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 BACHELOR (ABC) - The fifth edition of the popular reality franchise has been scheduled to wrap with a two-hour installment on Wednesday, May 19 at 9:00/8:00c. Accompanying specials "The Women Tell All" and "After the Final Rose" will air on Wednesday, May 12 at 10:00/9:00c and Wednesday, May 26 at 9:00/8:00c respectively.
CHAPPELLE'S SHOW (Comedy Central) - 4.43 million viewers tuned into the show's most recent broadcast on Wednesday, its largest audience to date. More importantly, said broadcast was the most-watched program on the network since an October 1998 episode of "South Park," not to mention the top draw among men 18-34 across all networks, broadcast and cable, in the 10:30/9:30c half-hour (5.6/18).
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (NBC) - Jane Krakowski ("Ally McBeal") has joined the cast of the Peacock's musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic. She'll star as the Ghost of Christmas Past in the project, which also features Kelsey Grammer, Jason Alexander and Jesse L. Martin. Production is set to begin in June in Budapest, Hungary on the telefilm for a November premiere.
EARTHQUAKE (ABC) - Johnny Sneed ("First Daughter") is the latest to join the cast of the comedy pilot, which stars the single-named comedian as a family man struggling to raise four kids with his wife (Holly Robinson-Peete). Sneed's role wasn't specified in the Touchstone Television/Tollin-Robbins Productions project, which also stars Charles Duckworth, Christopher Pinnick, Rhyon Nicole Brown, Tami Anderson and Steven Walsh.
THE GREEN SCREEN (WB, New!) - Production is underway on a new pilot presentation for the Frog which mixes improvisational comedy with animation. Drew Carey and "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" alums Ryan Stiles, Kathy Kinney, Colin Mochrie, Greg Proops, Brad Sherwood, Sean Masterson, Kaitlin Olson and John Mangum all shot scenes in front of a green screen for the project last week using topics and settings suggested by a studio audience. Animation house Acme Filmworks will then draw in backgrounds and props into shot scenes as part of the post-production process using 2-D, 3-D, CG, stop-motion and even clay-oriented animation. Carey and Acme's Ron Diamond will serve as the executive producers of the project, which would have a 12-week production turnaround. The additional time is necessary for the animation process to be completed despite the relatively quick "live action" shooting time.
I DO, I DID, NOW WHAT? (UPN) - The netlet has opted not to go forward with the comedy pilot, which was scheduled to tape this Thursday at 7:00/6:00c at Fox Studios. While no official reason was given, casting issues are believed to have been the culprit. The project, based on Jenny Lee's book of the same name, looks at what happens to modern couples after they get hitched. Kate Hudson, Shanna Tyndall Nussbaum and Jay Cohen of Cosmic Entertainment and Dan Cohen and F.J. Pratt ("Less Than Perfect") were behind the project, which was set up at 20th Century Fox Television.
THE JOE SCHMO SHOW (Spike TV) - The cable channel has announced production has completed on the show's second season, which is set to kick off Tuesday, June 15 at 10:00/9:00c. Here's how Spike TV describes the new edition: "Season one introduced America to the next wave of reality programming, the faux-reality series where only one contestant was real. "Joe Schmo 2" will not only feature a "Joe Schmo," but in a daring twist -- a "Jane Schmo" as well. Aside from "Joe" and "Jane," everyone else on the show from the host to the other 'players' are actors following a pre-determined storyline. Our two unsuspecting contestants believe they are participating in a new show entitled "Last Chance for Love." Combining elements from many of the romance/relationship shows currently found on television ("The Bachelor/Bachelorette," "Average Joe," "For Love or Money," "Meet My Folks"), "Last Chance for Love" is complete with over-the-top eviction ceremonies, cutthroat competitions and many shocking twists. Ralph Garman, who portrayed the smarmy host of the original "Joe Schmo" returns this season in disguise as Derek Newcastle, the pompous, but randy British host."
PLAY NICE (UPN, New!) - The netlet has given a last-minute pilot presentation order to a new comedy about an uptight, career-minded woman and her fun-loving brother. Charisma Carpenter ("Angel") and Tyler Labine ("That Was Then") have been tapped for the lead roles of Sarah and Alex respectively in the semi-autobiographical project, which comes from creators Andrew Secunda ("Late Night With Conan O'Brien") and his sister, UTA agent Ruthanne Secunda. "Nice" is set up at Paramount Network Television, the Littlefield Co. and Nervous Properties with the Secundas executive producing alongside Warren Littlefield ("Keen Eddie") and Adam Chase ("Friends").
REVELATIONS (NBC) - Tobin Bell ("24") has been added to the cast of the upcoming limited series at the Peacock, about a group's efforts to forestall the apocalypse. Bill Pullman, Natascha McElhone, John Rhys-Davis, Britney Coyle and Chelsey Coyle all star in the project, which comes from Pariah Television.
VARIOUS SERIES (ABC) - The Alphabet has updated its previously reported May sweeps schedule (read the story) with new season finale dates for several series: "I'm With Her" (Tuesday, April 27 at 8:30/7:30c), "The Big House" (Friday, April 30 at 8:30/7:30c), "N.Y.P.D. Blue" (Tuesday, May 11 at 10:00/9:00c), "Alias" (Sunday, May 16 at 9:00/8:00c), "The Practice" (series finale; Sunday, May 16 at 10:00/9:00c), "The George Lopez Show" (one-hour; Friday, May 21 at 8:00/7:00c), "America's Funniest Home Videos" (Sunday, May 23 at 7:00/6:00c), "Eight Simple Rules" (Tuesday, May 25 at 8:00/7:00c), "According to Jim" (Tuesday, May 25 at 9:30/8:30c) and "My Wife and Kids" (one-hour; Wednesday, May 26 at 8:00/7:00c). Finale dates have yet to be finalized for "Less Than Perfect," "Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "Extreme Makeover."
A WRINKLE IN TIME (ABC) - The Alphabet has moved up the air date of the long-delayed telefilm to Monday, May 10 at 8:00/7:00c. Here's how ABC describes the project, which will air under the "Wonderful World of Disney" banner: "For 40 years, Madeline L'Engle's award-winning classic has enchanted millions of young readers worldwide. The story follows Meg, her brilliant brother Charles, and their friend Calvin, on a quest to rescue her scientist father from the dark forces of another galaxy. Aided by three remarkable ladies from a distant time, Meg must confront her own weaknesses before she can summon the will and strength to triumph."
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters