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Man Before the Fall: An Advance Review of Sci Fi's "Caprica"

“While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand; / When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall; / And when Rome falls - the World.” - Lord Byron While the mourning period for the end of Sci Fi's Battlestar Galactica has just begun, following the recent two-hour finale, there are more than a few Battlestar-related things to look forward to on the horizon, one being the Jane Espenson-scripted, Edward James Olmos-directed two-hour telepic "The Plan" (set to air this fall on Sci Fi) and the other being the Battlestar Galactic a prequel series Caprica , which is set roughly fifty years before the start of the Battlestar Galactica mini-series. Sci Fi plans to release Caprica 's two-hour pilot, shot last year and written by Ronald D. Moore and Remi Aubuchon, as a DVD and a digital download next month . I had the opportunity to see a rough cut of the pilot episode for Caprica a few weeks back and was captivated by the pilot's tantalizing glimpse into a civilization sliding

Channel Surfing: Piper, Agyeman, Tate, and Simm Rumored to Return to "Doctor Who," Ratner Moves into "Cop House," "BSG," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Latest Doctor Who rumor: that former co-stars Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, Catherine Tate, and John Simm will all appear in David Tennant's final episode as the Doctor, according to UK newspaper The Sun . Piper, Agyeman, and Tate will allegedly reprise their roles as the Doctor's former companions Rose, Martha, and Donna respectively, while Simm will reprise his Season Three role as The Master. The episode will also feature the Doctor regenerating into the Eleventh Doctor, to be played by Matt Smith. "This will be the most exciting episode Doctor Who have ever done," said an unnamed insider on the production. "We really wanted to get all the companions back on board as a fitting send-off to David. And of all the enemies for him to face in his final episode, it makes sense for The Master to be the main one. Getting Billie to agree is a real coup, but she loved working on the show so much it didn't take muc

Channel Surfing: Freddie Prinze Jr. Dons Cape for "No Heroics," Bloodgood Subs in for Esposito, Sherry Stringfield Gets "Back," "Rome," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Freddie Prinze Jr. ( Freddie ) has been cast as one of the leads in ABC's US remake of UK comedy series No Heroics . In the ABC Studios-produced pilot, Prinze will play Bradley (a.k.a. Ultimatum), a cocky celebrity superhero with no shortage of women, arrogance, or grade-school quips. He joins the already cast Paul Campbell, Eliza Coupe, and Arielle Kebbel. ( Hollywood Reporter ) Just days after announcing that Samantha Who? star Jennifer Esposito had been cast in USA's Burn Notice , the actress has dropped out of the role. No reason was given for Esposito's departure from the series, where she was to have played Miami police detective Michelle Paxon, a new adversary for Jeffrey Donovan's Michael Weston. Stepping in to replace Esposito: Moon Bloodgood ( Journeyman ), who will assume the role of Michelle. Production on Burn Notice 's third season is currently underway. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Fil

Channel Surfing: Alex O'Loughlin Dips Toe into "Three Rivers," Season Three is Last of "Gavin & Stacey," No Ricky Gervais on "The Office," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing on a glorious day that sees the premiere of an all-new episode of ABC's Lost tonight. (I can't wait!) Former Moonlight star Alex O'Loughlin is said to be in talks to topline CBS medical drama pilot Three Rivers , told from the multiple POVs of transplant doctors, organ donors, and organ recipients. Project, from CBS Paramount Network Television, is written/executive produced by Carol Barbee ( Jericho ) and executive produced by Curtis Hanson and Carol Fenelon. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Co-creator/star James Corden has said that Gavin & Stacey 's upcoming third season, set to air in the UK later this year, will be the series' last. "This is it. This will definitely be the last series," said Corden of the series' third season, set to film this summer. "We have a point to which we are working to and that will be the end. It will be sad but it has been a great time for

Press Release: Sci Fi Releases Details on "Caprica" DVD and Digital Download

THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED FEATURE-LENGTH PREQUEL TO THE SERIES PHENOMENON, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA PREMIERING EXCLUSIVELY ON DVD AND DIGITAL DOWNLOAD Universal City, Calif. - Caprica , the highly anticipated prequel to Battlestar Galactica , will enjoy its world premiere exclusively on DVD on April 21, 2009 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. In a groundbreaking move sure to delight fans of the long-running television phenomenon, the feature-length prequel will be available on DVD as a limited-edition uncut and unrated version before the series’ broadcast premiere on the SCI FI Channel in 2010. Caprica is executive produced by Ronald D. Moore and David Eick ( Battlestar Galactica ) and Remi Aubuchon ( 24 ). Exclusive bonus features that take viewers behind the scenes of the creation of Caprica make this DVD a landmark event for any fan of Battlestar Galactica . The film will also be available at selected online destinations for digital download transactions. As Battlestar Galact

PaleyFest09 Full Schedule Announced: "Pushing Daisies," "Battlestar Galactica," "Fringe," "Big Love," "Dollhouse," and Many Others to Be Feted

Ending several months of speculation, The Paley Center for Media has today announced the full lineup for PaleyFest09 , the 26th Annual William S. Paley Television Festival. Among the honorees this year are the casts and creators of 90210 , Battlestar Galactica and Caprica , The Big Bang Theory, Big Love, Desperate Housewives, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Fringe, The Hills, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Mentalist, Swingtown, and True Blood . PaleyFest09 will be held from April 10th to April 23rd at the Cinerama Dome at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood; the Paley Center will also present a special closing night presentation honoring Swingtown at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills on April 24. Other festival firsts this year? PaleyFest09 will be the festival event to honor a new media property, in this case Joss Whedon's celebrated web series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog , and will be the first to premiere the last three unseen episodes of A

