[04/08/04 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: April 8
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.

ALIAS (ABC) - Jeffrey Bell ("Angel," "The X-Files") has signed a new two-year, seven-figure overall deal with Touchstone Television. The pact calls for Bell to join "Alias" as a writer and co-executive producer next season and be upped to executive producer for the show's 2005-06 season.

THE AMAZING WESTERBERGS (CBS) - George Segal ("Just Shoot Me") and Susan Sullivan ("Dharma & Greg") are set to guest star in the comedy pilot, about two brothers (Chris O'Donnell, Jay Harrington) who were raised to think they were special and as adults must adjust to the reality that they're just regular guys. Segal and Sullivan will play the pair's parents in the Sony Pictures Television/CBS Productions project. Kathleen Rose Perkins, Monica Potter and Joel David Moore also star.

C.S.I.: NEW YORK (CBS) - Hill Harper ("The Handler") is the latest addition to the upcoming "C.S.I" spin-off, which stars Gary Sinise, Melina Kanakaredes, Vanessa Ferlito and Carmine Giovinazzo. He'll play the coroner working with the New York team in the project, which comes from CBS Productions, Alliance Atlantis and Bruckheimer Television.

CLASS ACTIONS/THE COVEN (Lifetime) - The cable channel has passed on ordering both drama pilots to series. The former, from Sony Pictures Television and executive producer Deborah Joy LeVine, featured Diane Venora as a high-powered New York lawyer who moves to a small town to teach at the local university while the latter, from Lions Game Television and Gale Anne Hurd's Valhalla Television, dealt with a group of monder-day witches (Illeana Douglas, Paula Devicq and Nia Peeples). Instead, Lifetime reportedly plans to go forward with a fifth season of "The Division." The network had been grooming either "Actions" or "Coven" to replace the veteran drama as the series is down 30% in adults 18-49 and 24% in total viewers in year-to-year comparisons so far this season. No official announcement has been made however.

DATELINE NBC (NBC) - NBC News has acquired the documentary feature "Deadline" to air as part of its "Dateline NBC" franchise this summer. The project follows Illinois Gov. George Ryan's final months in office, leading up to his landmark decision to offer blanket clemency to the state's death row inmates. The pact, believed to be in the six-figure range, is said to mark the first time NBC has purchased outside content to air under the "Dateline" umbrella. Katy Chevigny and Kirsten Johnson directed "Deadline" while Chevigny and Dallas Brennan executive produced for Big Mouth Productions in association with Arts Engine Inc. NBC chairman-CEO Bob Wright reportedly saw the film at this year's Sundance Film Festival and personally approached the producers about licensing the project.

THE GUARDIAN (CBS) - The Eye's press materials confirm the series will wrap its third season on Tuesday, May 4 at 9:00/8:00c. Here's how they describe the episode, entitled "Antarctica": "When Nick takes a job at a competing law firm after getting fired from Fallin & Fallin, Burton questions whether Nick made the right choice, on the season finale of THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 4 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. One of the series� executive producers, David Hollander, directed and wrote the episode along with producer Rick Eid. Having been fired from Fallin & Fallin, Nick quickly accepts an offer from a competing firm, but Burton fears Nick might have made the wrong decision because he thinks corporate law might not be Nick�s passion. Meanwhile, Lulu gives birth to a baby girl and decides to only work part-time, which forces Legal Services of Pittsburgh to find someone else to run the clinic."

HUSTLE: THE PETE ROSE STORY (ESPN) - Peter Bogdanovich ("The Mystery of Natalie Wood") has signed on to direct the cable channel's upcoming biopic of the controversial baseball player. Production is set to begin on May 17 in Toronto on the project, which is slated to air Saturday, September 25 at 9:00/8:00c on the network. Christian Darren ("Count Three and Pray") wrote the script to "Hustle" while Orly Adelson of Orly Adelson Productions ("The Junction Boys") will executive produce.

OPRAH WINFREY PRESENTS: THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD (ABC) - The Alphabet has given a production green light to the long-in-the-works telefilm, based on the Zora Neale Hurston novel. Halle Berry stars in the project, about a free-spirited 1920s woman whose search for identity and happiness through three marriages with very different men puts her in opposition to the mores of her small Florida town. Michael Ealy ("Barbershop"), Ruben Santiago-Hudson ("Lackawanna Blues") and Ruby Dee ("Do the Right Thing") are also attached to star while Quincy Jones and Winfrey will executive produce via her Harpo Films banner. Santiago-Hudson will play the ambitious second husband of Berry's character, who forces her into submission and often beats her, while Ealy will play her third husband, the first man to truly love and respect her. Dee is set as her grandmother who, as a slave near the end of the Civil War, gave birth to her white master's child. Darnell Martin ("Law & Order: S.V.U.") will direct from an adaptation by Suzan-Lori Parks ("Topdog/Underdog").

THE SAVAGES (ABC) - Vincent Ventresca ("The Invisible Man") is the latest to join the cast of the comedy pilot, about a blue-collar dad (Keith Carradine) raising five teenage boys, ages 11 to 17. He'll play the brother of David Carradine's character, joining the previously cast Andrew Eiden, Shaun Sipos, Eric Von Detten and Mitchel Musso. Icon Productions and Universal Network Television are behind the project.

THE TWO-TIMER (ABC, New!) - Production is underway on reality guru Mike Fleiss' ("The Bachelor") latest project, a comic reality series (a la "The Simple Life") about a twentysomething man with a knack for juggling multiple women. ABC has committed to 10 episodes of the project, which is set up at Fleiss' Telepictures-based Next Entertainment, for a summer launch date. "Two-Timer" has been shooting in secret over the past few weeks under the guise of being a documentary on young people in Hollywood. Instead the project will follow the "bachelor" as goes on multiple dates each day, most of which are arranged by himself however a few will be pre-set by the producers. Fleiss and his fellow producers however are quick to note that the series won't glamorize such philandering ways and promise a final "dramatic" twist in addition to such other hurdles as forcing him to meet the parents of several of his girlfriends.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [april 2004]  


[12/01/15 - 05:40 PM]
ABC's "Marvel's Agent Carter" Season Premiere Moves to January 19
Due to the scheduling of the State of the Union Address on January 12, "Marvel's Agent Carter" will return for a second season of adventure and intrigue on a new date.

[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."