[03/19/12 - 11:02 PM] Development Update: Monday, March 19 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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AWESOMETOWN (ABC) - Brett Gelman ("Eagleheart") has boarded the comedy pilot, about a group of twentysomethings in the suburbs of Seattle, a mecca for the folks who have happily put on the cruise control of life. He'll play Ed, a gay co-worker of Andrew's (Nick Kocher), alongside the previously cast Amanda Crew, Ben Rappaport, Dennis Miller and James Earl III. Jesse Peretz is directing the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour from a script by Adam Sztykiel. (Variety.com)COUNTER CULTURE (ABC) - Kerri Kenney ("Reno 911!") has booked a lead role on the pilot, a multi-camera comedy about three aging sisters running their family diner together in West Texas. She'll play Billie Haynes ("an aging party girl"), the youngest of said trio (Margo Martindale and another yet to be cast). Doris Roberts and Luis Guzman also star in the Stephnie Weir-penned half-hour, to be directed by Ted Wass. ABC Studios and Sony Pictures Television are producing. (Deadline.com)THE FAMILY TRAP (ABC) - Nelson Franklin ("Traffic Light") has scored the male lead on the comedy pilot, about newlyweds (Mandy Moore, Franklin) who get the opportunity of a lifetime to run a hip, new restaurant in her hometown but at the cost of bringing her closer to her needy and high maintenance parents (Stockard Channing, Kurt Fuller). He'll play said fellow, Ben, in the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, which also stars Majandra Delfino and Erinn Hayes. Shawn Levy is directing from a script by Bob Fisher and Stacy Traub. (Deadline.com)GOTHAM (ABC) - Brian Cox ("Kings") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about Annie Travers (Megan Ketch), a cop who, after pursuing a seemingly unsolvable case, discovers a magical world that exists within New York City. He's on board as Morrill, the Alderman of Gotham who taps Annie to serve as one of his magical investigators. Barry Sloane and Lennie James also star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, from writer Michael Green and director Francis Lawrence. (Deadline.com)THE LIFE (ABC) - Anson Mount ("Hell on Wheels") is set to guest star on the drama pilot, about Marta Walraven (Radha Mitchell), the widow of an assassinated criminal who is suddenly forced to adopt her late husband's role in order to protect her family. He'll play said husband, Franklin ("handsome, jeans, T-shirt, flip flops - his work attire"), in the hour, from director Mark Pellington and writer Melissa Rosenberg. ABC Studios is behind the project, which also stars Erin Moriarty, Jaime Ray Newman, Jakob Salvati, Lee Tergesen, Luke Goss, Rade Serbedzija, Sterling Beaumon and Suleka Mathew. (Deadline.com)NAKED TRUTH (TBS, New!) - Tom Papa ("The Marriage Ref") is set to host a potential series at the cable channel in which "Papa sits at a desk with three other comedians who form a panel to discuss and riff on topics in the zeitgeist, stories big and small, all with a comedic twist." Robert Morton ("Lopez Tonight") is executive producing the project alongside Papa and 3 Arts Entertainment's Dave Becky and Josh Lieberman. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED RALPH LAMB PROJECT (CBS) - Jason O'Mara, Michael Reilly Burke, Michael O'Neill and James Russo have all landed roles on the pilot, a period drama about Ralph Lamb (Dennis Quaid), the cowboy-turned-Las Vegas sheriff in the 1960s. O'Mara will play middle brother Frank Lamb ("strong; competent; in a family of hard-edged men, the diplomat; college degree by mail") with Burke as D.A. Rich Reynolds ("alpha prosecutor with a burning ambition for power; never lets his principles get in the way of an opportunity; not to be trusted"); O'Neill as Mayor Ted Bennett ("bustling, energetic; a man with a vision: a bigger, brawnier Vegas"); and Russo as Anthony "Big Tuna" Cervelli ("runs Vegas for Chicago; brutal, blunt; takes out enemies with force"). O'Mara's casting is in second position to "Terra Nova," which producer 20th Century Fox Television is in talks to revive at Netflix. Carrie-Anne Moss, Michael Chiklis and Taylor Handley also star in the CBS Television Studios-based hour, from director James Mangold and co-writers Greg Walker and Nicholas Pileggi. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - MTV will wrap the original "Teen Mom" cast - Maci, Catelynn, Amber and Farrah - following its upcoming fourth cycle (USMagazine.com); Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Justin Long will return to "New Girl" as the respective exes of Jake Johnson's Nick and Zooey Deschanel's Jess (THR.com); Matt Craven will guest on the season finale of "Alcatraz" as a character who will "provide us with some really big answers" (TVGuide.com); and Janel Parrish will be upped to series regular on "Pretty Little Liars" along the previously announced Tyler Blackburn (THR.com).