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Alternate Realities, Psychics, and Underwater Headquarters: An Advance Review of Season Five Opener of "Bones"

No, we're not talking about Fringe . Viewers were left on a hell of a cliffhanger ending when Bones wrapped its fourth season in May. Just what was going on between Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) and Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel)? How much of it was real, how much of it was Booth's inner fantasy life, and how much of it was Bones' new book? Hmmm.... Bones returns next week with a fantastic fifth season premiere ("Harbingers in the Fountain") that deals with that cliffhanger head on while also taking the relationship between the seemingly star-crossed romantic leads in a new direction. Creator Hart Hanson and the writing staff of this stylish and smart romance-tinged crime procedural wisely realize that one of the strengths of the series is the palpable and smoldering sexual tension between Deschanel and Boreanaz and the premiere rather cleverly deals with the fallout from the events of last season in an interesting and compelling way. So what did I th

Channel Surfing: Zooey Deschanel Could Guest Star on "Bones," FOX Slates First "Glee" Soundtrack, NBC to Get "More Colorful," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. It seems like the stars are finally aligning. Producers on FOX's Bones are in talks with Zooey Deschanel to guest star on the procedural crime drama in December as the cousin of real-life sister Emily Deschanel's Brennan, according to Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello. "We’ve been looking for an opportunity to get the Deschanel girls together," said Bones creator/executive producer Hart Hanson, "but Zooey’s rockin’ career kept getting in the way... We alluded to [her] having a cousin in Minnesota two seasons ago. I’d very much like to meet her in the Christmas episode." ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) As previously reported on this site, 20th Century Fox Television is teaming up with Columbia Records on a series of soundtracks for FOX's upcoming series Glee . The first release, "Glee: The Music, Volume 1," will contain seventeen tracks from the series' first se

Fantasy Life: Televisionary Talks to Hart Hanson About "Bones" Season Five

Wondering what's going on with Booth? Why Brennan ran off to Guatemala? With whom Angela will end her celibacy vow? You've come to the right place. I caught up with Bones showrunner/executive producer Hart Hanson last week at the FOX party at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Pasadena, where I grilled him about Season Five of the FOX drama series. Among the Bones -related topics under discussion: Booth's mental state when Season Five begins and his fantasy life, Hanson's reactions to fan complaints, Angela's celibacy vow, whether we can expect to see Stephen Fry reprise his role as Dr. Gordon Wyatt, Cyndi Lauper, new characters, the 100th episode, a return trip to London, and more. But don't take my word for it. Dig in for my exclusive interview with Bones ' Hart Hanson below. Televisionary: Given that we last saw Brennan when Booth came out of his coma, what lands her in Guatemala? Hanson: We've set up a few times that when s

Channel Surfing: Christopher Gorham Embroiled in "Covert Affairs," Franka Potente Moves into "House," NBC to Revive "Rockford Files," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Christopher Gorham ( Harper's Island ) will star opposite Piper Perabo in USA's spy thriller pilot Covert Affairs . Gorham's attachment would seemingly lift the casting contingency on the project, which follows Annie Walker, a polyglot CIA trainee (Perabo) whose relationship with an enigmatic ex-boyfriend makes her of interest to the agency. Gorham will play Auggie Anderson, a blinded CIA military intelligence operative who helps Walker. ( Hollywood Reporter ) Franka Potente ( The Bourne Identity ) will guest star in the season premiere of House this fall, where she will play a mystery character that Gregory House encounters in the mental hospital. What's unclear is whether Potente will be playing a doctor, a patient, or a figment of House's imagination. Hmmmm.... ( E! Online's Watch with Kristin ) House creator David Shore has come on board to oversee a remake of private eye drama The Rockford Files wi

