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TV Newsround – Penny Spent? Kate Going? The Next Gen Boldly Returning? And More…


Is Lost‘s Penny doomed? The Choob has been worried about Penelope Widmore, girlfriend of Desmond Hume – the world’s favourite Scottish, Glasgow Celtic-supporting, time-travelling island-hopper – since nasty, vengeful Benjamin Linus said he was off to attend to some unfinished business, then was next seen covered in cuts and bruises next to some boats at a marina.

Further fuelling my fears, was the word that actress Sonya Walger, right, who plays Penny, had signed up for the lead role in the pilot of new sci-fi drama Flash Forward (lots more about that show here).

However, Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello offers some comfort, as he reports that Lost insiders say they are not done with Penny yet and that Walger will balance work on the two shows (they are both on the ABC network), should Flash Forward progress to a full series.

Of course, on Lost, the fact that a character will appear in future episodes does not necessarily mean they will be alive…

Talking of Lost, the rumour that has been spreading around “teh internets” over the last few days that Kate is being killed off (fuelled by a claim that actress Evangeline Lilly has been auditioning for new shows) has been flatly denied by the producers of Lost, network ABC and Lilly’s own spokespeople, all of whom insist Kate will be on the island until the show ends next year.

All the original main cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation have signed up for a reunion – on a special episode of animated sitcom Family Guy.

Patrick Stewart, Levar Burton, Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn, Wil Wheaton, Denise Crosby, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes will appear in an episode called Not All Dogs Go To Heaven, in which the Griffin clan visit the annual Quahog Star Trek convention.

ITV’s poorly-received Saturday-night prime-time fantasy drama Demons is facing the axe after a single season, according to tabloid reports. Star Philip Glenister (best known for playing Gene Hunt in the original UK version of Life On Mars and its sequel Ashes To Ashes) has reportedly quit his role as vampire hunter Rupert Galvin. This, along with rapidly-declining ratings throughout the first season’s run, seem likely to signal its demise.

What credit crunch? NBC is said to be charging advertisers up to $500,000 for a 30-second commercial slot during the two-hour last-ever episode of ER, which airs in the US on April 2.  Such advertising slots normally cost around $135,000. George Clooney returns in the finale for one last appearance as Dr Doug Ross, left, along with a few of the show’s other former stars.

With the second season of The CW’s Reaper starting on Tuesday (March 3) Sci Fi Wire has a video interview with star Bret Harrison revealing what lies in store for the Devil’s errand boy this year.

As season seven of 24 approaches the half-way mark on Fox, it has been announced that executive producer John Cassar won’t be back for season eight (which may well be the show’s final season), after failing to agree a new contract deal. He had been with the series for six years.

His next project will be as director of CBS pilot Washington Field, a crime drama about a team of elite agents operating out of the FBI’s Washington field office.

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Networks Fly Into A Pilot Frenzy


There’s been a lot of pilot-ordering activity at the networks over the last few days (while The Choob was in his sickbed with the flu – how inconsiderate of them), on top of the shows I have already told you about HERE and HERE.

Here is a quick rundown, then, of what’s been greenlit by who.

ABC

V: A remake/reimagining of the cheesy but iconic and fondly-remembered 1983 mini-series about mice-eating alien lizards who invade Earth. The original version memorably began with giant spaceships appearing in the skies above Earth’s major cities – a visual image later homaged/ripped off by the makers of blockbuster movie Independence Day.

The TV remake will dispense with the Nazi allegory of the 1980s show and also with original creator Kenneth Johnson, who has been trying to get his own sequel/remake off the ground for years. The new version will be written by The 4400 co-creator Scott Peters and focus on a female Homeland Security agent. Like in the original, the alien “Visitors” will initially appear friendly and benevolent, only for their horrifying true motives to gradually emerge.

The 1983 original spawned a sequel mini-series and a weekly TV show that ran for only one season.

Limelight: Drama in part inspired by hip hop producer Pharrell Williams‘ experience at a performing arts school. Executive produced by Charlies Angels director McG, it will follow the students and teachers at a similar kind of school in New York. Sounds a bit like Fame for the post-millennium. It’s worth noting that the series was originally given a full series commitment just days before the start of the 2007 writers’ strike started. It was later put into redevelopment.

Untitled Jerry Bruckheimer Crime drama: Known internally as The Unknown, the show is about amateur crime fighters. Executive produced by action-movie and CSI franchise producer Bruckheimer, the pilot will by directed by CSI producer/director Danny Cannon.

Empire State: Drama about two families at odds with each other. One clan is made up of blue-collar ironworkers, the other, wealthy real-estate tycoons. At the show’s heart is a Romeo and Juliet-style love story.

I, Claudia: Drama about young prosecuting attorney Claudia McIntire who, viewers learn, will one day be a contender for US President. In the present-day, though, she is more concerned about her love life than her career.

Inside the Box: Drama, written by news producer Richard E Robbins, about a female news producer and her colleagues at a Washington DC network news bureau. Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes is executive producer.

Let It Go: Former Gilmore Girls star Lauren Graham stars as a talkshow host who finds it hard to follow her own advice to “let things go” when her own boyfriend dumps her.

The New Twenty: Comedy from Scrubs’ Tad Quill about two pals in their 40s who are at different stages in life – one with a newborn, the other with a kid going to college.

Threesome: To-be-retitled comedy about a guy in his 30s caught between his single-mother girlfriend and his slacker best pal.

Untitled “Brothers And Detectives” Remake: Drama about a Savannah cop who discovers when his dad dies he has an 11-year-old brother with a genius IQ. They team up to solve crimes. Written by Dexter writer Daniel Cerone and based on an Argentinian show called Brothers and Detectives.

CBS

Back: A missing-person drama about a man who disappeared in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, who suddenly shows up eight years later. The story follows his attempts to reconnect with his family adjust to a world that has dramatically changed. It’s written by Bones and CSI: Miami alumni Dean Widenmann.

Washington Field: Crime drama about a team of elite agents operating out of the FBI’s Washington field office

Untitled: A drama from The Unit‘s Frank Military, about a team of federal prosecutors working in Manhattan’s US Attorney’s office. 

NBC

Parenthood: Twenty years after the Steve Martin movie was released, it’s being adapted for TV as an hour-long comedy-drama that will retain the tone of the film, but update it to reflect the challenges facing parents in the new millennium and it will also feature new characters. The talent behind the show includes Friday Night Lights writer/executive producer Jason Katims and Executive Producers Ron Howard (who directed the original movie) and Brian Grazer. An earlier attempt to turn parenthood into a TV show, starring St Elsewhere’s Ed Begley Jr, lasted just 12 episodes in 1990. It did, however, feature a young Leonardo DiCaprio, David Arquette and Thora Birch, and gave a pre-Buffy Joss Whedon one of his first writing gigs.

Day One: Post-apocalyptic drama from Heroes, Alias and Lost writer Jesse Alexander, set in the wake of global catastrophe that destroys the world’s infrastructure. The show focuses on a small group of survivors. Substitute American for global and it all sounds suspiciously similar to much-missed Jericho to me…

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