Tidbits from around the dial
“Freddie” Firings—Former Albuquerque resident Freddie Prince, Jr., is trading his tepid romantic comedy career (Down to You, Boys and Girls, Head Over Heels, Summer Catch) in favor of one in the TV sitcom business. Whereas Prince's father found superstardom on the small screen (“Chico and the Man”), Prince's self-titled sitcom “Freddie” is on the receiving end of some rocky show biz buzz. The show, set to debut on ABC in the fall, is being described as “laugh deprived” by some insiders. The show is currently being retooled, with costar Megyn Price (“Grounded for Life”) getting the boot in favor of Madchen Amick of “Twin Peaks” fame. No word on if the show will make it in time for the start of the season or will be relegated to midseason.
“CSI” Cuts—CBS's hit show “CSI: NY” is going to be shedding one of its cast members come fall. Although they are being tight-lipped about the plot developments, producers say that one of the six main characters will be snipped by episode two. Given the nature of the show, we can only assume this unfortunate castmember will end up as the subject of a murder investigation. Don't worry, though, it won't be headliners Gary Sinise or Melina Kanakaredes. Internet rumor has pegged Italian babe Vanessa Ferlito, who plays Aiden Burn, as the one with the target on her back.
“ER” Staff Shortage—Actress Sherry Stringfield, who left the cast of NBC's “ER” in 1997 only to return four seasons later, has announced she's quitting the show again. As in the case of “CSI: NY,” producers aren't saying if Stringfield's character, Dr. Susan Lewis, will die or simply be written out of the show. Keep in mind, though, this series has a history of dropping helicopters on actors they're done with. Frankly, Stringfield is abandoning a sinking ship here. “ER” hasn't been at the top of its game since ... well, it started dropping helicopters on actors.
Military Recruiting—CBS' “NCIS” is bucking the trend and adding a new cast member next season. Lauren Holly, former “Picket Fences” star and one-time Jim Carrey squeeze, will be joining Mark Harmon in the high-flying crime drama as a boss/love interest. Holly will fill a gap left by Sasha Alexander, whose character was killed in last season's finale.
Dad Made a Phone Call—Former “Beverly Hills 90210” alum Tori Spelling's failed NBC comedy pilot “NoTORIous” is reportedly close to a revival at VH1. The alarmingly non-music-oriented music channel is in talks to order eight episodes of the series to air in 2006. The series is described as a “spoof” of Spelling's real-life experiences as a privileged Hollywood daughter trying to lead a normal life. And if that doesn't pan out, I hear there's an open spot on FOX's “The Simple Life” next to Paris Hilton.