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[03/29/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: March 29
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!

CBS REALITY PROJECTS (CBS, New!) - The Eye has put into development three new reality concepts which hope to take advantage of the popularity of such softer, noncompetitive reality series as "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "Wife Swap." "Reunion," hosted by Melissa Gilbert, chronicles the journeys of people trying to track down family members with whom they have lost contact. Another, "Crossroads," involves placing participants in a lifestyle that would have resulted should a different choice had been made by them or for them earlier in their lives. The last, "Shenanigans," chronicles the daily goings-on of the employees (some of which are improv actors) at a restaurant of the Midwest-based Shenanigans chain. No other details were given about the projects.

EARLY BIRD (NBC) - Luis Avalos ("Jack & Bobby") is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, about a twentysomething (Timm Sharp) who opts to live in a retirement community. Avalos will play a cheerful and religiously devout member of the community in the NBC Universal Television/3 Arts Entertainment-based project, which also stars Bill Macy and Larry Hankin. In addition, Jonathan Groff ("Father of the Pride") has been added as an executive producer, where he'll serve alongside creator Rodney Rothman and 3 Arts' David Miner and Howard Klein.

EUREKA (Sci Fi) - Colin Ferguson ("Coupling") has booked the male lead in the two-hour drama pilot, about a newly hired sheriff who discovers that the world's geniuses have been secretly relocated to a small town. He'll play Jack Carter in the project, which is described in the network's press materials as follows: "A newly hired sheriff reports for duty in the small, bucolic Pacific North-west town of Eureka and soon discovers that things are not what they seem. For years, the government has been relocating the world's geniuses (and their families) to Eureka, creating the ultimate think tank community. At times strange, amazing, and bizarre, the community's quirky inhabitants unleash scientific and technological creations still unknown by the outside world." Peter O'Fallon ("Wonderfalls") is directing the pilot from a script by creators Andrew Cosby ("Haunted") and Jaime Paglia. Cosby then will serve as the executive producer with Paglia producing alongside Angela Mancuso.

FAITH OF MY FATHERS (A&E) - The cable channel's John McCain biopic has been slated to premiere on Monday, May 30 at 8:00/7:00c. Shawn Hatosy ("The Winning Season") stars as the young McCain in the project, which tracks his Naval career including his five years of captivity as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. Scott Glenn ("Backdraft"), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa ("Hawaii"), Erin Cottrell ("Little House on the Prairie") and Justin Groetsch ("Odd Girl Out") also star in the telefilm, which is directed by Peter Markle ("Jack & Bobby") from his own script.

INVASION (ABC) - Lisa Sheridan ("FreakyLinks") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about the strange goings-on in a small Florida town after a hurricane. She'll play Larkin Groves in the Warner Bros. Television-based project, who's described in the casting notice as: "32. Beautiful, bright, and personable, Larkin is Russell's [Eddie Cibrian] wife and an investigative journalist for the local ABC affiliate in Miami. When we meet her, she is clearly a woman in transition: Adjusting to marriage and step-motherhood, and an expectant mother herself in the early stages of pregnancy. Before she met her husband, work always came first. Now, there are so many other things to consider, and so many uncertainties ahead." Shaun Cassidy is behind the pilot, which also stars Alexis Dziena, Aisha Hinds, Tyler Labine and William Fichtner.

LIFE & STYLE/PAT CROCE: MOVING IN (Syndication) - Both of Sony Pictures Television's freshman entries - "Life & Style" and "Pat Croce: Moving In" - are reportedly not returning for second seasons. Production had already been completed on each show's inaugural run as repeats and the remaining first-run installments will air through September. With "Style" averaging a 0.5 household rating and "Croce" at 0.7 household rating to date this season, their respective demises come as little surprise.

OLD CHRISTINE (CBS) - Emily Rutherfurd ("Married to the Kellys") is set to play the "new" Christine in the comedy pilot, about a divorced mom named Christine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who tries to keep pace with everyone around her. Rutherfurd will play the new girlfriend of Christine's ex-husband (Clark Gregg), who also happens to be named Christine. She joins the previously cast Hamish Linklater and Trevor Gagnon, who play the brother and son respectively of Louis-Dreyfus's character. Warner Bros. Television is behind the project, which comes from creator/executive producer Kari Lizer.

PROJECT GREENLIGHT (Bravo) - Following its special airing tonight at 8:00/7:00c, Bravo has quietly confirmed the series will move to Thursdays at 10:00/9:00c beginning April 7.

SITUATION: COMEDY (Bravo) - According to press materials recently released by the cable channel, the sitcom search will finally debut in late July. An exact day and time has yet to be announced however.

SOUTH BEACH (UPN) - Marcus Coloma ("Point Pleasant") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about two Brooklynites who move to Miami's South Beach and get caught up in a sexy and dangerous world. He'll play Matt Evans in the project, which is set up at Paramount Network Television, Tony Krantz's Flame Television and Jennifer Lopez & Simon Fields's Nuyorican banner. Philip Levens serves as an executive producer alongside Krantz, Lopez and Fields.

STACKED (FOX) - Elon Gold ("In-Laws") is set to replace Tom Everett Scott as the male lead in the Pamela Anderson-led comedy series, which premieres on Wednesday, April 13 at 8:30/7:30c. He'll take over as Gavin DeWitt, the owner of the small family-run bookstore where Anderson's character works. The producers reportedly felt Scott, who is already in talks to sign on to another pilot, didn't feel right for the role after its first taping last week. As for Gold, he'll step into the role at tonight's taping of the show's second episode with reshoots of the pilot expected to be completed shortly thereafter. The actor is understood to have previously been attached to the NBC comedy pilot "Loved Ones (and Other People We Hate)" however that pilot has been scrapped by the network. Brian Scolaro, Christopher Lloyd and Jaret Winokur also star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based "Stacked," which comes from executive producers Steven Levitan and Jeffrey Richman with Heide Perlman and Stephen Lloyd as co-executive producers.

