[02/24/04 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: February 24
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

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

Looking to keep track of all the various pilots and other projects in development? Be sure to check out our detailed production chart listings by clicking here.

THE BAD GIRL'S GUIDE (UPN) - The netlet has given a pilot presentation order for the project, a comedy based on author Cameron Tuttle's bestselling series of books "The Bad Girl's Guide to Getting What You Want." Jennifer Heath and Michele Wolff ("Tiny Boyfriend") will write and executive produce the project, which comes from Tony Krantz's Flame Television and Paramount Network Television. Paramount replaces the show's original distributor Warner Bros. Television, who dropped out for unspecified reasons.

THE BENEFACTOR (ABC, New!) - Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban will be the focus of a new reality series which features the billionaire businessman offering $1 million of his own money to bankroll a lucky contestant. ABC has committed to six one-hour episodes of the project, which comes from David Young ("The Weakest Link," "Dog Eat Dog") and the U.K.-based 12 Yard Productions, with production set to begin in April for a summer air date. While exact details of how the show will work are under wraps, it's expected to unspool along the lines of NBC's "The Apprentice" with 30 contestants competing in series of tasks for the big prize. Cuban himself says he won't make a dime of the series, as any money earned from the series will be used to fund the $1 million prize. Casting is already underway on the project, which was optioned by the Alphabet over a year ago, as interested contestants can visit the network's casting page for more information. Clay Newbill ("The Mole") will also executive produce as will Todd Wagner, CEO of Cuban's 2929 Productions ("Star Search").

DEAL OR NO DEAL (ABC) - The Alphabet has postponed the premiere of the game show. Originally set for a four-week run beginning Wednesday, March 10 at 9:00/8:00c, the project will now unspool at a later date.

EVEL KNIEVEL (TNT) - George Eads ("C.S.I.") has signed on for the title role in the project, a biopic of the career daredevil. Icon Productions, Jaffe/Braunstein Films and ApolloProScreen are behind the project, which is based on Steve Mandich's book "Evel Incarnate: The Life and Legend of Evel Knievel." The telefilm will track Knievel's upbringing in a copper-mining town and his name-making stunts, including leaps across Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and the Snake River Canyon in Idaho. Production is set to begin in April on the telefilm for an unspecified air date. The news marks the end of an 17-month development cycle for the project, which was originally announced by TNT back in October 2002. Jason Horwitch adapted Mandich's book for the project, which will be executive produced by Jan Korbelin, Icon's Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey as well as Michael Jaffe and Howard Braunstein of Jaffe/Braunstein Films.

EVERYDAY LIFE (NBC) - Christen Nelson ("Hype") has been added to the cast of the Rob Reiner-produced comedy pilot. She'll play Winnie, a therapist and older sister to Josh Radnor's character. Universal Network Television is behind the project, which will be executive produced by Reiner, Daniel Paige, Sue Paige and Alan Greisman. Reiner is also on board to direct the pilot, which is currently scheduled to tape on Tuesday, March 23.

SPELLBOUND (FOX) - FOX has revived the failed NBC pilot from writer/producers Rob Greenberg ("Frasier") and Suzanne Martin ("Maybe It's Me") and Warner Bros. Television. Richard Ruccolo and ("Two Guys and a Girl") and Andrea Anders ("Oz") starred in the original NBC version, a romantic comedy about a male witch who falls in love with a mortal. Also previously cast were Fred Willard ("A Minute With Stan Hooper"), Michael Cornacchia and Christina Pickles ("Friends"). Casting is underway on the new version with Andy Ackerman ("Two and a Half Men") on board to direct and executive produce.

SWEDEN, OHIO (FOX, New!) - Greg Malins ("Friends," "Come to Papa") has landed a pilot commitment at FOX for a new comedy about a teenage boy whose life suddenly gets more interesting when a sexy foreign exchange student moves in with his family. The concept comes from Bill Fritz and Kurt Voelker, who will write and serve as supervising producers on the project, which comes from Warner Bros. Television.

THIS JUST IN (Spike TV) - The cable channel has released a detailed description of the upcoming animated series: "In its continued commitment to developing original animated programs for men, Spike TV debuts a topical animated series, This Just In, created by Steve Marmel, stand-up comic and producer/head writer of Nickelodeon's hit show, The Fairly OddParents and Kevin Kay, Executive Vice President of Production & Programming. The weekly series debuts on Sunday, March 14 (10:30-11:00 PM, ET/PT), following The John Henson Project (10:00-10:30 PM, ET/PT). This Just In follows real-life current events as they happen-and it is completely animated. The weekly show centers on three twenty-something guys, newspaper journalist Brian Newport (Steve Marmel) and his two buddies, house-husband Craig Tindle (Peter MacNichol) and teacher Jimmy Townhouse (Phil Morris). In a timely fashion this lively cast brings their own dysfunctional spin on current events in the world at large. "This show has a conservative bent on politics and culture," says Kay. "How many comedy programs in the television landscape -excluding the Fox News Channel - can claim that point of view?" The majority of the show will be written the week each episode telecasts. The first episode will include timely plotlines about the presidential election and voter apathy. Traditional animation requires months of production, but This Just In uses Flash, an entirely digital animation process that allows the show to be written and produced the very week it airs. Kevin Kay and Steve Marmel are co-creators. Marmel is executive producer/head writer. It is produced by Spike TV."

