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Channel Surfing: Whedon Talks "Dollhouse" Season Two, J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Lands FOX Comedy, Amaury Nolasco Leaves "Southland," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Los Angeles Times ' Show Tracker has an interview with Dollhouse creator Joss Whedon about Season Two of the FOX drama series, which returns on Friday. Asked about how malleable the future depicted in the unaired thirteen episode "Epitaph One" is, Whedon said, "We talked about whether it was malleable or not, and right now we pretty much take it as gospel. But then we have a lot of different opinions about how it gets there and who does what. We're fascinated by the implications of this future, and a lot of this season has been guided by it without being so beholden to it that people who didn't see it won't understand. We were incited by the idea that the abuse of power is more widespread than just this one house." ( Los Angeles Times ' Show Tracker ) J.J. Abrams' production shingle Bad Robot has landed a pilot presentation order from FOX for a half-hour comedy series that's being

Channel Surfing: Ray Wise to Play with "Dollhouse," "BSG: The Plan" Broadcast Delayed, Ian Somerhalder Returns to "Lost," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. I'm a little bit worse for wear this morning after a fantastic premiere party for HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm , so let's get to the headlines... Let's just hope he's not as terrifying as Leland Palmer: Ray Wise ( Reaper ) has been cast in a potentially recurring role on FOX's Dollhouse , where he will play Howard, described by Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello as "an intelligent higher-up in the Dollhouse who has huge presence and humor." Fingers crossed that Wise gets the greenlight to return on a regular basis. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) The Chicago Tribune 's Maureen Ryan is reporting that Syfy has opted to delay the broadcast of Battlestar Galactica prequel telepic The Plan until a later date, thought to be likely in 2010. The two-hour film, written by Jane Espenson and directed by Edward James Olmos, was slated to air in November, according to reports from

Casting Couch: Brandon Routh Targets "Chuck," Summer Glau and Alexis Denisof Move into "Dollhouse"

Man of Steel, meet Chuck Bartowski. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Brandon Routh ( Superman Returns ) has signed on for a multiple-episode story arc on Season Three of NBC's Chuck , which returns to the airwaves in midseason. According to Ausiello, Routh--who's no stranger to secret identities himself--will play Shaw, "a mysterious new spy who takes control as the new leader of Operation Bartwoski, becoming a mentor to Chuck and a rival in his affections for Sarah." No airdate was given for Routh's first appearance on the series, nor any specific episode count for his story arc. Meanwhile, Summer Glau ( Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles ) is returning to her Whedonverse roots. Zap2It is reporting that Glau has signed on for a recurring role in Season Two of Whedon's metaphysical action drama series Dollhouse , where she will play Bennett, "a Dollhouse employee who shares a past with Echo (Eliza Dushku)."

Channel Surfing: "Sex and Murder" in the "Dollhouse," Same-Sex Snog for "Gossip Girl," Quinn Finds "Beautiful Life," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday television briefing. E! Online's Jennifer Godwin has a look at what lies ahead for FOX's Dollhouse as she catches up with the Joss Whedon-created series' stars to get some dirt on what's going on inside the Dollhouse next season. "They have a connection," said Tahmoh Penikett of Echo and Paul Ballard next season. "It's not a physical attraction, but I hope it's something that we explore a lot more this season. You're not quite sure what it is. There's a past, there's a history, there's an understanding between them that's very different. I think the audience is really going to like it and be really curious about where we're going in the first few episodes." As for that other would-be couple, Sierra and Victor, Enver Gjokah said, "Sierra and Victor are definitely still involved. They're going to explore that relationship more. They explore the Sierra-and-Victor love as dolls, but the

Channel Surfing: Sanada Gets "Lost," Jayma Mays Returns to "Heroes," NBC Crowns "Rex," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada ( Rush Hour 3 ) has joined the cast of ABC's Lost in a recurring role for its sixth and final season. Details of Sanada's character are being kept firmly under wraps as is the number of episodes that he'll ultimately appear in. Sanada's casting comes on the heels of the announcement that Deadwood 's John Hawkes had signed on to the drama series as Lennon , the spokesperson and translator for a foreign conglomerate. Could these two roles be connected in any way, given Sanada's Japanese background? Hmmm.... ( Hollywood Reporter ) Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Jayma Mays ( Glee ) will return to NBC's Heroes , where she will reprise her role as Hiro's former love interest Charlie in one episode of the superpowered drama series. But didn't Charlie die? Yep. "As the dying time-traveler zips back and forth through the ages to accomplis