THRESHOLD (CBS) - William Mapother ("Lost") has joined the cast of the drama pilot in a recurring role. He'll play Gunneson in the Paramount Network Television/Heyday Films-based project, which tracks a team investigating a potentially hostile alien spaceship. Carla Gugino, Charles S. Dutton, Brent Spiner and Robert Patrick Benedict also star in the pilot, which comes from creator Bragi Schut and fellow executive producers David Heyman, Mark Rosen, Brannon Braga and David Goyer.

UNTITLED CAMRYN MANHEIM PROJECT (The WB) - Heather Paige Kent ("That's Life") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about an eccentric hippie-type single mother (Camryn Manheim) with three kids who moves into a new neighborhood filled with trendy soccer moms. No details were given about Kent's character in the project, which comes from Warner Bros. Television and the Tannenbaum Co. Anne Flett Giordano and Chuck Ranberg created the series and will executive produce along with Eric & Kim Tannenbaum.

UNTITLED DAVID DIAMOND/DAVID WEISSMAN PROJECT (CBS) - Claire Forlani ("Meet Joe Black"), Michael Pena ("The Shield"), Sam Lerner ("Envy") and Craig Bierko ("The Court") have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, about working parents - a sports agent dad (John Leguizamo) and a magazine editor mom (Forlani) - who juggle domestic responsibilities. Forlani will play Allison, said female lead while Pena, Lerner and Bierko will play Scott, Jackson and Dylan respectively. 20th Century Fox Television, Paramount Network Television and Rat Entertainment are behind the pilot, which Brett Ratner is directing from a script by fellow executive producers David Diamond and David Weissman.

UNTITLED FRED GOSS/NICK HOLLY PROJECT (ABC) - Desmond Harrington ("L.A. Dragnet"), Jerry Lambert ("Less Than Perfect") and newcomer Allison Quinn have all been cast in the pilot presentation, a partially improvised comedy about one big extended family in an average middle-American town. No details were given about their respective characters in the project, which comes from NBC Universal Television, Lorne Michaels & JoAnne Alfano's Broadway Video and creators/executive producers Fred Goss and Nick Holly.

UNTITLED JERRY BRUCKHEIMER/MARSH MCCALL PROJECT (CBS) - Reid Scott ("It's All Relative") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about three adult siblings - two brothers (Scott, Jonathan Silverman), one sister - doing their best to deal with their eccentric, professor father when their mother leaves him. Marsh McCall is behind the project, which is set up at Warner Bros. Television and Jerry Bruckheimer & Jonathan Littman's Bruckheimer Television.

UNTITLED SUSIE ESSMAN PROJECT (CBS) - John Michael Higgins ("Ally McBeal") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about an urbanite (Susie Essman) who becomes a newlywed and stepmom in suburbia. No details were available about his character in the 20th Century Fox Television/Paramount Network Television project, which also stars Stacy Keach. Essman and Tom Leopold are writing the pilot script and executive producing along with Brad Johnson (through his Watson Pond banner) and Brillstein-Grey Management's Lee Kernis.

WILDLIFE (UPN) - Lucas Bryant ("Queer as Folk") has joined the cast of the Denise Richards-led drama pilot, about a group of twentysomethings living in the hip Hollywood community of Silver Lake. Lauren German and Eric Balfour also star in the Paramount Network Television/Axelrod-Edwards Co.-based project, which comes from executive producers Michael Gans, Richard Register, Daniel Cerone, Jonathan Axelrod and Kelly Edwards.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· ALLY MCBEAL (FOX)
· COUPLING (NBC)
· COURT, THE (ABC)
· CROSSROADS (CBS)
· EARLY BIRD (NBC)
· EUREKA (SYFY)
· EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION (ABC)
· FAITH OF MY FATHERS (A AND E)
· FATHER OF THE PRIDE (NBC)
· FREAKYLINKS (FOX)
· HAUNTED (UPN)
· HAWAII (NBC)
· IN-LAWS (NBC)
· INVASION (ABC)
· IT'S ALL RELATIVE (ABC)
· JACK & BOBBY (WB)
· LA DRAGNET (ABC)
· LESS THAN PERFECT (ABC)
· LIFE & STYLE (SYNDICATION)
· LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE (ABC)
· LOST (ABC)
· LOVED ONES (AND OTHER PEOPLE WE HATE) (NBC)
· MARRIED TO THE KELLYS (ABC)
· NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE, THE (CBS)
· ODD GIRL OUT (LIFETIME)
· PAT CROCE: MOVING IN (SYNDICATION)
· POINT PLEASANT (FOX)
· PROJECT GREENLIGHT (HBO)
· QUEER AS FOLK (SHOWTIME)
· REUNION (CBS)
· SEX, LOVE AND SECRETS (UPN)
· SHENANIGANS (CBS)
· SHIELD, THE (FX)
· SITUATION: COMEDY (BRAVO)
· SONS & DAUGHTERS (ABC)
· SOUTH BEACH (UPN)
· STACKED (FOX)
· THAT'S LIFE (CBS)
· THRESHOLD (CBS)
· UNTITLED BRUCKHEIMER & MCCALL PROJECT (CBS)
· UNTITLED CAMRYN MANHEIM PROJECT (WB)
· UNTITLED DIAMOND & WEISSMAN PROJECT (CBS)
· UNTITLED SUSIE ESSMAN PROJECT (CBS)
· WIFE SWAP (ABC)
· WINNING SEASON, THE (TNT)
· WONDERFALLS (FOX)











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