NBC will usher in the 2008-09 season with a big, splashy return for
, which will end a 91/2-month absence from the air in September.
The network is turning over its entire prime-time slate on Sept. 22 to the show, starting with an hour-long clip show to refresh viewers' memories on what's happened so far and leading into a two-hour season premiere. It leads a fairly traditional rollout for NBC, which will debut most of its shows between then and early October.
NBC has also made a few tweaks to the looking-way-ahead schedules it presented to advertisers and the press in April. The biggest change is that the new comedy
Kath & Kim
will join the network's Thursday comedy block on Oct. 9; it had been scheduled for Tuesday nights following
The Biggest Loser
, which will expand to two hours.
Beau Bridges in ABC comedy.
A pair of ABC comedies have bolstered their casts, with Beau Bridges joining Alyssa Milano in one show and Jay Harrington
taking the lead in the other.
Bridges and Meagen Fay have signed on an untitled show from writer Kristin Newman (
How I Met Your Mother
). Harrington, meanwhile, will star in the untitled Victor Fresco
workplace comedy, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In the Newman pilot, Milano - who had a recurring part on
My Name Is Earl
this season - will play a woman trying to break free from her overbearing family and unpleasant job. Fellow
actor Bridges will play her dad, while Fay (
Malcolm in the Middle
) will play his new fiancee.
A three-time Emmy winner (including one for
My Name Is Earl
), Bridges has also appeared in
The Fabulous Baker Boys
The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom
(for which he owns another Emmy).
The Fresco pilot centers on Harrington's character, a decent guy who's the head of research and development for a not-very-decent corporation.
Harrington starred in the NBC adaptation of
and the cult Fox series
. He's also appeared on
Ron Perlman's new role.
star Ron Perlman has joined FX series
Sons of Anarchy
, where he'll play the leader of an outlaw motorcycle club, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The show is scheduled to premiere in the fall.
Sons of Anarchy
centers on the title motorcycle club's efforts to protect their small town from outside elements, including drug dealers and real-estate developers. Charlie Hunnam (
Children of Men
) stars as a young member of the club whose affection for it comes in conflict with his concern over some of its actions.
Katey Sagal (
Married . . . With Children
) plays Hunnam's mother, and Perlman will play his stepfather. Scott Glenn played the role in the show's pilot, but after the show opted to cast itself as more of a dark comedy, Perlman was brought in.
, Perlman was best known for the CBS series
Beauty and the Beast
. His credits also include
and a host of voice-over roles.
Sam Neill stranded.
Sam Neill, who recently starred in Showtime's
, will take on another period piece in his next TV gig.
Neill, along with Sean Bean (
The Lord of the Rings
) and Joss Ackland (
), have joined the cast of NBC's drama
a retelling of Daniel Defoe's classic novel
The international production is set to begin shooting soon in the U.K., South Africa and the Seychelles. It's slated to air on Friday nights on NBC in the fall.
Neill played Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in the first season of
star earned an Emmy nomination for his role in NBC's telefilm