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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: Russell T. Davies Defends "Torchwood" Twist, "Dexter" Animated Prequel for Fall, T.R. Knight Dishes on "Grey's" Departure, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello has an interview with Torchwood creator/executive producer Russell T. Davies, in which Davies defends the latest plot twist in Torchwood: Children of Earth (MAJOR SPOILER alert if you haven't yet seen "Day Four"), which has resulted in some angry fans. "It's not particularly a backlash," Davies corrected Ausiello. "What's actually happening is, well, nothing really to be honest. It's a few people posting online and getting fans upset. Which is marvelous. It just goes to prove how much they love the character and the actor. People often say, 'Fans have got their knives out!' They haven't got any knives. I haven't been stabbed. Nothing's happened. It's simply a few people typing. I'm glad they're typing because they’re that involved. But if you can’t handle drama you shouldn’t watch it. Find something else. Go look a

Channel Surfing: Christian Slater Gets "Forgotten," Emerson Says No Happy Ending for "Lost," Piper Perabo Engages in "Covert Affairs," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Christian Slater ( My Own Worst Enemy ) is in talks to topline ABC drama series The Forgotten , from Warner Bros. Television and executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer. If the deal closes, Slater would replace Rupert Penry-Jones, who appeared in the original pilot episode as a former cop whose daughter was kidnapped and went missing. Another role--that played in the pilot by Reiko Aylesworth--is also being recast. The series is set to launch Tuesday, September 22nd at 10 pm. ( Hollywood Reporter ) Don't look for the series finale of Lost to feature a happy ending, according to series regular Michael Emerson. "I don't think Lost will have a happy ending," Emerson told Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello. "It's the end and I think we are going to start seeing more casualties. I would put money on major characters being killed. I believe it will be a sad ending to the show -- or at least bittersweet

Channel Surfing: David Tennant Talks End of "Doctor Who" Run, Jeri Ryan Finds "Leverage," Noah Wylie to Battle Aliens for Spielberg and TNT, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. The Chicago Tribune 's Maureen Ryan has an absolutely fantastic interview with Doctor Who star David Tennant on the eve of BBC America's airing of last Christmas' Doctor Who special "The Next Doctor." Among the topics of discussion: the end of his run on the legendary British sci-fi series, the truth behind the all-Doctors reunion rumors (false, says Tennant), and what's next for the actor (Poliakoff's Glorious 39 ), among other things. "I'm all finished," said Tenannt of his run on Doctor Who . "Three or four weeks ago, I filmed my last scene. So it's over. Still a long time to go before they're all broadcast, though, so I'm still clinging on for a bit. But yeah, it's done. It was very emotional, very exciting. We managed to go out with some of the best scripts I had in four years. So it was a real treat." ( Chicago Tribune 's The Watcher ) Jeri Ryan ( Shar

Channel Surfing: "Chuck" Trio to Return for Season Three, Acevedo Let Go From FOX's "Fringe," Diamantopoulos Counts Down for "24," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Wondering just what Season Three of NBC's Chuck will be like? For one thing the series' core trio isn't going anywhere. "Yes. Chuck, Sarah, and Casey are in all episodes," said Chuck co-creator/executive producer Josh Schwartz. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello catches up with Schwartz to find out about Season Three, budget cuts, Subway, returning supporting cast members ("We have plans for Anna to return"), and about being off the air for ten months. "It was really a tough choice that the network faced: Put us on Friday or [hold us until] midseason," said Schwartz. "I really believe Chuck is the little show that could. Our fans are clearly passionate, clearly loyal, and hopefully all we'll do is get them more and more [excited] for our return. And we'll come up with fun ways of stoking the fans throughout the fall. We also have something very, very fun planned fo

All Pomp and No Circumstance: An Advance Review of the "Gossip Girl" Season Finale

Gossip Girl unmasked? Could it be? I had the opportunity last week to see tonight's season finale of the CW's Gossip Girl ("Goodbye Gossip Girl"), in which all signs point to the elusive trash talker being, well, trashed herself after the muckraking maven unveils a series of shocking scandals at the graduation commencement ceremony. Just who could be behind the juicy blasts? Well, that would be telling but this wouldn't be Gossip Girl without several plot twists being involved. (Hell, I'm not even saying whether Gossip Girl is even really unmasked.) It's an intriguing storyline that pays homage to the role that the never-seen GG has played on the eponymous series. Her blasts--and ubiquitous narration--have provided no end of groan-inducing pun-based wordplay on the series but there's no way that Kristin Bell, who voices the elusive blogger, would turn up in the flesh on Gossip Girl proper, so don't hold your breath waiting for Bell to walk i

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

Like, Totally, Yeah: Cruising the Valley with Lily and Carol on "Gossip Girl"

I have to say that I was excited to see just what Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage had cooked up for their neon-colored 1980s flashback in last night's episode of Gossip Girl ("Valley Girls"), considering that it was the long-awaited backdoor pilot to a potential Gossip Girl spin-off centering on a teenage Lily and her black sheep sister Carol. I tried to put aside the negative buzz emanating from the project, which some media outlets are saying is already dead at the CW after enjoying quite a lot of hype in the last few months and looking like a lock for the fall schedule. And yet after watching "Valley Girls," I couldn't help but hope that CW doesn't decide to go ahead with this project, which based on the flashback segments here seemed predictable and rather flat. It didn't help matters that the putative star of the potential series, Brittany Snow--who plays a teenage Lily Rhodes without much depth or any real visual/spiritual connection to

