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Channel Surfing: Damages Season Four Details, Susan Sarandon Gets Miraculous, RTD Teases Torchwood, Fringe, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Now that the ink has dried on Damages 's DirecTV deal, Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello talks to executive producers Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler, and Daniel Zelman about whether the format for the serpentine legal drama will be altered for its fourth and fifth seasons, whether the budget will be affected, why Ellen has gotten past the fact that Patty tried to have her killed, who will be returning, and a host of other issues. "DirecTV wants us to do the show that we’ve been doing," said Zelman. "If anything, they want us to push what we’ve been doing even further . They’re encouraging us to be as bold as possible, which is something we strive for anyway. There have been no discussions about altering the show in any fundamental way." Except for the fact that the episodes will be longer, that is. "What’s exciting for us as creators is that on the 101 Network there are no commercials, so it’l

Channel Surfing: Linda Hamilton Ups Chuck, Alfred Molina to Law & Order: LA, Felicia Day Gets Eureka, Burn Notice, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. It's the brief calm between the dual storms of Comic-Con and the TCA Summer Press Tour and there oh so much to do. Let's hit the headlines. Chuck 's executive producers Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak stunned audiences at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend by announcing that Linda Hamilton ( Terminator 2: Judgment Day ) would be playing Chuck's mama Mary Bartowski, the oft-mentioned missing mother of the Bartowski siblings who was briefly glimpsed in the season finale. Hamilton will recur throughout Season Four of Chuck , though producers are being cagey about saying just what Mary has been up to since she walked out on her family, though they do admit that espionage runs in the family. "Hamilton will appear throughout the season, leading Chuck to discover that her life was shrouded in secrets," said Warner Bros. Television in an official press release about the casting. "She was a spy, a CIA agent ... and

Channel Surfing: DirecTV Saves FX's Damages, David Cross to Join Running Wilde, Gregory Itzin Finds Big Love for HBO, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Many had given up hope that FX's brilliant and labyrinthine legal drama Damages would survive another season, given the low ratings for the series' fantastically taut third season, which wrapped its run earlier this year. Not so: DirecTV has come to the aid of the Sony Picture Television- and FX Productions-produced series and has renewed the Glenn Close-led series for two seasons of ten episodes apiece. The only problem: it won't be airing on FX anymore as DirecTV has the exclusive rights to the series on The 101 Network. "We're excited to partner with Sony Pictures Television as we breathe new life into this outstanding drama," said Patty Ishimoto, general manager of The 101 Network and vice president of entertainment for DIRECTV, in a statement. "It's a win for our customers because only they will be able to see these new episodes and another great step forward for DIRECTV as we continue to bui

Channel Surfing: Laura Vandervoort to Return to Smallville, Terra Nova Comic-Con Confusion, Nikki Finke on Tilda, Doctor Who and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. They have... returned? V star Laura Vandervoort will reprise her role as Kara on the CW's Smallville for the series' tenth and final season, reports Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello. But don't get too excited, Supergirl fans: Vandervoort is only expected to appear in one installment of the Warner Bros. Television-produced superhero drama, scheduled to air in October. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Just what is going on with FOX's Terra Nova at Comic-Con? After the official San Diego Comic-Con 2010 schedule was announced over the last few days, 20th Century Fox Television opted to pull the panel for its upcoming prehistoric/time-travel drama starring Jason O'Mara from the convention. "Since production on the Jason O’Mara starrer isn’t expected to start until September, the producers don’t have any footage to show the fans in San Diego," writes Entertainment Weekly 's

FOX Announces Fall Premiere Dates

FOX today announced the launch dates for its new and returning series this fall. House and Lone Star will be the first two scripted series to launch on the network this autumn, with their respective seasons kicking off on Monday, September 20th. The following night brings the second season premiere of Glee and the launches of new comedies Raising Hope and Running Wilde on Tuesday. Hell's Kitchen takes over the two-hour block on Wednesdays, beginning September 22nd and Bones and Fringe return Thursday, September 24th, followed the next night with Human Target and The Good Guys . The full press release from FOX can be found below. FOX ANNOUNCES FALL PREMIERE DATES FOR THE 2010-2011 SEASON NEW DRAMA “LONE STAR” DEBUTS MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 NEW COMEDIES “RAISING HOPE” AND “RUNNING WILDE” TO PREMIERE TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 Award-Winning Drama HOUSE Checks In Monday, September 20; GLEE Begins Sophomore Season Tuesday, September 21; Gordon Ramsay Serves Up New Season of

