[10/04/13 - 11:19 PM] Development Update: Friday, October 4 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!
THE BLACK BOX (ABC; W: Amy Holden Jones; D: Simon Curtis) - Ditch Davey, David Ajala, Ali Wong and Tasso Feldman have all landed roles on the upcoming drama, about Dr. Elizabeth Black (Kelly Reilly), a world-famous neuroscientist who unwraps the mysteries of the brain as she juggles complex issues of her own. Davey will play Dr. Marc Bickman, "a brilliant neurosurgeon"; with Ajala as Will Van Renseller, "a professional chef by trade and caretaker by nature"; Wong as Dr. Ina Lark; and Tasso Feldman in a yet-to-be-revealed recurring role. Terry Kinney and Vanessa Redgrave also star. (Deadline.com)THE BRIGHT SIDE (NBC, New!) - Brian Bradley and Steven Cragg ("Happy Endings") have booked a potential comedy at the Peacock about "a man who helps his career-driven chef wife transform a greasy spoon into a hipster diner. When she abandons him, he's left as a single father and the owner/operator of someone else's dream. Overwhelmed, he finds himself relying on a group of fringe-dwelling regulars who become a pseudo-family to him and his son." Universal Television, home to their overall deal, is producing. (THR.com)DELIVERANCE CREEK (Lifetime/Warner Horizon; W: Melissa Carter; D: Jon Amiel) - Christopher Backus (Elevator) is the first to be cast in the backdoor pilot movie, set at the end of the Civil War and follows Belle Barlowe, a woman who will defend her family's land by any means necessary. He'll play Jasper, her charismatic brother. Nicholas Sparks and Theresa Park of Nicholas Sparks Productions also serve as executive producers on the project. (Deadline.com)HR (Lifetime; W: Glenn Porter; D: Darren Star) - Peter Fonda 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 guest star as Jonathan Quaff, one of the founders of said company, who is "bowled over by Ellen's unorthodox and shocking ideas on how to upgrade the company's image while keeping everyone happily employed." Greg Germann, Kallee Stewart, Maulik Pancholy and Will Kemp also star. (Deadline.com)JENNIFER FALLS (TV Land; W: Matthew Carlson; D: TBA) - Dylan Gelula ("Chasing Life") has been cast in the comedy pilot, about a career woman and mother (Jaime Pressly) who must move back in with her own mom after being let go from her high-powered, six-figure salary job. She'll play Gretchen, "the energetic and complicated daughter" of Pressly's character "who is clearly bummed about leaving her old life and moving in with her grandmother." Missi Pyle also stars in the multi-camera project. (Deadline.com)THE MONEY PIT (NBC, New!) - Justin Spitzer ("The Office") is developing a small screen take on the 1986 feature of the same name starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long, about "a couple who are tricked into buying a distress-sale mansion that becomes the proverbial money pit, requiring an endless string of repairs." Universal Television and Amblin Television are behind the comedy with the latter's Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank executive producing alongside Spitzer. (Deadline.com)PEOPLE IN NEW JERSEY (HBO; W: Bruce Eric Kaplan; D: Paul Feig) - Topher Grace, Sarah Silverman and Patti Lupone are the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, "a hilarious, poignant look at life today as seen through the prism of an adult brother and sister (Grace, Silverman) living in New Jersey." Grace and Silverman will play said siblings: Carl Levin, "an affable locksmith who has a definite idea of how things and people should be and when the world doesn't conform to his vision, he resists mightily"; and Melanie, "a former management consultant and a closet optimist who now works part-time at a department store." Lupone then is set as their mother Rachel, an opinionated widowed who "focuses a lot of her energy on worrying about her children and why neither has settled down in a relationship." In addition, Paul Feig has succeeded Jason Reitman as director on the project where he'll executive produce via his Feigco Entertainment alongside Broadway Video's Lorne Michaels and Andrew Singer with Ilene Landress as a supervising producer and Jessie Henderson and Gina Heyman producing. (Deadline.com)PRODIGY (FOX, New!) - Diablo Cody ("United States of Tara") has sold a new drama to the network about "a 16-year-old genius who through home schooling has been isolated from her peers. Hoping to experience a normal teen social life before she enters the adult world of academia, she enrolls in her local high school. But her experiment goes off the rails when she finds herself adopted by a wild crowd, getting caught up in a whirlwind of romance and crime." Said effort is set up at ABC Studios with Fake Empire's Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage and Len Goldstein executive producing alongside Cody and Mason Novick. (Deadline.com)RAISING MOM (ABC, New!) - Writer Christine Zander ("The Goodwin Games") and director Gail Mancuso ("Modern Family") are set to team for a single-camera comedy at the Alphabet about "a young single mom and her 21-year-old son who discover that they have done a pretty good job of raising each other, only now