You remember David Duchovny, don’t you? He’s the guy who, for about thirty minutes there in the nineties when The X-Files was huge, made it okay to be a conspiracy theorist. After a series of cable cameos, independent films, and gigs guest hosting late-night talk shows, Duchovny is coming back to television – cable television. This week, Showtime greenlit his untitled series (briefly called Californication) as part of its upcoming comedy slate and its continued assault on HBO. Princeton grad Duchovny plays a divorced writer carrying a torch for his ex (the supernova of hotness that is Natasha McElhone) and maintaining a relationship with his teenage daughter. While this is good for fans of Duchovny – and I like the Princeton grad quite a bit – it’s bad for Manchild, the other buzzed-about comedy pilot in the works at Showtime (the one starring Kevin Smith), as Variety reports that Showtime is unlikely to pick up another comedy this season.


Taye Diggs hates New York City –- it’s cold and it’s damp. Paul Adelstein is leaving Chicago to the Eskimos. That town’s a little rugged for Amy Brenneman and Chris Lowell, anyway. Tim Daly is rollin’ down the Imperial Highway, and the big nasty redhead at his side is Kate Walsh’s Dr. Addison Montgomery. Addison, Kellerman and Benny, the as of yet-untitled Grey’s spin-off, is gonna ride it until they just can’t ride it no more. In case you couldn’t figure out from my totally obnoxious citing of Mr. Randy Newman, the series will take place in Los Angeles. TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello broke the story earlier this week, saying that the new show will focus on of two of L.A.’s chief medical practices – psychiatry and plastic surgery. (I wonder if they’ll also take advantage of the fact that the practice of MacNamara and Troy will be relocating to the city of Angels as well. I would pay serious money for a Julian McMahon cameo. Serious money.)


Stanley Tucci is awesome. There’s no other way of putting it – he’s one of those actors that (like William Fichtner or Acting Sensation Mayor Ted Levine) is always compelling. Even if the project around him sucks, you know Tucci will have at least one awesome moment – whether it’s an egotistical scientist in The Core realizing the ludicrousness of dictating his memoirs in his final moments or elevating a swishy gay stereotype in The Devil Wears Prada or being threatening without ever raising his voice in Road to Perdition or the role that made him one to watch, tv’s Murder One. Now that I’ve made my man-love for him clear, Tucci will be guest starring on ER near the end of its thirteenth season. TV Guide describes his role as a “brilliant ICU turned ER chief”, and there’s an implication that Tucci may be made a series regular in season fourteen. To which I say: Yeah, I’d watch ER again if he were on it and he’d would just be the next in a long line of kick-ass bald guys on the show.


Recently, we reported that Law & Order mastermind Dick Wolf was wooing Jon Lovitz to play the Fake Howard K. Stern to Kristy “Fuck Sarah Michelle Gellar!” Swanson’s Fake Anna Nicole Smith on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Today, NBC revealed that it won’t be a master thespian but an analrapist – David Cross is playing “Ronnie Chase”, the manager and committed partner of Swanson’s “Lorelei Mailer.” (A Monroe reference. Nice.) The episode, “Bombshell,” also has Peter Bogdanovitch reprising his role as George Merritt (Fake Hugh Hefner), and airs Tuesday, May 8th at 9 P.M. I’ve said before that this “ripped from the headlines” saga has the potential for camp greatness. Now, I’m convinced. We’re talking all-time, readers.


On Monday, the THUD News Roundup brought news of Mitchell “Arrested Development” Hurwitz’s comedy project The Thick of It, about low-level Congressional staffers. We told you that Oliver Platt had joined the cast, and now, is reporting Michael McKean’ll join him on the show. McKean will play a disillusioned campaign manager who is now a chief of staff. The Thick of It’s pilot is directed by Christopher Guest, McKean’s longtime collaborator, so this casting isn’t a surprising one. This show is becoming one to watch out for – although it remains to be seen if a network (and audiences) will go for Hurwitz’s brand of humor the second time around.


Friday Night Lights is a show I should probably be watching and one that I’m disappointed I’m so far behind on. What I’ve seen, though, has been pretty great. And despite low ratings in the face of critical acclaim, it’s been rumored in many places that NBC – still lagging in the ratings, but returning to the Grant Tinker mold of creating great television first and worrying about viewers second – will pick up the Texas-set football drama for a second season. However, if you’re like me and you’ve been missing out on Friday Night Lights, Bravo will begin airing the season in order on Friday nights at 7, and then in three-hour blocks on Saturdays at 2. (I don’t have cable, so I will be stuck trying to play catch-up by cursing at NBC’s Video Player.) New episodes of Friday Night Lights start next week in its regular timeslot, Wednesdays at 8 on NBC.