[01/10/14 - 11:33 PM] Development Update: Friday, January 10 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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A TO Z (NBC/Warner Bros.; W: Ben Queen; D: TBA) - Ben Queen's comedy - "set in the world of an online dating company that details the A to Zs of a relationship, from meeting to break-up" - has been order to pilot by the Peacock. Warner Bros. Television is behind the half-hour with Le Train Train Productions' Rashida Jones and Will McCormack executive producing alongside Queen. The company's Jeff Grosvenor will also receive a producing credit. (Deadline.com)AN AMERICAN EDUCATION (ABC/ABC Studios; W: Alex Gregory, Ben Cavey, Jack Whitehall & Peter Huyck; D: Craig Zisk) - Brittany Snow (Pitch Perfect) has booked the female lead on the comedy pilot, about British transplant Alfie Wickers (Jack Whitehall), an unorthodox young teacher in the San Diego public school system. She'll play Sarah McIntyre, "an earnest and book-smart chemistry teacher who is the object of Alfie's eye as her current boyfriend is leaving the country." Craig Zisk ("Bent") has likewise signed on to helm the half-hour, which also stars Rosie Perez. (Deadline.com)COERCION (A.K.A. MICE) (NBC/Universal; W: George Nolfi; D: TBA) - The Peacock's import of the Israeli drama "The Gordin Cell" has scored a pilot order at the network. George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau) is behind the hour, billed as "a high-octane thriller revolves around the O'Connor family and their son, Alex, a decorated American war hero and CIA analyst who is a true patriot and loves his country and family. Unbeknownst to him, both of his parents and his sister are part of a dormant Russian sleeper cell that has just been reactivated. Once the parents are reluctantly pulled back in, the stakes rise they are coerced into spying on their own son and turning him against his country." Nolfi succeeds Film 44's Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey, who originally set up the project in 2012. Universal Television, Keshet Media Group and Tedy Productions are co-producing with Avi Nir, Ron Lesham, Amit Cohen, Yona Wiesenthal and Giora Yahalom also among the executive producers. (Deadline.com)GRACEPOINT (FOX; W: Chris Chibnall; D: James Strong) - Jessica Lucas ("Cult") is the latest to board the event series, a gripping crime drama which follows the tragic and mysterious death of a young boy found dead on an idyllic beach surrounded by rocks and a jutting cliff-face, from where he may have fallen. She'll play Renee Clemons, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle who "sniffs another big story with the death of a young boy named Danny Lasseter." Anna Gunn, David Tennant, Jacki Weaver, Josh Hamilton, Kevin Rankin, Kevin Zegers, Michael Peña, Nick Nolte and Virginia Kull. (Deadline.com)THE MASON TWINS (NBC, New!) - Casey Wilson and June Diane Raphael (Bride Wars) have landed a pilot commitment from the Peacock for a new comedy about "fraternal twins Pender and Lizzie Mason who reconnect after 15 years when Lizzie's perfect city life has fallen apart, and she returns to her suburban town to find that her sister hasn't matured past her teen queen days." Stacy Traub is supervising the Single-camera project, which is set up at ABC Studios. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED BEVERLY D'ANGELO/CHEVY CHASE PROJECT (ABC, New!) - National Lampoon's Vacation alums Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo are set to re-team for a potential single-camera comedy at the network about "spouses in their 60s who are finally enjoying their golden years [who] now are forced to raise their grandchildren." Kapital Entertainment's Aaron Kaplan conceived the project, which has a production commitment targeted for the 2015-16 season. The search is underway for a writer. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - HBO has commissioned Larry Kramer to pen a follow-up to his Tony-winning play-turned-upcoming original movie "The Normal Heart"(Deadline.com); Steven S. DeKnight's sci-fi project "Incursion" remains in the works at Starz (Deadline.com); Starz is likewise interested in "The White Princess," the sequel to its recent "The White Queen" limited series (Deadline.com); actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill are developing a scripted TV series loosely based on the life of hip-hop artist Q-Tip (Deadline.com); Michael Rapaport will guest on "Raising Hope" as Michael, "who enters the scene when Burt (Garret Dillahunt) and Virginia (Martha Plimpton) are looking to adopt a puppy" (TVGuide.com); Gwyneth Paltrow is in talks to return to "Glee" for its 100th episode (THR.com); and Tara Reid will visit "Melissa & Joey" as "the development director for a museum who hits it off with Joe (Joey Lawrence) at a bar while she's supposed to be acting as a wingman for a friend" (TVGuide.com).