[04/13/04 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: April 13
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.

Note: As we approach the end of pilot season, our "Development Updates" may not appear every day due to a lack of news.

AFI'S 100 YEARS... 100 SONGS: AMERICA�S GREATEST MUSIC IN THE MOVIES (CBS, New!) - The Eye has scheduled a new special from the American Film Institute, hosted by John Travolta ("Grease," "Saturday Night Fever," "Pulp Fiction"). The three-hour presentation, which spotlights the 100 greatest songs in American movies, is scheduled for Tuesday, June 22 at 8:00/7:00c. Among those scheduled to appear are Clay Aiken, Debbie Allen, Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, Peter Boyle, Keith Carradine, Cyd Charisse, Betty Comden, Bill Conti, Celine Dion, Michael Feinstein, Art Garfunkel, Barry Gibb, Marvin Hamlisch, Isaac Hayes, Angela Lansbury, Baz Luhrmann, Brian McKnight, Rob Marshall, Bill Medley, Rita Moreno, Rosie Perez, Debbie Reynolds, Paul Simon, Barbra Streisand, Jennifer Warrens, Andy Williams and Hans Zimmer.

BAND OF BROTHERS (History Channel) - 4.6 million viewers (3.7 household rating) tuned into the HBO mini-series' debut installment on the History Channel on Sunday, the network's largest audience in its history. "Brothers" also topped all ad-supported cable networks for the night.

THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW: LET'S BUMP UP THE LIGHTS (CBS) - The Eye has rescheduled the special from Wednesday, May 5 to Wednesday, May 12 at 10:00/9:00c. In the special, "the illustrious cast comes together before an audience to introduce never-before-seen clips from the spontaneous and hilarious moments that were seen at the beginning of every 'The Carol Burnett Show' -- where Carol and the gang answered questions from the studio audience," according to a network press release.

ONTOURAGE (New!) - A six-episode reality series that would follow Britney Spears and her fellow dancers on the European leg of her steamy Onyx Hotel Tour is reportedly being shopped around the broadcast and cable networks. Spears herself is executive producing the project through her Fairy Zone banner in association with manager Larry Rudolph's Diamond Park Entertainment and Lisa Falcone. With the European segment of the tour scheduled to begin on April 27, a network commitment would have to come in the next two weeks. Spears and company are said to have budgeted "OnTourage" at $1 million per episode, a rather high fee for a new unscripted reality series. Foxlab, 20th Century Fox Television's alternative division, and Zoo Productions are also behind the project.

THE PRACTICE (ABC) - Longtime David E. Kelley collaborator Bill D'Elia has been named executive producer/showrunner of the forthcoming spin-off series. The project centers on James Spader's character as he makes the transition to Crane, Poole & Schmidt, the rival law firm that represented him in his wrongful-termination lawsuit against Young, Frutt & Berluti. Rhona Mitra, Fay Masterson and Lake Bell also star in the spin-off, while options exist for William Shatner, Vincent Pastore and Rebecca De Mornay to make the transition.

TALK TO ME (USA, New!) - Dean Devlin ("Independence Day") is developing a new drama series about the professional and personal lives of the New York Police Department's hostage-negotiation unit. Lions Gate Television is behind the project, which is set to be written by Jan Skrentny and Neal Tabachnick ("Driven"). Devlin will executive produce via his Electric Entertainment banner.

THE TRIANGLE (Sci Fi) - Rockne O'Bannon ("Farscape") has been tapped to script the eight-hour mini-series, currently in development at the cable channel. Dean Devlin ("Independence Day") and Bryan Singer ("X-Men") are executive producing the project, which takes on the myth of the Bermuda Triangle.

UNTITLED MO'NIQUE PROJECT (Syndication, New!) - Mo'Nique ("The Parkers") has pacted with Telepictures to develop a new syndicated talk show for the 2005-06 season. The actress/comedian, who was previously attached to talk show from Big Ticket Television this past development season, recently subbed in as host of fellow Telepictures' series "The Sharon Osbourne Show."

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [april 2004]  


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