[02/08/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: February 8
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 projects in development? Click here to visit our newly revamped "Series in Development" charts. Visitors can now filter our listings by network, genre and even development stage (ordered to pilot, cast-contingent, script, etc.). It's updated every day!

BOBBY CANNON (A.K.A. UNTITLED KEVIN SORBO PROJECT) (ABC) - The Kevin Sorbo-led, Barry Kemp-produced comedy pilot is officially a go, as the Alphabet has greenlit production. The project stars Sorbo as a pro football quarterback nearing retirement who has to mentor his replacement while figuring out what to do with the rest of his life. Kemp ("Coach") is writing and executive producing the project, which is set up at Touchstone Television where he has an overall deal, along with Eric Gold.

BOOK OF DANIEL (NBC) - The pilot's producers have clarified NBC's original description of the project, which reads "['Book of Daniel'] offers a provocative take on a family with a religious bent. An Episcopalian reverend and father [the recently cast Aidan Quinn] finds himself speaking routinely with a hip, modern Jesus, who appears as a vision and offers valuable guidance to help him navigate through family issues, church politics (especially as they involve a rehabilitation clinic run by the church) -- and his own personal issues." Quinn's character actually speaks with just "Jesus," not a "hip, modern Jesus" as NBC's press release indicates.

CRUMBS (ABC, New!) - Marco Pennette ("I'm With Her") has scored a comedy pilot order from the Alphabet for a new comedy about two estranged brothers, one gay and one straight, who wind up running the family business when their parents get divorced. The project is set up at Brian Robbins and Mike Tollin's Touchstone Television-based Tollin-Robbins banner.

IN THE GAME (ABC) - The Alphabet has pulled the plug on the Jennifer Love Hewitt/Ed O'Neill-led midseason comedy following the production of its second pilot episode. The project, about a father (O'Neill) and daughter (Hewitt) who work together at a fledgling sports channel, had previously been given a six-episode order by the network. The show's revamped pilot was shot last month with ABC deciding to shelve the project this week. Touchstone Television and Handprint Entertainment were behind "Game," which was executive produced by Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah.

JOINT CUSTODY (ABC, New!) - Joel Stein, the former Time columnist behind last year's failed Colin Hanks-led comedy pilot at ABC, has set up a new project at the network. The new effort - a comedy about a recent college graduate who comes home and discovers that his parents have divorced and realizes that he must now take care of his eccentric family - also comes from writer/producer Regina Stewart ("Still Standing") and director Shawn Levy ("Cheaper by the Dozen"). It's not clear however if the project is set up at 20th Century Fox Television, where Levy has a development pact.

THE LIBERTY (FX, New!) - Actor William Baldwin, producer Robert Cooper ("Medical Investigation") and feature writer Eric Guggenheim ("Miracle") are set to team for a new original movie at the cable channel. Said project revolves around the true story of seven U.S. special forces veterans who escaped wrongful imprisonment in Brazil via the Amazon after being recruited by a former special forces commander to escort weapons bound for pro-U.S. rebels in Ghana. Cooper and Baldwin will executive produce the project, with Guggenheim writing the script and Baldwin attached to star. Integrated Films and Management's Steve Whitney & Andrew Trapani, Landscape Entertainment's Gregg Goldman and Dan Gagliasso are also attached as co-executive producers.

NEIGHBORS (ABC, New!) - Writers Matt Gross ("Joe Somebody") and Michael Caleo ("Rescue Me") have scored a pilot commitment from ABC for a new comedy about dueling neighbors forced to contend with one another when their wives and children become unlikely friends. The project, not to be confused with State Street/Sony Pictures Television's "Neighbors" (also for ABC), is set up at Touchstone Television.

POOL GUYS (FOX, New!) - Writer/producers Alexandra Rushfield and Jennifer Konner ("Undeclared") have booked a comedy pilot at the FOX, about two 21-year-old best friends who live in Tarzana, California, clean pools for a living and share the ultimate dream: to clean the pool at the Playboy Mansion. The project, which the pair will write and executive produce, is set up at Regency Television.

SALLY (A.K.A. UNTITLED SALLY FIELD PROJECT) (ABC) - Holly Hester's ("The Drew Carey Show") comedy pilot at the Alphabet has been given the green light to produce a pilot. The project, stars Sally Field as a middle-aged woman who gets a life makeover, and decides to get divorced and find a job. Field's involvement is understood to be the result of a talent deal she signed with Conan O'Brien's NBC Universal Television-based Conaco banner last year (read the story). Hester and O'Brien will executive produce the project alongside Conaco's A.J. Morewitz and Jeff Ross.

SOCCER MOMS (ABC) - Former "Sex and the City" star Kristin Davis has signed on to star in the drama pilot, about two suburban housewives who team up as private investigators. Davis's involvement - she'll play one of the two leads - lifts the cast-contingency on the pilot's production. In addition, Jeff Kline ("That Was Then") has come aboard as an executive producer on the project, which is set up at Touchstone Television. He'll join current executive producers Don Todd and Marla Ginsburg. As for Davis, the actress had previously signed a seven-figure development deal with HBO back in August (read the story). With Davis now attached to "Moms," it now appears the project that resulted from the pact (from writer Stacy Traub) - about a single woman who supports herself as a poker player in Las Vegas - won't go forward.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [february 2005]  


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