Channel Surfing: McG "Optimistic" About "Chuck" Renewal, ABC Settles Down with "Modern Family," FOX to Air Two-Hour "Virtuality" Pilot, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. While the fate of NBC's on the bubble action comedy series Chuck is still unknown, executive producer McG--who helmed the pilot episode--is feeling positive about an eleventh hour renewal. "We're optimistic," he told SCI FI Wire. "We're going to find out in a week. But the fans have spoken. People really rallied and articulated their love of the show, but it's a cold-hearted numbers business. And I'm happy to report that the people at NBC like the show." ( SCI FI Wire ) ABC has given an early series order of thirteen episodes to single-camera comedy Modern Family , from writer/executive producers Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan. The 20th Century Fox Television-producted project, formerly known as My American Family , will track the lives of three American families--one a traditional nuclear family, one a gay couple with an adopted Vietnamese baby, and the last an older man with a young L

Plot By Numbers: Cons, Bibles, and Lilies on "Gossip Girl"

Is it just me or has Gossip Girl become one of the most illogical series ever? Last night's episode ("The Wrath of Con") featured the gang attempting to enact revenge against Gabriel Serrano (Armie Hammer) and Poppy Lifton (Tamara Feldman) after the duo engineered a scheme to defraud investors--including, of course, Rufus who unwisely invested Dan's college savings--out of their money by using a Madoff-style Ponzi scheme. Serena seems to think that she can handle this imbroglio on her own rather than calling in the police or FBI, a sentiment echoed by Lily but for very different reasons. Which brings me to my original thought: in what world is it less of a scandal to have your daughter wrongly arrested for theft than for her to be connected to a high society thief, even though she had no involvement in any wrongdoing? I'm not quite sure what the hell Lily was thinking having Serena arrested (in an effort to remove her from the playing field at the Russian Tea R

House of (Lack of) Mirth: An Advance Review of the Next Two Episodes of "Gossip Girl"

During its first season, Gossip Girl was a frothy guilty pleasure, the sort of television viewing experience that didn't tax your brain while it offered up a wry tongue-in-cheek look at the scandals of Manhattan's elite, employing a sardonic wit to chronicle the age-old rivalries between well-heeled high schoolers on the Upper East Side. Somewhere along the way, Gossip Girl lost its spark. The next two episodes, which kick off next Monday evening on the CW, seem to exist as a sort of shadow of its formerly flush self. Where's the series' fun, the intrigue, the devilish twinkle it used to have in abundance? After a string of disappointing episodes, I was hoping to find that the series had returned to form when it launches a new batch of installments next week. However, the first hour, entitled "Age of Dissonance," was painful to watch. Focusing on some truly irritating subplots like the much maligned pairing between Penn Badgley's Dan and Laura Breck

Channel Surfing: "Skins" Star Rumored for "Doctor Who" Role, Melissa Leo and Rebecca Romijn Land Pilots, Matt Czruchy Returns to TV, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. I don't know about you but this time change is killing me. Still, last night's episode of Chuck went a long way to making me feel better about the week. While we now know who will be playing the Eleventh Doctor, there's been much speculation about who will play the companion to the next Doctor, to be played by Matt Smith in the fifth season of Doctor Who . The latest rumor? That former Skins star Hannah Murray--who played the delightfully out-there Cassie--is in "secret chats" with the BBC about joining Smith in Doctor Who 's fifth season, set to air in 2010. "Hannah did some challenging stuff in Skins and they see her as an up-and-comer," said an unnamed BBC insider. Of course, this rumor is being floated by the News of the World , so take it with a (very large) grain of salt. ( Digital Spy , News of the World ) Oscar nominee Melissa Leo ( Frozen River ) has joined the cast of HBO ensemble dr

Channel Surfing: Morena Baccarin Gets Scaly for "V," Hansen and Watros Get Early "Gossip," Ashlee Simpson-Wentz Moves into "Melrose Place," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. A slew of pilot castings were announced over the weekend, including former Firefly star Morena Baccarin landing the pivotal role of Anna in ABC's sci-fi pilot V , a remake of the 1980s cult series about an alien invasion. Baccarin will play the charismatic Anna, the leader of the Visitors who is able to manipulate the media very effectively and shows a breadth of knowledge about human culture. ( H ollywood Reporter ) Ryan Hansen ( Veronica Mars ) and Cynthia Watros ( Lost ) have joined the cast of the untitled Gossip Girl prequel backdoor pilot, which will air May 11th. Watros will play Lily's mother CeCe, while Hansen will play Shep, a friend of Owen (Shiloh Fernandez), who has a thing for Lily's older sister Carol (Krysten Ritter). ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Ashlee Simpson-Wentz ( Seventh Heaven ) has been last in CW's drama pilot Melrose Place , an update of the 1990s FOX mainstay. She'l