[06/14/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: June 14
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!

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (FOX) - Creator/executive producer Mitch Hurwitz is set to stick with the Emmy-winning comedy, as the writer/producer has inked a new deal with 20th Century Fox Television and Imagine Television to remain as showrunner through the 2006-07 season (pending of course FOX's renewal of the series through the length of the deal). Hurwitz reportedly turned down an offer to develop new projects as part of the deal in order to remain focused on "Arrested." Nevertheless with its showrunner-only component, Hurwitz could develop new projects elsewhere. The deal comes as "Arrested" goes through some minor staff shakeups: Brad Copeland has opted to leave the series in favor of NBC's "My Name Is Earl" while Ron Weiner ("Futurama") and Tom Saunders ("Method and Red") are set to join the series this season. Financial details about Hurwitz's pact weren't specified.

FASTLANE (FOX) - Court TV has purchased the off-network rights to all 22 episodes of the short-lived FOX series from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution. Viewers will be able to catch two episodes every Saturday night beginning July 2 (exact times TBA). Financial details about the pact weren't released, although its likely less than the $50,000 per episode MTV paid to repurpose the series in 2002. It's understood the "Fastlane" repeats will serve as a testing ground for Court TV to explore buying even more off-network runs or even potentially develop its own scripted projects.

GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC) - Co-executive producer Peter Horton, who helmed "Grey's" pilot, has signed a two-year, seven-figure producing-directing deal with Touchstone Television. The pact calls for Horton to continue in his duties on "Grey's" as well as direct and executive produce one new pilot each year of the deal. In addition, