[08/18/04 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: August 16-18
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (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 BIGGEST LOSER (NBC) - Caroline Rhea reportedly has been named the host of the upcoming reality series, in which contestants compete to lose the most weight. Reveille, NBC Universal Television and 3 Ball Productions are all behind the project, which is expected to roll out some time in 2005. Rhea spent the past development season as part of the ABC comedy pilot "Plan B." Ben Silverman, David Broome and J.D. Roth are the executive producers of "Loser."

COMMANDO NANNY (WB) - Philip Winchester, who plays the title character in the upcoming Frog comedy, has been recast after the actor broke his foot in an accident not related to the show's production. Said development, which will leave Winchester unable to work for 4-6 weeks, lead the WB to name fellow newcomer Owain Yeoman ("Troy") - who had a small role in the original pilot - as his replacement on the series as "Nanny" is set to debut on September 17. Producers had already planned to reshoot the pilot, meaning Yeoman's transition will be seamless. To make up for the decision, producer Warner Bros. Television is reportedly looking to sign Winchester to a talent holding deal that will lead him to being cast in one of the studio's other projects.

THE DEAD ZONE (USA) - With the loss of "The 4,400" as a lead-in, "The Dead Zone" took a noticeable dip on Sunday, falling from 4.6 million viewers to 3.6 million. The broadcast nevertheless was the top draw on basic cable for the night among total viewers, adults 18-49 (1.8 rating), adults 25-54 (2.3 rating) and households (2.8 rating).

ENTERTAINMENTSTUDIOS.COM (Syndication) - Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios, Inc. has cleared the half-hour newsmagazine on local stations covering 70% of the country, including WABC-TV in New York and KTLA-TV in Los Angeles. The series, which is entering into its fifth season this fall, profiles of TV, film and music stars.

GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC) - Producer Mark Gordon has signed a two-year overall deal with Touchstone Television, where he'll develop drama projects for the studio. Gordon is already hard at work as an executive producer of the ABC midseason entry "Grey's Anatomy," along with Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers and Jim Parriott, about a group of medical interns trying to make it through a grueling surgical training program.

HATE (Showtime) - Marcia Gay Harden ("Mystic River") is in final talks to headline while Eamonn Walker, Jeremy Davidson, Rosa Arredondo, Ken Leung, Daniel Saul and Aisha Hinds have joined the cast of the pay channel's drama pilot, about the N.Y.P.D.'s hate crimes unit. Harden is up for the role of Chief Jackie Mantello, the tough division head who struggles to balance the demands of her job with the needs of her troubled son. Details on the other actors' role were not available. Paris Barclay and James DeMonaco created and wrote the script to the project, which the former will direct. The pair will also executive produce "Hate" alongside Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen ("American Beauty"). Production is set to begin later this month.

HERCULES (NBC) - Elizabeth Perkins, who recently signed onto the Showtime comedy pilot "Weeds," has also joined the cast of the upcoming Peacock mini-series about the life of the Greek hero. Also recently tapped for the project are Kim Coates, Tyler Mane and Leeanna Walsman. Perkins will play Alcmene, Hercules' mother, while Mane will play Antaeus, a giant whose strength appeared invincible until he wrestled Hercules, with Walsman as Megara, Hercules' first wife and later his archenemy. Coates' role wasn't specified.

HOWARD STERN: THE HIGH SCHOOL YEARS (Spike TV) - The cable channel is moving forward with the animated project, which takes a look at an adolescent Stern as he wades through high school. Spike TV has committed to 13 episodes of the series, which is expected to roll out in the summer of 2005. The order was given after network chief Albie Hecht saw several scripts and drawings for the project as no pilot was produced. Stern, who has yet to make clear if he'll voice his character on the series, will executive produce alongside Spike's programming executive VP Kevin Kay. The news marks a return to a troubled genre for the network as "Gary the Rat," "Stripperella" and "This Just In" failed to ignite any ratings sparks by the end of their respective runs.

JACK & BOBBY (WB) - Paul Sorvino is set to guest star in an upcoming episode of the new fall drama. He'll portray President Lorio on the series during its flash-forward segments, which take place from 2037-41. The character, which could become recurring, unwittingly comes to the aid of the future president - one of the two title characters - during a political debate and helps seal his eventual victory.

JUDGING AMY (CBS) - Carol Barbee ("Queer as Folk") has been named the executive producer/showrunner of the veteran drama just a few weeks before production is set to begin on its sixth season. She'll replace Richard Kramer who has left the post due to "production differences" despite only joining the series this summer. Barbee has been a staff writer on "Amy" since last season, where she served as a supervising producer.

KARROLL'S CHRISTMAS (A&E, New!) - Tom Everett Scott ("ER") is set to topline a new holiday themed telefilm at the cable channel, a twist on the Charles Dickens' classic in which the ghosts of Jacob Marley and Christmas past, present and future accidentally visit the wrong guy (Scott), the neighbor of their intended "Scrooge." Said visit causes Scott's character, a greeting card writer whose career and love life are in a slump, to help his neighbor redeem himself before it's too late. Dennis Dugan will direct the project from a script by Drew Daywalt and David Schneider with A&E's Delia Fine executive producing alongside Cosgrove/Meurer Productions' John Cosgrove, Terry Meurer and Linda Berman. John Klane and George Paige will also serve as executive producers on "Christmas," which also comes from Fox Television Studios and Voice Pictures. Production is set to begin on September 13 for a December air date on the network.

MONK (USA) - Friday's installment was the most-watched program for the week on basic cable, earning 4.9 million viewers and a 2.7 rating among adults 25-54, 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 3.8 rating among households. In year-to-year comparisons, "Monk" is up a solid 16% in households, 19% in adults 25-54 and 12% in adults 18-49.

POWER GIRLS (MTV) - The cable channel has reportedly given a six-episode order to the reality series, about the life of press maven Lizzie Grubman. "Girls" will track Grubman and her team of flacks as they run the nightlife in Manhattan, Miami and the Hamptons. Grubman is best known for running publicity for such clients as Britney Spears, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Jay-Z and Russell Simmons. It's not clear when MTV plans to debut "Girls" however it's more than likely set to roll out in early 2005.

THE REAL WORLD (MTV) - MTV has confirmed the 15th season of the series, which is based Philadelphia, will kick off Tuesday, September 7 at 10:00/9:00c.

ROCKY POINT (WB) - Lauren Holly ("Just Desserts"), Travis Fimmel ("Tarzan"), Moon Bloodgood ("C.S.I."), Beau Garrett and John Patrick Amedori are set to round out the cast of the drama pilot, which centers on Cassie (Chyler Leigh), a young woman living on Hawaii's North Shore who takes in her estranged father (Billy Campbell). Fimmel will play Cassie's boyfriend Taj, a charismatic professional surfer, while Bloodgood and Garrett will play Cassie's roommates with Holly as their landlord, a New York attorney who recently moved to Hawaii with her karate enthusiast son (Amedori). Production is set to begin early next month on the pilot, which comes from "Blue Crush's" John Stockwell and Lizzy Weiss.

THAT '70S SHOW (FOX) - Caryn Mandabach has opted to exit her nearly 20 year partnership as part of the independent studio Carsey-Werner-Mandabach. Mandabach's exit, which will be formally announced today, has lead the remaining parnters, and original founders, Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner to revert the company to its original name, the Carsey-Werner Co. Mandabach is expected to form her own production company however details were not given. It's not clear how the loss of Mandabach will affect the trio's investment in the Oxygen cable network.

WILL & GRACE (NBC) - Jennifer Lopez and Janet Jackson are set to make guest appearances on the show's first and second episodes respectively this season. Lopez's spot, set to air on September 16, will feature the actress/singer reprising her role as herself in which she returns from her summer performance tour with Jack (Sean Hayes), who accompanied her as a backup dancer. As for Jackson, the fellow actress/singer will also play herself in the September 23 installment which also sees Jack following her on tour as a backup dancer. The news marks Jackson's first TV appearance since an episode of "Diff-rent Strokes" over 20 years ago.

