Tuning In

'Burn Notice' sizzles

There’s good news for fans of the summer’s best new series. “Burn Notice” has been picked up for a second season.

With broadcast networks keeping their schedules free of scripted programming during the summer, cable has managed to make a substantial foothold, Zap2It.com reports.

USA Network’s “Burn Notice” and TNT’s “Saving Grace” are both summer successes, with “Burn” getting a 13-episode order for a second season and “Grace” getting a 15-episode order for next year.

“Burn Notice” stars a sizzling Jeffrey Donovan as a freelance spy who finds himself mysteriously blacklisted by the government. He goes home to Miami and helps out friends and friends of friends, with MacGyver-like ingenuity, while he tries to clear his name. Bruce Campbell (“Army of Darkness”) plays the buddy who keeps tabs on him for the feds, Gabrielle Anwar (“The Tudors”) is his gun-loving ex-girlfriend Fiona, and Sharon Gless (“Cagney and Lacey”) is his long-suffering (in her view) mom.

It premiered in June to 4 million viewers and has been gradually growing its audience since then.

“Saving Grace” is helped out by a strong lead-in from “The Closer” and had 6.4 million viewers for its premiere last month. Unlike “Burn Notice,” its audience hasn’t grown, but it’s still averaging a respectable 5.5 million viewers each week.

Holly Hunter stars as Grace, a secular police detective who suddenly finds herself the beneficiary of some divine intervention.

On Keitel’s ‘Mind’?

Will Harvey Keitel replace Mandy Patinkin?

Maybe. The Hollywood Reporter says that Mr. Keitel, better known for such big-screen turns as those in “Pulp Fiction” and “Reservoir Dogs,” is in talks to join the cast of the CBS drama “Criminal Minds.”

Up until now, the show has centered on the FBI profiler played by Mr. Patinkin, who quit abruptly last month because of what he termed “creative differences.”

The show’s producers undertook an exhaustive search for a big-name actor to play a new central character. “Criminal Minds,” in which the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit solves a new case each week, returns for a third season in the fall.

On the big screen, Mr. Keitel next reprises his role in the sequel “National Treasure: Book of Secrets.”

Cedric to entertain

The Hollywood Reporter also has some pilot news: ABC has ordered one for a sitcom starring Cedric the Entertainer.

The comedian will play a man who has always been the proud breadwinner for his family and has difficulty adjusting when his wife’s hobby turns into a multimillion-dollar enterprise.

The deal marks a return to ABC’s roots in domestic comedies. Shows such as “Roseanne,” “Home Improvement,” “My Wife and Kids” and “According to Jim” worked well for the network over the years.

ABC has opted for an edgier fare in the past two years. Out of its 16 comedy pilots this past development season, none was a family show.

On the small screen, Cedric most recently starred in Fox’s sketch comedy series “Cedric the Entertainer Presents.” On the big screen, he currently co-stars in the critically praised “Talk to Me.”

‘Idol’s‘ first baby

It seems aspiring singers will do anything to get on “American Idol” — even ignore the fact they’re about to give birth.

Fox reports that for the first time in the show’s history, an auditioner went into labor while waiting with 13,500 other hopefuls.

A week ago, nine-months-pregnant Antoria Gillon arrived at Texas Stadium with aspirations of becoming the next American Idol. But as the time of her audition approached, she realized she was in labor.

Determined not to miss her shot at fame, she sang her best while in the midst of contractions. After completing the audition and learning she was invited back for the next round, the singer was taken to a local hospital, where she gave birth to a healthy son. Jamil Labarron Idol McCowan arrived early Tuesday morning, weighing 6 pounds, 7ounces.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance from staff and wire reports.

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