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Channel Surfing: Ex-Castaway Returns to "Lost," NBC Targets "Nine Lives," Jay Harrington is "Nathan," CW Spies "Nomads," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. SPOILER! Entertainment Weekly 's Jeff Jensen and Dan Snierson are reporting that Maggie Grace is set to reprise her role as Shannon Rutherford on ABC's Lost later this season in an unspecified number of episodes. "We’re really excited about having her back on the show," showrunner/executive producer Carlton Cuse told EW.com, "and we have a good story for her." Grace joins fellow former cast members Ian Somerhalder, Harold Perrineau, Cynthia Watros, and Rebecca Mader, all of whom are set to return to Lost this season. Sadly, Malcolm David Kelley will be the only original cast member not returning. [Editor: Grace has been the center of several conflicting reports about her possible return or non-return, so this confirmation should finally put those to bed.] ( Entertainment Weekly 's PopWatch ) Looks like Nine Lives found another one. The twelve-hour mini-series from executive producer Steven Spiel

Channel Surfing: Daniel Dae Kim Finds "Hawaii Five-0," David Goyer Leaves "FlashForward," Zach Gilford Lands "Matadors," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Daniel Dae Kim won't be leaving the island. Or, Hawaii, rather. The Lost star has landed a lead role in CBS drama pilot Hawaii Five-0 , where he will play Detective Chin Ho Kelly. Kim's co-star, however, is still unknown. Reports have indicated that former Moonlight star Alex O'Loughlin had been offered the role of Detective Steve McGarrett, but no deal has been reached yet for him to star in the remake project, which hails from executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Peter Lenkov. ( Hollywood Reporter ) FlashForward co-creator David S. Goyer is leaving the ABC drama series, where he has served as showrunner since taking the creative reins from Mark Guggenheim in October. No replacement has been named for Goyer on the series, which still has roughly five more episodes to produce for this season's 23-episode order. Goyer, meanwhile, will segue back into film but will retain his executive producer credi

Channel Surfing: Maria Bello Finds "Emergency Sex" for HBO, NBC Gets "The Cape" and "Outsourced," Leno on Oprah, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Maria Bello, Simon Beaufoy, and Russell Crowe have teamed up to develop HBO drama project Emergency Sex , based on Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait and Andrew Thomson's nonfiction book "Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures: A True Story From Hell on Earth," about "the larger-than-life exploits of expatriate nongovernment-organization workers who find their sanity tested in the face of atrocities, loneliness and primal desires." Bello ( A History of Violence ) will star in the project, which is being adapted by Simon Beaufoy ( Slumdog Millionaire ), who will executive produce with Bellow, Russell Crowe, and John Carrabino. ( Hollywood Reporter ) NBC has handed out pilot orders to two projects, both hailing from Universal Media Studios. One-hour drama The Cape , from writer Thomas Wheeler ( Empire ) and BermanBraun, revolves around an ex-cop in Los Angeles who is framed and sets out to become a masked vigil

Channel Surfing: Alyssa Milano Moves into "Castle", Kevin Murphy Bumped to Showrunner on "Caprica," Wilde Talks "House," "Fringe" Sneak Peek, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Alyssa Milano has been cast as a guest star on ABC's Castle , where she will play a former love interest of Nathan Fillion's Richard Castle with whom he reconnects on her wedding day. "Castle reconnects with Kyra (Milano) on her wedding day and sparks fly," writes Ausiello. "Beckett (Stana Katic) picks up on the obvious connection between the two of them, setting up a fun little love triangle." Milano's episode is slated to air in early 2010. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Kevin Murphy ( Desperate Housewives ) has been promoted to executive producer/showrunner of Syfy's Caprica , where he joins fellow executive producers Jane Espenson, Ron Moore, and David Eick. Murphy was originally hired as a co-executive producer on the Battlestar Galactica prequel series and will now serve as the day-to-day showrunner on the series

Channel Surfing: "Castle" Gets Full Season, Showrunner Marc Guggenheim Departs "FlashForward," Jason Momoa Ascends to HBO's "Thrones," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Good news for Castle fans: ABC has picked up the Nathan Fillion procedural drama series for a full season of 22 episodes after the series has performed well in its Monday night timeslot against tough competition from CBS. The news comes on the heels of ABC picking up first year series Modern Family, Cougar Town, The Middle , and FlashForward for full seasons, leaving only Hank, Eastwick, and The Forgotten the only new series that haven't received back nine pickups. ( Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed ) I wonder if he saw this in his flashforward... Co-showrunner/executive producer Marc Guggenheim has stepped down from his position on the ABC sci-fi drama series FlashForward , leaving sole showrunning duties to co-creator David Goyer. "Because of Goyer's limited hands-on TV series experience, Eli Stone co-creator Guggenheim was brought in after the FlashForward pilot to help with the launch of the mystery

