Wednesday, February 11, 2009

TV NEWS: "Grey's" Cuts Cast; New "Heroes," "ER," & "Wrestler" Series; Robyn Lively's Comeback, and more

Anne Heche returns to TV this fall opposite Thomas Jane (Punisher) in HBO's new series "Hung." There's no need to get your mind out of the gutter--it's exactly what you think. She'll play the remarried ex-wife of a "well-endowed struggling high school basketball coach."

• While everyone's excited that Kelsey Grammer is directing Cybill Shepherd in a new Lifetime series called "Alligator Point," I'm more excited that the star of Teen Witch has also been cast. Wow! Robyn Lively's making a comeback. Do I even have to say it? Blake totally needs to get her sister on "Gossip Girl" in some way, shape or form. This girl needs a major resurrection. Banished to guest-spot hell after her amazingly awesome 1989 debut, I think she's way overdue. The series will be about "an eccentric group of Floridians who find refuge in the Southern hospitality of Mae's (Shepherd) Oyster Bar. Their lives change when a Yankee (Lauren Stamile, Rose from "Grey's Anatomy") becomes part of their disjointed family." Blah blah blah, show me some Robyn!

• If NBC's "Heroes" is about everyday people who develop powers, then ABC's "No Heroics" is about everyday, lazy, drunk people who have powers...technically. According to the press release breakdown, it's about superheroes "with less-than-formidable powers who hang out at a bar." Don't they sound productive?
[It didn't get picked up.]

• FX has a new drama called "Lights Out" where an "aging former heavyweight boxing champion who struggles to find his identity and support his wife and three daughters after his fighting days, leading him to accept reluctantly a job as an enforcer collecting debts. He is diagnosed with pugilistic dementia, a neurological disorder that affects boxers who recieve multiple blows to the head, which gradually will lead him to losing all of his memories." So basically it's The Wrestler meets AMC's "Breaking Bad."

• Ever since "ER" announced that this was its final season after 15 years, networks have been scrambling to find the next big ensemble medical drama. I guess they don't consider "Grey's Anatomy" much of a contender. CBS already has three in the works: "Eastmans" is like "Brothers & Sisters" if everyone was a doctor. "Three Rivers" is about organ transplants, so expect a whole lot of tearjerking. And the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced "Miami Trauma" is about trauma surgeons, which'll probably involve countless bloody patients and relentless metaphors about their own personal traumas. Naturally, the success of the shows depend on the casts that are assembled.

ABC has greenlit:
• Cedrick the Entertainer's new comedy series "The Law" is about "reserve police officers for the LAPD who balance their full-time off-duty lives with the excitement of being weekend cops." Oh Paul Blart, what have you done?
• The adaptation of Fiona Neill's Slummy Mummy called "Planet Lucy" is about "an endearing Everywoman prone to disaster who gave up an impressive professional career to be a stay-at-home mom raising three kids." That sounds like they gave Desperate Housewives' Lynette her own show, which might actually be pretty damn good.
[It was put on hold.]
• The timely comedy "Canned" is about "a group of friends who all get fired on the same day." I'm guessing some of them start their own business, some opt for menial labor just to get by, and the rest move back in with their parents to leech off of their retirement funds. The odd jobs alone will make for great material. But if they all moved in together and started a business it could make for an interesting dynamic.

Wilmer Valderrama developed an off-beat immigration series for Nickelodeon. "Earth to Pablo" is about a "normal family that ends up with a teenage space alien instead of the South American exchange student they had expected." If only Nickelodeon could make racial jokes this might be that much more enticing.

• Both Katherine Heigl (Izzie) and T.R. Knight (George) are rumored to be leaving "Grey's Anatomy"--one sooner than the other. However, there's still no word on whether this means Heigl's illness is fatal. But if last week's episode is any indication, there's a chance that all of the tests Izzie had Sadie run could have been switched with a clinical patient, which means that Izzie has cancer and her patient has anemia, and not the other way around. Woops. Guess who's getting fired?

• The creepily hot Noel Fisher from "The Riches" is joining "Law & Order: SVU" as a rookie.

Chris Pratt (Bride Wars and "Everwood") is joining Amy Poehler's new NBC comedy, "Parks and Recreation."

• "The United States of Tara" has great ratings on Showtime, so it'll be back for a second season. Great! Yet another series I'll have to wait ten years to get from Netflix.

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