[10/21/03 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: October 21
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

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

AMBUSH MAKEOVER (Syndication) - Banyan Productions ("Trading Spaces") has been given the go ahead to produce 40 additional episodes of the series. "Ambush," a makeover series currently airing on a select group of Fox owned-and-operated stations, bowed in June.

COMMANDO NANNY (WB, New!) - "Survivor" executive producer Mark Burnett is once again trying to get into the scripted game, landing a put pilot commitment for a new comedy at the Frog. The project is inspired by Burnett's real life experience as a young ex-British commando who moved to the U.S. and became the nanny of a posh Beverly Hills family. The Warner Bros. Television-based producer hasn't yet found a writer for the pilot which will rely heavily on the "fish out of water" aspect to the story. Burnett, who will executive produce the project with partner Conrad Riggs, spent the past development season on the reality/scripted hybrid "Are We There Yet?"

GLOBAL FREQUENCY (WB, New!) - Mark Burnett ("Survivor") and John Rogers ("The Core") are set to team for a small screen adaptation of Warren Ellis' DC/Wildstorm comic book of the same name. The comic revolves around "an independent defense intelligence organization connected by a worldwide telecommunications web that uses ordinary individuals as agents around the world to fight black ops projects, unexplained phenomena and other problems the government agencies have struggled with," according to The Hollywood Reporter. Warner Bros. Television is behind the project, which has a script commitment at the network.

NOWHERE (ABC, New!) - Feature writer Jeff Lieber ("Tuck Everlasting") and producer Aaron Spelling are set to team for a new drama project that focuses on what happens when 35 people survive a horrific plane crash, find themselves stranded on a Pacific island and are forced to build a new society. Lieber will write and executive produce the project, which has a premium script commitment, for Spelling and Touchstone Television. The series, which is targeted for fall 2004, plans to focus heavily on nine of the survivors, particularly two half-brothers who have recently met after the death of their father.

THE REAGANS (CBS) - The Eye has scheduled the four-hour mini-series for Sunday, November 16 and Tuesday, November 18 at 9:00/8:00c.

SMALLVILLE/FEARLESS (WB) - "Fearless" regular Ian Somerhalder has signed on to appear in six episodes of "Smallville" this season while the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama is being retooled. He'll play Adam, a young man that lost his parents in a fire who winds up bonding with Kristin Kreuk's character. Somerhalder's first episode is likely to air in January. (Special thanks to the folks at KryptonSite.com for this news.)

THE SURREAL LIFE (WB) - The Frog has revealed the cast for the second season of its reality series. Among those involved are former televangelist's wife Tammy Faye Messner, porn legend Ron Jeremy, rapper Vanilla Ice, "ChiPs" icon Erik Estrada, former "Baywatch" actress Traci Bingham and "Real World: Las Vegas" cast member Trishelle. Six episodes are set to be produced for the new season, each of which will feature a weekly celebrity guest star. Cris Abrego, Rick Telles, Mark Cronin, Jay Renfroe and David Garfinkle are the executive producers of the series, which comes from Mindless Entertainment and Brass Ring Entertainment.

UNTITLED GLENN GORDON CARON PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Glenn Gordon Caron ("Now & Again") has set up his first-ever project at the Peacock, a drama series about a woman with psychic abilities. Caron will write and executive produce the project, which is based on the life of Allison DuBois, a self-described "research medium and criminal profiler" based in Arizona. The series will then explore how an ordinary woman comes to balance her "gift" with being a wife (to a scientist no less) and mother. Kelsey Grammer and Steve Stark of the former's Paramount-based Grammnet Productions are also on board as executive producers of the project, which has a premium script commitment with a small penalty attached should it not go to pilot.

UNTITLED GODFREY DANCHIMAH PROJECT (ABC, New!) - 7UP pitchman and comedian Godfrey Danchimah has signed a talent holding deal with Alphabet network to topline a comedy project for the network targeted for fall 2004.

UNTITLED LYNDA LOPEZ PROJECT (Syndication, New!) - Universal Domestic Television is looking to develop a new syndicated vehicle for Lynda Lopez, the sister of pop diva/actress Jennifer Lopez. The project will feature four hosts who will discuss pop culture, news, lifestyle, celebrities, beauty and fashion. Casting is underway to round out the rest of the hosts. Jennifer Lopez herself (through her Nuyorican production banner) will produce the project along the company's Julio Caro. It's expected the series will be pitched to the various NBC owned-and-operated stations however UDT, the talent agency that packaged the deal, also has a pact with Tribune Entertainment to co-develop at least one first-run project for the Tribune stations for fall 2004.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [october 2003]  


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