Channel Surfing: Syfy Discovers "Alien Nation," ABC Falls for "Defying Gravity," "Castle" Novel Out Next Month, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Syfy is developing a new incarnation of Alien Nation , the 1988 feature film that spun off into a FOX drama, with writer/executive producer Tim Minear ( Firefly, Drive ). The project, from Fox21, will tell the story of the partnership between a veteran police officer and an alien detective in the Pacific Northwest as the two races attempt to live side-by-side on Earth following the aliens' arrival and efforts to assimilate into human society. The new version will include a mythology that will unfold over time and will use contemporary issues, such as immigration, racism, terrorism, and paranoia, in its storytelling. "It's very much in keeping with what we've been looking to do -- find themes that are more than just hard sci-fi, something that feels contemporary and relevant and invites a broad audience in," said Syfy original programming EVP Mark Stern. "It's genre mixed with procedural mixed with fu

Dancing with the Upfronts: ABC Orders Eight More New Series, Renews "Better Off Ted," "Castle," and "Scrubs"

A few days ahead of its upfront presentation to advertisers on Tuesday, ABC indicated several early pickups and renewals, creating a diverse slate of programming that includes six new dramas and two new comedies (in addition to several already previously announced) and a slew of surprising renewals. ABC has gone ahead and reportedly handed out series orders to dramas The Forgotten, Happy Town , The Associates (which is also being referring to by some outlets as The Deep End ), and Eastwick and comedies Cougar Town , Hank (a.k.a. Awesome Hank ), and The Middle . An updated version of sci-fi cult hit V , from The 4400 creator Scott Peters, is said to be on tap for midseason, though as of press time discussions are still ongoing between the network and studio Warner Bros. Television about the episodic order, with ABC said to have offered six episodes in a limited series format and the studio pushing for a larger episodic count. The series pickups come on the heels of ABC's anno

Building Castles in the Air: An Advance Review of ABC's "Castle"

I've long said that Nathan Fillion deserves a series that's worthy of his talents as an actor and leading man. Fillion, perhaps best known for his role as the scrappy Mal on FOX's short-lived Firefly (and Universal's subsequent feature film Serenity ), has managed to soar above most of the projects he's involved in but mainstream success has sadly eluded him. Most recently Dana Delany's arm candy on ABC's Desperate Housewives , Fillion--who manages to effortlessly combine a brigand's rougishness with the sly charms of a master flirt--should be on a series that utilizes his considerable skills to full effect. Sadly, I don't think that ABC's Castle , which launches tonight, is one that's going to crack the mainstream for Fillion either. On Castle , created by Andrew W. Marlowe ( Hollow Man ), Fillion plays the titular character, a best-selling mystery novelist named Richard Castle who's almost as enamored with chasing the ladies as he is

ABC Announces Launch Dates for "Cupid," "Castle," and "The Unusuals"

After several weeks of guessing, I'm finally happy to report that ABC has announced launch dates for the three new drama series it will launch this spring: Castle , Cupid , and The Unusuals . First up is Castle , starring Desperate Housewives ' Nathan Fillion (though he'll always be Firefly 's Mal to me), which launches Monday, March 9th at 10 pm. Fillion stars as mystery novelist Richard Castle who is called in to assist the NYPD with a series of homicides that seem virtually recreated from scenes within his own novels. Series also stars Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan, Molly Quinn, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tamala Jones, Jon Huertas, and Seamus Dever. Rob Thomas' Cupid , starring Bobby Cannavale and Sarah Paulson, launches Tuesday, March 24th at 10 pm. Cannavale stars as Trevor Hale, a man who claims to be the Roman god of love exiled to Earth until he can make 100 mortal couples fall in love; Paulson plays a psychiatrist and self-help author assigned to keep an eye on

Channel Surfing: ABC Dumps "Single With Parents," "Heroes" Nabs "Everwood" Alum, Van Der Beek and Denman Check Out "Eva Adams," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. I definitely felt the lack of Pushing Daisies last night (my Wednesday night cure for any rough week) but I was completely sucked in by the season premiere of Top Chef (airing next week), which had more tension, drama, and pitch-perfect casting in its one-hour running time than the entire last season of Project Runway did. ABC has yanked midseason comedy Single With Parents off of its schedule. The comedy, from ABC Studios and Kristin Newman, starred Alyssa Milano, Eric Winter, Annie Potts, Beau Bridges, and Amanda Detmer. Decision behind the cancellation (months before it was to launch on ABC) is said to stem from creative differences between the studio and the series' creator Kristin Newman. ( Variety ) In other ABC midseason news, the Alphabet has opted to reduce its initial order on two midseason drama series, Castle and The Unusuals . ABC has approached ABC Studios about reducing Castle from 13 episodes to ten and h