UNTITLED LENA HORNE PROJECT (ABC) - Janet Jackson has exited her starring role in the telefilm as the actress/singer was reportedly disinvited by Horne and her daughter Gail Lumet Buckley after her Super Bowl halftime show antics. Executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron of Storyline Entertainment have also left the project in protest over Jackson's removal. ABC however was apparently ready to go to bat for Jackson but Horne refused to return her contract for the telefilm until ABC guaranteed that Jackson was indeed off the project. Jackson herself then opted to drop out rather than risk a public battle. The news more or less kills any prospects of the project ever being made unless another star is attached. ABC had given the telefilm a production green light back in September (read the story) with Roy Campanella Jr. attached to direct from a script by Shirley Pierce, based on "Lena," the autobiography the singer wrote with Richard Schickel. Sony Pictures Television was also on board to produce the biopic along with Storyline.

UNTITLED MARSH MCCALL/JOEL STEIN PROJECT (ABC) - Colin Hanks ("Roswell") has been tapped for the lead role in the untitled comedy, about a young reporter (Hanks) who makes waves at a respected magazine. The project is loosely based on Joel Stein's real-life experiences as the youngest reporter ever at Time. Warner Bros. Television-based Acme Productions is behind the project, with Stein executive producing along with Marsh McCall.

WANTED (CBS) - Scott Glenn ("Training Day") is the first to join the drama pilot, which revolves around officers assigned to the fugitive department of the L.A.P.D. He'll play Bill Spence, the department chief in the project, which comes from the trio of Warner Bros. Television, 25C Productions and CBS Productions and is executive produced by Sarah Timberman, Cynthia Cidre, Thomas Carter and Carl Beverly. Glenn's involvement lifts the project's cast-contingent component of its production green light.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [february 2004]  

· OZ (HBO)

[12/01/15 - 12:13 PM]
Hollywood's A-List Heads to Ovation TV for No-Holds-Barred Interview Show, "Los Angeles Times' The Envelope"
The series is hosted by Rebecca Keegan and Mark Olsen who sit down with the year's critically acclaimed directors and actors for an in-depth discussion of their awards-worthy films and the filmmaking process.

[12/01/15 - 12:10 PM]
truTV Expands Scripted Slate with Pre-Launch Renewal of "Those Who Can't," And Begins Development on Three New Scripted Projects
"Those Who Can't" centers on a trio of trouble-making high school teachers played by show creators and executive producers Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl and Ben Roy.

[12/01/15 - 11:46 AM]
"War & Peace" Reimagined for a New Generation Premieres on Lifetime, A&E and History January 18
The epic features an award-winning cast including Paul Dano, Lily James, James Norton, Jim Broadbent, Gillian Anderson and others.

[12/01/15 - 10:49 AM]
TV One Celebrates Eddie Murphy in PBS' "18th Annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor" Special This Friday, December 4 at 8 P.M. ET
Originally broadcast on PBS stations nationwide, the special taped at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and features star-studded appearances by leading entertainers and comedians.

[12/01/15 - 10:13 AM]
Video: Starz Releases First Look at "Outlander" Season Two
The Season Two teaser is the first release for Starz' 25 Days of #OutlanderOfferings.

[12/01/15 - 10:07 AM]
"Behind the Magic: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" to Air on ABC, Sunday, December 13
Ginnifer Goodwin narrates the one-hour special, which explores the moment where folklore met filmmaking.

[12/01/15 - 09:46 AM]
An All-New "The Biggest Loser" Returns January 4 with a New Host, Theme, Logo, Gym and Format and Eight Compelling Contestant Teams of Two
Dolvett Quince and Jen Widerstrom return to train eight contestant teams of two, all with compelling stories.

[12/01/15 - 08:35 AM]
Monday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Tops Charts with "The Voice," "Superstore"
The Peacock wins the night in both total viewers and adults 18-49 by wide margins.

[12/01/15 - 08:06 AM]
Video: Netflix Presents "A Very Murray Christmas"
In just 4 days, Bill Murray and his celebrity friends will bring joy and laughter to people all around the world with the Netflix original holiday special.

[12/01/15 - 07:41 AM]
"Bolshoi Babylon," An Unprecedented Inside Look at the Famed Russian Ballet Company in the Wake of Scandal, Debuts Dec. 21 on HBO
The film was previously slated to debut the week prior on Monday, December 14.

[12/01/15 - 07:35 AM]
Nickelodeon Presents Series Finale of Landmark "Nick News with Linda Ellerbee," Commemorating 25 Years on Air, Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 8PM (ET/PT)
Ellerbee, who has announced her retirement, will highlight some of Nick News' most poignant episodes and discussions, while presenting the story and philosophy behind the award-winning series.

[12/01/15 - 07:30 AM]
Juanes, Seth MacFarlane and Trisha Yearwood Added to Lineup for "Sinatra 100 - An All-Star Grammy Concert," Sunday, Dec. 6 on CBS
They join previously announced performers Tony Bennett, Garth Brooks, Zac Brown, Harry Connick, Jr., Celine Dion, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Adam Levine, Carrie Underwood and Usher.

[12/01/15 - 07:03 AM]
Luke Bryan, Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth, and Demi Lovato to Perform in Times Square During "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2016"
They join previously announced performers One Direction, who will headline the Billboard Hollywood Party in Los Angeles.

[12/01/15 - 06:51 AM]
Video: MTV Reveals Stunning Opening Title Sequence for "The Shannara Chronicles"
The show open features powerful and stunning visuals of the post-apocalyptic world of "Shannara," harmonized with artist Ruelle's haunting hit song, "Until We Go Down."

[12/01/15 - 06:07 AM]
Bravo Media Announces "The Lookbook," A New Premier Digital Shopping Experience
Hosted on Bravotv.com, the online platform kicks off tied to the sophomore season of Bravo's scripted series "Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce."