[09/11/12 - 11:17 PM] Development Update: Tuesday, September 11 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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THE ADVOCATES (CBS, New!) - "The Mentalist" creator Bruno Heller has landed a pilot production commitment from the Eye for a new drama about "a female lawyer and a male ex-con who team up as victim advocates, going to the edge of the law to right wrongs and fight for the underdog." He'll write and executive produce for Warner Bros. Television. (Deadline.com)BLACK SAILS (Starz) - Tom Hopper ("Merlin") is the first to be cast on the upcoming drama, a pirate adventure centering on the tales of Captain Flint and his men, 20 years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson's classic "Treasure Island." He'll play Billy Bones, "the first mate of The Walrus who is caught in the middle of the power struggle between Flint and his main dissenter Singleton." Jon Steinberg is behind the hour, which is being produced by Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes banner. (Deadline.com)CAPTURING CRAZY (CBS, New!) - Danielle Sanchez-Witzel ("Whitney") has booked a potential comedy at the Eye about "a woman in her mid-20s who turns her documentary camera on her own family to prove once and for all that they're crazy." The multi-camera project - which will have some single-camera elements - is set up at CBS Television Studios with the studio-based Greg Garcia executive producing alongside Sanchez-Witzel. (Deadline.com)HELLO LADIES (HBO) - Christine Woods ("Perfect Couples") has been cast as the female lead in the comedy pilot, which stars Stephen Merchant as a gawky Englishman searching for the woman of his dreams in Los Angeles. She'll play Jessica, "an occasional actress who rents Stephen's guest house from him." Nate Torrence and Kevin Weisman also star in the ABC Studios-based project, which Merchant will direct from a script he co-wrote with Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky. (Deadline.com)A KINGDOM FAR AWAY (ABC, New!) - Justin Marks (Syfy's "Rewind") has sold a potential drama to the Alphabet about "a quirky family surviving together on a lawless frontier... a magical land where monsters are real, and one young woman's unlikely destiny is about to change their lives forever." The ABC Studios-based di Bonaventura Television is behind the hour with Dan McDermott and Lorenzo di Bonaventura executive producing alongside Marks. (Deadline.com)LOW WINTER SUN (AMC) - Erika Alexander has scored a role on the drama pilot, about Frank Agnew (Mark Strong), a Detroit detective who murders a crooked cop, activating forces that will forever alter his life and pull him into the heart of the city's underworld. She'll recur as Louise "LC" Cullen, "a strong and intimidating cop who is completely matter-of-fact and straightforward in everything she does." Athena Karkanis, David Costabile, James Ransone, Lennie James, Ruben Santiago Hudson and Sprague Grayden also star in the AMC Studios-based hour, from writer Chris Mundy and director Ernest Dickerson. (Deadline.com)OCCULT (A&E, New!) - James Wong ("American Horror Story: Asylum") has snagged a cast-contingent pilot order from the cable channel for a new drama about a newly formed occult crimes task force at the FBI. Said hour, from Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes banner, would track an FBI agent "who returns from administrative leave after going off the deep end while investigating his wife's disappearance [who is] paired with an agent with her own complicated backstory who specializes in the occult." Wong, Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller are the executive producers. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED GREG GARCIA PROJECT (CBS, New!) - "Raising Hope" creator Greg Garcia has sold a new single-camera comedy to the Eye. No specifics were given about the half-hour, other than it will be in the vein of his previous efforts. CBS Television Studios, home to his overall deal, is producing. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - USA has reportedly let the options expire on the cast of "Common Law," likely spelling an end to the freshman drama (Deadline.com); Nick Chinlund will recur on "666 Park Avenue" as "a powerful adversary" to Terry O'Quinn's Gavin (Deadline.com); Stacy Keach will guest on NBC's midseason comedy "1600 Penn" as "a wheelchair-bound, racist, sexist, bigoted senator who is being honored for 50 years of service in the Senate" (THR.com); Garrett Donovan and Neil Goldman have exited newcomer "Ben & Kate," leaving creator Dana Fox as the sole showrunner (TVGuide.com); Jason Lee will guest on "Men at Work" as "an annoying co-worker dubbed a 'story troller' by the guys" (TVGuide.com); Ne-Yo will make a guest appearance as himself on "90210"(TVGuide.com); Emma Caulfield will drop by "Royal Pains" as Hank's ex-girlfriend, "a baker from his New Jersey hometown" for a special two-episode stunt in December (TVLine.com); Michael Nouri, Ray Wise and Derek Webster will all visit an upcoming episode of "Body of Proof"(TVLine.com); and Ben Schwartz's Jean-Ralphio will return to "Parks & Recreation" this November (TVLine.com).