YOUR TOTAL HEALTH (Syndication) - The NBC News Productions series, which is set to debut the weekend of September 25-26, has now been cleared on local stations in more than 90% of country. Recent additions include KOIN-TV in Portland, Ore., WDIV-TV in Detroit and KMBC-TV in Kansas City, Mo.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [august 2004]  

· 4400, THE (USA)
· ER (NBC)

[03/16/18 - 12:58 PM]
Paramount Network Presents "It Was Him: The Many Murders of Ed Edwards"
When Wayne Wolfe discovered that infamous serial killer Ed Edwards was his estranged grandfather he became compelled to answer one potentially life-altering question - are killers born, or are they made?

[03/16/18 - 11:30 AM]
USA Network Renews "The Sinner" for Season 2
Season two lures Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) back to his hometown in rural New York to assess an unsettling and heart wrenching crime - parents murdered by their 11-year-old son, with no apparent motive.

[03/16/18 - 11:30 AM]
"Elvis Presley: The Searcher," Two-Part Music Documentary Chronicling His Creative Journey, Debuts April 14 on HBO
The project follows his creative journey from childhood through the final 1976 Jungle Room recording sessions.

[03/16/18 - 11:00 AM]
Jake McDorman and Nik Dodani Join the Cast of "Murphy Brown" When It Returns to CBS
McDorman will play Avery, Murphy's millennial journalist son who is following in his mother's footsteps, perhaps too closely, and has his mother's competitive spirit and quick wit.

[03/16/18 - 10:45 AM]
Discovery Gives MacGyver a Run for His Money in All-New Series "Last Outpost"
Backcountry builders Clint Greathouse and Todd Anderson create one-of-a-kind builds, using nothing but recycled parts, out-of-the box creativity, and sheer determination.

[03/16/18 - 09:21 AM]
Food Network Launches New Snapchat Show "Chopped U" Headlined by Lazarus Lynch
New episodes of the six-week show air Sundays on Snapchat's Discover page, and previously released episodes will be available using Snapchat's Search feature.

[03/16/18 - 09:16 AM]
Bradley Whitford, Steve Zahn and Lamorne Morris to Star in National Geographic's "Valley of the Boom," Six-Part Limited Series Set in '90s Tech Bubble from STXtv
John Karna, Oliver Cooper and Dakota Shapiro also star in the project.

[03/16/18 - 08:19 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Tops Charts with NCAA Tournament Coverage
The Eye's primetime portion leads the evening in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[03/16/18 - 08:02 AM]
Video: Showtime(R) Reveals Premiere Date and Sneak Peek for "Patrick Melrose"
The Benedict Cumberbatch-led drama will launch on Saturday, May 12 at 9:00/8:00c.

[03/16/18 - 07:55 AM]
Freed's Bakery Serves Up More Show-Stopping Cakes in New Season of "Vegas Cakes"
Look for the first of 13 new episodes on Monday, April 2 at 10:00/9:00c.

[03/16/18 - 07:10 AM]
EPIX Captures Espionage Drama "Deep State"
Starring Mark Strong and Joe Dempsie, the gritty new drama is set to premiere on Sunday, June 17 at 9:00/8:00c.

[03/16/18 - 07:06 AM]
"Long Island Medium" Returns to TLC on Sunday, April 8th with All New Emotional Episodes and a Star-Studded Finale
Last December, the season ended with a question mark over Theresa and Larry's relationship as fans followed them through what has been their most emotional and personal journey yet.

[03/16/18 - 07:01 AM]
Adult Swim Kicks Down the Door to the Festival Market
Adult Swim announced today that it is expanding its portfolio of live experiences with the debut of the new Adult Swim Festival, October 6-7, in Downtown Los Angeles.

[03/16/18 - 06:31 AM]
"Bobby Kennedy for President" - A Netflix Original Documentary Series Directed by Dawn Porter Launches Globally April 27
The eye-opening and transformative four-part series utilizes rare and never-before-seen archival footage - much of it digitized for the first time - along with new interviews with those that worked closely with RFK and knew him well.

[03/15/18 - 11:22 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, March 15
Updates include: Missy Peregrym to lead "F.B.I." at CBS; Peyton List set to star in FOX's "Gone, Baby, Gone"; and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje cast in ABC's "The Fix."