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Channel Surfing: Sci Fi to Explore "Stargate Universe," Ben McKenzie Circles "LAPD," "Doctor Who," and More

Good morning and welcome to your Friday television briefing. I can't believe the weekend is finally here and I am definitely ready for some R&R over the next few days, though I am especially jealous that the Brits have off on Monday thanks to August Bank Holiday. (Lucky bastards!) I stayed in last night and watched the slightly soggy two-hour premiere of America's Next Top Model and now I can't get the incessant shrieking out of my head. Speaking of the CW's launches, the netlet has bumped up the premiere of reality competition series Stylista by a week to October 22nd at 9 pm, directly behind a new episode of Top Model . The move comes shortly after the CW pushed the fashion competition series--from 10 by 10 Ent and Bankable--to October. I'm kind of curious to see Stylista 's first episode and, based on the trailers and clips that I've seen, feel that this could be just the right sort of guilty pleasure to enjoy with Top Model . ( TV Week ) Sci Fi g

Channel Surfing: "Stargate Atlantis" to End, Joel Silver Setting Up at HBO, "90210" Marathon, and More

Good morning one and all and welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. (Yes, the weekend is just within our grasp.) Stargate Atlantis will wrap its run on Sci Fi when the fifth season concludes in January, but the cabler has ordered an untitled two-hour telepic that will air sometime in 2009, following the series finale. An official press release from Sci Fi is said to be forthcoming. ( Multichannel News ) Joel Silver is back in television news headlines again (he's said to be in discussions with creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell about a possible feature version of Veronica Mars ): he's optioned Arthur T. Vanderbilt II's 1989 family history "Fortune's Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt," about the famous clan's 20th century saga as they deal with "declining fortune, extravagances and social-climbing instincts." Silver plans to adapt the book into a possible series for pay cabler HBO; he and Jane Semel would execut

"Yes, We Have Feathers!": Drag Queens and Drama Queens on "Project Runway"

I have to say that I am getting more than a little disappointed in the designers on this season's Project Runway . As a group, they've yet to really wow me with their collective designs and this week's challenge should have pushed them to new and exciting heights... but instead most of their garments left me bored. And boring should not be a word used when there are drag queens on the runway... On this week's episode of Project Runway ("Good Queen Fun"), we saw the return of the affable Chris March to the series to introduce this week's OTT challenge: to create a garment that embodied the persona of a drag queen. A tough challenge, to be sure, but one which virtually gave the designers carte blanche to be as wacky, subversive, and in-your-face as they wanted to be. What they couldn't do, however, was be boring, make a normal dress, or fail to make a statement of some kind. And yet that's what a lot of the designers ended up doing. Terri should h

Paley Center Premiere Week 2008; Which Series Are You Dying to See... Or Can't Wait to Be Canned?

Once again, the Paley Center for Media is offering a week-long series of screenings of new and returning series this year. The premiere episode screening series, kicking off in Los Angeles on September 5th (and in New York on September 4th), will feature network-oriented screening nights and small panel discussions. The schedule for the Beverly Hills-based location of the Paley Center is as follows: Friday, Sept. 5th: Fringe, Do Not Disturb (FOX) Saturday, Sept. 6th: Privileged, 90210 (CW) Monday, Sept. 8th: My Own Worst Enemy, Kath & Kim, Crusoe, Knight Rider (NBC) Tuesday, Sept. 9th: Gary Unmarried, The Ex List, Worst Week, The Mentalist (CBS) Wednesday, Sept. 10th: Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, Eli Stone, Life on Mars preview (ABC) While I've already seen nearly all of those above (though I'd be kidding if I said I wasn't salivating over the Pushing Daisies premiere), I probably won't be rushing to the Paley more than once for what promises to be a

Channel Surfing: "Gossip Girl," MGM Investigates World of "Jonas Moore," and More

Good morning and welcome to your Wednesday television briefing. I was up late last night watching the first three episodes of next season's Gossip Girl and my brain is still filled with Hamptons-based intrigue (though if I hear someone use the word "Duchess" one more time, I think I may have to slap them) and I was up all night improbably wondering how school-age Vanessa managed to bypass zoning regulations at Rufus' gallery. But more on Gossip Girl at later time... FX has announced that The Shield will end its run on November 25th. The cabler is set to launch the seventh and final season of The Shield on September 2nd and will air a host of programming around the final season, including retrospective material about the seminal series and a roundtable discussion with the cast and crew, to be hosted by Elvis Mitchell. ( Variety ) NBC Universal has acquired a 100% stake in British television production company Carnival, which has produced such dramas as Hotel Babyl

Neptune Rising: Could a "Veronica Mars" Movie Be in the Works?

Yes, that is the squealing of millions of fanboys and girls you hear. Just when I thought that my love for Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas couldn't increase, I learned one tiny little thing that made my heart surge: he and Kristen Bell have begun conversations about possibly developing a feature film version of Veronica Mars . Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello has the scoop about the possible feature, which is said to be in the early stages of discussion. "Kristen and I ran into each other, and we did discuss a Veronica movie," Rob Thomas confirmed to Ausiello. "It's very tough to focus on it right now with two pilots on my plate [...] But as soon as I have any free time, that's my top priority." Wowzers. Though with Thomas currently waiting to learn the fate of the two drama pilots waiting for a pickup at ABC ( Cupid and my favorite, Outrageous Fortune ), it might be a while before Thomas is free to pursue a feature version of everyo

CW's "90210" Premiere to Be Screener-Less for Press

Everyone is all abuzz about the fact that the CW and studio CBS Paramount Television have opted to not send out press screeners of the new fall drama 90210 , which launches September 2nd. Like many of my entertainment writer brethren, I too was puzzled by the email I received yesterday from a CW publicist which read: "The CW and our studio partner CBS Paramount Network Television have made the strategic marketing decision not to screen 90210 for any media in advance of its premiere. We're not hiding anything . . . simply keeping a lid on 90210 until 9.02, riding the curiosity and anticipation into premiere night, and letting all our constituents see it at the same time." While this move may be a "strategic marketing decision" designed to amp up anticipation for the Beverly Hills 90210 update, it's a risk that could easily backfire as many are now just assuming that the decision is based on the fact that the launch itself is a dud. (Studios oftentimes