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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

Channel Surfing: "Chuck" and "Dollhouse" Still Bubbling Away, FOX and NBC Close to Locking Schedules, "Reaper" Not Dead Yet, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Just what will happen with bubble series like Chuck and Dollhouse ? It looks like the fate of many of this year's bubble series, including those and such series as Cold Case, The Unit, My Name is Earl, Scrubs , Gary Unmarried, and Old Christine , will come down to the wire. "Negotiations continue on fan favorites Chuck and Dollhouse , with the shows facing cost-cutting requests from their respective networks, NBC and Fox, and their pickup odds seeming to shift from moment to moment," writes Hollywood Reporter 's James Hibberd. "Both could go down to the wire." ( Hollywood Reporter ) FOX and NBC are close to locking their fall schedules and will do so by tomorrow. FOX is said to be considering ordering a sixth season of reality series So You Think You Can Dance to air this fall, immediately after the fifth season runs this summer. Other possibilities include overweight dating series The Fatchelor , wh

Channel Surfing: Jared Harris Suits Up for Season Three of "Mad Men," ABC Offers "Christine" a Fallback, FOX Renews "Fringe," NBC Infront, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Jared Harris ( Fringe 's David Robert Jones) has been cast in a ten-episode story arc on Season Three of AMC's period drama Mad Men , which is expected to launch in August. Harris will play Lane Pryce, the financial officer of Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency, in the series, which stars Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, and "guest star" John Slattery. ( Hollywood Reporter ) Should CBS opt not to renew comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine for a fifth season, ABC is willing to give the Warner Bros. Television-produced series, which stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a bailout, guaranteeing it a full 22-episode season on ABC. Move marks the second time ABC has organized a deal like this on behalf of Old Christine (network head Steve McPherson is said to be a huge fan), but it's thought rather likely that CBS will renew it in the end. ( Hollywood Reporter ) FOX has

Channel Surfing: Team Darlton Talk "Lost" Series Finale, Pasdar Says Quinto Not Going Anywhere, Shenkman Joins Cast of "Burn Notice," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. With the 100th episode of Lost set to air tonight on ABC, many are already looking to the series' next milestone: the all-important series finale, set for May, 2010, and viewers are bound to have high expectations when creators Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse wrap up the series. "We can't let those expectations terrify us," said Lindelof in an interview with Variety 's Shawn Malcom. "The reality is, we've known what the series finale is going to be for a while now." In fact, the real variable is how the series' characters wind up at the end point charted by Lindelof and Cuse. "The path that we take to the end still has some room for surprises and changes and discoveries along the way (in terms of) the characters' journeys and how their relationships evolve," said Cuse. While the duo wouldn't reveal any specifics about the finale, they did say that fans will be left wanting

Channel Surfing: Olyphant to Star in Elmore Leonard Pilot for FX, Sneak Peek at 100th Episode of "Lost," Enver Gjokaj Talks "Dollhouse," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Timothy Olyphant ( Damages ) has been cast in FX's untitled Elmore Leonard project, which is based on a short story by Leonard entitled "Fire in the Hole." Olyphant will play U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens who returns to his hometown in Kentucky. "He has a certain jaggedness, but he also loves his job," said creator/executive producer Graham Yost. "He is like an anachronism: He wears a hat, cowboy boots and a holster on his hip. It's a little bit like he was born 100 years too late." Project, from Sony Pictures Television and Timberman/Beverly Prods., will be directed by Michael Dinner and will start shooting at the end of May. ( Hollywood Reporter ) The Chicago Tribune 's Maureen Ryan has a sneak peek at three scenes from Wednesday evening's 100th episode of ABC's Lost , entitled "The Variable." (Gee, does that title remind you of another famous installment?) All I can say is

Channel Surfing: Gillian Anderson Tackling "Doctor Who," USA Books "White Collar," Kaley Cuoco Not Checking In to "Grey's Anatomy," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Former X-Files star Gillian Anderson is said to be in talks to guest star in an episode of Doctor Who , set to air on BBC One next year, opposite the Eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith. Anderson would play "the renegade Time Lady, The Rani, a glamorous but evil scientific genius previously played in the series by Kate O'Mara in the 80s," who is an archenemy of the Doctor. "Gillian obviously has a massive sci-fi following following and it's felt it would be a major coup to have her appear in Doctor Who ," an anonymous source told The Daily Express . "The team behind the show are keen for the next Doctor to have lots of new enemies and Gillian would be a glamorous and impressive addition to the list. The Rani would be a perfect role for her as the character used to be regarded as one of the Doctor's most deadly opponents." ( Daily Telegraph ) USA has ordered drama White Collar , starring M

