- The Washington Times - Monday, August 31, 2009

‘Rescue’ over in 2011

The men of “Rescue Me’s” 62 Truck will answer their final alarm in 2011, the year that marks the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that inspired the series, the show’s co-creator and executive producer tells TVGuide.com.

“Within the next couple of weeks, we’re going to begin shooting the last 19 episodes, which will be the final two seasons of the show,” Peter Tolan said.

The focus of “Rescue Me” always has been on New York firefighters and the post-Sept. 11 trauma they face. That focus was renewed this season, as one fireman spoke out about the terrorist attacks being a government conspiracy, while another battled cancer believed to have been caused by exposure at the World Trade Center site.

While the final episodes most likely will be produced together, the airing of the episodes will be split to make the end of the show coincide with the year of the Sept. 11 anniversary. “I think they’re stretching the airing of it out until the 10th anniversary,” Mr. Tolan said. “So if you put 10 episodes on next year and nine the following year, you’ll land there.”

If you’re bummed by the end date announcement, maybe this will cheer you up: Mr. Tolan also hinted that recent guest star Maura Tierney could turn up again in the show’s final episodes.

“We loved working with her — that was kind of a big deal to get her,” Mr. Tolan said. “She’s got ‘Parenthood,’ but I think we have a deal where we can use her for four episodes. And since we have that deal, we will take advantage of it.”

The show’s fifth-season finale airs Tuesday evening at 10 on FX.

New to ‘Dollhouse’

This fall, “Dollhouse” is going to be a geek-TV haven.

Creator Joss Whedon tells the Hollywood Reporter that he’s tapped several actors from Fox’s recently canceled “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and Syfy’s concluded “Battlestar Galactica” to join the show.

Most notably, he’s recruited “Terminator” fan favorite Summer Glau, whom he previously cast in Fox’s “Firefly.” Miss Glau plays Bennett, a Dollhouse employee who shares a secret past with Eliza Dushku’s Echo.

Also, Jamie Bamber (from “Battlestar”) will appear as a charismatic businessman who is Echo’s new husband. Michael Hogan (“Battlestar” again) comes to Dollhouse hoping to stop a psychotic family member’s killing spree. Alexis Denisof (“Angel”) is a U.S. senator leading a witch hunt to track down the underground organization. Keith Carradine (“Dexter”) is a nemesis of Dollhouse leader Adelle.

Although “Dollhouse” struggled on Friday nights last season, the network hopes the notable guest casting along with some creative tweaks will help the show gain a broader audience, THR notes.

‘Warehouse’ back

Maybe science fiction fans weren’t that turned off by Syfy’s name change after all.

The moniker switch from the network-formerly-known-as Sci Fi coincided with the launch of its summer series “Warehouse 13” last month. Now the drama has proven to be such a success that Syfy has ordered a second season, the Hollywood Reporter says.

According to THR, “Warehouse” is averaging 4 million viewers per episode when DVR data is included. It’s also tracking to be the network’s most-watched first season ever for an original series. The show has grown its audience since its premiere, hitting a new series high in its fourth episode.

The drama centers on two Secret Service agents assigned to Warehouse 13, a top-secret storage facility housing mysterious artifacts.

Linney in ‘C Word’

Emmy winner Laura Linney is taking on an offbeat role in a Showtime comedy pilot — a woman who is diagnosed with cancer.

Showtime said Thursday that Miss Linney will star in and executive produce the half-hour show, “The C Word,” with the pilot episode to be shot this fall.

The cable channel tells Associated Press that the series will delve into the life of a suburban wife and mother as she confronts her illness and finds the light side in a dark situation.

DirecTV, cable nets talk

DirecTV Group Inc. is in talks with the TBS and TNT cable networks to offer their shows online. That’s according to two people familiar with the discussions, Associated Press reports.

If a deal is reached, DirecTV subscribers would be able to watch shows from those cable networks on the Internet. DirecTV, the nation’s largest satellite TV operator, previously said it was considering such deals but did not specify the networks.

The unnamed sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are ongoing, AP said.

DirecTV joins a growing list of cable, satellite and phone companies that are offering consumers a “multiscreen” experience: the ability to watch shows on TV, computers and mobile devices such as cell phones.

More ‘Leverage’ on TNT

Cable’s TNT has given a third-season order to “Leverage,” Variety reports.

The drama averaged 3.9 million viewers in its first season and 4.1 million in season two.

The network has ordered 15 episodes for the upcoming season, up from the 13 ordered for seasons one and two.

The series stars Oscar-winner Timothy Hutton as the head of a team of con artists that use their grifting skills to shake down corporate bigwigs who played a part in the death of Mr. Hutton’s son.

In other TNT news, the network has ordered a second season of “Hawthorne,” and “Saving Grace” will end its run next summer as producer Fox Television Studios has opted to shut down production.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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