[09/23/13 - 11:08 PM] Development Update: Monday, September 23 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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HR (Lifetime; W: Glenn Porter; D: Darren Star) - Maulik Pancholy ("30 Rock") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about Ellen Bell (Alicia Silverstone), an uptight Director of Human Resources for a global company who - after a head injury alters her outlook on life - throws standard corporate practices out the window and inspires the business to strive for new ambitions and profits. He'll play Farshid, "a Middle Eastern I.T. employee who has repeatedly drawn complaints from co-workers about his loud praying at various times of the day." Greg Germann, Kallee Stewart and Will Kemp also star. (Deadline.com)NCIS (CBS) - Showrunner Gary Glasberg is spearheading a new spin-off of the veteran drama, which "centers on the NCIS New Orleans office which handles cases from Pensacola through Mississippi and Louisiana to the Texas panhandle." Co-star Mark Harmon is also on board to executive produce the CBS Television Studios-based project, which will be set up via two-part backdoor pilot later this season. Said locale was selected "because of its pedigree of a rich setting of music, fun and debauchery that makes it a magnet for military personnel on-leave." (Deadline.com)RED (The CW, New!) - Tom Szentgyorgyi ("The Mentalist") is developing a new drama at the netlet about "the first human settlement on Mars and life on this new frontier, centering on the relationships between the town's female sheriff, a doctor and a criminal." Warner Bros. Television is behind the hour with Bruno Heller of the studio-based Primrose Hill Productions also serving as an executive producer. (Deadline.com)SONGBYRD (E!/UCP; W: Krista Vernoff; D: Michael Morris) - Bethany Joy Lenz ("Dexter") has booked the title role on the drama pilot, about Lauren Byrd, a young, prolific songwriter of some of the best love songs struggles to find love in her personal life after her inspiration is revealed to be a lie. Said hour - from Craig Zadan and Neil Meron's Storyline Entertainment - will feature the songs and experiences of Grammy winner Diane Warren. Michael Morris ("Smash") is attached to direct. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Nicholas Young, one of the stars of the original "Tomorrow People," will visit The CW's revival as "the scientist who discovered the titular gifted beings" (TVLine.com); Sally Pressman has booked an arc on "Scandal" in a yet-to-be-revealed role (TVLine.com); Shannon Lucio will guest on "Supernatural" as a love interest for Misha Collins' newly-anthropomorphic alter ego, Castiel (TVLine.com); Kendra Wilkinson will make a cameo on "The Mindy Project"(USMagazine.com); and Mike Colter is bound for "Criminal Minds" as "a man who risks everything and puts his own life on the line to save a sniper's next target" (THR.com).