[09/20/13 - 11:14 PM] Development Update: Friday, September 20 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
Looking to keep track of all the various projects in development? Click here to visit our signature "Devwatch" section. There visitors can view our listings by network, genre, studio and even development stage (ordered to pilot, cast-contingent, script, etc.). It's updated every day!
A TO Z (NBC, New!) - Screenwriter Ben Queen (Cars 2) has scored a put pilot commitment from the Peacock for a single-camera comedy which "follows a relationship between a young couple, comprehensively, from meeting to breakup, over the course of a season." Rashida Jones and Will McCormack are on board to executive produce the half-hour via their Warner Bros. Television-based Le Train Train Productions. Neither actor is currently attached to star. (Deadline.com)BAGEL NATION (ABC, New!) - Sheri Elwood ("Call Me Fitz") is developing a semi-autobiographical comedy at the Alphabet about "a Lebanese father who moves his family to the city to live above the Jewish deli he bought and which the family now owns/runs (even though they aren't Jewish)." The single-camera project is set up at the Warner Bros. Television-based Jerry Bruckheimer Television. Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman then will executive produce alongside Elwood with KristieAnne Reed as a co-executive producer. (Deadline.com)THE BRINK (HBO, New!) - Roberto Benabib ("Weeds") has scored a pilot order from the pay channel for "a dark comedy focusing on a geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate and desperate men: U.S. Secretary of State Walter Hollander, lowly Foreign Service officer Alex Coppins and ace Navy fighter pilot Zeke Callahan." Benabib is co-writing the half-hour alongside his brother, Kim Benabib, with Jay Roach ("Game Change") also attached to direct. Jerry Weintraub, Roberto Benabib and Roach then are executive producing with Kim Benabib serving as a co-executive producer. (Deadline.com)CROSSBONES (NBC/Universal; W: Neil Cross; D: David Slade) - Richard Coyle, Claire Foy and Tracy Ifeachor have all joined the cast of the upcoming drama, about the diabolical pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard (John Malkovich), who reigns over a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors in 1715. Coyle has been tapped to play Tom Lowe, a highly skilled undercover assassin, sent to the pirates' haven to take down the brilliant and charismatic Blackbeard. Foy then is set as Kate, "the beautiful Governor's daughter, now a pirate who works for Blackbeard and is a love interest for Lowe"; with Ifeachor as Nenna, "a smart, powerful fighter who exhibits complete loyalty and a slight fear for Captain Blackbeard." (Deadline.com)DR. KEN (NBC, New!) - Jared Stern (The Internship) is developing a multi-camera comedy at the Peacock inspired by the life of physician-turned-actor Ken Jeong ("Community"), tracking his life before going into comedy. John Davis and John Fox's Sony Pictures Television-based Davis Entertainment is behind the project, which has a penalty attached. Jeong, who received an "M.D. degree at the University of North Carolina and completed an internal medicine residency at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans," will then serve as a co-executive producer. (Deadline.com)GOOD SESSION (CBS, New!) - Matthew Miller ("666 Park Avenue") and John Hamburg (I Love You, Man) are set to team for a single-camera comedy at the Eye which explores - via couples counseling sessions - "the relationship of a thirtysomething couple from their first meeting (in flashback) through present day, as they decide whether it's time to have a child." Said duo will pen the half-hour with Hamburg likewise attached to direct should it move forward to pilot. Warner Bros. Television is behind the half-hour, which has a put pilot order. (Deadline.com)OLIVE KITTERIDGE (HBO; W: Jane Anderson; D: Lisa Cholodenko) - Brady Corbet (Martha Marcy May Marlene) has joined the cast of the mini-series, about "a seemingly placid New England town wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy." He'll play Henry Thibodeau, devoted husband of Denise (Zoe Kazan). Frances McDormand, Jesse Plemons, John Gallagher Jr. and Richard Jenkins also star in the project, based on Elizabeth Strout's book of the same name. (Deadline.com)SPEAK AMERICAN (FOX) - Benjamin Brand's comedy - about "a young accent-reduction teacher of Latin descent who hires a stranger with unconventional methods to teach her class" - has found a new home at FOX, adding Electus' Ben Silverman and Latin World Entertainment's Sofia Vergara and Luis Balaguer as executive producers in the process. The Universal Cable Productions-based half-hour was originally set up at USA with the lead of European heritage, which was subsequently changed with the addition of Vergara and company. Andrew Lenchewski remains on board as an executive producer. (Deadline.com)UNDER FIRE (HBO, New!) - Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz's book, subtitled "The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi," is being developed as an original movie at the pay channel. Jerry Weintraub ("Behind the Candelabra") is executive producing the project, which will "offer an inside account of the attack against U.S. diplomatic and intelligence outposts in Benghazi, Libya" using "eyewitnesses and confidential sources within the intelligence, diplomatic and military communities." (THR.com)UNREAL (Lifetime; W: Marti Noxon & Sarah Gertrude Shapiro; D: TBA) - Shiri Appleby ("Chicago Fire") has been tapped for the lead role on the drama pilot, "which goes behind the scenes of a hit competition dating show to follow the experiences of a young staffer (Appleby) whose sole job is to manipulate her relationships with (and among) the contestants to get the vital dramatic and outrageous footage the program's producers demand." Said project is based on Shapiro's award-winning independent short "Sequin Raze." (Deadline.com)UNTITLED PAUL SCHEER PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Paul Scheer ("NTSF:SD:SUV::") has sold a potential comedy to the Alphabet about "a couple trying to keep their relationship together while juggling the dynamics of multiple sets of parents, their spouses and their children." Sony Pictures Television is behind the single-camera project with Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan as well as Olive Bridge Entertainment's Will Gluck and Richie Schwartz executive producing alongside Scheer. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - A&E has canceled its mainstay "Hoarders" after six seasons (Post-Gazette.com); FOX has ordered a reality special starring close-up magician J.B. Benn (Deadline.com); "Copper" co-creator Tom Fontana is looking to bring the recently-axed drama to the big screen using the extensive story arc work he did for a potential third season as its basis (Deadline.com); D.B. Sweeney will recur on "Two and a Half Men" as the boyfriend to Courtney Thorne-Smith's Lyndsey, "a manager in the entertainment business who is described as a good regular guy who isn't slimy or fake" (THR.com);
Saundra Santiago will succeed Maria Canals-Barrera as Marciela, Javier's (Cliff Curtis) wife, on FOX's "Gang Related"(THR.com); Nickelodeon has asked for seven additional episodes of newcomer "The Thundermans," which is due to launch on Monday, October 14 (THR.com); Joelle Carter will guest on "Castle" as "the long-time girlfriend of a death row inmate who is on the verge of being executed" (TVGuide.com); and Melora Hardin is bound for ABC's "Killer Women" as "the long-suffering spouse of a yahoo husband who browbeats her into getting plastic surgery whenever the mood strikes" (TVGuide.com).