CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from various wire reports each morning:
THE ORTEGAS (FOX) - FOX has committed to 13 episodes of "The Ortegas," a comedy pilot originally developed by NBC. The Peacock had informed the producers of the series, Pariah TV and Hat Trick Productions, over the weekend that the project would not likely make the network's fall schedule. The pair was then permitted to shop the comedy around to other networks. The fact that it landed at FOX is no surprise as the network was in a heavy bidding war with NBC last summer for the rights to "The Kumars at No. 42," the British series upon which "The Ortegas" is based.
Newcomer Al Madrigal stars as a talkshow host whose studio happens to be in his family's backyard. Guests of his program then have to mingle with the Ortegas clan (which includes Cheech Marin). FOX has agreed to the same heavy provisions NBC promised to originally land the series, including covering the entire cost of producing the show as part of its license fee (an estimated $750,000 per episode).
ZILCH & ZERO (TNN/Spike TV) - The newly rebranded Spike TV has ordered a pilot for "Zilch & Zero," a Flash animated series from John Leguizamo. The project, a co-production by Spike TV and Rebel Films, will be written by Geoffrey Whalen and Scott McCauley with Leguizamo executive producing. Here's how the channel describes the series (via press release), which is being targeted for the network's upcoming animation block:
"Zilch and Zero are two best friends and comedic slackers who work in a video store and spend their day critiquing the latest films to come out on DVD. These characters are cinephiles and are consumed by movie trivia -- including anything and everything involved with the production of the flick -- right down to the dates, directors and even mishaps which occur on set. And, they love nothing more then reciting their favorite, over-the-top movie lines. ZILCH & ZERO is set in a small movie/video rental shop and features the two best friends in their daily life, which is full of hilarious interactions with friends and customers."
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters