[05/01/14 - 11:28 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, May 1
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!

BESSIE (HBO, New!) - Queen Latifah is set to play iconic blues singer Bessie Smith in a proposed biopic at the pay channel, which "chronicles how Smith overcame her tempestuous personal life to become one of the most acclaimed performing and recording artists of the 1920s and '30s, earning the nickname Empress of the Blues." Dee Rees (Pariah) wrote and will direct the project, which is based on the biography "Bessie" written by Chris Albertson. Latifah will also executive produce alongside Shakim Compere, Lili Fini Zanuck, Richard Zanuck, Shelby Stone and Randi Michel with Hallie Foote as co-executive producer and Ron Schmidt as producer for Flavor Unit Entertainment and the Zanuck Company. (Deadline.com)

DIG (USA/UCP; W: Gideon Raff & Tim Kring; D: S.J. Clarkson) - Regina Taylor and Omar Metwally have both booked roles on the event series, about an FBI agent stationed in Jerusalem (Jason Isaacs) who, while investigating a murder of a young female archeologist, uncovers a conspiracy 2000 years in the making. She'll play Ruth Ridell, "the U.S. ambassador to Israel who has little time for problems that Peter creates for her with the local authorities"; while he's set as Yussef Khalid, "an American who disappeared after being accused of murder." Alison Loren Sudol, Anne Heche and David Costabile also star. (THR.com)

HOW AND WHY (FX/FXP; W/D: Charlie Kaufman) - Marcella Plunkett (Dark Touch) has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, the story of a man, Goodman Hesselman (John Hawkes), who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works, but is clueless about life. She'll play two roles, "Cynthia, a photographer at Goodman's new TV station in Murfreesboro, and Magda, Mendelson's (Michael Cera) secretary, whose day is spent in a cramped, tiny room, not much bigger than her desk." Sally Hawkins and Catherine Keener also star. (Deadline.com)

UNSTRUNG (ABC Family; W: Emily Whitesell; D: TBA) - Chanel Celaya and Sofia Mattsson are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, which explores the sexy, cutthroat, and emotional stakes of the professional world tour of tennis as brother and sister Luke and Ellie Holt compete to move up the ranks. Celaya will play the aforementioned Ellie, "an athletic, spunky beauty with great talent but not-so-great discipline"; with Mattsson as Ninotchka Andropov, "a diva ranked 3rd in the world but first in looks." (THR.com)

UNTITLED ANDY ST. CLAIR/PAUL O'TOOLE PROJECT (MTV, New!) - Andy St. Clair and Paul O'Toole have scored a cast-contingent pilot order from the network for a new comedy about "22-year-old Andy, who after he catches his girlfriend cheating, accidentally rear-ends a celebrity. Taking pity on Andy, the celebrity takes it upon himself to teach him how to man up." Odenkirk Provissiero's Marc Provissiero will executive produce the project with St. Clair and O'Toole serving as co-executive producers. (THR.com)

AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Brian Percival has bowed out of helming the AMC drama pilot "Knifeman" for personal reasons (Deadline.com); "Nashville" executive producer R.J. Cutler has signed a first-look development deal with CBS Television Studios for scripted projects, ending his run at Lionsgate Television (Deadline.com); Kristin Chenoweth has been cast as Maleficent in Disney Channel's "Descendants," "who butts horns with her daughter Mal (Dove Cameron)" (Deadline.com); Nestor Serrano and Brit Morgan will both recur on the new season of "Graceland" (TVLine.com); and Tyler Hilton is bound for the upcoming CBS drama "Extant" as "the chief coder on the Humanichs Project at the center of the story" (THR.com).

  [march 2018]  


[03/22/18 - 12:09 PM]
Smithsonian Channel(TM) Reveals the Inside Story and Untold Events of a Deadly American Tragedy in "Waco: The Longest Siege"
The film provides an intimate portrait of a young Vernon Howell (later renamed David Koresh) and his Branch Davidian followers, who came from around the globe to join the Pied Piper-like figure.

[03/22/18 - 10:35 AM]
Video: "Pose" - Peek Teaser - FX
"Pose," FX's new original series from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals, premieres this summer.

[03/22/18 - 10:31 AM]
Video: Viceland Premeries Trailer for New Series "My House" About NYC Queer Ballroom Scene
"My House" is an insider's guide to New York City's hyper-competitive underground queer ballroom scene.

[03/22/18 - 10:05 AM]
CMT Elevates Morgan Selzer to Senior Vice President of Program Development
"Morgan is a seasoned and savvy development executive who crafts compelling stories across multiple formats and genres," said Keith Cox.

[03/22/18 - 10:00 AM]
All-New Two-Hour Special "Meghan Markle: An American Princess" to Air Friday, May 11, on FOX
The two-hour event will focus on Markle's life and potential legacy as the first American to marry into the British royal family since 1937.

[03/22/18 - 10:00 AM]
CBS Announces Season Finale Airdates for 2017-2018
"Scorpion" will now kick off said finales on Monday, April 16.

[03/22/18 - 09:44 AM]
"Shaquille O'Neal Presents: All Star Comedy Jam: I'm Still Laughing" to Premiere Friday, March 23 at 10 PM ET/PT on Showtime(R)
Filmed at The Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, the new special features comedy veteran and fan-favorite Bruce Bruce teaming up with Huggy Lowdown, Aida Rodriguez and Brian "Da Wildcat" Smith.

[03/22/18 - 09:23 AM]
Embedded with Survivors of the Parkland, Fla. School Shooting, CBS News Brings Viewers Inside a Movement as Students Turn Grief Into Action in "39 Days"
The one-hour special airs this Saturday, March 24 at 8:00/7:00c.

[03/22/18 - 08:34 AM]
Seth Rogen Announces All-Star Lineup for Netflix Comedy Special
Guests scheduled to appear include: Tiffany Haddish, Sarah Silverman, Michelle Wolf, John Mulaney, James Corden,The Muppets, Post Malone, Nick Kroll, Kumail Nanjiani, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Che, Craig Robinson & The Nasty Delicious.

[03/22/18 - 08:32 AM]
"The Rain" Is Coming to Netflix May 4
In Netflix's post-apocalyptic YA thriller, two Danish siblings emerge from the safety of their bunker six years after a brutal virus carried by the rain wipes out almost all humans in Scandinavia.

[03/22/18 - 08:10 AM]
Wednesday's Broadcast Ratings: FOX Finales Win Tight Demo Race
The network edges ABC, CBS and NBC by one-tenth of a ratings point.

[03/21/18 - 11:21 PM]
Development Update: Wednesday, March 21
Updates include: Daniel Ezra tapped to lead The CW's "Spencer"; Bernard David Jones lands starring role in FOX's "Our People"; and Karen Fukuhara is the latest to report for Amazon's "The Boys."

[03/21/18 - 03:35 PM]
Hallmark Channel Announces Season Two of "Meet the Peetes"
"Viewers have welcomed the Peete family into their homes and have fallen in love with their heartfelt and touching narratives that families everywhere can relate to," said Michelle Vicary.

[03/21/18 - 03:34 PM]
Hallmark Expands Pet Adoption Initiative, Adoption Ever After, with New, Original Special "Cat Bowl"
"Cat Bowl" will feature adult cats and seniors playing a feline Hall of Fame game, Saturday, February 2, 2019.

[03/21/18 - 03:33 PM]
Hallmark Channel to Launch First Ever Interactive "Home & Family" Dream Holiday Home Contest
The contest offers the chance for one lucky viewer to win a holiday-themed home redecoration that will turn heads and be the envy of decorators across the country.