CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from various wire reports each morning:
HEARTS AND MINDS (HBO) - HBO has give Bruce Zabel's ("Dark Skies") drama series a pilot script order. The project revolves around the world of military intelligence and the twin tasks of fighting terrorism and building nations. Previously, the pay channel had only committed to a treatment of the idea.
MARRIAGE (HBO) - Feature director Michael Apted ("Enough") has signed on to helm the pilot of Steven Bochco's new series "Marriage." HBO has committed to 13 episodes of the series (set to air some time in 2004), which revolves around a couple still adjusting to their lives together five years after getting married.
PLAYMAKERS (ESPN, New!) - ESPN is set to go forward with its first original scripted series as the sports channel has greenlighted 11 episodes of "Playmakers," a one-hour drama set in the world of professional football. Writer-producer John Eisendrath ("Alias"), who played college football, is behind the project, a gritty ensemble drama about the off-field lives of a group of players on a pro football team and how they deal with the pressure of being in the NFL. He will serve as an executive producer/showrunner on the series along with Rob Thomas and Orly Adelson. Production on the series is scheduled to begin in June in Canada for an August 26 premiere, about the time the college and NFL seasons begin.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters