News Briefs: Katherine Heigl Is One Step Closer to Returning to TV

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SHE'S BAAAAAAAAACK!

... NBC has signed a pact with Katherine Heigl, buying the rights to an untitled drama that she's starring in and producing. The former Grey's Anatomy star would play—and please pardon me while I stifle some chuckles—"a CIA analyst whose job it is to debrief and strategize with the president on the most pressing global and national matters." Given NBC's love affair with stars who are past their prime (Heigl's pouty Grey's Anatomy antics turned a lot of people off), I think we can lock this series up for NBC's 2014 fall season. [TV Line]


BUSINESS TIME

... Remember when NBC Universal's new cable project the Esquire Network was set up to take over G4 in like two weeks? Well, NBCU has changed its mind. Instead, the Esquire Network will take over the Style Network and G4 will continue to live on. The abrupt decision comes about as late as it can in the process, given the male-oriented Esquire Network's impending debut, which is scheduled for September 23. Imagine the office of the Style Network today, knowing that massive layoffs are coming. Surprise! [THR]

... HBO will debut Ja'Mie: Private School Girl on November 24. The comedy is a spin-off of Summer Heights High and stars Australian comic Chris Lilley as the lead character. [HBO via press release]

... The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show returns to CBS on December 10! Time to order that 80-inch super-HD TV screen with a drool guard. [CBS via press release]

... Late-breaking news! WEtv has renewed L.A. Hair for a third season! Look for 12 new episodes sometime in 2014. [WEtv via press release]


CASTING NEWS

... Cher and the yucca plant that she calls hair have signed on to become a mentor on NBC's The Voice. She'll give advice to Blake Shelton's team and bore them with stories from the old days. [TV Line]

..Matt Davis of The Vampire Diaries (or Cult if you're super cool) has successfully exited The CW's gravitational pull and landed a real job. Haha J/K, guys. But seriously, he's freed himself from the clutches of the teenish network and has booked a gig on the very grown-up channel CBS with a recurring role on CSI. I'll let TV Line handle the character description because it sounds pretty silly: "[Davis] will play a smart, athletic, and competitive son of a decorated fireman. While on the surface outgoing, he is deep down a bit of a loner, with the soul of a poet and the mind of a mathematician." Ummm, what? [TV Line]

... Elton John will perform at this year's Emmy Awards, paying tribute to the late great Liberace. He will do so by changing nothing about himself except for maybe not wearing glasses. The Emmys air September 22 on CBS. [CBS via press release]

... Private Practice's Paul Adelstein will recur in the third season of Scandal. The details are still super-secret, because this is Scandal! [TV Line]


SCHEDULING ALERT

... The season finale of So You Think You Can Dance will be interrupted by President Obama's speech on much less important matters (something called Syria), but after he gets done jabbering about that stuff, SYTYCD will come back on and get to the good stuff: naming the person who best thinks they can dance. [Fox via press release]


REQUIRED READING

... Want to know how Game of Thrones makes its dragons? With geese and tennis balls! [Wired]

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