A&E has ordered 13 episodes of The Beast, a drama series starring Patrick Swayze as an unorthodox FBI agent dogged by Internal Affairs. Swayze was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year but has been responding well to treatment, and his doctors cleared him to return to work. "I have searched for quite a long time to find a character that is this multilayered, unpredictable and downright entertaining," says Swayze in a statement, "as well as a project this current and cutting-edged."The Beast and Ben Bratt's The Cleaner (premiering July 15) mark A&E's first original scripted dramas in six years. Production starts this summer in Chicago, says the Reporter, with an eye on an early 2009 bow. Matt MitovichRelated: Swayze: I'm Responding Well to Cancer Treatment Casting News: Swayze's Beastly Role
Scoop! The Young and the Restless redhead Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) recently shot a Fox pilot in Memphis. It's an hourlong drama whose working title is Southern Comfort.
"You have the exclusive on that, my friend!" Stafford tells TVGuide.com. "The leading lady is Madeleine Stowe. She plays Charlotte, a Southern belle whose husband is in the Mafia, unbeknownst to her. He gets caught and she basically becomes a Mafia princess. I play her perky, happy best friend, Susan, and I have a twangy accent!"
Other celebs appearing in the pilot include Eric Roberts and Calvin Klein model Travis Fimmel, who briefly starred in WB's Tarzan.
Stafford left Y&R once before, back in 1997, to star in Aaron Spelling's superfun but short-lived nighttime sudser Pacific Palisades. But the Daytime Emmy winner's fans need not fret just yet about the