Michael Ausiello
May 22, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Glad you like Subway, Chuck-ies, because you’re going to be seeing a lot of it next season.

The save-this-show campaign urging fans to snap up $5 footlongs worked so well that NBC renewed the undercover underdog — and brought in the sandwich chain as a major season 3 sponsor. So major, in fact, that exec producer Josh Schwartz is contemplating replacing the frozen-yogurt stand currently employing Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski). ”Chuck [works] in a strip mall,” he notes. ”If Sarah or someone worked at a Subway, it would hopefully be no more intrusive or unrealistic than Liz Lemon working at NBC.”

Despite the influx of Subway cash, Schwartz concedes that a fair amount of belt-tightening still had to be done to get the series its stay of execution. For instance, Zachary Levi’s Buy More cronies will appear less frequently. But, Schwartz promises, ”we’re going to do whatever we can to keep the ensemble together.”

Despite much hype — and love for star Brittany Snow — The CW nixed plans for a proposed spin-off of its hit Gossip Girl. The series was to focus on Lily van der Woodsen’s teen years in L.A. during the early 1980s, but the network simply couldn’t get behind the time shift. According to a production source, ”They just fundamentally never liked or got the ’80s as backdrop.”

Since Amy Acker is a regular on ABC’s just-picked-up Happy Town, does that mean that her Dollhouse doctor has checked out? Not if puppetmaster Joss Whedon has anything to say about it. He’ll be ”sending [Happy producers] chocolate and flowers,” he jokes. ”We’re desperate to have her.” As such, he is disinclined to put another doctor in the ‘house. Only if ”we find out that we’re not going to use her for the bulk of the season” would he do that, he says. ”But everyone is not going to be in every episode. It’s perfectly possible that there will just be stories that don’t involve Dr. Saunders.”

As soon as NBC pulled the plug on Medium, CBS, which owns the show, swooped in for the rescue. The Eye will air the psychic drama on Fridays at 9 p.m. ET, thus ending a years-long search for a perfect companion to Ghost Whisperer. ”They’ve tried aliens, lawyers, vampires, and young singles,” points out an industry observer. ”They’ve finally hit on a new idea of what to pair with a medium — another medium.” Brilliant!

How’s Georgina Sparks going to get herself out of this mess? In last week’s Gossip Girl season finale, the rabble-rouser (played by Michelle Trachtenberg) announced that not only was she enrolling in NYU next fall, she also planned to be Blair’s roommate. But won’t that be a little tough now that NBC has picked up Trachtenberg’s nurse-centric pilot, Mercy? Kinda. But not really. A GG insider says producers were aware of the potential conflict ahead of time, and they made sure that the actress’ Mercy contract would allow her to do three GG episodes early in the season.

Though Scrubs is coming back for a ninth season (with Zach Braff, left, attached for six episodes), don’t think of it as ”coming back,” pleads executive producer Bill Lawrence. Rather, he suggests, think of it as a spin-off. ”The way I’m viewing it is the way Frasier was to Cheers…essentially a new show with some characters people liked.” One scenario he’s considering would find Turk (Donald Faison, now available again since his ABC pilot, The Law, wasn’t picked up) working as a med-school teacher. ”If this does suck, it won’t suck in a lame, fizzle-out kind of way,” Lawrence teases. ”It’ll suck in a huge way.”



Without a Trace, Eleventh Hour, Harper’s Island, The Unit

King of the Hill, Prison Break, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

According to Jim, Cupid, Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone, In the Motherhood, Pushing Daisies, Samantha Who?, The Unusuals

Kath & Kim, Kings, Knight Rider, Life, Lipstick Jungle, My Name Is Earl (currently being shopped to Fox and ABC)

The CW

New Time Slots

Fringe, to Thursdays at 9 p.m.; Lie to Me, to Mondays at 9 p.m.

Ugly Betty, to Fridays at 9 p.m.; Supernanny, to Fridays at 8 p.m.

Heroes, to Mondays at 8 p.m.; Southland, to Fridays at 9 p.m.; Law & Order: SVU, to Wednesdays at 9 p.m.; Law & Order, to Fridays at 8 p.m.

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