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[07/18/11 - 10:51 PM]
Development Update: Monday, July 18
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!


BODY OF PROOF (ABC) - Matthew Gross has reupped his overall deal with ABC Studios. The three-year pact will cover his duties as co-showrunner on the drama as well as his future development. "Proof" returns for its second season this fall.


THE DARK TOWER (NBC) - Universal Pictures has pulled the plug on the potential film/TV franchise, based on Stephen King's book series of the same name. Production had been set to begin this summer on the first film of the trilogy - followed by the first of two limited run TV series bridging the gaps - with Javier Bardem starring, Ron Howard directing, Akiva Goldsman writing and Brian Grazer producing. Said decision was understood to be over financial concerns: Universal only felt comfortable committing to the inaugural film while the producers were all in on the trilogy/TV series as a whole.


IN THE HEIGHTS (Adult Swim, New!) - Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-winning stage show is being developed as a scripted comedy at the network. Said effort, to be penned by Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale, will likewise follow the exploits of the New York City Dominican-American neighborhood of Washington Heights. Utkarsh Ambudkar is attached to star in the project, which will feature original music. Ars Nova ("Black Dynamite") is producing.


LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (NBC) - Co-star B.D. Wong won't return for the show's 13th season, the actor himself tweeted this past weekend. Wong stars in the Peacock's midseason drama "Awake," in which he plays one of star Jason Issacs's two psychiatrists. The news marks the second "SVU" departure this season, the other being Christopher Meloni.


ONCE UPON A TIME (ABC) - Giancarlo Esposito ("Breaking Bad") is set to recur on the fantasy drama. He'll play Sidney, a reporter for Storybrooke's local newspaper The Daily Mirror who's actually The Magic Mirror from Fairy Tale Land. The newcomer launches on Sunday nights at 8:00/7:00c beginning October 23.


PAN AM (ABC) - Mike Vogel ("Miami Medical") has joined the cast of the period drama. He'll take over from Jonah Lotan as the male lead, the charismatic and confident pilot Dean. No reason was given for the change. "Pan Am" bows Sunday, September 25 on the Alphabet.


POWERS (FX) - Titus Welliver ("The Good Wife") has been tapped for a role on the drama pilot, based on the Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming comic book of the same name. He'll play Triphammer, "a genius and a narcissist [who] has invented technology that can both bestow and remove superhuman abilities." Jason Patric and Lucy Punch topline the hour, which is currently in production in Chicago.


ROYAL PAINS (USA) - Constance Zimmer ("Entourage") has booked a role on the show's current third season. She'll play Abby Burton, "a psychiatrist and an old friend of Hank's who may be able to help an especially important HankMed patient." Her role is billed as a potential love interest for Mark Feuerstein's Hank. She'll presumably turn up in the back half of said run.


UNTITLED PHIL SPECTOR PROJECT (HBO) - Emmy-winner Helen Mirren ("Elizabeth I") has joined the cast of the docudrama, which "explores the client-attorney relationship between legendary music producer Phil Spector (Al Pacino) and defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden (Mirren)." She'll take over from Bette Midler, who bowed out last week mid-production for medical reasons. David Mamet, Barry Levinson and Pacino are the executive producers.






  [july 2015]  
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· AWAKE (NBC)
· BLACK DYNAMITE (ADULT SWIM)
· BODY OF PROOF (ABC)
· BREAKING BAD (AMC)
· DARK TOWER, THE (HBO)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· ELIZABETH I (HBO)
· ENTOURAGE (HBO)
· GOOD WIFE, THE (CBS)
· IN THE HEIGHTS (ADULT SWIM)
· LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (NBC)
· MIAMI MEDICAL (CBS)
· ONCE UPON A TIME (ABC)
· PAN AM (ABC)
· PHIL SPECTOR (HBO)
· POWERS (FX)
· ROYAL PAINS (USA)









[07/29/15 - 02:18 PM]
Through the Eyes of the Spies: New Documentary Reveals a Unique Perspective on the Life of Fidel Castro
"Castro: The World's Most Watched Man" will premiere on AHC in 4Q 2015 and on Discovery Networks International's factual channels in more than 220 countries and territories this fall.

