CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
GOOD MORNING, MIAMI (NBC) - Jillian Barberie ("Good Day Live," "Ex-treme Dating") has signed on to appear in the show's second episode this season with an option to appear in future episodes. She'll play unsurprisingly, a weather girl. Barberie is best known as the weather girl on Los Angeles' KTTV and FOX's NFL coverage.
THE O.C. (FOX) - FOX is making sure you have every opportunity possible to catch its new drama. In addition to its previously announced Monday encores at 8:00/7:00c, the network has scheduled a second regular encore, this time Fridays at 9:00/8:00c. The change goes into effect tonight as FOX will yank repeats of current Friday, 9:00/8:00c time slot holder "Boston Public" for the time being. "The O.C." will of course continue to air new episodes every Tuesday at 9:00/8:00c.
STEPHEN KING'S KINGDOM HOSPITAL (ABC) - The upcoming drama series has finalized its cast. In addition to the previously announced Andrew McCarthy as Dr. Hook, Diane Ladd as Mrs. Druse and Bruce Davison as Dr. Stegman the series has added Ed Begley Jr. ("A Mighty Wind," "St. Elsewhere"), Allison Hossack ("Another World") as Dr. Christine Draper, William Wise ("In the Bedroom") as Dr. Louis Traff, Jamie Harrold ("The Sum of All Fears") as Elmer Traff, Lena Georgas as Carrie Von Trier, Del Pentecost ("Coyote Ugly") as Bobby Druse, Janet Wright ("The Perfect Storm") as Liz Hinton, Bill Meilen ("Mysterious Ways") as Dr. Gottreich, Meagan Fay as Brenda Abelson, Ben Ratner as Ollie, Ty Olsson ("Agent Cody Banks") as Danny, Jodelle Ferland ("Carrie") as Mary, Jack Coleman ("Angels in the Endzone") as Peter Rickman, Suki Kaiser ("Nash Bridges") as Natalie Rickman, Julian Richings as Otto and Kett Turton ("Smallville") as Paul.
Production is underway on the 15-hour project, which is executive produced by King and Mark Carliner ("Stalin," "George Wallace") and produced by Tom Brodek ("Stephen King's Rose Red") and Bob Phillips. The series is directed by Craig Baxley ("Stephen King's Rose Red"). Richard Dooling will serve as creative consultant.
According to the network's press release, "The 'Kingdom' is a hospital with a bizarre population that includes a nearly blind security guard, a nurse who regularly faints at the sight of blood and a paraplegic artist whose recovery is a step beyond miraculous. When patients and staff hear the tortured voice of a little girl crying through the halls, they are dismissive of any suggestion of mysticism or unseen powers... at their own peril." Look for the two-hour premiere Thursday, February 5 at 9:00/8:00c.
24 (FOX) - Former "N.Y.P.D. Blue" star Andrea Thompson is making a small screen comeback on the FOX series. She's set to play Nicole Duncan, a tech specialist brought in by CTU to play a key role in fighting the season's threat. Thompson had previously given up the acting to become a news anchor, initially for a New Mexico station and then for CNN Headline News. Thompson's "24" gig marks her first major acting role since leaving CNN in March of 2002. Her first appearance will be on the show's third episode this season.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters