[01/23/14 - 11:51 PM] Development Update: Thursday, January 23 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BORGEN (HBO, New!) - HBO had reportedly negotiated a deal with BBC Worldwide Productions to potentially import the Danish drama, "which tells the fictional story of the European country's first female Prime Minister." NBC previously took a stab at the project in 2011 with David Hudgins penning the script - dubbed "Goverment" - and Jason Katims among the executive producers for Universal Television. No other details were given about the pay channel's incarnation other than original creator Adam Price will serve as a consultant. (THR.com)DEAD BOSS (FOX/Warner Bros.; W: Patricia Breen; D: TBA) - Patricia Breen's import of Sharon Horgan and Holly Walsh's BBC Three series - "a comedic mystery that finds overachiever Helen Stephens wrongfully convicted of murdering her boss and forced to rely on her train wreck of a sister to prove her innocence" - has landed a pilot order from the network. Warner Bros. Television is behind the single-camera project with Kapital Entertainment's Aaron Kaplan executive producing alongside Breen, Horgan and Walsh. (Deadline.com)EMPIRE (A.K.A. UNTITLED DANIELS & STRONG PROJECT) (FOX/20th; W: Lee Daniels & Danny Strong; D: Lee Daniels) - Writer Danny Strong and director Lee Daniels's project - "a unique family drama set in the world of a hip-hop empire" - has received a pilot order by the network in anticipation of a potential series commitment. 20th Century Fox Television-based Imagine Television is behind the project with the company's Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo also serving as executive producers. (Deadline.com)EXPOSED (A.K.A. UNTITLED ANNIKA BENGTZON PROJECT) (ABC/Universal; W: Charles Randolph; D: TBA) - Charles Randolph's small screen take on the best-selling novels by Swedish author Liza Marklund - about Annika Bengtzon, "an investigative journalist who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth including making questionable alliances" - is the latest to score a pilot order from the network. Said effort is set up at Universal Television with TBD Entertainment's Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan and Yellow Bird Entertainment's Jenny Gilbertsson and Berna Levin also among the executive producers. (Deadline.com)FOREVER (ABC/Warner Bros.; W: Matthew Miller; D: TBA) - Matthew Miller's drama - about Dr. Henry Morgan, a 200-year-old man who spends his days working in the New York City Morgue trying to find a key to unlock the curse of his immortality - has received a pilot commitment from the Alphabet. Warner Bros. Television-based Lin Pictures is behind the hour, which sees Morgan team with NYPD detective Jo Martinez, "peeling back the layers of his colorful and long life through their cases." Dan Lin and Jennifer Gwartz are executive producing alongside Miller. (Deadline.com)GRACEPOINT (FOX; W: Chris Chibnall; D: James Strong) - Stephen Louis Grush ("Lucky 7") has joined the cast of 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. He'll play Vince Novik, "Mark's (Michael Pena) best friend and hard-working plumbing apprentice [who] is loyal to Mark but the latter hasn't given him the raise he was promised and Vince has mounting debut and a sick mother to look after." The project's ensemble also includes Anna Gunn, David Tennant, Jacki Weaver, Jessica Lucas, Josh Hamilton, Kendrick Sampson, Kevin Rankin, Kevin Zegers, Madalyn Horcher, Nick Nolte and Virginia Kull. (THR.com)HERE'S YOUR DAMN FAMILY (FOX/Warner Bros.; W: Ricky Blitt; D: TBA) - Emmy-winner Jane Kaczmarek ("Malcolm in the Middle") is the first to be cast in the multi-camera comedy pilot, about "a stunted, set-in-his-ways thirtysomething man living with his mom (Kaczmarek) who finds his perfectly organized world upended when she gets married - and her new husband plus his three teenage children move in." Her casting lifts said contingency on the pilot's production. (Deadline.com)KEEP IT TOGETHER (A.K.A. UNTITLED KEVIN HART PROJECT) (ABC/20th; W: Kevin Hart, Garrett Donovan & Neil Goldman; D: TBA) - The Alphabet has given a cast-contingent pilot order to the multi-camera comedy, based on comedian Kevin Hart's life and stand-up. 20th Century Fox Television is behind the project, which "takes a candid look at the post-divorce life of a couple trying to forge a friendship for