LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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AMERICAN IDOL (FOX) - Paula Abdul has departed the ratings juggernaut after eight seasons. The judge broke the news herself via her Twitter account: "With sadness in my heart, I've decided not to return to #IDOL... I'll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all... being a part of a show that I helped from day 1become an international phenomenon." FOX, FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment subsequent released a statement saying, "Paula Abdul has been an important part of the 'American Idol' family over the last eight seasons and we are saddened that she has decided not to return to the show. While Paula will not be continuing with us, she's a tremendous talent and we wish her the best." Said development spells the end of protracted negotiations between Abdul and the producers. Kara DioGuardi closed her deal yesterday while fellow judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson had already been under contract for season nine.
CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS) - D.B. Sweeney has booked a six-episode arc on the upcoming season of the series, executive producer Ed Bernero tells Entertainment Weekly. "He's playing a U.S. Marshal who's brought in to help with a big [case] that arcs through the first part of the season," Bernero said. "He's a contemporary of our team and knows several members of our team really well."
GAME OF THRONES (HBO) - Jennifer Ehle is the latest addition to the drama pilot, an adaptation of the George R.R. Martin fantasy-book series. She'll play Catelyn Stark, "Ned Stark's (Sean Bean) wife who originally was betrothed to Ned's older brother. When the older brother was killed, she fulfilled her duty by marrying Ned and securing the alliance between their two houses." Production on the pilot is set to begin in October.
RITA ROCKS (Lifetime) - "Pushing Daisies" alum Swoosie Kurtz has landed a recurring role on the show's second season. She'll play the mother of the title character (Nicole Sullivan) in an unspecified number of episodes.
YOU DON'T KNOW JACK (HBO) - Oscar-nominee Brenda Vaccaro ("Once Is Not Enough") is the latest addition to Barry Levinson's biopic of Jack Kevorkian (Al Pacino). She'll play the Jack's doting sister, Margo Janus. Danny Huston, John Goodman and Susan Sarandon also star.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters