Welcome to our new morning round-up of big/interesting TV news that you may have missed over the past 24 hours because unlike us, there’s a fairly good chance that have a life outside of the small screen.

After two seasons GOSSIP GIRL’s Vanessa Abrams [Jessica Szohr] finally justifies her existence and bringing something to the table. That something — her TV mom Gabriela Abrams — who will be played by the phenomenal ALIAS/ FIREFLY alum Gina Torres [TVGuide]

In what we can only hope is some sort of friendly rivalry with Joss Whedon — who recently made headlines by snagging BATTLESTAR GALACTICA alum Jamie Bamber and Michael Hogan for his DOLLHOUSE — executive producer Jane Espenson has signed James Marsters to a sizable CAPRICA arc where he’ll play a dangerous terrorist leader by the name of Barnabus Greeley. Joss, it’s your move (Hint: Tricia Helfer would make an awesome doll!) [EW]

Sunday’s installment of TRUE BLOOD sucked in a record 4.5 million viewers. Further evidence that if you built it — ‘it’ being great television, even in the summer — viewers will come. How long until the big 5 networks get the message? [THR Live Feed]

The Time Traveler’s Wife is being turned into a TV show. The plans are to go back in time and not cancel JOURNEYMAN.” — was our favorite reaction to ABC’s plans to turn the just released hit movie into a television series with [TheWrap]

Richard Hatch, once a survivor, now officially the biggest loser. [MSNBC]

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  • Nick

    Hope the networks are taking note, regarding the first-run series in the summer. Without any competition, shows like True Blood can become breakout hits. Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place and The O.C. did it, as well. I know that FEAR guides most network executives these days, fear that they’ll produce a costly show, launch it during July or August, and no one will watch. It’s a gamble. But the payoff can be huge.

    And let’s consider the alternative: Launching your show when four other networks are all debuting THEIR brand new series or returning hit premieres. The effect is cannibalizing the audience, and you wind up having to work twice as hard to “break thru,” while attracting far fewer eyes…or you force viewers to DVR you and maybe never watch the show.

    In this age when the old “network model” is failing, isn’t it time somebody begins thinking outside the box–particularly a certain smaller network that could use the summer buzz?

  • shanna

    Hear, hear! @Nick

    That news about Gina Torres is great. Even better? Wash playing Vanessa’s dad! Even more better? Getting some gorge Black actress to play Vanessa’s older lesbian sister we keep hearing about. GG could use more color.

  • jess

    Ditto that Shanna. GG is my favorite guilty pleasure but how about a Latina in there to mix it up. Also very well said Nick. This thing of only premiere shows at a certain time of year is ridiculous. Networks need to start practicing a year round model a la British TV. Also I don’t need a series to be 24 episodes long, what I need is to be entertained every time I tune in like (not to beat a dead horse or anything but) True Blood 12 episodes and I’m loving it. Same of the new summer shows Royal Pain and Make It Or Break It(I know, I know… but its really good).