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Channel Surfing: Production Shut Down on "24", Kathryn Bigelow to Direct HBO Pilot, Ben Koldyke Talks "Big Love" and "Mother," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Just a few headlines to get through today, which is Presidents' Day here in the US. (If you're lucky enough to have the day off, get out there and do something fun.) Los Angeles Times ' Maria Elena Fernandez is reporting that studio 20th Century Fox Television has temporarily suspended production on FOX's 24 in order to accommodate a medical procedure for series lead Kiefer Sutherland involving a ruptured cyst. Production on the series, likely in its final season, is thought to begin again in roughly a week and will not affect scheduling for Day Eight of 24 . "While Kiefer Sutherland is frustrated to miss even one day of work, he and Fox decided together that it would be best to complete this minor elective procedure now as a precaution as opposed to six weeks from now when production wraps," said Sutherland's publicist Evelyn Karamanos in a statement. "He looks forward to returning to work next we

Channel Surfing; HBO Renews "Big Love," Elizabeth Mitchell Talks "Lost," Cynthia Watros Heads to "House," "V" Adds Cast, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Break out the carrot and raisin salad (and mix up some fry sauce)! HBO has renewed drama series Big Love for a fifth season, with ten episodes set to air next winter. The long-running drama series has been on a roll of late, with ratings up 13 percent among viewers this season and some well-earned awards recognition, with Chloe Sevigny walking away with a Golden Globe for her performance as Nicki. "We've taken the show deeper and darker over the last couple of seasons," said executive producer Mark V. Olsen, "and we're overjoyed that HBO has come along with us." Production is expected to begin on Season Five in June or July. ( Variety ) E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos and Jennifer Godwin have an interview with V and Lost star Elizabeth Mitchell. "I feel really bad for Juliet all the time," Mitchell told E! "I feel like, you know, karmically, maybe she's due, because when she was

Channel Surfing: Julianne Moore in Demand, Whedon Talks "Dr. Horrible," Flockhart to Cut Back on "Brothers," "House" Spinoff Possible, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Could Julianne Moore become the lead of the US adaptation of crime series Prime Suspect ? If NBC gets their way, she very well could be. Moore is being pursued by NBC for the remake of the Helen Mirren-starring British series as well as ABC to star in another remake: this time Scoundrels , based on Kiwi series Outrageous Fortune . Moore has some competition for the Prime Suspect gig as Maria Bello has also been approached about starring in the remake as well as starring in Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama pilot Chase , which has offers out to Bello, Tea Leoni, and Christina Applegate. Other in-demand stars this pilot season: Matt Dillon, Jason Isaacs, Michael Chiklis, and Josh Lucas. ( Hollywood Reporter ) E! Online's Megan Masters has an interview with Joss Whedon, in which the Dr. Horrible creator talks about the possibility of a sequel, directing FOX's Glee , Neil Patrick Harris, and more. "We very much want to

Channel Surfing: FOX Developing US "Torchwood," "Veronica Mars" Movie Dead, O'Loughlin Eyed for "Five-O," Whedon and Neil Patrick Harris, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. The Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed is reporting that FOX is developing a US version of British sci-fi series Torchwood that will hail from BBC Worldwide. Remake will be written by creator Russell T. Davies. and will feature the production team of the original series, including Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter. But that's not all. According to THR , it's possible that Torchwood 's UK cast--including John Barrowman and Eve Myles--could star in the project, should it be ordered to pilot. "As for the new show’s plot," writes James Hibberd, "the U.S. version will contain a global story line compared to the more localized sensibility of the first two BBC seasons." Good news for the Torchwood team... or a disaster waiting to happen? ( Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed ) Bad news for Veronica Mars fans: the feature film adaptation of the much-missed UPN/CW drama series has stalled, according t

Channel Surfing: Jennifer Morrison Returns to "House," FOX Rumors Swirl for O'Brien, Possible Curtains for "Crash," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Jennifer Morrison will return to FOX medical drama House later this season. While the nature and timing of Cameron's return are unknown, Ausiello quotes an unnamed House insider who said, "You will see Cameron again on House before the end of the season." ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Rumors are swirling that Conan O'Brien could be beating a path to FOX to launch a latenight franchise to rival The Tonight Show but it's not exactly a smooth ride. "There are still a slew of obstacles standing in his way at Fox, including those same network affiliates. And several Fox insiders wonder whether it would even be possible to launch a latenight Conan O'Brien franchise anytime soon," writes Variety 's Michael Schneider. "Still, once O'Brien manages to settle out of his NBC contract -- and that's the route