First Look: "Dollhouse" Season Two

FOX has released nine promotional images for Season Two of Joss Whedon's metaphysical action drama series Dollhouse , which returns to the lineup on Friday, September 25th. The nine images can be found below and depict not only a group shot for the series regulars for Season Two but also solo shots of Eliza Dushku (Echo), Tahmoh Penikett (Paul Ballard), Dichen Lachman (Sierra), Harry Lennix (Boyd Langton), Enver Gjokaj (Victor), Olivia Williams (Adelle DeWitt), and Fran Kranz (Topher Brink), all of whom seem to be posing against the backdrop of a bare-bones warehouse set. Except that is for Echo, who is depicted alternately lounging and posing with a gun in a psychedelically yellow and hot pink room that looks like a windowed jewel box. Hmmm... Look below to take a peek at just what might lie ahead for the Actives and their handlers next season on Dollhouse . Let the guessing games begin... ( Dollhouse fans, click on the below images to enlarge them.) DOLLHOUSE : L-R: Diche

"Idol" Chatter: FOX's Kevin Reilly and Peter Rice Address the Press

Not surprisingly, the topic of conversation at today's Television Critics Association FOX executive session with Kevin Reilly and Peter Rice drifted inevitably to Paula Abdul's recent announcement that she would be leaving American Idol . Reilly and Rice attempted to get this hot topic out of the way at the very start of FOX's presentation this morning, with Rice stating, "Everyone is aware that Paula is not returning to American Idol and we are sad to see her go." Was that enough to quell the fervor of reporters clamoring for some insight into what is going on behind the scenes to replace Abdul, whether she was actually leaving Idol , and what producers planned to do in the meantime with auditions slated to begin this week? Hell no. "Paula’s the only member of Idol whose contract is up right now," said Rice. "We very much wanted her to return... In the past few weeks, the negotiation has sort of come to a conclusion. We made an offer that we fe

Channel Surfing: Barrowman Could Get "Desperate," Michael Hogan Checks into "Dollhouse," USA Renews "In Plain Sight," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Torchwood star John Barrowman has told BBC1 Radio host Chris Moyle that he is meeting with the producers of ABC's Desperate Housewives about a possible role on the series next season. "I'm off to Los Angeles on Sunday again," said Barrowman on the air. "I probably shouldn't say this but I've got a meeting with the execs of Desperate Housewives ; can you believe it, I'm going to be a Desperate Housewife!" No word yet on what role Barrowman could be playing or if a deal is in place for the actor to come on board the long-running drama. ( Guardian 's Media Monkey ) The Chicago Tribune 's Maureen Ryan is reporting that former Battlestar Galactica co-star Michael Hogan will be guest starring in an upcoming episode of FOX's Dollhouse this fall. Hogan, set to appear in the second episode of the sophomore season, will play "a customer of the Dollhouse who has used the services of t

Channel Surfing: Jamie Bamber to Play in "Dollhouse," Day, Denisof, and Glau Set for "Dollhouse" Season Two, Syfy Sets "Caprica" Launch, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Battlestar Galactica 's Jamie Bamber will guest star in the season premiere installment of FOX's Dollhouse next season. According to E! Online's Watch with Kristin, Bamber will play a character who is "heavily involved in an engagement Echo (Eliza Dushku) and her new handler Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett) have been assigned to." ( E! Online's Watch with Kristin ) In other Dollhouse -related news, Joss Whedon has confirmed that Season Two of the FOX drama will feature some familiar faces from the Whedonverse including Dr. Horrible 's Felicia Day (who appeared in the unaired "Epitaph One" episode), Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles ' Summer Glau, and Angel 's Alexis Denisof. ( TVGuide.com ) Syfy has announced that Battlestar Galactica spin-off Caprica will debut on Friday, January 22nd at 10 pm. Of course, if you read my coverage of the Caprica/BSG: The Plan panel at Comic-Co

