- - Sunday, August 19, 2012

Nicollette Sheridan was not wrongfully fired from TV’s “Desperate Housewives,” an appeals court ruled Thursday, but the actress should be allowed to pursue claims that she was retaliated against for complaining that the show’s creator struck her.

According to the Associated Press, a three-justice panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles agreed with attorneys for ABC and Touchstone Television that Miss Sheridan left the show when her contract was not renewed after the show’s fifth season, and that barred the actress from receiving a new trial of her wrongful termination lawsuit.

Sheridan cannot pursue a cause of action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy because, contrary to what she claims, she was not fired, discharged or terminated,” the court wrote in a 10-page ruling.

The court, however, ruled that Miss Sheridan should be allowed to file an amended lawsuit claiming retaliation, although her damages would be limited to her salary losses.

Adam Levin, an attorney for ABC and Touchstone, wrote in an email that he expects the companies would win again if Miss Sheridan kept pursuing the case. Miss Sheridan’s attorney Mark Baute did not return a phone message seeking comment.

The ruling was the latest twist in Miss Sheridan’s case, which was first filed in April 2010. She later claimed she was fired after complaining that series creator Marc Cherry struck her in the head during an on-set argument.

Mr. Cherry and ABC denied the claims, and a judge threw out the battery claim against Mr. Cherry. In March, jurors deadlocked after a two-week trial on her wrongful termination allegations, with the panel siding 8-4 in favor of the actress.

“Desperate Housewives” concluded its eight-season run this year.

Miss Sheridan received $4.2 million on her last season of the series, and the studio had options to renew her contract to play the character Edie Britt through the seventh season.

Mr. Baute argued that she had recently received a raise and a share of the show’s profits but fell out of favor with Mr. Cherry and other show executives after complaining about his conduct.

Chris Klein to guest-star on Fox’s ‘Raising Hope’

Chris Klein is moving in to Fox’s “Raising Hope.”

The former “American Pie” star, who has a recurring role on FX’s “Wilfred,” has booked a guest-starring turn on the Tuesday comedy, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Mr. Klein will play Brad, a local celebrity realtor whom Burt (Garret Dillahunt) and Virginia (Martha Plimpton) reveal to Jimmy (Lucas Neff) is his “almost” long-lost older brother. Mr. Klein has signed on for one episode.

He joins a season-three roster of previously announced guest stars including Tippi Hedren, Melanie Griffith, Wilmer Valderrama and Jenny Slate.

“Raising Hope” returns at 8 p.m. Oct. 2 on Fox, with an early live-streaming screening and Q&A with Miss Plimpton and Mr. Dillahunt on Sunday in Los Angeles.

AMC adds unscripted shows to lineup for 2013

AMC is beefing up its slate of unscripted shows. The cable network announced two new original series Thursday, as well as the renewal of reality foray “The Pitch,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The first project is an untitled competition that pits taxidermists against one another in challenges that require “both the rogue and classic schools of taxidermy.” It will consist of eight half-hour episodes and is scheduled to premiere in the first quarter of 2013.

“Venice Beach Freakshow” (the show’s working title) comes to the network from Todd Ray of Living Wonders and Greg Johnston from Endemol USA. It follows Mr. Ray, a former music producer, as he attempts to launch a “Freakshow” on Venice Beach’s famous boardwalk. Those eight half-hour episodes also are scheduled to launch in early 2013.

Additionally, the network has given the green light to another season of its “Mad Men”-inspired advertising reality show “The Pitch.”

The eight-episode run will premiere in the second quarter of 2013.

AMC’s other unscripted series, “Small Town Security,” is in the middle of its freshman season in the network.

Compiled from Web and wire reports