[02/11/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: February 11
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!

3 LBS. (CBS) - Reiko Aylesworth ("24") has been cast in the drama pilot, which revolves around the lives of a group of brain surgeons. She'll reportedly play Dr. Adrianne Holland, one of the aforementioned brain surgeons in the project. Here's how her character is described in the show's casting notice: "An ambitious, determined, neuroscientist who happens to be attractive. Adrianne is intent on understanding the brain's more elusive qualities. Adrianne plays with Hanson [the male lead] in bed but is dependent on him at work, needing Hanson to keep her well-supplied with open brains on which to perform experiments. Considerably more uninhibited than the often-earnest Hanson, and maybe just a bit attracted to the new (though married) Dr. Jonathan Fowler, Adrianne sheds her gravitas as easily as she sheds her lab coat, and her dry wit and willingness to (literally) think outside the box enlivens Hanson's sessions of brain dissection." Peter Ocko and Paul Stupin are behind the project, which is set up at Paramount Network Television.

AMERICAN CRIME (CBS) - Simon West ("Keen Eddie") has been tapped to direct the drama pilot, about a female prosecutor who juggles the world of suburban crime with the challenges of being a new mother. He'll direct from a script by creator Jim Leonard. "Crime" is set up at Jerry Bruckheimer's Warner Bros. Television-based company.

THE CATCH (ABC) - The long-in-the-works drama pilot is back on track at the Alphabet as the producers are set to begin production next month. Greg Grunberg ("Alias"), Kym Whitley ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") and Don Rickles ("Toy Story") star in the project, an ensemble drama set in the world of bounty hunters. Orlando Jones, who was previously attached to the project, appears to be no longer be involved. Grunberg and J.J. Abrams created the Touchstone Television-based series which will be executive produced by Abrams and John Eisendrath.

CONVICTION (CBS) - Lisa Gay Hamilton ("The Practice") is the first to be cast on the drama pilot, about a defense attorney-turned-prosecutor who reconstructs crimes in narrative to get convictions. She'll play an assistant district attorney who reports to said character in the project, which comes from the Warner Bros. Television-based 25C Productions and executive producers Jon Avnet, Ed Redlich, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly.

DEAD LIKE ME (Showtime) - Sci Fi Channel, TNT and A&E have been confirmed as three of the cable networks MGM Television has approached about reviving the short-lived Showtime drama. The studio reportedly is looking to package the repeat rights to the 30 completed hours as part of any license fee for a third season. A similar strategy helped Tribune Entertainment finance a fifth season of "Andromeda" as part of its off-network deal with Sci Fi. Nevertheless, the window to get a deal done is closing as the options on stars Mandy Patinkin and Ellen Muth are set to expire shortly. As far as the production side, producers John Masius, Bryan Fuller and Clancy Collins have all indicated they would be more than receptive to continuing with the show.

DOG TOWN LAWYERS (The WB) - Feature helmer Andrew Davis ("The Fugitive") is set to direct the drama pilot, a legal drama about a young prodigy lawyer (Jay Baruchel) and his mentor, a jaded defense attorney who has fallen from the big leagues. Davis will direct the project, which is set up at the Warner Bros. Television-based Bruckheimer Television, from a script by creator Jonathan Shapiro.

FEMALE ASTRONAUTS (A.K.A. UNTITLED CHARLIE CRAIG PROJECT) (Lifetime) - The Charlie Craig-written/Gale Anne Hurd-produced project is now being developed as a limited series and using the title "Female Astronauts." The Lions Gate Television-based drama tracks the lives of women training for N.A.S.A.'s space program as well as their attempts to rescue six castaways at the international space station.

THE GUMM SISTERS (A.K.A. UNTITLED KATHY NAJIMY PROJECT) (Lifetime) - Kathy Najimy's project currently in development at the cable channel is now running under the title "The Gumm Sisters." No details however have been released about the drama.

KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL (FOX) - Darren Star's half-hour comedy pilot, about the life of Les Halles executive chef and Food Network host Anthony Bourdain, has been given the green light to produce a pilot. David Hemingson ("Just Shoot Me") has also been brought in to write and executive produce the project, which will revolve around the exploits of Jack Bourdain, a bad-boy, down-on-his-luck chef who takes over at a top New York restaurant and must fight off all the urges of his former lifestyle. "Kitchen" is set up at New Line Television, 20th Century Fox Television and Star's Darren Star Productions.

LIES AND THE WIVES WE TELL THEM TO (NBC) - Kyle Chandler ("Early Edition," "The Lyon's Den") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about "four couples [who] navigate their way through the 'politics of marriage' with lies that range from tiny to big, revealing how fabrications -- when done right -- may in fact further a healthy relationship." Chandler will play Cooper in the project, which also stars Johnny Sneed ("First Daughter"). The NBC Universal Television-based "Lies" comes from executive producers David Guarascio and Moses Port.

THE LOOK (Lifetime, New!) - John Tinker ("The Practice") is developing a new one-hour drama at Lifetime which explores the behind-the-scenes, high-stakes world of fashion. Reality house Bunim-Murray ("The Real World") is on board to produce the project along with Wally Nicita ("Irreconcilable Differences") and Peter Barsocchini ("Drop Zone").

LOST (ABC) - The producers have confirmed ABC has ordered two additional episodes of the series beyond its previous order of 22 episodes. To date this season "Lost" currently averages 16.12 million viewers.

LOVE MONKEY (CBS) - Former "Ed" star Tom Cavanagh has signed on to topline the drama pilot, about the lives of four male friends in various stages of dating and marriage as seen through the eyes of a single music executive (Cavanagh). Cavanagh's involvement lifts the cast-contingency on the pilot presentation's production. Michael Rauch and Mark Johnson are behind the Sony/Paramount/Gran Via-based project, which is based on the book of the same name by Kyle Smith.

THE MARRIAGE BED (Lifetime, New!) - The cable channel has greenlit production on a new comedy pilot about the love lives of three sisters: one single, one divorced and one married. Sally Robinson ("Iron Jawed Angels") is behind the project, which primarily revolves around the seemingly happy married sibling whose union is beginning to unravel. Lifetime is currently in talks with a major studio to produce the project.

WHAT ABOUT BRIAN? (ABC) - Amanda Detmer ("A.U.S.A.") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about a single man in his 30s still trying to figure out his life after all his friends have gotten hitched. She'll play Deena Greco, the wife of one of the title character's friends. Here's how the show's casting notice describes her character: "28-38. Dave's wife, the mother of their three daughters, Deena's relaxed beachie/hippie looks belie a take-no-prisoners bluntness. Strong, critical, Deena is well aware of the lack of sexual spark in her relationship, and suggests to Dave that maybe if they each try an extra-marital fling they might get back on track again. Unaware that Dave has decided that's not the way to go, Deena has a fling with her Yoga instructor." Matthew Davis ("Legally Blonde") also stars. Feature writer Dana Stevens ("City of Angels") is behind the project which is set up at J.J. Abrams' Touchstone Television-based Bad Robot Productions.

WILD CARD (Lifetime) - The network's executive VP/general manager Rick Haskins has confirmed the sophomore drama will not return for a third season. The Joely Fisher-led series is currently on hiatus from airing its second season, with six episodes still yet to air. The remaining installments then are expected to be burned off at some time later this year.

UNTITLED ADRIANA TRIGIANI PROJECT (Lifetime, New!) - Novelist Adriana Trigiani ("The Queen of the Big Time") is developing a new drama at the network about a group of urban mothers, all formerly freewheeling single women, who are realizing settling down isn't what they expected. Larry Sanitsky ("The Pennsylvania Miner's Story") is also on board to executive produce the project, which does not have a studio attached.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [february 2005]  

· 24 (FOX)
· 3 LBS. (CBS)
· ED (NBC)

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