Looking ahead to the new season
With the fall TV season sputtering to a close, it's time to look ahead at 2009, for which networks have slowly been making their plans known. Here are a few glimpses at what's to come once "Pushing Daisies" and the like leave the airwaves:
Giving another British actor employment on American TV, NBC has cast James Purefoy ("Rome") as "The Philanthropist," a midseason drama about a billionaire who helps people in need. "Party of Five" alum Neve Campbell is likely to costar.
A week after "E.R." closes down on March 12, NBC will bring on "Kings," a series based on the biblical tale of David and Goliath, but set in the present. Ian McShane ("Deadwood") stars.
No longer on NBC is the hospital sitcom "Scrubs," which will air on ABC starting Jan. 6. Courteney Cox Arquette has a guest role as Sacred Heart's new chief of medicine.
Also debuting that night on ABC: "Homeland Security USA," a limited-run documentary series that follows patrols to airports, seaports, borders, and cyberspace. The first episode is titled "This Is Your Car on Drugs."
ABC has also slotted in three series to fill its 10 p.m. weeknight openings. Nathan Fillion plays a mystery novelist turned crime-solver in "Castle," Mondays starting March 9. Bobby Cannavale solves love problems as "Cupid," Tuesdays starting March 24. And Amber Tamblyn is one in a squad of idiosyncratic cops in "The Unusuals," Wednesdays beginning April 8.
CBS launches its new mystery series "Harper's Island," where wedding guests are killed off one by one, in the plum spot after "CSI" starting April 9.
The network will air Ashton Kutcher's new hidden-camera series "Game Show in My Head" on Saturday nights, starting Jan. 3.
Finally, while there's no premiere date yet for the NBC comedy starring "Saturday Night Live" fave Amy Poehler, comic relief of another sort is on the way. According to the LA Times, Bravo has confirmed that "The Rachel Zoe Project" will be back for a second season.