Sam Neill Starring In J.J. Abrams’ ‘Alcatraz’

Briefly: Add one more big name to the prison roster of Alcatraz, the new show being produced by J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and Elizabeth Sarnoff, who wrote the pilot and will be showrunner. Sam Neill has just joined the cast in one of the lead roles. He’ll play Emerson Hauser, “the head of a government agency who radiates authority and piercing intelligence.”

We still don’t know a lot about the show, other than it is about a cop (Sarah Jones) and some FBI agents trying to track down prisoners and guards who disappeared from the prison while it was active and reappear in the present day. Jorge Garcia (Lost) plays an Alcatraz historian/expert and Jonny Coyne (Undercovers) and Jason Butler Harner (Fringe) play prison warden Edwin James and associate warden E.B. Tiller, respectively. [Deadline]

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There’s a great deal of small TV news to round up, so let’s get to it. First off comes the news that Dexter has been given a sixth season renewal. The last time the show was up for renewal was in 2008, when Showtime committed to a fourth and fifth season. E! suggested that a one-season order now is due to cast contract renegotiations that will take place before a seventh season. I never would have expected the show to run quite this long, but the numbers are improving, with this Sunday’s episode grabbing the show’s best ratings ever. So: onward to season six!

After the break, news on the surprise fate of the writing staff of The Walking Dead, the prequel movie for Burn Notice, and more casting for J.J. Abrams’ Alcatraz. Read More »

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