News briefs: Chuck scores high; Jonah Hex re-shoots

Sunday's two-hour return of Chuck gave NBC its highest ratings so far for the show since a special 3-D telecast that aired the day after last year's Super Bowl, The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed blog reported; the first new episode of the year drew 7.7 million viewers and a healthy 3.0 preliminary rating among adults 18-49, with the second drawing 7.2 million and a 2.9 rating.

Irish actor Stuart Townsend has left the production of Kenneth Branagh's Thor, in which he had been cast in the role of Fandral, one of the Warriors Three, over creative differences; he has been by virtual unknown Joshua Dallas (The Descent: Part 2), the Associated Press reported.

Warner's supernatural Western movie Jonah Hex will come together for 10 days of reshoots, with cast members Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox and Michael Fassbender in the Los Angeles area, beginning at month's end, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
... reports that Paul W.S. Anderson's 3-D Resident Evil: Afterlife has been moved up to Sept. 10 from a rumored January 2011 release date because the director didn't need as much post-production time as originally thought.

The CW's The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural return with original episodes starting on Jan. 21; the next night, Smallville is back with new episodes at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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