the sake of their kids, despite differences." Dave Becky, Hart's manager, also serves as an executive producer. (Deadline.com)LIFESAVER (NBC, New!) - The Wil Calhoun-penned project - an "odd couple comedy in which two polar opposites become inextricably linked after one saves the other' life" - has been given a pilot commitment from the Peacock. The multi-camera project is set up at Universal Television with Peter Traugott of the studio-based TBD Entertainment executive producing alongside Calhoun. (Deadline.com)THE PRO (NBC/ABC Studios/Universal; W: Alex Gregory & Pete Huyck; D: Todd Holland) - The Rob Lowe-led comedy - about former tennis doubles champion "Big Ben" Bertrahm, whose career flame-out and misguided investments have left him working as the pro at a tennis and golf club, where he tries to hustle and charm his way back into America's 1% - is heading to pilot at the Peacock. ABC Studios and Universal Television are co-producing the single-camera project with Dark Toy Entertainment's Karey Burke and Brillstein Entertainment Partners' Marc Gurvitz executive producing alongside the aforementioned auspices. (Deadline.com)SOBER COMPANION (FOX/CTS; W: David S. Rosenthal & Jennie Snyder Urman; D: TBA) - David S. Rosenthal and Jennie Snyder Urman's multi-camera comedy - about "a charming, but self-destructive attorney finds his world turned upside down when a court-appointed, and highly unconventional, sober companion takes control of his life" - has likewise booked a pilot order from the network. CBS Television Studios is producing. Johnny Galecki and Steve McPherson also serve as executive producers. (Deadline.com)THE VISITORS (A.K.A. UNTITLED SOO HUGH PROJECT) (ABC/ABC Studios; W: Soo Hugh; D: TBA) - Soo Hugh's drama - which "chronicles the race against the clock to defeat an unseen alien enemy out to destroy the world using our most precious resource against us" - has landed a pilot commitment from the Alphabet. The project, based on Ray Bradbury's short story "Zero Hour," is set up at ABC Studios with Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey and Steven Spielberg of Amblin Television and Dawn Olmstead of Grady Girl Productions likewise executive producing. (Deadline.com)WEIRD LONERS (FOX, New!) - "The King of Queens" co-creator Michael J. Weithorn has scored a six-episode order from the network for a single-camera comedy about "four relationship-phobic people who are unexpectedly thrust into one another's lives and form an unlikely bond in a townhouse in Queens, NY." The project, which Weithorn penned on spec, will be set up at 20th Century Fox Television with director Jake Kasdan also executive producing. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - "Grey's Anatomy" co-stars Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey have signed new two-year contracts, paving the way for an 11th season renewal (Deadline.com); Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, Adam Senn and Brent Antonello are among the new series regulars on VH1's "Hit the Floor"(Deadline.com); Tricia O'Kelley is set to recur on "Devious Maids" as "a local Beverly Hills resident" (Deadline.com); Joshua Sasse will recur on "The Neighbors" as Larry's (Simon Templeman) brother who is sent down to earth to clean up Larry's mess (Deadline.com); "Modern Family" executive producers Paul Corrigan and Brad Walsh have inked a new two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television (Deadline.com); "Saturday Night Live" head writer Colin Jost will succeed Seth Meyers as co-host of the show's "Weekend Update" segment (Deadline.com);
Lauren Graham's small screen take on her debut novel "Someday, Someday Maybe" at The CW is now running under the moniker "Unfamous" (TVLine.com); Sam Witwer is bound for "Grimm" as "a tortured soul named Maximillian who is the main attraction at a carnival" (TVLine.com); Adrianne Palicki has booked a seven-episode arc on "About a Boy" as Dr. Samantha Lake, a love interest for David Walton's Will (THR.com); Rob Corddry will visit "Hawaii Five-0" as "a former high school classmate of Chin' (Daniel Dae Kim) who crosses paths with the cop at a high school reunion" (EW.com); newcomer Henri Esteve is bound for "Revenge" as "a bad boy that comes on and links Charlotte to Nolan" (TVGuide.com); and Ron Glass will drop by "CSI" as "an influential man from Sanders's (Eric Szmanda) childhood" (TVGuide.com).