Keck's Exclusives: ABC Scoop from TCA
Kate Walsh tells me that Private Practice's season premiere finds her scrubbing up‑but not for surgery. She'll be in a bathtub with Taye Diggs.
With all the talk about Rob Lowe's Robert McCalllister dying in Brothers & Sisters' season finale multi-car pileup, everyone seems to have forgotten about Patrica Wettig's Holly Harper. Well, according to my source, Holly will survive, but will be "mentally challenged." I smell an Emmy reel... Meanwhile, new regular Gilles Marini says his artist character, Luc, will be getting a regular job to help pay the bills. The Walkers will be thrilled with his new source of income, and it sounds like fans will be as well. "The show's way lighter than last year, when we had cancer and death," says Gilles. "Luc gets drastic to make a living and the entire family gets super-excited about it. You will see a lot of me—and my body. Staring from the first episode, there will be a lot of shirtless Gilles."
In its second season, Cougar Town will be looking for a "name" actor to play a parent of Courteney Cox's Jules Cobb. And contrary to reports, Jennifer Aniston's cameo on the show may not happen. While creator Bill Lawrence would obviously love to broker a deal to nab one of the Friends, he acknowledges that Aniston is one of Hollywood's busiest and most in-demand stars.
Have you noticed that ABC Family's programming is becoming less and less family oriented, what with lesbian kisses on Pretty Little Liars and knocked-up students on The Secret Life of an American Teenager? Well, so has Joey Lawrence, whose new series with Melissa Joan Hart, Melissa & Joey, premieres on the channel Aug. 17. For that reason, Joey tells me that come fall, Disney will be gradually re-branding the channel as ABCF. (As a reminder, Game Show Network found success as GSN. Likewise Court TV reflected changes by re-branding itself Tru TV.) "This is a very cool thing," says Joey. "People hear 'Family' and think it must be all kids programming, but it is very different. In promos, they're already calling it 'a new kind of family.' ABC Family is kicking butt in the prime demo of 18-34. They're going very primetime cable." Joey was all too happy to offer plenty of evidence as to ABCF's new image. "Our first episode has vagina jokes. I'll be sneaking a girl into the house. In episode two, Melissa's in bed with two guys. She plays a very sexually promiscuous Paris Hilton type. And she makes jokes about my balls. She says, 'You don't want to get your boys all tied up in a sack.'"
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