TV Bites: 'Chuck' marathon, Oscars producer, 'The Freshman' redux

chuck-s3-zachary-levi-yvonne-strahovski-320.jpg"Chuck's" third season is just around the New Year's corner, but if you want to whet your espionage appetite before then, check out cable.

Syfy will air a special "Chuck" marathon on Thursday, Jan. 7, the NBC Universal cable network announced.

Eight hand-picked episodes, including the premiere and finale, will air.

The lineup also includes "Chuck vs. The First Date," "Chuck vs. The Seduction," "Chuck vs. The Break-Up," "Chuck vs. The Santa Claus," "Chuck vs. The Predator," "Chuck vs. The Dream Job," "Chuck vs. The Colonel" and "Chuck vs. The Ring."

The third season kicks off on Sunday, Jan. 10 on NBC.

In other TV news:

 - Michael B. Seligman has been named the supervising producer of the upcoming Oscars telecast. He'll be working with this year's producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman, the latter who said, "I look forward to lovingly torturing Michael, as we all move toward putting together one of the most complicated and dynamic television events of the year."

Bring it, Shankman. Seligman has earned five Emmy nominations for his work on the Oscars. The 82nd Academy Awards will be televised on Sunday, March 2 from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

the-freshman-movie-320.jpg - Do you remember "The Freshman"? The 1990 comedy caper starring Marlon Brando and Matthew Broderick centered on a down on his luck NYC film student who gets mixed up with an Italian "importer" who makes him an offer he can't refuse.

Well, USA is building on its Characters Welcome brand to develop a series based on that film, says The Hollywood Reporter. The original's writer-director will adapt the project and act as executive producer along with Michael Edelstein.

USA's other new projects on tap include the sports therapist dramedy "Dr. Donna," ex-spouses as P.I.s in "Partners in Crime" and "Scales of Justice," about a heavy ex-cop who leads his overeater support group in fighting crime.

 - THR also reports that Emmy Rossum of "Phantom of the Opera" fame has landed the John Wells drama pilot "Shameless" for Showtime, along with Allison Janney and Justin Chatwin.

In the pilot based on Paul Abbott's hit U.K. series, William H. Macy had been previously been announced to play the alcoholic patriarch of a working class family in Chicago. His wife has abandoned him and his six children, and since he's often drunk or passed out, eldest daughter Fiona (Rossum) must step and take charge.

Janney will play a love interest for Macy's character while Chatwin will play a car thief who falls for Fiona.

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Related:

'Chuck': 6 things about season three
'Chuck': Season 3 poster will kick you in the teeth
Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin to co-host Oscars
Casting call: William H. Macy is 'Shameless,' Krysten Ritter feels 'Gravity's' pull

Photo credit: NBC, TriStar

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