[05/17/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: May 16-17
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!

CELEBRITY JUSTICE (Syndication) - Telepictures has reportedly pulled the plug on the half-hour syndicated newsmagazine, which focuses on the legal troubles of celebrities. The show averaged a paltry 0.9 household rating for the week ending on April 24, a dip of 31% in year-to-year comparisons. The news comes in spite of executive producer Harvey Levin's various cable appearances as part of Michael Jackson trial coverage. Production however is expected to continue through the end of the 2004-05 season.

E! SUMMER ORIGINAL SERIES (E!) - The cable channel has announced it plans to debut five new original series this summer as well as a revival of its one-time late-night staple "Wild On!" Two newcomers will launch next month: "Fight for Fame" (Sundays at 10:00/9:00c beginning June 5), in which five aspiring actors compete for the chance to sign with a major talent agency, and "Party at The Palms" (Wednesdays at 10:00/9:00c starting June 15), a weekly look at the nightlife at the famed Las Vegas casino. In July, look for "Kill Reality," a behind-the-scenes look at New Line Cinema's upcoming horror film "The Scorned," the cast of which includes several former reality TV stars. And in August, E! will launch "Cattle Drive," a "Simple Life"-esque series in which the children of the rich and famous (including the kids of Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel and rocker Pat Benatar) are sent to work a cattle drive and "The Girls Next Door," an eight-part series chronicling the lives of Hugh Hefner's girlfriends at the Playboy Mansion. As for "Wild On," Tara Reid is in negotiations to host the 13-episode revival however no firm premiere date has been set.

RUN'S HOUSE (MTV) - The cable channel is moving forward with its latest "follow the celebrity" reality series, this time focusing on former Run-DMC member Reverend Run. Said project, which will bow in the fourth quarter of this year, will track Run (real name: Joey Simmons) as he juggles family life and records his first solo album. Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and his Bad Boys Entertainment banner is behind the project, which was originally announced back in March (read the story). It's not clear how many episodes will be shot.

SCARLETT (Lifetime) - Executive producers Robert Hewitt Wolfe and Hans Beimler confirmed to TrekToday.com that Lifetime has given a cast-contingent pilot order to the drama project, about an Anne Rice-esque gothic horror writer who after moving into an old mansion in New Orleans finds her fictional characters are starting to come to life. "What this means is that as soon as we find ourselves an amazing female lead, we'll officially be in pre-production," Wolfe told TrekToday. "Shooting will follow in ten or so weeks from then. So if you know any terrific late-20s, early-30s actresses who want to move to New Orleans for a five year run on a super cool gothic/romance/thriller, let us know." To read the original report, click here.

UNSCRIPTED (HBO) - A spokesperson for the pay channel confirmed to Mediaweek on Monday the series will not return for a second season. "It was a fun, experimental show that ran its course," said the source. The news marks Section Eight's (Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney's production company) second cancellation by HBO in as many years ("K Street" being the other). The series wrapped its 10-episode run in February. Click here to read the original report.

VENUS & SERENA: FOR REAL (ABC Family) - The cable channel's reality entry about the everyday lives of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams has been slated to premiere Thursday, July 21 at 10:00/9:00c. ABC Family has committed to six half-hour episodes of the series.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [may 2005]  


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