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LYNDA HIRSCH ON TELEVISION -- SUMMARY

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The Gilded Age might destroy the age of the flapper. Julian Fellows, who is literally a one-man writing band on PBS's "Downton Abby," is signed to do the same for NBC's upcoming series "The Gilded Age." The show will focus on 19th century America.

NBC turned down "Downton Abby" when it was offered several years ago. "Downton Abby" airs on BBC six months before the episodes air in the States.

As for Fellows, who won an Oscar for writing "Gosford Park," he has hinted he could not do both shows. He has not counted out "Downton Abby" continuing if he leaves — it will just have a different leader. Or maybe he will do both.

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Who will be the next "Dr. Who"? Matt Scott, who won a BAFTA Award for his work, has decided to exit the show after three seasons. Since the show debuted in 1963, 11 different actors played the mysterious character.

Switching actors does not seem to bother followers of the cult show. Comedian/actor/former talk show host Russell Brand is said to be interested in taking on the role. Brand's FX cable talk show has not been renewed for a third season. There are also rumors that Hugh Laurie ("House") is under consideration.

***

"The Game of Thrones" has been a bloody shame this year.

In the HBO series, the penultimate episode had beheading, gory death by sword and hopes for happy times dashed. George R.R. Martin, author of the books the series is based on, says, "The deaths my seem brutal, but they are historically correct."

The show garners 4 million plus viewers each week. It has been picked up for a third season. HBO will certainly want to pick it up for other seasons, but Martin does not have books for too many more seasons. Martin assures fans he is working on books that will allow the show to have at least three more seasons.

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"Dexter" returns on June30. It will be the show's final season. There have been rumors of a spin-off. Many think it would revolve around Dexter's sister, Deb. Jennifer Carpenter, who plays the character, says she wants her character killed off.

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"News Room," the Aaron Sorkin drama that stars Jeff Daniels, returns on July 14. Just like last season, the show will use real events in the telling of its stories.

HBO, which airs the series, did not listen to tepid critic reviews. If the show has a flaw, it is the insipid newsroom romancer Maggie torn between Don and Jim. The interaction between Mac and Will is very sexy and interesting.

To find out more about Lynda Hirsch and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

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