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Channel Surfing: Details on Kanakaredes' Exit from CSI, Alphas Lands Two, More on McPherson, HIMYM, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello talks to CSI: NY executive producers Pam Veasey and Zachary Reiter about the departure of Melina Kanakaredes from the crime procedural and how they'll handle Stella's exit, given that Kanakaredes will not be reprising her role this fall. "We’re giving her a noble exit,” said Reiter. "We chose not to go the route of killing her off or having her go missing. We felt that would weigh too heavily on the team." However, the action will instead pick up a few months after the events of the season finale and reveal that Stella moved to New Orleans. "She left to run a lab there," Veasey told Ausiello. "And she picked that city because it’s the city of Katrina, the city of BP oil, the city where people are looking for someone to lend a hand. She’ll essentially be Mac in New Orleans. We wanted to do something that was respectful and made a lot of sense."

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

San Diego Comic-Con 2010: USA's White Collar Panel

Missed yesterday's panel at San Diego Comic-Con for USA's stylish and slick caper drama White Collar ? No worries as we've got you covered. Televisionary special correspondent Lissette Lira was on hand for yesterday's panel and offered up the following highlights from the much anticipated White Collar event. Among the tibits, there are some seriously random insights into the workings of the White Collar cast and crew: There was a cute video at the beginning of Willie Garson coming up with plans for the next caper... Since the cast was going to Comic-Con, they were going to steal the Tron Legacy footage... and he even had costumes for everyone. Marsha Thomasson is very happy to be back. She prefers filming in NYC to Hawaii where there were bugs crawling all over her while she shot Lost . She didn't want to give out any more info about the music box when pressed. Willie Garson kept calling Tiffani Thiessen "Tiffani Garson" every time he asked her a que

Talk Back: USA's Covert Affairs Series Premiere

While I reviewed the 90-minute pilot for USA's newest series, Covert Affairs , yesterday , now that the series premiere has aired, I'm curious to hear what you thought of it. What did you think of Piper Perabo and Chris Gorham? Was Anne Dudek sadly wasted in her role as Annie's clueless older sister? Did you like the relationship between the married spies played by Peter Gallagher and Kari Matchett? Did the series strike you as a tad bit too much like Alias , only without the Rambaldi devices and Jennifer Garner? (Though Perabo clearly seemed to be channeling Garner's Sydney Bristow here.) What did you think of Covert Affairs ' combination of kick-ass action and playful humor? Did you buy Auggie's role within the agency? Did you think that the set-up Danielle arranged for Annie was way too unbelievable? Was it ever even plausible that Annie was yanked from the Farm strictly for her linguistic skills? And, most importantly, will you tune in again next week? T

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

From One Prison to Another: An Advance Look at the Second Season of USA's White Collar

USA's slick and stylish crime procedural White Collar returns tonight with an installment that points towards a new direction for the agents of the White Collar Crimes Division of the Manhattan branch of the FBI... and for charismatic consultant Neal Caffrey (Matthew Bomer), the reformed thief/forger at the heart of the series. One of the strengths of White Collar has been the unerring chemistry between series leads Bomer and Tim DeKay, who plays Neal's partner/handler/jailer Peter Burke, the "suit." Despite the circumstances that Neal finds himself in when the second season begins with tonight's season opener ("Withdrawal"), that relationship remains exceedingly strong. Which is a good thing as there are some new challenges facing Neal and Peter, most notably the mystery surrounding the death of Neal's lost love Kate and the whereabouts of that all-important amber music box, the latter of which might just surprise you. But for the moment, the dy

A Neighborhood of Voluntary Spies: An Advance Review of the Series Premiere of USA's Covert Affairs

