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Casting Couch: Walker Flies to "Caprica," Sackhoff Sews Up "Nip/Tuck" Role, Estes Heads to "90210"

Lots of casting news today, on the first Monday after the network upfront presentations. First up, Sci Fi managed to close the deal on Polly Walker for their two-hour backdoor pilot Caprica , a prequel to their own series Battlestar Galactica . Astute readers of this site will know that I first reported that an offer was out to Walker ( Rome ) a few weeks ago . Walker will play Sister Clarice Willow, the secretive high priestess/headmistress of the exclusive Athena Academy, a private polytheistic school that Zoe Greystone (Alessandra Toreson) and her friends attend. I think the casting of Walker is absolutely brilliant for this role and she'll definitely bring something unexpected to the table. Plus, I'm happy she's sticking around in the States after the cancelation of Cane . Walker joins Eric Stolz , Esai Morales , and Paula Malcomson in this spellbinding two-hour backdoor pilot project from executive producers Ronald D. Moore, David Eick, and Remi Aubuchon and directo

Link Tank: TV Blog Coalition Roundup for May 16-18

Televisionary is proud to be a member of the TV Blog Coalition. At the end of each week, we'll feature a roundup of content from our sister sites for your delectation. This week, I was all about the network upfronts, from ABC and CBS to FOX and the CW , offering my thoughts on the scheduling announcements for this fall and breaking down each network's primetime lineup. I all stayed up late one night pondering just who the Final Cylon is on Battlestar Galactica and offered up my theory on who the last sleeper agent might be and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the fourth season finale to NBC's The Office , especially given this lackluster past season. Rabbit feet, cursed numbers, and rescue? I took a look at this week's first part of the three-hour season finale of Lost and broke down storylines, clues, and allusions for viewers, offered my take on the finale of BBC America's Last Restaurant Standing (which I'm already missing) and wished t

The Oceanic Six Find There's No Place Like Home on "Lost"

If last night's opening minutes of Lost --in which the fabled Oceanic Six arrive back in the United States (accompanied by Battlestar Galactica 's Michelle Forbes as Oceanic staffer Karen Decker)--didn't have you teary, you have a harder heart than mine. Last night's episode of Lost ("There's No Place Like Home) fulfilled the promise made in last year's season finale: that Jack and Kate (and, yes, a few others) would make it off the island and return home. But just as Dorothy discovered in The Wizard of Oz , there might not be anyplace quite like home but, once you're there, you may just find that both you and the world around you have changed in some rather unexpected ways. Michael Giacchino deserves every single Emmy award known to man for the elegance and grace of the musical score in that opening sequence as the plane's cargo door opened up and the crowd of family members rushed the plane. How touching was it to see Jack's mother tearful

Goodbye, Toby and Hello, Holly in the Season Finale of "The Office"

I'm feeling a little happier today after watching last night's season finale of The Office ("Goodbye, Toby"), though anything would have cheered me up after watching the dismal pilot episode of HBO's upcoming vampire series True Blood . (Yeesh.) Even so, I was completely captivated by this installment of The Office , penned by Jen Celotta and Paul Lieberstein, even though it was one of the one-hour variety. With this single one-hour installment, Celotta and Lieberstein may have undone my complete disenchantment with this series, crafting an episode that felt in tune with the good old days on this once-brilliant but waning series: it was touching, hysterical, and found comedy in the everyday, mundane office existences of these remarkable characters. This is the foundation around which the series was built and what the writers need to remind themselves of. It's not wacky subplots (Michael kidnaps a pizza delivery boy!) or zany adventures (Michael drives into

FOX Finally Announces Fall Schedule, Ends Days of Speculation

After days of speculation and very little news about how their actual schedule would shake out, FOX has finally announced their new primetime lineup for the 2008-09 season, just a few hours ahead of unveiling the sked to advertisers. While I was hoping there would be an eleventh hour reprieve for a fall slot for Joss Whedon's highly anticipated new drama Dollhouse , such was not to be; the series will launch on Monday nights in January, but we will be getting a full season of J.J. Abram's drama Fringe beginning in the fall. (That's got to count for something, no?) Let's take a look at how the schedule breaks down night by night. FOX PRIMETIME SCHEDULE FOR 08-09: MONDAY 8 pm: Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles (Midseason: Dollhouse ) 9 pm: Prison Break (Midseason: 24 ) TUESDAY 8 pm: House (Midseason: American Idol ) 9 pm: Fringe WEDNESDAY 8 pm: Bones (Midseason: House ) 9 pm: 'Til Death (Midseason: American Idol Results) 9:30 pm: Do Not Disturb (form

Someone Goes Home for a Box Lunch on "Top Chef"

Was I the only one who hoped that the judges would send all three of them home last night? On this week's episode of Top Chef ("Serve and Protect"), I really didn't see a hell of a lot of potential in about half of the remaining chefs. In fact, most of them irritated and annoyed the hell out of me to the point that I do wish that Tom and Padma would have just stood up, told them all to shut the hell up and pack their knives and go. I understand that this is a competition. If you're an optimist who believes in the innate humanity of every individual, here's where you would say that people tend to crack under the pressure and do and say things that they wouldn't normally in ordinary circumstances. If you're a pragmatist, you might say that pressure reveals most people's true character. I'd opt for the latter in this circumstance. Last night, we had not one, not two, but THREE chefs who aggressively spoke back to the judges in an arrogant and i

Whitney and Anya Size Up the Competition on the Season Finale of "Top Model"

I am very happy about the outcome of last night's season finale of America's Next Top Model ("And the Winner is..."), especially going into the final round with three really strong competitors in Whitney, Fatima, and Anya. These girls were strong models, took consistently great photographs, and each represented a different facet of beauty in a compelling, different way. I thought they all did much better with the English-language Cover Girl commercial than most of the other girls from previous cycles of the series, who always had problems memorizing the copy, looking pretty and happy, and just being generally convincing in front of the camera. I thought Whitney looked great and totally did the signature Cover Girl smile with poise and perfection. Anya actually did a better job than I thought she would, given her strange pidgin accent (which always sounds more Eastern European to me than Hawaiian) and the copy was a series of hard-to-say tongue-twisters. (I still can