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Channel Surfing: Production on "Two and a Half Men" Shut Down as Sheen Enters Rehab, "Torchwood," David Anders Finds "Vampire Diaries," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Production on CBS comedy Two and a Half Men has been temporarily shut down after series lead Charlie Sheen checked himself into a rehab clinic. His decision comes on the heels of some serious legal troubles for the star of the Warner Bros. Television-produced series after his arrest in December and a domestic violence charge against his wife Brooke Mueller. ( Variety , New York Times ) CBS' Nina Tassler, Warner Bros. Television's Peter Roth, and executive producer Chuck Lorre issued the following joint statement: "CBS, Warner Bros. Television and Chuck Lorre support Charlie Sheen in his decision today to begin voluntary in-patient care at a treatment center. We wish him nothing but the best as he deals with this personal matter. Production on Two and a Half Men will be temporarily suspended." [Editor: it's a bit of an about-face for Lorre, who had cracked a joke at the TCA Winter Press Tour when asked abou

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

Tripping the Rift: "Torchwood" Season Four In the Works

Good news for fans of Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood ! (I count myself among their oh-so devoted number.) TV Guide Magazine is reporting that development of the series' fourth season may begin as early as January, according to a report by TV Guide 's Ileane Rudolf, who speaks with Torchwood creator Russell T. Davies. “The recession has hit British television, but fingers crossed, it will be a go," Davies told Rudolph. "We expect things to start to move in January. We’ve got great ideas for the show. I think there’s a further lease on life for many years to come, but certainly for a [fourth season]." Fans should also rest assured that John Barrowman's Captain Jack Harkness will be back for a fourth go-around, even if no airdate or episode count have been reported.

Channel Surfing: James Marsters to Spike "Caprica," ABC Checks into "Hotel," Davies Has Plan for "Torchwood" Season Four, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Buffy and Angel 's James Marsters--who appeared last year in Season Two of Torchwood to boot--has been cast in a multiple-episode story arc on Syfy's upcoming Battlestar Galactica prequel series Caprica . Marsters, who is slated to appear in at least three installments, will play Barnabus Greeley, a dangerous terrorist leader who is described as being "driven by desires both moralistic and carnal" and is "as lethal as he is unpredictable." Caprica premieres January 22nd on Syfy. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) ABC has given a script order to Clive Barker's Hotel , described as a "series of ghoulish incidents at a haunted hotel," from writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton. Project, from Warner Bros. Television and Wonderland Sound and Vision, will be executive produced by Clive Barker and McG, who could direct the pilot episode if the network moves forward with the p

BBC America Acquires Season Five of "Doctor Who," Touts "Torchwood" Ratings

BBC America has today announced that it has committed to airing the upcoming fifth season of Doctor Who , starring Matt Smith as the Doctor. Season Five of Doctor Who , which has Smith assuming the mantle of the time-traveling Doctor from outbound series star David Tennant, is set to air in the second quarter of 2010 and BBC America has said that the US broadcast will be "following soon after its UK premiere." No clarification yet as to how close the window will be between the US and UK transmissions of Doctor Who 's fifth season, which sees Jekyll 's Steven Moffat take over as head writer/executive producer. The news was announced in a press release this morning announcing the ratings success of five-episode Torchwood: Children of Earth , which lured a cumulative audience of 3.3 million viewers, propelling the digital cabler to its best week ever. The full press release from BBC America, announcing the Torchwood ratings and the digital cabler's acquisition

Song's End: Televisionary Talks to "Doctor Who" and "Torchwood" Duo Russell T. Davies and Euros Lyn

With only three specials remaining before David Tennant hangs up his Chuck Taylors on Doctor Who, anticipation is running rampant for the upcoming Doctor Who special "The Waters of Mars," slated to run this autumn before "The End of Time," the final two-parter in which Tennant's Tenth Doctor will bid adieu to the series. (You can read my exclusive interview with Tennant here .) I had the fantastic opportunity to sit down with outbound Doctor Who executive producer/head writer Russell T. Davies and director Euros Lyn, who directed "The End of Time" (as well as the entirety of Torchwood: Children of Earth ) to find out what they had to say about the end of Tennant's run on the series, which also marks Davies' departure from Doctor Who as well. "The end is on its way now," Davies told me. "There's a darkness descending." Among the topics of conversation: why Davies is leaving the series, what's coming up on Docto

TV on DVD: "Torchwood: Children of Earth"

Just four days after the end of Torchwood: Children of Earth here in the US, BBC Video is releasing the two-disc set for the epic mini-series from writers Russell T. Davies, John Fay, and James Moran. While I've not only reviewed the mini-series in full (my advance review of the five-night event can be found here ), I also wrote up each installment of the series' limited run ( Day One , Day Two , Day Three , Day Four , and Day Five ) and offered up a two-part interview with executive producer Julie Gardner (which can be found here and here ). Over the course of the five taut installments, Davies and Co. manage to break the alien fighting team in half, push the series' characters well beyond their breaking points, and bring us piece of a politically and socially-minded action-adventure-sci-fi television making that is absolutely extraordinary in its scope. Make no mistake: this is an alien contact story unlike any other but the writers wisely craft a series that tells

The Undiscovered Country: John Barrowman, Russell T. Davies, Julie Gardner Defend "Torchwood" Decisions

I couldn't stick around for yesterday's Torchwood/Being Human panel at Comic-Con as I had to get back to Los Angeles (the trains wait for no man) but I sent my two fantastic freelancers to cover the BBC America dramas panel on the final afternoon of Comic-Con 2009. Series creator Russell T. Davies was joined by Torchwood: Children of Earth director Euros Lyn, executive producer Julie Gardner, and series star John Barrowman on the panel for Torchwood . The main topic, of course, following the conclusion of Torchwood: Children of Earth on BBC America last week: Ianto Jones, who perished in "Day Four" of Children of Earth . "Everyone's going to answer this question in their own way, but they always said it as people die young in Torchwood ," said Barrowman of the death of Ianto Jones. "They just do. It's a dangerous world. It was sad, yes. But we were all sad. but that's the way it is." "It's the right thing for the story,&

Pillar of Fire: Televisionary Talks to "Torchwood" Executive Producer Julie Gardner (Part Two)

And just like that, after five incredible nights, Torchwood: Children of Earth is over. But before we put Torchwood: Children of Earth to bed, I did promise that I would share Part Two of my interview with Torchwood and Doctor Who executive producer Julie Gardner from last week. You had the chance to read the first part of my interview with Julie Gardner about Torchwood: Children of Earth , but now that the five-episode arc has ended, we can get to the more spoilery parts of my Q&A with Gardner, in which she talks about the mini-series' ambiguous ending, Ianto Jones, the theme of motherhood and family, and The 456, among other things. SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't yet seen the final installments of Torchwood: Children of Earth , don't read any further. But for those of you who have seen the ending and want to know just what the writers and producers were thinking about certain elements, read on. Televisionary: There was a lot of public outcry in the UK about the

Flesh and Blood: "Torchwood: Children of Earth" Day Five

"Sometimes the Doctor must look at this planet and turn away in shame." "Day Five" of Torchwood: Children of Earth , written by Russell T. Davies and directed by Euros Lyn, proved to be absolutely gut-wrenching television, as evocative as it was gripping. In the hands of Davies and his writing staff, Torchwood: Children of Earth is one of the most powerful and moving pieces of television making this year. As a whole, Torchwood: Children of Earth is about what happens when we reach that tipping point, when the hard choices have to be broached, and sacrifices made. It's also about how the sins of the past always have a nasty habit at catching up to us and how truth will always out in the end. It's a heartbreaking testament to the enduring spirit of the human race and also how easily we as a society can turn on ourselves. You've read my advance review of Torchwood: Children of Earth as a whole but now that "Day Five" has aired, we can discu

Innocence Lost: "Torchwood: Children of Earth" Day Four

"Three-two-five-zero-zero-zero." The latest episode of Torchwood: Children of Earth ("Day Four"), written by John Fay (who scripted "Day Two") and once again ably directed by Euros Lyn, was absolutely heartbreaking on a number of levels. It was inevitable that death would once again cast its pall over the Torchwood team but what was wholly unexpected were the callous actions and behavior of the PM's cabinet as they debated the criteria for deciding which of the nation's children will be offered up as human sacrifices to The 456, especially in light of what happened to the original twelve children taken in 1965 in the United Kingdom's first dealing with the alien race. Just what happened to these children? What are the criteria for choosing the next sacrifice? What is the cost of one child's live? And can Torchwood stop the 456 in time to prevent an outright war? Hmmm... You've read my advance review of Torchwood: Children of Earth

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

New Tricks and Old Ghosts: "Torchwood: Children of Earth" Day Three

"We are here." "Day Three" of Torchwood: Children of Earth , written by Russell T. Davies and James Moran, certainly brought with it some rather unexpected twists, along with an extra heaping of tension, suspense, and terror as The 456 arrived at Thames House and announced just what it is that they want. Meanwhile, Torchwood attempted to use PA Lois Habiba (Cush Jumbo) as their literal eyes on the inside and get their new base of operations--nicknamed Hub 2--up and running so that they could stop The 456. That is, until Jack took off without so much as a by-your-leave. So what do The 456 want? What does Clem know? Why is Frobisher so hell-bent on keeping the previous encounter between Britain and The 456 off the record? Let's discuss. You've read my advance review of Torchwood: Children of Earth as a whole but now that "Day Three" has aired, we can discuss this installment in detail. (And, if you haven't yet watched the third episode of