Channel Surfing: Melina Kanakaredes Leaves CSI: NY, Game of Thrones Lands Aidan Gillen, Peter Weller Joins Dexter, True Blood, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Another one bites the dust: Melina Kanakaredes is the latest star to leave their CBS drama series, following in the footsteps of A.J. Cook, Eddie Cibrian, and Liz Vassey. Kanakaredes, who has starred on CBS' CSI: NY for six seasons, has announced that she will not be returning for a seventh go-around as Detective Stella Bonasera. "We hoped Melina would return to CSI: NY for another season, but we respect her decision to move on," said CBS Television Network and CBS Television Studios in a joint statement released yesterday. "Her amazing talent and invaluable contribution to the success of the series are greatly appreciated and will not be forgotten. She will forever remain a friend to the network and studio and we wish her the very best." ( E! Online's Watch with Kristin ) Meanwhile, yesterday's rumor appears now to be a fact: Sela Ward is joining CSI: NY , following Kanakaredes' departure. ( E

Channel Surfing: Alan Ball Brings Charlie Huston to HBO, Wire Star Heads to Fringe, Glee Circles Britney, Doctor Who, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. True Blood 's Alan Ball is furthering his relationship with HBO. Ball, who created the pay cabler's vampire drama (based on the novels by Charlaine Harris), has signed on to direct and executive producer noir drama pilot All Signs of Death , which is based on Charlie Huston's novel "The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death." Huston himself will pen the pilot script, with production set to begin next month in Los Angeles... though there are no current cast attachments on the project, which will revolve around "a knockaround twentysomething who discovers he has a knack for being a crime scene cleaner, and his life gets messy from there." ( Variety ) Bubs Alert! Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Andre Royo ( The Wire ) has been cast as a guest star in the third season premiere of FOX's Fringe , citing unnamed sources. Royo will reportedly play Henry, described as &q

Channel Surfing: HBO's Miraculous Year Lands Lee Pace, Team Darlton Talk Lost, Friday Night Lights, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. According to Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello, HBO's drama pilot Miraculous Year , from executive producer Kathryn Bigelow just got even more miraculous. The project, which is described as "an examination of a New York family as seen through the eyes of a charismatic, self-destructive Broadway composer," just signed a slew of stars to round out its cast, including former Pushing Daisies star Lee Pace, Linus Roache ( Law & Order ), and Stark Sands ( Generation Kill )... who will join the already high-wattage cast of Eddie Redmayne, Hope Davis, Frank Langella, and Patti LuPone. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) E! Online's Megan Masters spoke to former Lost showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse about the ABC drama's Emmy nominations now that the series has wrapped up its six-season run... and why they chose to break their radio silence. "Every year after the finale we'

Emmy Nominations Unveiled: Love for Friday Night Lights, Modern Family, Mad Men, Lost, True Blood, and More

It's that time of year again: Emmy nominations. Modern Family 's Sofia Vergara and Community 's Joel McHale were on hand bright and early this morning to announce the Primetime Emmy Award nominations. (I stayed home to watch E! Online's stream of the press conference rather than drive over there bleary-eyed and unable to conceal my frustration about overlooked performances and series in person.) While Vergara ultimately walked away with a nomination for supporting actress for Modern Family (as did most of her co-stars, in fact), McHale was sadly shut out of the nominations, as was Community , a real slap in the face (along with that for Parks and Recreation ) considering that Community and Parks were both streets ahead of The Office and 30 Rock this season. Grr. So which series did the best overall? HBO's The Pacific walked away with an impressive 24 nominations, followed closely by FOX's Glee at 19 nods, AMC's Mad Men at 17, and 15 nominations