Dream a Little Dream: Deschanel and Hanson Talk “Bones” Romance

Fans upset about the dream sequence in the season finale of Bones had their chance to question creator Hart Hanson about his decision to have Seely Booth (David Boreanaz) and Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel), uh, hook up in the dream world. Hanson and Deschanel appeared at the Comic-Con panel for Bones , though Dechanel’s co-star David Boreanaz wasn’t in attendance as his wife was thirty-four weeks pregnant with their second child. Though he did send in a rather wry pre-taped video greeting for the panel in which he mocked Hanson’s uber-Canadian ways. “I saw the season finale as a love letter to our very, very loyal fans,” said Hanson, reacting to a fan’s question about the dream romance. “I hope in retrospect the season finale will become more and more likable to our loyal fans. Though I think the loyal fans got it. The people who tune in every once in a while didn't like it as much. And I definitely heard about it." He added that the episode itself was “full of insi

Comic-Con Update: 20th Century Fox Announces Panels, Talent For SDCC Next Month

After weeks of anticipation (and speculation), 20th Century Fox has finally announced which series they will be bringing down to San Diego Comic-Con next month. The unusual suspects-- 24, Bones, Dollhouse, The Simpsons --are all going to be on hand to present cast and producer panels throughout the weekend but the studio has also announced panels for Glee, Cleveland Show, American Dad , and Futurama to boot. Meanwhile, such boldface names as Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Anil Kapoor, Freddie Prinze, Jr. Katee Sackhoff, Joss Whedon, Eliza Dushku, David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Matt Groening, Seth MacFarlane, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, and the cast of Glee will be on hand as well. The full press release from 20th Century Fox Television can be be found below, along with dates and times (and descriptions) of each of their panels. TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX TELEVISION BRINGS NINE SHOWS TO COMIC-CON Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Anil Kapoor, Freddie Prinze, Jr. Katee Sackho

Channel Surfing: FOX Renews "Dollhouse," "Bones" Gets Two Season Pickup, "So You Think You Can Dance" on Tap for Fall, and More

Welcome to (a very early edition of) your Monday morning television briefing on the first day of the 2009 network upfronts. In a surprising twist, FOX has renewed drama series Dollhouse for a second season. Dollhouse , which secured a thirteen-episode order from the network, is expected to remain on Friday evenings next season. Variety 's Cynthia Littleton writes, "The 20th Century Fox TV fantasy drama starring Eliza Dushku has delivered modest but consistent ratings on a low-trafficked night, thanks to Whedon's built-in fan base." It's believed that the renewal was secured after the studio agreed to drastically reduce the series' budget and accept a significantly lower license fee. Just what that decision will mean for the writing staff and cast of Dollhouse remains to be seen. ( Variety ) Good news for Bones fans (even those irked by the season finale's twist): FOX and studio 20th Century Fox Television have signed a deal to renew Bones for not one

Channel Surfing: J.J. Abrams Compares "Lost" to Dickens, Emily Deschanel Dishes on "Bones" Action, "Cold Case" Unearths Ratings Surge, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams tells The Guardian that the writing staff on the ABC series, which airs its fifth season finale next week, approach the series a bit like Charles Dickens approached his own serialized storytelling. "It's a leap of faith doing any serialized storytelling," said Abrams in a new interview. "We had an idea early on, but certain things we thought would work well didn't. We couldn't have told you which characters would be in which seasons. We couldn't tell you who would even survive. You feel that electricity. It's almost like live TV. We don't quite know what might happen. I'm sure when Charles Dickens was writing, he had a sense of where he was going - but he would make adjustments as he went along. You jump into it, knowing there's something great out there to find." ( Guardian ) (SPOILER) Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello talks with Bones s

Channel Surfing: Melora Hardin Turns "Lights Out" for FX, Signs Point to Possible Renewals for "Bones" and "Lie to Me," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Melora Hardin ( The Office ) has been cast as the female lead in FX drama pilot Lights Out , where she will play the wife of a former heavyweight boxing champ Patrick "Lights Out" Leary (Holt McCallany) who is diagnosed with pugilistic dementia and must find another way to support his family before his brain turns to mush. Also cast in the drama pilot, written by Justin Zackham and to be directed by Clark Johnson: Elisa Koteas ( The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ) and Kevin Conway ( The Black Donnellys ), who will play Leary's father/former trainer and his manager/business partner respectively. Hardin, meanwhile, isn't expected to reprise her role as Michael Scott's ex-girlfriend Jan Levinson for the remainder of the current season of The Office but will guest star in at least one episode next season. ( Hollywood Reporter ) The internet was abuzz yesterday with news that FOX wouldn't be airing the final