Channel Surfing: Fuller Talks "Pushing Daisies" Comic, Cuoco Checks into Seattle Grace, Whedon on What Will Save "Dollhouse," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller has said that a comic book spin-off of the sadly demised series could be on sale via Marvel as early as this fall, should a deal with Warner Bros for the rights be closed in the next month or so. What should fans expect from the comic, which Fuller describes as Season Three of Pushing Daisies ? "We're going to see a lot of exploration with Ned and his father, which we teased but were never able to make good on," Fuller told SCI FI Wire. "We had [Ned's father, played by] George Hamilton save Ned and Chuck, and by having Emerson and Dwight Dixon clean up the whole mess we're going to understand who Dwight was to Chuck and Ned's dad. Dwight will be making a return, and we'll be seeing the adult Eugene Mulchandani and Danny that involves helium smuggling. There's a lot of fun stuff woven into the series that we were intending to pay off that we can now do in the

Channel Surfing: NBC Exiles "Kings" to Saturday Nights, Thomas Calabro Returns to "Melrose Place," Liza Weil and Debra Mooney on "Grey's," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. NBC has exiled struggling freshman drama Kings to the dire Saturday night at 8 pm timeslot, where the network will burn off the remaining installments beginning April 18th. In its former Sunday night slot, the Peacock will air two-hour episodes of Dateline NBC from 7-9 pm ET/PT. In its last outing, Kings captures a lowly 1.1/3 among adults 18-49 and 3.6 million viewers overall. ( Variety ) Thomas Calabro will reprise his role as Dr. Michael Mancini in the CW's revival of Melrose Place in a recurring capacity. Casting marks the second former cast member from the original FOX series joining the cast of the updated Melrose Place as he'll join Laura Leighton, who will reprise her role as Sydney Andrews. Could these two have ended up unhappily-ever-after, after all? ( Entertainment Weekly ) Liza Weil ( Gilmore Girls ) and Debra Mooney ( Everwood ) will guest star in Grey's Anatomy 's two-hour season finale, set t

Channel Surfing: "Friday Night Lights" Renewed for Two Seasons, Lucy Lawless Dons Sandals for "Spartacus," Dustin Milligan to Leave "90210," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. NBC and DirecTV have reached a deal to renew drama series Friday Night Lights for two more seasons of 13 episodes each. Following the same model as the air structure this season, DirecTV will get the first window of the fourth and fifth seasons of Friday Night Lights before NBC airs them. Look for current cast members Taylor Kitsch, Matt Gilford, and Adrianne Palicki, who all play seniors, to potentially leave the series but the trio may reprise their roles on a recurring basis in order to wrap up their characters' storylines. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files , E! Online ) Lucy Lawless will star in Starz' upcoming gladiator series Spactacus: Blood and Sand , from executive producers Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi, and Josh Donen. She'll play gladiator camp owner Lucretia, opposite Aussie series lead Andy Whitfield ( The Strip ). Project, which start shooting next month, is expected to air in January 2010. ( Variety

Channel Surfing: ABC Cuts Back "In the Motherhood" to Seven Eps, Alicia Witt Scores "The Mentalist," NBC Cancels "Lipstick Jungle," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. After airing just one episode, ABC has cut its episodic commitment for midseason comedy In the Motherhood from thirteen episodes to seven, just slightly more than half of its original order. The network had ordered the comedy, based on a web series, during the writers strike. ( Los Angeles Times ' Show Tracker ) Alicia Witt ( Law & Order: Criminal Intent ) will guest star in the season finale of CBS' The Mentalist , where she will play pianist Rosalind Harker, a woman who used to date serial killer Red John, the enigmatic serial killer who killed Jane's family. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) E! Online has confirmed that NBC has canceled drama series Lipstick Jungle, after all. "It was going to stay and we just were officially told it's finally not coming back," series star Brooke Shield told E! Online's Cristina Gibson. "It's very sad. I think a lot of people were really s