Channel Surfing: "Caprica" DVD Takes Off in March, Pay Raise for "Burn" Star, CW Takes Bite Out of "Vampire Diaries," Pilot News, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. It looks like Caprica will be heading to our screens sooner than we originally thought... or the two-hour backdoor pilot will be, anyway. Sci Fi Channel announced that it will make Caprica 's pilot available as a limited-edition DVD on April 21st with an uncut and unrated version, ahead of the series' 2010 broadcast launch. Additionally, the film will be available for digital download at select online destinations. (Having already seen the pilot, I can say that it will definitely please BSG fans while also offering a glimpse into a series that's vastly different than anything we've seen so far on Battlestar Galactica .) "Ever since fans first caught wind of the Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica , they have been eagerly following its development," said Mark Stern, Executive Vice President, Original Programming for SCI FI & Co-Head Original Content, Universal Cable Productions. "We wanted to g

Channel Surfing: FOX to Get "AbFab," Jane Espenson Will Be Showrunner on "Caprica," Lauren Graham, Pilot News, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. FOX has handed out a pilot order to a US remake of BBC comedy series Absolutely Fabulous , which follows the boozy exploits of PR magnate Edina Monsoon, her magazine editrix best friend Patsy, and Edina's uptight daughter Saffy. US version will be set in LA and the script written by Christine Zander ( Less Than Perfect ), who will executive produce with Jennifer Saunders, Ian Moffit, Mitch Hurwitz, Eric Tannenbaum, and Kim Tannenbaum. Project will be produced by Sony Pictures Television, Tantamount, and BBC Worldwide Americas. ( Variety ) Battlestar Galactica 's Jane Espenson will serve as an executive producer on BSG prequel series Caprica and will eventually become the showrunner on the series, slated to air on Sci Fi in 2010. Espenson, whom many fans will know from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Gilmore Girls , will take over the reins of Caprica 's writers' room from co-creator Ron Moore later this year. Product

Channel Surfing: Sci-Fi Orders "Caprica," "Eleventh Hour" Keeps Ticking, Davenport and Vance Discover "Flash Forward," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. I'm still smarting from the reveal in last night's episode of Gossip Girl just who was involved in that oh-so-predictable accident rather than the, uh, party I'd rather get axed from the series. Sigh. Better news then for fans of Sci-Fi's Battlestar Galactica . The cabler has given a series order to spin-off Caprica , which is set fifty years before the action of BSG . Sci-Fi had earlier this year shot a two-hour backdoor pilot for Caprica , which stars Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, Paula Malcomson, and Polly Walker, from director Jeffrey Reiner and plans to launch the series in early 2010. Production on twenty additional episodes is slated to begin in mid-2009 in Vancouver. "We want people to come to this who have never heard of Battlestar Galactica ," said Sci-Fi president Dave Howe. "I think, because [ Galactica 's] backdrop was space and spaceships, there was a barrier to entry for some viewers. C

Casting Couch: Walker Flies to "Caprica," Sackhoff Sews Up "Nip/Tuck" Role, Estes Heads to "90210"

Lots of casting news today, on the first Monday after the network upfront presentations. First up, Sci Fi managed to close the deal on Polly Walker for their two-hour backdoor pilot Caprica , a prequel to their own series Battlestar Galactica . Astute readers of this site will know that I first reported that an offer was out to Walker ( Rome ) a few weeks ago . Walker will play Sister Clarice Willow, the secretive high priestess/headmistress of the exclusive Athena Academy, a private polytheistic school that Zoe Greystone (Alessandra Toreson) and her friends attend. I think the casting of Walker is absolutely brilliant for this role and she'll definitely bring something unexpected to the table. Plus, I'm happy she's sticking around in the States after the cancelation of Cane . Walker joins Eric Stolz , Esai Morales , and Paula Malcomson in this spellbinding two-hour backdoor pilot project from executive producers Ronald D. Moore, David Eick, and Remi Aubuchon and directo

Casting Couch: Universal Media Studios Casts Wide Net on Several Series

Just a day before network upfront presentations are scheduled to kick off, there has been a flurry of casting activity here in Hollywood. Boston Legal 's Saffron Burrows has joined the cast of NBC's drama series My Own Worst Enemy , starring Christian Slater and Mike O'Malley about a well-mannered family man Henry, whose alter ego Edward is a spy and all-around international man of mystery. Burrows will play Norah, Edward's girlfriend and Henry's psychiatrist. Production on the first episode is slated to get under way soon. My Own Worst Enemy , from Universal Media Studios and writer/executive producer Jason Smilovic ( Kidnapped ), was ordered to series in April off of the pilot script; no pilot was shot. Frances Fisher ( In the Valley of Elah ) has come aboard an eight-episode arc on the next season of Sci Fi's drama Eureka , where she will play Samantha Thorne, a corporate fixer assigned to clean up the mess at Global. In a major casting coup, indie actor

Frak Yes: Sci Fi Orders "BSG" Prequel Pilot

Patience is, after all, a virtue. Lucky then that fans of Battlestar Galactica have patiently waited for the next (or is it previous?) chapter in the story of the Twelve Colonies. Sci Fi yesterday announced that it has finally greenlit production on the two-hour backdoor pilot Caprica , a prequel of Battlestar Galactica , set before the Cylon War. "We couldn't be more excited to see this long-anticipated project get off the ground," said Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, in a statement. "It's an amazing script, and, though clearly inspired by the Battlestar mythology, it is not just a pale spin-off. This is a smart, thought-provoking, emotional, and compelling character drama in its own right." The news comes as Sci Fi prepares to launch the final twenty-episode season of Battlestar Galactica on April 4th; the cabler has been developing the spin-off prequel since 2006. Just don't expect Apollo, Starbuck, Six, or Laura Ro