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[08/24/12 - 11:19 PM]
Development Update: Friday, August 24
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!


BIG CITY (ABC, New!) - Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan ("30 Rock") have booked a new single-camera comedy at the Alphabet about "a suburban family trapped in the big city." Sony Pictures Television-based FanFare is behind the half-hour, which has a penalty attached, with the company's Jamie Tarses also serving as an executive producer. Siegal and Morgan recently signed a two-year overall deal with the studio. (Deadline.com)


THE FARM (NBC) - Matt Jones ("Breaking Bad") has boarded the potential spin-off of "The Office," which follows Rainn Wilson's Dwight living at the Schrute family beet farm/bed and breakfast. He'll play Dwight's mysterious cousin Zeke, joining the previously cast Majandra Delfino and Thomas Middleditch. Wilson and Paul Lieberstein are behind the Universal Television-based project, which will air as a backdoor pilot later this season. (Deadline.com)


GUIDE TO DIVORCE (Showtime, New!) - Marti Noxon ("Glee") is finalizing a deal for a semi-autobiographical comedy at the pay channel about "the relief, the emotional minefield, the freedom, the familial complications and the sexual exploration that all come with divorce after a long-term relationship, told from the perspective of four women in their 40's." She'll write and executive produce the half-hour via her Luckypants banner alongside Vicki Iovine, Dawn Olmstead and Meryl Poster. No studio was indicated. (Deadline.com)


THE SECRET LIVES OF WIVES (Lifetime) - Salli Richardson-Whitfield ("Eureka") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, which will explore the unvarnished truth behind the marriages of four different women, breaking down the creative ways each close friend nurtures, maintains and endures what many see as an impossible convention of modern life. She'll play Reed, "the sultry host of a call-in radio show that caters to women's fantasies. But her radio persona is at sad odds with her personal life, as her marriage of 17 years is on the rocks." Lin Pictures and Warner Horizon Television are behind the hour, which is inspired by the book by Iris Krasnow. Jill Gordon penned the script. (Deadline.com)


UNTITLED J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI PROJECT (ABC, New!) - "Babylon 5" creator J. Michael Straczynski is developing "a pandemic thriller project" at the Alphabet "described as a blend of procedural and serialized elements." Georgeville Television and Overbrook Entertainment are behind the hour, which is being eyed for a potential straight-to-series order. James Lassiter and Jada Pinkett Smith then will executive produce alongside Straczynski. (Variety.com)


UNTITLED MO MANDEL PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Actor/writer Mo Mandel ("Free Agents") has scored a script order for a semi-autobiographical comedy at the network billed as "a sibling rivalry show in the vein of 'Step Brothers.'" The single-camera project comes from the Sony Pictures Television-based Happy Madison with Doug Robinson executive producing alongside Mandel, who may play one of said characters. (Deadline.com)


WRECKING BALL (The CW) - Richard Hatem's 2008 drama, about "a JFK Jr.-type brash young man from a well known political family who teams with an idealistic twenty-something girl volunteer from his failed Congressional campaign to solve underdog cases of the week through their own legal firm," has been given a fresh script order by the netlet. Said hour was originally greenlit to pilot in March of 2008 but the order was ultimately rescinded when a deal couldn't be struck with producer Fox Television Studios. CBS Television Studios has since been tapped to co-produce the project with Ross Fineman executive produce producing alongside Hatem. (Deadline.com)


AND IN OTHER NEWS... - ABC has closed deals with the cast and creators of "Kings of Van Nuys" to tape a new pilot for the project, an import of the U.K. comedy "Only Fools and Horses" (Deadline.com); the ever-busy Josh Berman has inked a new two-year overall deal with Sony Pictures Television, home to his two series "Drop Dead Diva" and "The Mob Doctor" (Deadline.com); director Mark Pellington has signed a one-year development deal with ABC and its sibling ABC Studios, home to his recently sold drama "Shelter" from writer John Hlavin (THR.com); Wilmer Valderrama has inked a talent holding/development deal with 20th Century Fox Television (Deadline.com); Denise Richards will guest on "90210's" 100th episode, due November 26, as "a sexy West Beverly High School Alum turned wealthy socialite" (EW.com); Drew Barrymore, Jessica Biel, Nicole Sullivan, Cheryl Tiegs, Jessica Stroup, Julie Hagerty, Kat Foster and Nana Visitor will reprise their roles as Brian's ex-girlfriends on an upcoming episode of "Family Guy" (EW.com);

Maz Jobrani will visit "Men at Work" as "the owner of a Lebanese chicken restaurant who befriends James Lesure's Gibbs" (TVLine.com); Brooklyn Silzer has been cast as Danny (Carmine Giovinazzo) and Lindsay's (Anna Belknap) daughter Emma on "CSI: NY," a role previously played by twins Nadia and Talia Hartounian (TVGuide.com); Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr. (a.k.a. T.I.) will guest on "Hawaii Five-0" as "a member of a crime syndicate investigated by a Jersey-based Danny (Scott Caan) and his partner back in 2001" (TVLine.com); Paloma Guzmán is bound for "Person of Interest" as "the beautiful, smart and spoiled party girl daughter of a Brazilian diplomat" (TVLine.com); Tom Waits will lend his voice to "The Simpsons" as "someone who helps introduce Homer to a community of survivalists" (TVLine.com); and Tania Raymonde will recur on "Switched at Birth" as a street artist who befriends Vanessa Marano's Bay (TVGuide.com).






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· 30 ROCK (NBC)
· 90210 (CW)
· BIG CITY (ABC)
· BREAKING BAD (AMC)
· CSI: NEW YORK (CBS)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· DROP DEAD DIVA (LIFETIME)
· EUREKA (SYFY)
· FAMILY GUY (FOX)
· FARM, THE (NBC)
· FREE AGENTS (NBC)
· GIRLFRIENDS' GUIDE TO DIVORCE (BRAVO)
· GLEE (FOX)
· HAWAII FIVE-0 (CBS)
· KINGS OF VAN NUYS (ABC)
· MEN AT WORK (TBS)
· MOB DOCTOR, THE (FOX)
· OFFICE, THE (NBC)
· PERSON OF INTEREST (CBS)
· SECRET LIVES OF WIVES, THE (LIFETIME)
· SIMPSONS, THE (FOX)
· SWITCHED AT BIRTH (FREEFORM)
· UNTITLED J MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI PROJECT (ABC)
· UNTITLED MO MANDEL PROJECT (FOX)
· WRECKING BALL (CW)





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