[07/29/15 - 01:42 PM]
ABC Family to Give Viewers a First Look at "Kevin From Work" on Facebook
The show will premiere on ABC Family on Wednesday, August 12 at 8:00/7:00c with two back-to-back episodes.

[07/29/15 - 01:17 PM]
Travel Channel's "36 Hours" Based on The New York Times' Popular Weekly Column Premieres Monday, August 17th at 8:00PM ET/PT
Co-hosts Kristen Kish and Kyle Martino arrive in a new city each week where they'll have a weekend to meet insiders who will point them to the best restaurants, hot spots and attractions.

[07/29/15 - 12:57 PM]
Discovery Channel's "Alaskan Bush People" Earns Season High and Ranks #1 on All of Television on Friday Night in Persons and Men
Discovery further spins the numbers for Friday, July 24.

[07/29/15 - 12:49 PM]
Grammy(R) and Academy Award(R)-Winning Sensation John Legend and His Get Lifted Production Company to Executive-Produce WGN America's Highly Anticipated Dramatic Thriller, "Underground"
Additionally, Get Lifted will oversee the score, soundtrack and all music aspects of the series.

[07/29/15 - 11:32 AM]
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Announces Fall Premieres
New seasons of "For Better or Worse," "Iyanla: Fix My Life," "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" and "If Loving You is Wrong" will kick things off in September.

[07/29/15 - 11:32 AM]
E! Announces New Series "Hollywood Teen Medium" (Working Title)
Following the life of 19-year old Tyler Henry, the series explores the world of this self-proclaimed clairvoyant medium as he balances his unique abilities with trying to be a regular teenager.

[07/29/15 - 11:01 AM]
Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" Executive Team to Remain with Late-Night Flagship Franchise
"Steve, Jen, Tim, Jill and Adam have been key architects of 'The Daily Show's' success, and we are excited that they will continue at the core of the creative team working with Trevor Noah as the show evolves," said Michele Ganeless.

[07/29/15 - 10:29 AM]
"The Men in Blazers Show" Season Premiere This Mon., Aug. 3 at 11 P.M. ET on NBCSN
The season premiere of the 30-minute show will feature NBC Sports Group's Premier League analysts Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, hosts of The 2 Robbies "Football" Show on NBC Sports Radio, as they preview the 2015-16 season.

[07/29/15 - 10:08 AM]
Nat Geo WILD Highlights the Importance of Big Cat Awareness with Full Lineup of World Lion Day Programming, Aug. 10
The network's programming initiative also draws awareness to the National Geographic Society's Big Cats Initiative with public service announcements and on-air promotional attention, kicking off Wednesday, July 29.

[07/29/15 - 10:02 AM]
MTV Announces Season Two Pick-Up for "Scream" During Summer TCA Presentation
Plus: the network sets return dates for "Finding Carter" and "Ridiculousness."

[07/29/15 - 09:45 AM]
HBO Documentary Films Acquires U.S. Rights to Leah Wolchok's "Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists"
The feature-length documentary debuts Monday, Dec. 7 (9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT) exclusively on HBO, following a limited theatrical run (Nov. 20-Dec. 3).

[07/29/15 - 09:01 AM]
FX Networks Launches Emojis Based on Hit Original Series
"Archer," "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia," "The Strain," "Man Seeking Woman" and "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll" are among the initial offerings.

[07/29/15 - 08:40 AM]
"Talent" and "Hollywood Game Night" Are the #1-2 Shows of the Night on the Big 4 in 18-49
NBC spins the numbers for Tuesday, July 28.

[07/29/15 - 08:40 AM]
NBC Confirms "Welcome to Sweden" Exit, "Hollywood Game Night" Repeats to Fill Slot
Plus: look for the "Mr. Robinson" one-hour premiere to rebroadcast Sunday, August 9 at 7:00/6:00c.