News Briefs: J.J. Abrams Sells a New Project to The CW

By Tim Surette

Dec 08, 2011

BIG DEALS

... Super-producer J.J. Abrams is bringing his talents to The CW. The Lost co-creator is teaming up with the creator of One Tree Hill (how did that come about?) for a drama set at an inn in Maine. The show is tentatively titled Maine. That's it. No time travel, no mysterious monsters, no Kerri Russell. Just a hotel in Maine. OR IS IT SECRETLY A PORTAL FROM WHICH ALIENS WILL EMERGE? Nope, just a hotel. [Deadline Hollywood]

... David E. Kelley is swapping legal pads for prescription pads. The showrunner, who's famous for the plethora of legal dramas under his belt and one Hiroshima-sized failure involving Wonder Woman, is partnering with CNN medical expert Sanjay Gupta for Chelsea General, a medical drama about doctors. At a hospital. [Deadline Hollywood]

... A&E; has purchased a half-hour cop drama called The Box from Homicide producers Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana. The show will be set almost entirely in a police precinct's interrogation room. It's like In Treatment, except the "therapist" is replaced with an asshole cop. [Deadline Hollywood]


IT'S ALREADY ALMOST AWARDS SEASON, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?

... The Producers Guild of America has announced the nominees for its annual awards ceremony, and Game of Thrones earned a nod, so that's pretty cool. But the organization's weird eligibility rules mean that Mad Men is in and Breaking Bad is out. Get your act together, producers. Click the link for more nominees! [EW]

... Continuing the epic feud that's been going since the dawn of Hollywood, the Writers Guild of America, which isn't about to let producers get all the attention, has announced the nominees for its own awards. This time the eligibility rules have allowed Breaking Bad to battle Game of Thrones, Homeland, and Boardwalk Empire. Click the link for more nominees! [EW]


CASTING NEWS

... Ellen Barkin (from that awful movie where she switched places with Antonio Banderas) will guest-star on Modern Family. She'll play the recurring role of a real estate agent who competes with Phil. [TV Line]

... Mark Pellegrino (Lost, Supernatural, Dexter) will drop by Castle for a night. He'll play a club owner from 1947 in an episode that goes back in time, film-noir-style. [TV Line]

... Kathy Griffin will guest-star on Whitney. Let's hope she's funnier than Chelsea Handler was. [TV Guide]

... Robin Givens is moving into Suburgatory as an arch-rival to Dallas (Cheryl Hines). How big is the rivalry? Givens' character's name is Tulsa! Look for her in the comedy's seventeenth. [EW]


WHOOPS! NEWS

... If you ever plan on buying a house, you might want to make sure your neighbors are not named Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman. The Mythbusters duo fired a cannonball like a cross-eyed pirate last night, sending an almost-literal wrecking ball through the Bay Area's 'hood of Dublin. Apparently the Discovery show was firing homemade cannons when a cannonball took an "unforeseen bounce" and hit a house, crossed a freeway, and smashed into a minivan. That's science, people! I think I'm obligated to say that no one was hurt. [Washington Post]


SAD NEWS

... NBC will now be screening The Roots' song selections on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, a ruling handed down because the in-house group played a ditty called "Lyin' Ass Bitch" when Michelle Bachmann visited the show. They should have just stuck with their original song selection for Bachmann, which was just a bunch of fart noises. Fight the power, Questlove! [NY Post]


EVEN SADDER NEWS

... E! might be planning as many as four new Kardashian spin-offs. Here's hoping that one of them is a game show called How Far Can You Throw a Kardashian? [THR]


TOTALLY LEGIT SAD NEWS

... Actor Harry Morgan, who played Colonel Potter on M*A*S*H, passed away this morning at the age of 96. [NY Times]


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • Full_Bleed Dec 09, 2011

    I'm currently rewatching MASH (on Season 6.) Morgan was fantastic in it. Cheers to a long life and memorable legacy! RIP.

  • mermayd Dec 09, 2011

    RIP Colonel Potter. Thanks for making me laugh.

  • j7k8 Dec 09, 2011

    I am really sad the Harry Morgan died. I love MASH and it continues to be funny even though I have seen every episode like 5 times. Colonel Potter was awesome and no one could have done it better than Morgan.

    Also he played General Steele on the show before being cast as Potter. One of the most memorable guest appearances I have ever seen.

    RIP Mr. Morgan

  • Merinwe Dec 09, 2011

    Psst...it's Keri Russell, not Kerri.

  • julianwiley Dec 09, 2011

    Looking forward to Robin on 'Suburgatory' (Dallas and George finally kissed!) -- and love me some Ellen Barkin.

  • MysticWarlock Dec 09, 2011

    RIP Harry Morgan

  • klotensen Dec 09, 2011

    Total shit news, all over. Thanks for nothing, lads !

  • FilmFanatic Dec 09, 2011

    He shouldn't go to CW,,, it used to be my favourite network,, but recently with the exception of course of The vampire diaries & The secret circle,, CW seems to be ruining its shows. Starting from BAD story lines, poor selection of songs and generally s.c.r.e.w.i.n.g. up its shows that all have great potential. For starters,, they unfortunately decided to make a remake of Melrose place and screwed it up. Leave it for a network that can actually deliver. Also, 90210 had a genuine and ok first season, but then with the exception of certain storylines, it just became worse every season, at a point when now, I don't understand why is still on air.

  • bkyle2429 Dec 09, 2011

    The CW is very good Supernatural, Nikita, Ringer, Supernatural,Hart of Dixie. Gossip Girl,are all very good, plus past shows include Smallville, Girlmore Girls, Buffy, Angel, 7th Heaven granted some of these shows were on THE WB but they can the CW

  • lalaforever1989 Dec 10, 2011

    I was slightly with you until Hart of Dixie and Gossip Girl. If you can explain to me how those two are good shows you get a cookie.

  • rivas_ju Dec 09, 2011

    J.J. Abrams stays busy, busy.. good luck,. i cant wait!

  • hakone1 Dec 08, 2011

    "So cannonballs can bounce. Another myth busted!" Yay!

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