[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).

  [october 2015]  


[10/08/15 - 11:05 AM]
"David Tutera's CELEBrations" Season Three Premieres Friday, October 30 at 10PM ET/PT on WE tv
Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Kim Coles, Ian Ziering, Cynthia Bailey, Big Ang Raiola and Reza Farahan are among those featured in the new season.

[10/08/15 - 11:00 AM]
"Tyrant" Returning For Third Season on FX
The 10-episode third season will air in 2016.

[10/08/15 - 11:00 AM]
AMC Renews "Halt and Catch Fire" for Third Season
Co-creators and writers Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers have been upped to showrunners for the 10-episode third season, which will return to AMC next summer.

[10/08/15 - 10:37 AM]
Jimmy Fallon Generates His Biggest Margin to Date vs. Colbert, Taking the Week of Sept. 28-Oct. 2 in 18-49 by a 41% Advantage
NBC spins the late-night numbers for the week of September 28-October 2.

[10/08/15 - 09:48 AM]
"The Operatives" Is Back Saving the World's Most Precious Wildlife and Eco-Systems in an All-New Season Premiering on Pivot on October 18 at 10 P.M.
With 10, all new, hour-long episodes, Pete Bethune and his hand-picked team of military elite travel to the furthest parts of the world to expose those suspected of endangering our wildlife and environment in an effort to bring them to justice.

[10/08/15 - 09:43 AM]
HBO NOW Arrives Today on the Roku Platform
Roku customers can purchase a subscription directly within the HBO NOW channel on their Roku device, which will also enable them to access the service at HBONOW.com and on other HBO NOW enabled devices.

[10/08/15 - 09:32 AM]
Syfy Launches All-New Virtual Reality Experience for Award-Winning "The Expanse" VR App
The app immerses viewers into the vast world of "The Expanse," giving them the opportunity to enter into locations from the show and experience them in virtual reality.

[10/08/15 - 09:32 AM]
Game 1 of 2015 WNBA Finals Sees Viewership Increase from 2014
ESPN spins the numbers for Sunday, October 4.

[10/08/15 - 09:14 AM]
Video: Extended Trailer for TNT's "The Librarians" Season 2, Premiering Sunday, Nov. 1
Check out the latest tease for the show's sophomore run.

[10/08/15 - 08:44 AM]
Wednesday's Broadcast Ratings: "Empire" Continues Its Reign for FOX
Plus: The CW sees year-to-year growth with the return of "Arrow" and "Supernatural."

[10/08/15 - 08:34 AM]
The Long Anticipated Third Season of David Cross' "Todd Margaret" Returns to IFC on Thursday, January 7, 2016
Jack McBrayer, Will Arnett, Blake Harrison, Sharon Horgan, Amber Tamblyn and Russ Tamblyn are among those featured in the new season.

[10/08/15 - 08:31 AM]
"Chicago P.D." Wins at 10 Among ABC, CBS and NBC in 18-49 and All Other Key Demos
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[10/08/15 - 08:28 AM]
"black-ish" Is the Night's Only Program to Post Week-to-Week Growth
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[10/08/15 - 08:22 AM]
HBO Latin America to Launch New Streaming Service for Latin America and the Caribbean
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[10/08/15 - 08:01 AM]
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Rings in the Holidays with "The Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas," Featuring Originals and Beloved Christmas Classics Round-the-Clock Beginning October 31
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