Channel Surfing: Idina Menzel to Tackle "Glee", Zach Levi Talks "Chuck," ABC Scores Date with "Conveyor Belt of Love," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Former Wicked star Idina Menzel is in advanced talks to join the cast of FOX's Glee in a recurring role when the series returns in March with its back nine episodes. Menzel, who will play the coach for the glee club's main rivals, Vocal Adrenaline, could potentially appear in all nine remaining installments this season. [Editor: personally, given the strong resemblance between Menzel and Lea Michele, I figured producers would get her to play Rachel's biological mother. Unless...] Menzel will also be joined by Spring Awakening 's Jonathan Groff who, as previously reported, joins Glee in a multiple-episode story arc and is slated to appear in five or six episodes this spring. ( Hollywood Reporter , Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Meanwhile, E! Online's Megan Masters has some details about what we should expect from Glee 's back nine episodes. "I don't know if Glee starts back after a

Reincarnation Sleuths, Child Geniuses, and Show Choristers: FOX Announces Midseason Schedule

FOX today announced their midseason plans for 2009-2010, unveiling a lineup that includes giving reincarnation drama Past Life the post- Bones slot on Thursday evenings (current occupant Fringe will be going on a prolonged hiatus for seven weeks), bringing Kitchen Nightmares back (on Friday nights this time around) and giving the post- American Idol slot to new reality series Our Little Genius . MONDAYS: The network announced that it had given a full season pickup to drama series Lie to Me , though the Shawn Ryan-produced series will take a breather on Mondays, which will be taken over by House and 24 come January. There's no return date yet for Lie to Me but the pickup ensures that the series will eventually return to the schedule at some point during the season. TUESDAYS: Which brings us to Glee . We all knew that the musical comedy would go on hiatus after its initial thirteen-episode commitment and that there would need to be some time for scripting and production an

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: Jennifer Morrison Leaves "House," "Criminal Intent" to Phase Out D'Onofrio, Erbe, Bogosian, Mazzara to Oversee "Hawthorne," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Jennifer Morrison will depart FOX series House this season, with her final episode airing in November. According to Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello, who broke the story, Morrison did not quit but her departure was "a creative decision on the part of [the series'] producers." Ausiello is quick to point out that Morrison's character, Dr. Allison Cameron, won't be killed off and producers are leaving the door open for her to guest star later on in the season. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Looking for just how House 's producers will write Cameron out of the series? E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos and Jennifer Godwin have the scoop as sources close to the production indicate a major medical standoff between Cameron and Chase (Jesse Spencer), with House (Hugh Laurie) getting involved in the discussion as well. ( E! Online's Watch with Kristin ) Hollywood Reporter 's Rog

Channel Surfing: NBC to Stream "Chuck" Episodes Online, Desmond Harrington to Get More "Gossip," Andrew Connelly Powers Up for "Heroes," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that NBC will today begin streaming already aired episodes of Chuck on its website. For now, the installments include the original pilot episode and the entire second season of Chuck , which is being released in batches of five episodes at a time. Chuck is currently slated to return to the airwaves in March. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) TVGuide.com's Natalie Abrams is reporting that Desmond Harrington ( Dexter ) will reprise his role as Jack Bass on the CW's Gossip Girl later this season. "I will be back this year," Harrington told Abrams. "I think it's episode 15 or 16 where I show back up. It's fun playing Uncle Jack... I think, if anything, I am there to screw that kid's life up basically," Harrington says. "I think he might be, out of all the most evil characters the show has ever had on it, the most evil c

Channel Surfing: "Chuck" Duo Brief ABC Legal Dramedy, Fred Armisen Heads to "Parks and Rec," Showtime Gives Them "L" as Reality Series, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. ABC has emerged victorious from a fierce bidding war over an untitled legal dramedy from executive producers Josh Schwartz and Ali Adler ( Chuck ). The project, which received a put pilot commitment from the network, is about a female attorney in Los Angeles who "has observed enough misery in her divorce and family law practice to vow never to take the plunge into matrimony." Script will be written by Adler ( Chuck ), who will executive produce along with Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, Sheldon Turner, and Jennifer Klein. ( Variety ) Saturday Night Live 's Fred Armisen will reunite with Amy Poehler on NBC's Parks and Recreation this season. Armisen will guest star in an upcoming episode in which he'll play the counterpart to Leslie Knope (Poehler) in Pawnee's sister city. "Leslie arranges for [Armisen and his colleagues] to come for a visit, but they’re from a city in Venezuela," Parks executive pr

Channel Surfing: Shawn Ryan Details What Might Have Been on "The Unit," FX Circles "Louie," "House" Romance Detour, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. I'm still recovering from way too good of a time at last night's fantastic FOX party at Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, so luckily just a few headlines to get through today. Shawn Ryan has told Futon Critic's Brian Ford Sullivan what might have happened next season on military drama The Unit had the series continued on CBS. "[David] Mamet and I and our writers, we came up with a lot of great stuff," Ryan told Sullivan. "It was going to be a whole new show in the sense that we were going to be training some young people, Bob was going to be training some people for a whole new organization. Jonas was finally going to be seeing his run end. The final season was going to be, I figured the fifth season was going to be the last... It was going to be a long, sort of final mission for Jonas. He's not medically cleared, Mac has to go in and sort of change the medical records so that Jonas can