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Channel Surfing: Kara DioGuardi Leaves Idol, Treadstone Heads to CBS, Ashmore Twins Land Fringe, Glee, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. With the holiday weekend having just wrapped, no one was breaking too much news. Which isn't to say that there are no key television-based headlines, because, well, there are. Let's get to it.

It's official: Kara DioGuardi will not be returning to FOX's American Idol this season. The singer-songwriter joined the judges table two years ago and FOX has now confirmed the long-gestating rumors that DioGuardi would not be returning for another season of the musical competition series. "I felt like I won the lottery when I joined American Idol two years ago, but I feel like now is the best time to leave IDOL," said DioGuardi in an official statement. "I am very proud to have been associated with American Idol - it has truly been an amazing experience. I am grateful to FOX, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment, as well as the cast, crew and contestants, for all they have given to me. I look forward to my next challenge, and want to thank everyone who has supported me. All the best to everyone on Season 10!" Idol creator and executive producer Simon Fuller had this to say about DioGuardi's departure: "Kara is one of the world's best songwriters. She has been passionate and committed to Idol over the last two seasons. I will miss having her on the show, but I look forward to working with her in music for many years to come." (via press release)

Variety's Michael Schneider is reporting that the new Idol panelists, including a replacement for DioGuardi could be announced next week, with Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler still expected to join the judging team for the next cycle of American Idol. (Variety)

Has CSI creator Anthony Zuiker found his next smash hit? Zuiker has landed a script order for Treadstone, a series take on the black ops division of the CIA from Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne novels, at CBS. Project, from CBS Television Studios and Dare to Pass, will be written by John Glenn (Eagle Eye), who will executive produce with Zuiker. (Deadline)

Shawn and Aaron Ashmore--the twin actors known for their roles in the X-Men film franchise, Smallville, and Veronica Mars--are set to appear in Season Three of FOX's Fringe this fall. The duo are set to guest star in an episode slated to air in November and have turned down other invitations to play opposite each other in the past. "It's usually because the stuff that comes along is kind of hokey," Shawn Ashmore told Chicago Now. "But I think the quality of Fringe is really high and the episode is done well and our characters are intelligent. We're going to have some fun." No word immediately on just who or what they'll be playing but it's safe to say that twins will play into the equation in some capacity. (via Digital Spy)

TV Guide Magazine's Will Keck has an exclusive first look at John Stamos' Dr. Carl Howell on Season Two of FOX's Glee. "Just when Will thinks he'll win Emma because he can sing and dance, we find out Carl used to be in an '80s boy band," Stamos told Keck. "I discover Will's chewing his teeth, so the other day I had, like, four fingers in Matthew Morrison's mouth." And Carl will also play a key role in causing those Brittany Spears hallucinations this fall in the Spears tribute episode... and will appear in the Rocky Horror Picture Show-inspired Halloween episode as well. (TV Guide Magazine)

NBC is teaming up with DreamWorks Animated for half-hour holiday specials Scared Shrekless and Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special. The first will air on October 28th as a Halloween tie-in while Panda will air on November 24th. Both will be paired with repeats of last year's DreamWorks Animated specials based around Monsters Vs. Aliens and Madagascar. (Hollywood Reporter)

Bill Lawrence is keeping it in the family: Ken Jenkins (Scrubs) is set to guest star on ABC's Cougar Town, where he will play the father of Courteney Cox's Jules, according to Entertainment Weekly. No airdate has been set for Jenkins' appearance, though it's thought likely that he'll turn up this fall. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

The Office isn't going anywhere, executive producer Paul Lieberstein told E! Online's Megan Masters on Friday... and indicated that there could be an Office movie. [Editor: for the love of all things holy, no.] "There's been no talk at any point of The Office ending," Lieberstein told Masters. "Maybe when the series is done we'd do an Office movie. I'd be up for that... But they're all such big movie stars now, I don't know if we could afford them on set." Lieberstein also advised fans to stick with the series even after Steve Carell leaves at the end of this upcoming season. "This will definitely change the dynamic [of the show]," said Lieberstein. "And we can't just replace Steve because I think that would lead to failure. We have to do something different. This show is really about office life, which so many people live. And changing it up a little will be welcome to the fans. Steve feels he's played almost everything he can with Michael Scott. There isn't a lot of new territory for him to discover. And if he's feeling that, fans must be, at a certain level, feeling that too—it's an opportunity to reinvent The Office." (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

Kevin Rankin (Friday Night Lights) has been cast in a recurring role on HBO's Big Love), where he will play the son of a fundamentalist polygamists. (Hollywood Reporter)

The Futon Critic is reporting that Syfy will air Felicia Day's telepic Red: Werewolf Hunter on Saturday, October 30th at 9 pm ET/PT. (Futon Critic)

Elsewhere at the cabler, Syfy is developing conspiracy-based reality series UFO: Unbelievably Freakin' Obvious that will feature Billy Ray Cyrus and his son Trace as they "travel cross-country and offer a skeptical solution to many of the theories," according to Variety's Stuart Levine. "The existence of paranormal phenomena is something I've always wanted to explore further," Cyrus told Variety. "Getting the opportunity to take this adventure with my son, who has always had a keen interest in this area, is a dream come true. I hope this series can shine a light on some of the activities we have questioned, and the mysteries that have long inspired us." (Variety)

MTV has given a put pilot order to an untitled scripted comedy from comedian Bo Burnham which will revolve around "a kid fresh out of high school who's pursing the new American dream of being a celebrity without having any talent," according to Burnham, who will write and executive produce the pilot, alongside Dan Lagana and Luke Liacos. (Variety)

Stay tuned.


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