[12/14/12 - 11:01 PM] Development Update: Friday, December 14 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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ALMIGHTY JOHNSONS, THE (Syfy, New!) - The cable channel is looking to import James Griffin and Rachel Lang's New Zealand drama, about Axl Johnson, "who on his 21st birthday discovers he and his family members are reincarnated Norse gods." Chris Dingess ("Chaos") is spearheading the project, which is set up at Entertainment One. All3Media's South Pacific Pictures was behind the original incarnation. (Deadline.com)FOSTERS, THE (NBC, New!) - Gary Anthony Williams ("Boston Legal") is set to star in a potential comedy at the Peacock about a father with numerous foster children. He'll also co-write the half-hour alongside Sindy McKay based on an idea they conceived with Larry Swerdlove and Scott Ward, all of whom will serve as co-executive producers. Al Roker is also on board to executive produce via his Al Roker Entertainment banner, as is Tracie Brennan. No studio was indicated. (Deadline.com)HELIX (Syfy, New!) - Ronald D. Moore ("Battlestar Galactica") is developing a new drama at the network about "a team of scientists investigating a possible disease outbreak at an Antarctic research facility." Said effort is set up at Sony Pictures Television, home to Moore's overall deal. (Deadline.com)HOW THE F--- AM I NORMAL (ABC) - Writer Adam F. Goldberg and director Seth Gordon's project - "a family comedy set in the '80s that centers on an in-your-face mother and hot-tempered father who love their three eccentric kids so much, they can't bear to see them grow up" - has formally been ordered to pilot by the Alphabet. Said duo is executive producing alongside Doug Robinson for the Sony Pictures Television-based Happy Madison Productions. Bill Wee is co-executive producing. (Deadline.com)LEGENDS (TNT) - Amber Valletta, Rob Mayes, Tina Majorino and Lux Haney Jardine have all been cast in the drama pilot, about a deep-cover operative named Martin Odum (Sean Bean), who has an uncanny ability to transform himself into a different person for each job. Valletta will play Martin's ex-wife and mother to preteen Aiden (Jardine) with Mayes as Troy, "a former Special Ops guy with a mission-first mentality," and Majorino as Maggie, "the newest member of the field support team." Fox 21 is behind the hour, with Howard Gordon, Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Alexander Cary and Jonathan Levin executive producing. David Semel is directing. (Deadline.com)LINDA GREEN (FOX, New!) - Alex Borstein ("Shameless") is looking to import Paul Abbott's U.K. dramedy, about a thirty-something woman who works as a car saleswoman by day and sings in a club at night. Sony Pictures Television is behind the hour, which will now be set in Boston and revolve around "the eponymous character and her four best friends as they navigate their way through their 30s, tackling love, marriage and stability." Abbott himself is on board to executive produce alongside Borstein and BBC Worldwide Productions' Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner. (Deadline.com)LORIMER (HBO) - The pay channel has given the Michael Lannan-penned comedy - about "three thirty-something friends living in San Francisco who grapple with all the options in contemporary life and the complexities of the modern gay experience" - a pilot order. David Marshall Grant, Sarah Condon and Andrew Haigh serve as executive producers on the half-hour, the latter of which will direct, with Lannan as a co-executive producer. (Deadline.com)PEOPLE IN NEW JERSEY (HBO, New!) - Bruce Eric Kaplan ("Girls") has scored a pilot order from the pay channel about an adult brother and sister living in New Jersey, "struggling to get through the day, asking themselves the big questions, the little questions, and everything in between." Right of Way Films' Jason Reitman and Helen Estabrook as well as Broadway Video Television's Andrew Singer and Lorne Michaels are on board to executive produce the half-hour, with Reitman also attached to direct. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED JUSTIN BIEBER PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi ("Entourage") have sold a new single-camera comedy to the Alphabet based on pop superstar Justin Bieber's life. Bieber himself will executive produce the project with his manager, Scooter Braun, for ABC Studios and Scooter Braun Films. Said half-hour, about "a future pop star's awkward teenage years and his unorthodox family," was originally set up at the network last year and has subsequently been revived. (TVGuide.com)Z (USA, New!) - Whit Brayton and Zack Rice have sold a potential "Zorro" revival to the cable channel set in modern-day Los Angeles, about "the rise of Diego Moreno from an orphaned teen and raising his sister with little supervision, to an infamous hero fighting to save the city." Naren Shankar ("Grimm") and Louis Leterrier ("Clash of the Titans") are on board to executive produce the hour - the latter of which will direct - which would be ordered directly to series should its pilot script merit. Georgeville Television and Zorro Productions are co-producing with John Gertz also serving as an executive producer. (Variety.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Producers of ABC Family's drama pilot "Socio" have started making if-come deals to writers, however a series order may not be in the cards due to its content in light of today's tragic killings in a Connecticut elementary school (Deadline.com); "Covert Affairs" co-creators Matt Corman and Chris Ord have inked an overall deal with producer Universal Cable Productions (Deadline.com); NBC and Universal Television has inked a development deal with comedian Dane Cook, star of the network's recently shuttered comedy "Next Caller"(Deadline.com); "Judge Judy" executive producer Timothy Regler is set to retire after the current season to be succeed by Amy Freisleben (Deadline.com); Abby Elliott will guest on "Happy Endings" as "a woman who suddenly becomes very appealing to Max (Adam Pally) when he learns that she gets great tickets to Chicago Bulls games" (EW.com); Beth Grant's surly pot-smoking nurse Beverly has been upped to series regular on "The Mindy Project"(THR.com).