they decide it might be time to gain some independence." The ABC Studios-based effort is inspired by the experiences of "Modern Family" co-star Sofia Vergara, who's executive producing alongside Zander, Latin World Entertainment's Luis Balaguer and Kenchy Ragsalde as well as Electus' Ben Silverman and Jimmy Fox. (Deadline.com)TIN MAN (NBC, New!) - Ehren Kruger (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) has scored an early pilot order for a new drama at the Peacock set in the near future about "a fugitive robot accused of first degree murder, who may hold the key to the future of human evolution, and the young female public defender forced to fight for his cause." Said effort is set up at Universal Television with Daniel Bobker and the studio-based John Glenn executive producing alongside Kruger. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED HARRY CONNICK, JR. PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Incoming "American Idol" judge Harry Connick, Jr. is set to star in a multi-camera comedy at the network about "a successful entertainer and single dad who takes time off to reconnect with his teenage daughter." Eric Stangel and Justin Stangel ("Late Show with David Letterman") are penning the ABC Studios-based half-hour, which has a put pilot commitment. David Letterman, Rob Burnett and Ann Marie Wilkins of Worldwide Pants will serve as executive producers, as will Connick and the Stangels. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED SHANA GOLDBERG-MEEHAN, DAVID MANDEL & SCOTT SILVERI PROJECT (CBS, New!) - Sitcom veterans Shana Goldberg-Meehan ("Better with You"), Scott Silveri ("Go On") and David Mandel ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") are set to team for new multi-camera comedy at the Eye centered on a couple with adult children. Warner Bros. Television is behind the half-hour, which has a pilot production commitment. All three will pen the script and executive produce - via Goldberg-Meehan and Silveri's Silver and Gold Productions and Mandel's Woltz International Pictures - while Andy Ackerman is attached to direct. (Deadline.com)WHEN THE BALLS DROP (ABC, New!) - Brad Garrett ("How to Live with Your Parents") is set to star and co-write a new single-camera comedy at the Alphabet billed as "an honest look at life's second half through the eyes of a divorced family man as he juggles home life, work, and the hilarious realities of middle-age." Chuck Tatham ("How I Met Your Mother") is penning the half-hour - which has a penalty attached - alongside Garrett, based on the actor's upcoming book of the same name. 20th Century Fox Television is producing with Television 360's Eryn Brown and Meghan Lyvers also serving as executive producers. Additionally, the aforementioned deal gives the studio the option to cast Garrett in another project should "Balls" not move forward to pilot. (Deadline.com)WINNERS (FOX, New!) - Brian Bradley and Steven Cragg ("Happy Endings") have also sold a new comedy to the network about "three overly ambitious millennial siblings on the verge of fame and fortune who crater their lives. Returning home to lick their wounds, they find that their self-made old-school father has another plan in mind for his entitled children." Universal Television is behind the half-hour with Wonder Monkey's Steve McPherson executive producing alongside said duo. (THR.com)ZOO (CBS, New!) - A small screen take on James Patterson's best-selling novel - about "a young renegade scientist thrust into a race to unlock the mystery behind a wave of violent animal attacks sweeping across the planet before time runs out for animals and humans alike" - has landed a pilot production commitment at the Eye. Space Floor Television's Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg are all behind the hour with Treeline Film's Cathy Konrad and James Mangold likewise executive producing for CBS Television Studios. James Patterson Entertainment's Patterson, Steve Bowen, Leopoldo Gout and Bill Robinson will likewise receive executive producing credits. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - FOX has commissioned several additional scripts of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," an indicator more episodes could be on the way (TVLine.com); FOX's midseason comedy "Us & Them" is taking an earlier than expected production hiatus - after six episodes instead of eight - as the network mulls the future of its comedy lineup (Deadline.com); Neal Kendall is stepping down as an executive producer of "The Arsenio Hall Show," to be replaced by Eric Pankowski on an interim basis (Deadline.com); Larenz Tate will guest on "The Mindy Project" as "a politician currently running for Congress who seems to butt heads with Mindy on a few issues" (EW.com); recording artist Sting will appear as himself on a holiday-themed episode of "The Michael J. Fox Show"(TVLine.com); John Oliver will lend his voice to "The Simpsons" as "a previously unseen neighbor of the Simpsons who Marge has never met" (TVLine.com); and former "Dateline NBC" mainstay Chris Hansen has reportedly shot a pilot for a daily syndicated talk show from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution (TVGuide.com).