Co-President Richard Plepler, speaking at Saturday's Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour session for the pay cabler. "The plan right now is to finish up this season and we're not clear exactly how many [episodes], we'll do a shorter order next season to finish up," said Plepler on Saturday. "We had talked about six [episodes]... [Creator Doug Ellin] wants to write [an Entourage] film but he also wants to do it so the storytelling makes sense... But Entourage next summer will definitely be the final season." To parse the meaning of Plepler's words: Entourage has got one more brief season left it in--likely six episodes or so--before it ends and there could be a movie but it's not certain yet. [Editor: Whew.]

Fancast's Matt Mitovich is reporting that Sebastian Roche (who recurred this season on FOX's Fringe as Thomas Jerome Newton) has ben cast on the CW's Supernatural, which returns this fall for its sixth season. Roche will play Balthazar, an angelic friend of Misha Collin's Castiel, in the season premiere ("The Third Man"). “Remember when Cass was dragged back to Heaven as a prisoner? Balthazar was actually the only friend who stood up for him,” executive producer Sera Gamble told Mitovich. “During the Apocalypse, Balthazar went AWOL, and Cass thought he was dead. Turns out… not so much.” Meanwhile, Roche will also be back on Fringe this fall as Newton hasn't quite finished with the Fringe team. (Fancast)

Time for the dance of joy? TV Guide Magazine's Will Keck is reporting that former Perfect Strangers star Bronson Pinchot will guest star on NBC's Chuck this fall. Pinchot--who is slated to appear in the second episode of Chuck's fourth season--will play Victor, described as "a tacky and audacious wannabe-matchmaker Chuck (Zachary Levi) meets at Milan's Fashion Week." Keck also reports that Armand Assante will reprise his role as Goya in the fourth episode of the season when the gang visits him on the island that he inhabits. (TV Guide Magazine)

FOX has pushed back the launch date for Season Two of Human Target, which will now kick off on Friday, October 1st at 8 pm ET/PT. Here's how FOX describes the season opener: "Picking up from the heart-pounding first season cliffhanger, Season Two of HUMAN TARGET kicks off with a bang as CHANCE (Mark Valley) and GUERRERO (Jackie Earle Haley) race to rescue their kidnapped associate, WINSTON (Chi McBride). Vowing to retire from the security business, Chance is lured back to work by billionaire philanthropist ILSA PUCCI (new series regular Indira Varma), who needs his protection after the mysterious murder of her husband. While on assignment, the team encounters AMES (new cast member Janet Montgomery), a beautiful, chameleon-like thief who has a past connection to Winston." (via press release)

Serinda Swan (Smallville) has been cast in A&E's upcoming drama series Breakout Kings, where she will be Erica Reed, described as "an expert at finding people who don't want to be found -- then killing them." Swan has been contracted as a series regular for the thirteen episodes that A&E ordered earlier this summer after FOX passed on the procedural drama. (Hollywood Reporter)

Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that Megan Boone (HMS) has been cast in NBC's upcoming Law & Order iteration, Law & Order: Los Angeles, where she will play Laura Gardner, the DDA for Terence Howard's ADA. Regina Hall, meanwhile, will play the DDA for Alfred Molina's ADA. Series also stars Skeet Ulrich, Corey Stoll, and Wanda De Jesus. (Deadline)

A&E has ordered a pilot for supernatural docuseries The Unexplained from executive producers Doug Liman, Russ Stratton, Robert Sharenow, and Elaine Frontain Bryant. Pilot, according to Variety's Stuart Levine, investigates a "five-year-old boy talks about his previous life experiences and claims he was actor George Raft, a movie star from 1930s." (Variety)

Brigid Brannagh (Army Wives) and Sean Patrick Flanery (The Dead Zone) have been cast in Hallmark Channel original telepic Mystery Girl, which will air next year on the cable channel. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Evan said…
Fyi, I didn't see anything earlier (I might have missed it) but Maury Chaykin died July 27th in Toronto. My favorite Nero Wolfe.

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