Channel Surfing: FOX Orders Six Scripts for "Bones," Rob Thomas Not Optimistic About "Veronica Mars" Movie, "Scrubs" Return Possible, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. FOX inched its way closer to renewing drama Bones yesterday, ordering six scripts for the Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz-led series. While it's not a firm renewal yet for Bones , the script order does point favorably towards FOX picking up the series, which has improved the network's Thursday night timeslot by 43 percent since the series relocated there in January and has bested ABC's Ugly Betty and NBC's My Name is Earl . ( TV Week ) Some bad news for Veronica Mars fans: don't hold your breath waiting for the feature film spin-off of the much missed sleuthing series. Creator Rob Thomas told The New York Post that a greenlight isn't looking likely, though he'll "drop whatever" he's doing in order to make it happen should it materialize. "While the pitch [to producer Joel Silver] went well and I don't think the movie's dead, right now it's looking depressing,"

"Prison Break" to End and Other News from FOX's TCA Panel

Yesterday's FOX panel at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour wasn't filled with too many surprises (did we really need to find out what Kiefer Sutherland's exercise regimen entails?) but there were a few revelations in store for attendees, most of which came from FOX entertainment president Kevin Reilly. (Those of you who were following my Twitter feed during the panel can attest to some shocking/funny/bizarre moments throughout the day, including when Reilly described NBC as "the crazy ex-wife that I can't get away from." Those of you who weren't following the feed: shame on you!) Chief among the revelations: Reilly claiming that the network would "let [ Dollhouse ] play out for 13 episodes" and that FOX would end Prison Break at the end of this season. "Creatively, the show is just played out," said Reilly. "Creatively, everybody feels enough stories were told. We want it to finish strong and not just gimp o

Channel Surfing: Alexis Denisof Heads to "Private Practice," Jessica Walter, Starz Plots "Spartacus," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. It's currently freezing here in LA (well, relatively speaking anyway) but I am still shaking after last night's season finale of Mad Men , not to mention another shocking installment of Skins . (Poor Sid.) Former Angel star Alexis Denisof will guest star in the November 19th episode of ABC's Private Practice , where he'll play a father-to-be with two very expectant wives in need of Addison's specialty. In real life, Denisof and wife Alyson Hannigan announced last week that they are expecting their first child. ( TV Guide ) CBS is once again developing some rather, er, unique properties that aren't crime procedurals (did they not learn their lesson from Moonlight or Cane ?). Among the projects currently said to be in development at the Eye: Hex Wives , a one-hour drama from Neil Meron and Craig Zadan about four women with magical powers; 1960s period drama Magic City about an iconic Miami Beach hotel from ex

Channel Surfing: Starz Orders New Rob Thomas Series, Doherty Returns to "90210," More "Gossip Girl,"

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. I hope you all tuned in to watch the third episode of Chuck last night as well as a pretty soggy installment of Gossip Girl in which the laws of college applications, logic, and, well, sense of any kind sort of went out the window. But at least the kids looked fabulous, right? Rob Thomas is proving himself to be quite prolific, in the post- Veronica Mars universe. Pay cabler Starz has ordered ten episodes of half-hour comedy series Party Down , written by the Veronica Mars creator, who is set to executive produce with John Enbom, Paul Rudd, and Dan Etheridge. (Enbom will act as the series' showrunner.) Series follows the lives of six Hollywood wannabes as they attempt to pursue their dreams while trying to get by day by day with their shared catering company. Party Down will likely launch in March 2009. ( Variety ) Brenda will be returning to 90210 . Yep, Shannen Doherty has agreed to appear in two additional episodes of t