Patrick Swayze, Fox, and Maria Menounos were in the news this week

By Lynette Rice
Updated June 12, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT


Patrick Swayze’s undercover drama The Beast won’t be back for a second season
Looks like reports about Patrick Swayze‘s TV series are true: Multiple sources confirmed to EW that A&E is not expected to order a second season of The Beast, a drama that starred the actor as a rogue undercover FBI agent in Chicago. The last episode aired on April 23. Swayze, who continues to battle pancreatic cancer, taped 13 episodes of the show, which also starred Travis Fimmel as his rookie partner. Ratings, however, were a disappointment — The Beast‘s January debut was off 20 percent among adults compared with last summer’s premiere of The Cleaner, A&E’s other scripted drama. (Earlier this year, Swayze was unable to help publicize the series because he had been hospitalized for pneumonia.) The actor’s rep had no comment about the show’s status, and a network spokesman would only say that no official decision has been made.

Networks play matchmaker with two new arranged-marriage reality shows
Are those wedding bells we hear? A Fox insider tells EW that the network — once home to such hot-mess matrimonial fare as Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? and Married by America — is developing a reality show from the Hell’s Kitchen producers called I Married a Stranger. The pilot focuses on a group of friends who select a man for their single, thirtysomething gal pal. If picked up as a series, each episode will end with the bride marrying her never-before-seen groom. Maybe Fox is trying to best CBS, which already has plans to unite strangers early next year in Arranged Marriage, a reality show from the Emmy-winning team of Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth (Project Runway). Marriage will focus on three single adults who rely on family and friends to choose their future mates. The show will follow the couples through marriage and their sure-to-be-stressful new lives together.


Access Hollywood host moonlights as a producer
Access Hollywood‘s Maria Menounos is adding another producing credit to her already busy schedule with the comedy Serial Buddies, starring Donnie Wahlberg (the Saw series). The film, which should be submitted to festivals later this year, revolves around two serial killers who embark on a pilgrimage after a chance encounter. ”It’s kind of like Napoleon Dynamite meets Dexter,” says Menounos, whose first movie, In the Land of Merry Misfits, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival two years ago. ”I think people get surprised when they see how hands-on I am,” she says. ”They see me on TV in a certain way, and when they see me on the set, I’m a total grunt. I do everything.” — Kate Ward