ABC Bumps Courteney Cox For Matthew Perry

... ABC has finally put premieres dates on a couple of its long-gestating shows, and Friends will be put to the test as a result. Matthew Perry's Mr. Sunshine, about a self-centered sports arena manager, will premiere Wednesday, February 9 at 9:30pm immediately after Modern Family. This means Perry's former Friends costar Courteney Cox will see her show Cougar Town sit on the sidelines for a bit. Shonda Rhimes' new medical drama Off the Map will debut that night at 10pm. Starting April 6, ABC will extend the comedy block to three hours by bringing back Cougar Town in its normal slot and airing new relationship comedy Happy Endings at 10pm and a Modern Family repeat at 10:30pm. Must networks make all this scheduling so complicated? Yes, they must. [ABC via press release]

... Syfy has given a series order to Alphas. Let's spin the wheel and see what this one is about: *wheel spins* It's about ordinary people with extraordinary abilities who *throws dart* solve crimes *points randomly to nowhere in particular* that the CIA, FBI, and others can not! Lost's main director Jack Bender is directing the pilot, so it has that going for it. [The Live Feed]

... Eliza Dushku was all set to join the TNT pilot Bird Dog as a female police officer who partners up with her dad when stupid old Mr. Creative Differences stepped in and changed her mind. The actress tweeted that she's left the project amicably, giving her plenty of time to contemplate why she's dating Rick Fox and not me. [The Live Feed]

... You knew a Glee copycat s***storm was coming, and here's the latest. The CW is developing Prickly Spheres, a music-themed show about a Julliard-trained teen who ditches stuffy classical music to join an indie rock band. Please tell me "Prickly Spheres" is the name of the band he joins, because that's probably the worst fake indie-rock band name ever conceived. [Deadline Hollywood]

... ABC's The Middle got some good news. The comedy will beef up this season's episode order by two for a total of 24. [TV Guide]

... Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes says HBO could one day be a standalone service and not part of any cable company's financial raping expanded and more expensive cable service. The company believes subscribers would increase if they didn't have to get HBO as part of a pricier package that includes a bunch of other crap. I support any idea that cuts cable companies down. Seriously, I pay like $140 a month and there's still nothing on TV. [NY Post]

... Fox won't be ordering the back-nine episodes for Lie to Me, but that doesn't necessarily mean the show is getting canceled. [The Live Feed]

... Better off Ted creator Victor Fresco is returning to TV with an adaptation of the Swedish comedy Solsidan. It will be called Sunnyside here in the States. The comedy follows a man that moves his family back to his hometown. [Variety]

... More True Blood casting: Christina Moore (Hawthorne) will recur as Suzanne McKittrick, a Texas housewife with special abilities. Neil Hopkins (Charlie's brother Liam from Lost) will play Claudine's brother Claude. Chris Butler (The Good Wife) will play a shapeshifter named Emory. Are there any humans in this show anymore? [Deadline Hollywood]

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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