Channel Surfing: Silverman to Leave NBC, Monaghan to "FlashForward," Somerhalder Gets "Lost," Acker Returns to "Dollhouse," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Ben Silverman has stepped down as Co-Chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios; he'll remain on board for several weeks to help transition and oversee the launch of NBC's fall schedule. Silverman will then segue into a new company financed by Barry Diller's AIC which Silverman will run; company's mission is to "unite producers, creators, advertisers and distributors under one roof." Meanwhile, Jeff Gaspin has been named Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment, effective immediately. In this role, Gaspin will have oversight of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios as well as retain his current responsibilities over USA, Syfy, Bravo, Oxygen, Sleuth, Chiller, and Universal HD. Marc Graboff will continue as chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, reporting to Gaspin. "Ben Silverman has many exciting things he wants to accomplish and we applaud him as he sets

Playing with Matches: An Advance Review of the "Epitaph One" Episode of "Dollhouse"

"If the whole human race lay in one grave, the epitaph on its headstone might well be: 'It seemed a good idea at the time.'" - Rebecca West One of the more intriguing mysteries of this past season was the vaunted missing thirteenth episode of FOX's Dollhouse , entitled "Epitaph One," shot by studio 20th Century Fox Television outside of their license fee agreement with FOX. Written by Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, "Epitaph One" takes place outside the continuity established by the first season of Dollhouse and is set in the distant future of 2019 Los Angeles. It has remained cloaked in mystery, though the episode will air internationally, will be offered on the Dollhouse: Season One DVD, and will also be screened later this week for fans at San Diego Comic-Con 2009. I managed to get my hands on a copy of "Epitaph One" this weekend and watched the enigmatic episode with a sense of wonder and terror as Whedon and Tancharoen p

Channel Surfing: Miracle Laurie to Return for "Dollhouse" Season Two, Syfy Hunts for Next Big Space Opera, Terry Kinney Lured by "Mentalist," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Dollhouse creator Joss Whedon will write and direct the second season opener of the FOX drama. Meanwhile, Miracle Laurie--who played November/Mellie in Season One of Dollhouse WILL be returning for the sophomore season... in some form, anyway. "All I know for sure is that I'm coming back next season," Laurie told the Baltimore Sun . "I don't actually know in what form I'll be back. The writers are kind of teasing me…everybody knows but me." ( Baltimore Sun , Twitter ) io9 speaks to Syfy vice president of original programming Mark Stern about the channel's rebrand and its promise to find the next big space opera along the lines of Battlestar Galatica or Firefly . "The next thing that I really want to do is find the next great space opera; it's been a long time," said Stern. "And we have Stargate , but that's really not that show. And Caprica isn't really that show.

Channel Surfing: "30 Rock" Lands Off-Net Sale, Andrea Bowen Returns to Wisteria Lane, Producers Seek Replacement for Lynch on "Party Down," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Liz Lemon still has a lot of life left in her yet. Universal Media Studios was able to negotiate a payout of roughly $800,000 per episode of 30 Rock from two separate off-network deals to Comedy Central and WGN America. Both channels will be able to begin airing the episodes as a weeknight strip in fall of 2011. "Pound for pound, this is one of the funniest shows on TV. The DNA of the show is fabulous," said Comedy Central's SVP of programming David Bernath. "I really believe its biggest and broadest days are still ahead of it on NBC." TBS and E! were also said to have had interest in picking up the off-net rights to 30 Rock . ( Variety ) Andrea Bowen is set to reprise her role as Julie when Desperate Housewives returns for a sixth season this fall but Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Bowen will be back in a major way: as a series regular, citing an unnamed insider with Desp

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: Whedon Talks "Dollhouse" Season Two, "My Name is Earl" Officially Dead, Middleton Talks "Sarah Connor," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Wondering what Joss Whedon has in store for Season Two of Dollhouse , which returns to FOX this fall? Entertainment Weekly 's Mandi Bierly caught up with the Dollhouse creator to find out what to expect. "About two hours after starting to talk to the writers about story, I was back with such a vengeance, and so energized and so pumped because we really understand the show now," said Whedon. "We understand what works, and what didn't work so well or what we weren't so thrilled about. We don't have the onus of trying to be a big hit sitting on our shoulders. We can just be ourselves. And so the stories we're breaking are pure, and exciting, and everybody's on-board in the room, and it's never flowed better." Look for Echo to use that final word of Season One as a springboard for her second season mission. ""Echo wants to find not just Caroline, but what's going on behind eve