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[06/18/03 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: June 18
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:

AMERICAN JUNIORS (FOX) - Pop legend Gladys Knight, '80s teen queen Deborah "Don't Call Me Debbie" Gibson and original "American Idol" runner-up Justin Guarini have signed on as judges of the talent search. Guarini will also perform a song from his new release on tonight's installment.

THE DISTRICT (CBS) - Producer/director Pam Veasey has been named showrunner of the Eye's Saturday night drama. Veasey has written and directed several episodes of the series over the past three seasons, working her way up to executive producer last season. Veasey ("Rude Awakening," "Nash Bridges"), who will continue to share executive producing duties with Denise DiNovi, plans to try and add a new character to the series in order to fill the void left by Lynne Thigpen, who died suddenly this spring. She also hopes to see Jean Smart and Jaclyn Smith return as recurring characters on the Craig T. Nelson-led drama, which moves back to its old 10:00/9:00c home this fall.

KING OF QUEENS (CBS) - Showrunners Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith have extended their seven-figure overall deal with Sony Pictures Television by one year, through May 2006. The duo had planned to begin developing new projects for the studio this year, but will instead remain as showrunners on the comedy, which moves to Wednesdays at 9:00/8:00c this fall, for at least one more season. As part of the pact, Sony will push the two-year development aspect of their deal to start next summer. The pair, who have been involved with the series since its inception, will continue to share executive producing duties with Michael Weithorn, Kevin James and Tony Sheehan.

I'M WITH HER (ABC) - Former "My Big Fat Greek Life" executive producer Marsh McCall has signed on as a consulting producer on the upcoming ABC comedy. The move is part of a new two-year deal for the producer at Warner Bros. Television. In addition to working on "Her," McCall will also develop and executive produce his own sitcoms for the studio.

THE PRACTICE (ABC) - Sharon Stone has agreed to appear in a three-episode arc of the revamped drama with the option for more episodes. The news comes as creator David E. Kelley tries to rebuild the cast of the series, of which only a handful of regulars remain from the previous season. No details about Stone's character or storyline were made available.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· AMERICAN IDOL (ABC)
· AMERICAN JUNIORS (FOX)
· DISTRICT, THE (CBS)
· I'M WITH HER (ABC)
· KING OF QUEENS, THE (CBS)
· MACGREGORS, THE (NBC)
· MY BIG FAT GREEK LIFE (CBS)
· NASH BRIDGES (CBS)
· PRACTICE, THE (ABC)
· RUDE AWAKENING (SHOWTIME)





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