[04/01/13 - 11:36 PM] Development Update: Monday, April 1 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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AMERICAN FIELD TRIP (Esquire, New!) - Photojournalist Matt Hranek is set to topline a new reality series at the network in which he "hits the road to uncover off-the-beaten-path people and experiences around the country." The six-episode series is targeted for this summer. No other auspices were given. (THR.com)LUCKY 7 (ABC/ABC Studios; W: David Zabel & Jason Richman; D: TBA) - Matt Long ("Private Practice") will round out the cast of the drama pilot, about seven employees of a service station in Queens whose lives are changed in many unexpected ways when they win a lottery jackpot. He'll play one of said group, Matt Korzak, who gets swept up in a robbery scheme by his younger brother Nicky (Stephen Louis Grush). Long replaces Luke Hemsworth, who apparently had been cast but was replaced after the table read. Anastasia Phillips, Christine Evangelista, Isiah Whitlock, Jr., Lorraine Bruce, Luis Antonio Ramos and Summer Bishil also star. (Deadline.com)THE MAN WHO WALKED AROUND THE WORLD (HBO, New!) - Robert Connolly (Underground: The Julian Assange Story) is spearheading a small screen take on David Kunst and Clinton Trowbridge's book of the same name which chronicles Kunst and his brother David's historic four-year journey - accompanied by a pack mule named Willie Makeit - to circumnavigate the Earth on foot from June 20, 1970 to October 5, 1974. David was killed by bandits in Afghanistan in 1972 but was joined by his other brother, Pete, for the remainder of the journey. Ted Hope, Jonathan Ross, Glenn Rigberg and Anne Carey are executive producing the original movie which Connolly is attached to write and direct. (Deadline.com)MURDER IN THE FIRST (TNT; W: Eric Lodal & Steven Bochco; D: TBA) - Bess Rous has been cast in the pilot, a crime drama that will intimately dissect a single murder case over an entire season, from the commitment of the crime through the investigation, arrest and trial. She'll play Wexler, "a techy that is Erich Blount's brilliant CTO and head of R&D." Kathleen Robertson and Taye Diggs also star in the San Francisco-set hour. (Deadline.com)THE STRAITS (Cinemax, New!) - Tony Gayton and Joe Gayton ("Hell on Wheels") are developing a domestic take on the Australian drama, about "a powerful and dangerous crime family who run their business out of the Florida Keys and into Jamaica, trafficking drugs, guns and exotic animals. When the kingpin tells his three sons that he has not yet chosen a successor, he sets in motion a series of catastrophic events that could destroy the very business he's fought to build." Working Title and Universal Television are behind the project, the original incarnation of which is based on an idea by actor Aaron Fa'aoso and produced by Penny Chapman and Helen Panckhurst from Matchbox Pictures (Deadline.com)SURGEON GENERAL, THE (CBS/CTS; W: Samuel Baum; D: Rod Lurie) - Christopher Thornton ("Rules of Engagement") has snagged a role on the drama pilot, about John Sherman (Jason Isaacs), a fictional Surgeon General of the United States and the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. He'll play Aleksy Myaskovsky, "a funny wheelchair-bound Russian computer scientist and master researcher with a 4.0 from MIT who has developed a life-changing algorithm." The project's ensemble also includes Anna Deavere Smith, Beth Riesgraf, Katherine McNamara, Kathryn Morris, Miguel Sandoval, Mike Colter, Paul McCrane and Sean Astin. (Deadline.com)THEY MARCHED INTO SUNLIGHT (FX, New!) - Oscar-winner Stephen Gaghan (Traffic) is developing a six-part limited series at the cable channel which explores two simultaneous events in October 1967 - "the violent ambush of the Black Lion army battalion in the jungles of Vietnam, and a student protest against Dow Chemical, the makers of napalm, on the Madison campus of the University of Wisconsin." Said effort, to be penned by fellow Oscar-winner Eric Simonson (A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin), is based on journalist David Maraniss's bestseller of the same name. Fox 21 and FX Productions are co-producing with Maraniss, Simonson, Gaghan and Suzanne Joskow serving as executive producers. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - A&E's Chloë Sevigny and James D'Arcy-led drama pilot "Those Who Kill" is reportedly on track for a series commitment (Deadline.com); "Glee" star Cory Monteith has checked himself into rehab for substance addiction with two more episodes from its current fourth season left to shoot (Deadline.com); filming on MTV's "Buckwild" has halted due to the death of co-star Shain Gandee (Deadline.com); and Annabella Sciorra will guest on the season finale of "CSI" as the wife of Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) in an episode where the team investigates the disappearance of his stepdaughter (THR.com).