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[04/21/04 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: April 21
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.

AIRLINE (A&E) - The cable channel has committed to "Airline: Excess Baggage," a six-episode series of specials scheduled to air Mondays at 10:00/9:00c beginning May 24. The project offers the "Southwest Airlines characters (Mike, Yolanda, Vi, Colleen, Steve, Susie, Denise and others) a chance to tell their side of what happened during Season One as well as introduce never-before-seen footage of some of the more intriguing storylines," according to a network press release. The specials are not to be confused with the second season of "Airline," which will premiere later this summer on A&E.

THE CATCH (ABC) - Legendary comedian Don Rickles ("Toy Story") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, where he'll play the boss of the two lead characters (Greg Grunberg and Orlando Jones). The project, which comes from Touchstone Television and J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot, also stars Kym Whitley as Honey, the assistant to Rickles' character.

DARK SHADOWS (WB) - Michael D. Roberts ("The District") will round out the cast of the Frog's update of the cult classic series. He'll play Sheriff George Patterson in the project, a role previously played by Dana Elcar, Dennis Patrick, and Michael Cavanaugh in the show's previous incarnations. Marley Shelton (Victoria Winters), Ivana Milicevic (Angelique), Alec Newman (Barnabas), Jessica Chastain (Carolyn Stoddard), Martin Donovan (Roger Collins), Alexander Gould (David Collins), Matt Czuchry (Willie Loomis), Blair Brown (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard), Jason Shaw (Joe Haskell), Alexis Thorpe (Kelly Greer), Jenna Dewan (Sophia), Kelly Hu (Dr. Hoffman) also star in the Warner Bros. Television/John Wells Productions project.

FRANKENSTEIN (USA) - Adam Goldberg ("Friends") is set to star opposite Parker Posey in the network's two-hour drama pilot, an update of the Mary Shelley classic. The pair play detectives who unravel the myth of Frankenstein through a seemingly standard homicide investigation in present-day Seattle. It's not clear how Goldberg's involvement will affect his current commitment to Aisha Tyler's untitled comedy pilot at CBS should that project go to series. Lions Gate Television and Flame Television are behind the project, which comes from executive producers Martin Scorsese, Dean Koontz and Tony Krantz. Production is set to begin next month on the pilot, with Marcus Nispel ("Texas Chainsaw Massacre") directing from a script by Koontz.

ROCKY POINT (WB) - Billy Campbell ("Once and Again") is the first to join the cast of the drama pilot, about a young woman living with her friends on Hawaii's North Shore who reluctantly takes in her estranged father. Campbell will play said father in Warner Bros. Television project, which comes from John Stockwell and Lizzy Weiss ("Blue Crush").

THREE NON-BLONDES (VH1, New!) - VH1 has committed to a pilot for a domestic version of the popular BBC series, which features three black comedians (played by Kyra Groves, Frances Callier and Angela V. Shelton in the new version) playing different characters and interacting with unsuspecting passersby. Gary Reich, the producer of the original British series, is on board to direct and executive produce the U.S. pilot.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· AIRLINE (A AND E)
· CATCH, THE (ABC)
· DARK SHADOWS (WB)
· DISTRICT, THE (CBS)
· FRANKENSTEIN (USA)
· FRIENDS (NBC)
· ONCE & AGAIN (ABC)
· ROCKY POINT (WB)
· THREE NON-BLONDES (VH1)





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