USA has been on a winning streak with lightweight, middle-of-the-road dramedies, so there's no reason the cabler should give up on a formula that's clearly working, even when the series in question revolves around the intelligence forces in a post-9/11 world. The cabler's newest addition to its stable of breezy dramas is Covert Affairs , which launches tonight with a 90-minute pilot that introduces CIA trainee Annie Walker ( Coyote Ugly 's Piper Perabo) as it pushes her right onto the front lines of the spy game. Created by Matt Corman and Chris Ord, Covert Affairs seems from the very first few minutes to walk to walk in the stylish stilettos of ABC's Alias , giving Perabo's Annie a series of dangerous missions, a lukewarm cover story, and a sister ( House and Big Love 's Anne Dudek, wasted here) that she has to lie to in order to keep her safe. But while Alias focused on an increasingly intricate overarching mythology, Covert Affairs wants to push i

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'

Channel Surfing: Elijah Wood Pets FX's Willard, Larry King to Leave CNN, Nestor Carbonell Gets Psych, Doctor Who, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Elijah Wood ( Lord of the Rings ) will star opposite Jason Gann in the pilot for FX's US adaptation of Aussie comedy Wilfred , about a man and his talking dog, the latter of which will be voiced by Gann, the original creator of the series. Project hails from writer David Zuckerman ( Family Guy ) and director Randall Einhorn ( The Office ). Production is slated to begin this summer. ( Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed ) Larry King will be hanging up his trademark suspenders this fall after 25 years as the host of Larry King Live in order to spend more time with his family. The Los Angeles Times ' Matea Gold and Yvonne Villarreal have a fantastic interview with King about his decision to leave CNN. "I said, 'I can't top this,'" King told the Times on Tuesday. "I'm not getting younger. I want more time with other things. It's time to go... The daily grind is tough. And there are asp

Talk Back: What Are You Watching This Summer?

As the Summer Solstice has come and gone now, the hot months of summer are officially in full swing as the broadcast and cable networks bring out their slate of originals and burn-offs during the sweltering season. While I'm sinking my teeth into quite a bit of programming this summer (including HBO's True Blood , Bravo's Top Chef , and my latest obsession, BBC America's upcoming Come Dine With Me ) and catching up on some others (cough, Friday Night Lights , cough), I'm curious to know just what you are watching right now... and what you intend to watch this summer. Are you hooked on USA's dramedies? Can't wait for the return of Entourage ? Trembling at the thought of more True Blood ? Intrigued by Work of Art ? Spooked by the thought of Syfy's Haven ? Head to the comments section to discuss what's on your season pass this summer, what's failed to click with you so far, and what new and returning television series you are most looking forward

Channel Surfing: Leigh and Morissette Return to Weeds, Jamie Foxx Preps TV Pilot, Sarah Drew Talks Grey's, Doctor Who, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alanis Morissette will return to Weeds for the Showtime dark comedy's sixth season, set to launch August 16th. Leigh will reprise her role as Nancy's sister Jill in one episode, with Morissette due to appear in two episodes as Andy's girlfriend Audra Kitson, who also happened to be Nancy's doctor. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that Jamie Foxx has shot a trailer for a potential television project entitled Tommy's Little Girl , which features Paul Sorvino, Selma Blair, James Russo, and Tony Sirico. Project would revolve around the relationship between a mobster (Sorvino) and his daughter (Blair) and will be pitched to cable networks. ( Deadline ) Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello has an interview with newly promoted Grey's Anatomy series regular S

Channel Surfing: Jason O'Mara Signs on to Terra Nova, Marina Klaveno Talks True Blood, Happy Town Yanked Again, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. It's official: former Life on Mars star Jason O'Mara has signed on to topline FOX's new action-adventure series Terra Nova , following the successful close of his deal, according to Deadline's Nellie Andreeva. Series revolves around a family from the future who travels back in time to the Earth's prehistoric past in order to save mankind. O'Mara will play Jim Shannon, described as "a devoted father with a checkered past who guides his family through this new land of limitless beauty, mystery and terror." (The role was reportedly offered to Friday Night Lights star Kyle Chandler prior to O'Mara.) Alex Graves ( Fringe will direct the pilot. ( Deadline ) Back Stage's Jessica Jardine has an interview with True Blood 's Mariana Klaveno, who plays Bill's maker, the devious vampire Lorena. "That's one of the really brilliant things about the show," said Klaveno. "[The

Channel Surfing: Glee Finale Secrets, USA Gets Common Law, Sarah Drew Promoted on Grey's Anatomy, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos caught up with Glee 's Jane Lynch, co-creator Brad Falchuk, and executive producer Dante Di Loreto to discuss five secrets from the Glee season finale, including the fact that the smooch between Will (Matthew Morrison) and Emma (Jayma Mays) wasn't scripted ("Her reaction is totally real," he said), no tear enhancers were used, Jonathan Groff and Idina Menzel may return next season, the writers deserve an Emmy (according to Lynch), and Sue Sylvester won't be turning all mushy next season. [Editor: personally, I thought the Glee season finale was pretty weak, coasting by on sentimentality rather than genuine--or earned--emotion. But I've found that to be true throughout the first season.] ( E! Online's Watch with Kristin ) USA has given a cast-contingent pilot order to buddy/cop comedy Common Law , which revolves around two LAPD officers--Wes and Travis--whose once-s

The Daily Beast: "19 Reasons to Watch TV This Summer"

Looking to set your TiVo season pass this summer before you head out on vacation? Or sticking around and wondering just what's worth watching (or at least checking out) this summer? Head over to The Daily Beast, where you can read my piece entitled, "19 Reasons to Watch TV This Summer," where I break down 19 new and returning series airing during the sweltering season, including HBO's True Blood AMC's Rubicon and Mad Men , Bravo's Work of Art and Top Chef: DC , FOX's Masterchef , Syfy's Haven , USA's White Collar , TNT's Memphis Beat and Rizzoli & Isles , BBC America's Being Human , and a lot more. Check out the gallery to read descriptions of the series and then head to the comments section to discuss just what you're most excited about this summer.

Channel Surfing: Julia Stiles Heads to Dexter, Doctor Who Writer Wants Lady Gaga, All Clear Given to Spartacus Star Whitfield, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television update. It's official: Julia Stiles ( The Bourne Ultimatum ) has signed on to appear in ten episodes of Showtime's serial killer drama Dexter next season. Stiles will play "a mysterious young woman who forms a unique relationship with Dexter (Michael C. Hall) in the wake of the death of his wife," according to Showtime. Production on Season Five of Dexter gets underway this month and is expected to premiere this fall. [Editor: any guesses on just who Stiles will be playing and just what her relationship is to Dexter? Let the speculation begin.] (via press release) Could pop superstar Lady Gaga be heading to Doctor Who ? If writer Gareth Roberts has his way, she would be. While Gaga hasn't signed on to appear in an episode of Who , Gareth maintains in an interview with OK! Magazine that he has already thought out a plotline for the "Bad Romance" singer to appear in. "She is no stranger to dressing up an

Channel Surfing: White Collar Nabs Hilarie Burton, Natasha Henstridge Gets Drop Dead Role, Jim Parsons on Big Bang Move, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Fancast's Matt Mitovich is reporting that former One Tree Hill star Hilarie Burton has signed on to appear in a six-episode story arc on Season Two of USA's White Collar , where she'll play Sarah Ellis, a new love interest for Matthew Bomer's Neal Caffrey, who is described as "an insurance investigator-slash-white collar bounty hunter who has a bit of a score to settle with Neal." Bomer's Neal will quickly find himself enmeshed in a game of cat and mouse with Sarah. Season Two of White Collar is set to launch Tuesday, July 13th at 9 pm ET/PT. ( Fancast ) Former Eli Stone star Natasha Henstridge is heading back to the courtroom, according to Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello, who reports that Henstridge has signed on to a multiple-episode story arc on Season Two of Lifetime's legal dramedy Drop Dead Diva , which returns June 6th. She'll play the "heretofore-unseen partner at H