First off, USA has announced that it will premiere the prequel to its hit series "Burn Notice", "The Fall of Sam Axe", on Sunday, April 17, at 9/8c.
Here's a short description from the press release:
The prequel takes place in Columbia 2005 when Lieutenant Commander Sam Axe (Campbell) is sent to advise a local military platoon. It's there he discovers deep layers of deception and ultimately realizes he may be allied with the wrong side. Shot on location in Bogota, Columbia, the two hour movie is directed by BURN NOTICE star Jeffrey Donovan.
And then, some casting news from the week, gathered from various sources. First off, returns and exits:
- Michael Rosenbaum is set to reprise his role of Lex Luthor one last time on "Smallville", when the show comes to a close in the two-hour series finale airing May 17. "I'm doing it for the fans", he said to TVLine.
- Audra MacDonald will exit ABC's "Private Practice" at the end of this season, and by that time, Lori Laughlin will part ways with her role on "90210".
Off to fresh castings, mostly from the pilot front:
- Elizabeth Mitchell ("V", "Lost") will guest star on "Law & Order: SVU" in the upcoming episode airing March 30 as a piano teacher that is the last to see one of her students alive. Jeremy Irons returns in the episode as Dr. Cap Jackson.
- Jay O. Sanders will join the cast of the final season of USA's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" in a major role. He will play the new captain of the squad in all eight episodes.
- FOX' "Raising Hope" is welcoming a few more "My Name Is Earl" guest stars when both Ethan Suplee and Jamie Pressly will appear in the season's penultimate episode as a married couple.
- Gabrielle Carteris ("Beverly Hills, 90210") has joined the cast of NBC's "The Event", where she will play an alien named Diane Geller, who appears again on the March 21 episode. She is an old friend of Michael Buchanan who has been living amongst the human population since the crash at Inostranka.
- Jesse Metcalfe ("Desperate Housewives") and Julie Gonzalo ("Eli Stone", "Veronica Mars") have both joined TNT's reboot of "Dallas". The pilot centers on John Ross (Christopher Henderson) and his cousin Christopher Ewing (Metcalfe), who clash over the future of the Ewing empire. Gonzalo plays Christopher's fiancée, Rebecca.
- Rachel Bilson is negotiating to join the cast of "Hart of Dixie", a dram pilot from The CW centering on Zoe Hart, an adorable, spoiled New Yorker who inherits a medical practice in a small Southern town inhabited by an eclectic and eccentric group of characters.
- Zooey Deschanel will star in FOX' comedy pilot "Chicks and Dicks", which centers on an ensemble of men and women and their sexual politics. The title is expected to change if the pilot gets picked up.
- Scottie Thompson ("NCIS") has joined the ABC drama pilot "Partners" from "Criminal Minds" creator Ed Bernero, about two fiercely loyal female police detectives who are keeping it a secret that they are also sisters. Kenneth Mitchell ("Jericho") has also scored a part.
- Amanda Peet ("Studio 60") has landed the lead on NBC's comedy pilot "Bent", about a single mother fighting off an attraction for her "surf dude" contractor. Craig Zisk will direct.
- Gary Cole ("The West Wing", "The Good Wife") is the first one to be cast in "Tagged", a workplace comedy pilot from FOX that is set in a coroner's office.
- Stockard Channing is the first to come aboard the NBC drama pilot "17th Precinct", a police procedural set in a world where magic rules instead of science.
- Debra Messing is set to make a deal to star as the lead in "Smash", a drama pliot from NBC about the mounting of a Broadway musical.
- Wentworth Miller ("Prison Break") and Orlando Jones ("Men in Trees", "The Evidence") are both in talks to join ABC's "Identity" pilot, about the FBI's first cyber-crime unit, the Identity crimes division.
- Constance Zimmer ("Entourage") is the first to join the cast of CBS' half-hour comedy pilot "Home Game", about an NFL player who returns home to his wife (Zimmer) and three daughters.
- "Lost" alum Nestor Carbonell has been added to the cast of "Ringer", the CBS comedy pilot starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as Bridget Cafferty, a woman who, running from the mob, inhabits the life of her twin sister Siobhan, only to find out that her twin has a bounty on her head as well. Carbonell plays a "well manicured and muscular" FBI agent.
- Another "Lost" alum, Ken Leung, has joined the cast of "Big Mike", led by Greg Grunberg. It centers on Mike O'Bannon, a plus-sizes detective in a world where plus-sized is a minus. Leung plays Bernie Li, an old neighborhood friend of Mike's.
- Kyle Howard ("My Boys") has booked the male lead on the ABC comedy pilot "Smothered", about a young couple with a one-year-old daughter who find themselves smothered by their two very different sets of parents - his are pretentious and disengaged while hers are scrappy and exuberant. He'll play Zack, one half of the aforementioned couple.
- Henry Ian Cusick ("Lost") and Katie Lowes ("Easy Money") are coming aboard "In Crisis", the ABC comedy pilot about professional fixer Olivia Price (Kerry Washington) and her dysfunctional staff. Cusick plays Stephen, a litigator who works for the firm, while Lowes is potentially set as Quinn Riley, the firm's latest addition.
- Oh yeah, and Miley Cyrus will host "Saturday Night Live" on March 5.