Plus ''Glee'' breakout star Dot Marie Jones, and more of what's hot on

By Jeff Jensen
November 12, 2010 at 05:00 AM EST

A sexy-cool spy series from Alias creator J.J. Abrams would seem to have hit written all over it. Well, mission: unaccomplished. NBC’s ratings-starved Undercovers will go under for good on Dec. 1 after just 10 episodes. Why did it fail? A breezy procedural about married wedding caterers/secret agents, Undercovers was made for a culture seemingly tired of trippy, mythology-heavy sagas. Translation: It wasn’t going to be like Lost, Fringe, or even Alias — the series that made Abrams a superstar producer. Many of his fans found the approach, or the execution, uncompelling. Undercovers just lacked urgency. NBC’s The Event launched to stronger numbers, partly because it positioned itself as something that needed to be watched. Did the unprecedented casting of black actors in the lead roles (the talented Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw) narrow the show’s appeal? Infuriating if true. But before race, let’s blame celebrity, or the lack of it. One person’s ”Fresh faces are exciting!” is another person’s ”Don’t know them, don’t care.” Bottom line: Undercovers seemed like a take-it-or-leave-it proposition — and most viewers left it alone, or found no reason to stay.

The scoop on Glee‘s breakout star, Dot-Marie Jones
1. ”I grew really fast,” says the 6’3” actress, who plays Coach Beiste. ”I went from 5’6” to 6’1” in six months in the eighth grade.”

2. A college athlete, Jones competed in the Olympic trials in shot put in 1988 and 1992 but didn’t qualify for the Games.

3. She won 15 world titles as a professional arm wrestler.

4. Jones appeared as Lady Battleaxe on the American Gladiators rip-off Knights and Warriors.

5. On landing Glee: ”I ran into [co-creator] Brad Falchuk at Whole Foods. I said, ‘Please write me something.”’ — Tim Stack

Who’s the Funniest Animated Film Character?

Dory, Finding Nemo 35%

Genie, Aladdin 25%

Edna, The Incredibles 13%

Timon and Pumba, The Lion King 12%

Kronk, The Emperor’s New Groove 11%

Mushu, Mulan 4%