Television news briefs: 'Medium' and '3 Lbs. set November premieres

NBC is recruiting "Medium" to crack the case in what has been a dead time period so far this season, while CBS hopes to do the same with the new drama "3 Lbs."

Beginning Nov. 15, "Medium" will begin its third season in the 10 p.m. ET slot formerly occupied by the heavily-touted freshman drama "Kidnapped." After three disappointing airings, "Kidnapped" was shipped off to the programming Gulag of Saturday nights.

Although its figures dipped somewhat in its second season, "Medium" averaged 11.1 million viewers last year, airing on Monday night. The show stars Emmy winner Patricia Arquette as a woman whose connection to the deceased helps her solve crimes.

"We have been waiting for the right moment to bring back this excellent, chilling drama to our lineup and we know this will make the show's legion of devoted fans very happy," says NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly. "'Medium' is an especially creative show, led by the vision of executive producer-creator Glenn Gordon Caron, that is ready to hit the ground running with its new season of thrilling episodes."

In addition, CBS has set a premiere date for "3 Lbs.," which will be rushed into the Tuesday, 10 p.m. slot after the premature cancellation of "Smith." The show, which features Stanley Tucci as plays an unpredictable doctor mentoring a potentially brilliant young brain surgeon (Mark Feurstein), will kick off Nov. 14.



The cast of ABC's quick-progressing comedy pilot "Miss/Guided" continues to swell, producing a reunion of "North Shore" lovebirds.

Judy Greer ("Arrested Development") continues to topline the pilot, playing a woman who returns to her old high school and generates a regular stream of hilarity, but ABC is also filling the supporting roles with familiar faces.

Earlier in the week, we learned that Brooke Burns ("Pepper Dennis") will play a teacher at the school, with Earl Billings as the principal.

But, in an interesting twist, Burns' "North Shore" romantic interest Kristoffer Polaha will be playing another of the school's teachers. Passionate fans of "North Shore" will recall that when Burns and Pohala were last together... Oh, who are we kidding, there were no passionate fans of "North Shore."

Also joining the cast, as another teacher, is Jonathan Sadowski ("American Dreams").

Written by Caroline Williams and directed by Todd Holland, "Miss/Guided" will be produced by Ashton Kutcher's Katalyst Films shingle.

In addition to his tenure on "North Shore," Polaha may be familiar from guest appearances on shows including "House" and "Tru Calling." He still may be best known for playing JFK Jr. in Fox's "America's Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story."



"Commander in Chief" ended up becoming a lame duck, but perhaps creator Rod Lurie will have better luck with another woman in power project.

Lurie's 2004 pilot "Capital City" was rejected by ABC, but the fledgling CW has decided to give it a try instead. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network has made a deal to redevelop the project.

At the time, Leslie Bibb ("Popular," "Crossing Jordan") starred in the original two-hour pilot about Paige Armstrong, a young woman trying to navigate through the choppy congressional waters. Peter Fonda, David Paymer, Tom Berenger and Mary Steenburgen co-starred.

Lurie will write and executive produce the new version. If the show is picked up, he's also set to direct.

Lurie, 44, had also created ABC's short-lived "Line of Fire." For the big screen, he also wrote and directed "Deterrence" and "The Contender," which received two Oscar nominations for actors Joan Allen and Jeff Bridges. He also co-wrote and directed the upcoming boxing feature "Resurrecting the Champ" starring Josh Hartnett.



With her personal life in turmoil, it appears that dealing with potential criticism for her lack of dancing skills is a bit too much for Sara Evans to handle.

The country singer suddenly dropped out of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" on Thursday. On the same day, she filed for divorce from her husband of 13 years, Craig Schelske. The couple have three children together, all under the age of 7.

Although she consistently received less than enthusiastic scores from "Dancing With the Show's" judges, her strong fan base rallied each week, keeping out of the Bottom Two.

Evans' announcement caught both her professional ballroom dancing partner, Tony Dovolani, and ABC, by surprise. No word yet as to how "Dancing" will handle her departure, although she will appear one last time on Tuesday's performance show.



Crediting it with contributing to a night of solid ratings growth, CBS has picked up a back nine for the freshman drama "Jericho."

The Wednesday night drama, which features Skeet Ulrich and Gerald McRaney, has averaged 11.3 million viewers and a 3.4 rating among adults 18-49. In an 8 p.m. ET slot most recently occupied by comedies, "Jericho" has boosted viewership by 48 percent and the 18-49 demo rating by 36 percent compared to last year.

CBS will now have 22 episodes of "Jericho," which kicks off a night that has seen an overall viewership bump of 34 percent and a demo increase of 22 percent despite intense competition from the other networks, ABC in particular.

"Jericho," which focuses on the aftermath of a nuclear explosion and how one Kansas town is affected, may not have premiered with huge numbers, but viewership has remained almost identical week-to-week, showing no drop against baseball on Fox or, this past week, the premiere of NBC's new comedy block.

The drama from executive producers Jon Turtletaub, Stephen Chbosky and Carol Barbee joins "Heroes" on the list of new shows receiving full-season orders.



Despite low ratings, NBC has ordered two additional scripts for the high school football drama "Friday Night Lights."

That doesn't mean much, but at least it isn't a negative sign.

Despite some of the finest reviews for any new TV series in years, NBC's "Friday Night Lights" has struggled in its two airings. The series, which stars Kyle Chandler and was based on the book and film, drew fewer than 7.2 million viewers in its first airing and those numbers dropped by nearly a million for episode two.

In addition, Fox has asked for three more scripts from the negotiating drama "Standoff," according to The Hollywood Reporter. Fox has yet to give any of its under-performing new shows a back-nine, but the network also ordered three more scripts from "Justice."

Aided by its "House" lead-in, "Standoff" has averaged nearly 9.8 million viewers this season, though with "House" averaging over 16 million, Fox probably isn't pleased with the declining retention. The show has recently added Tim Minear ("The Inside") to its writing and producing team.





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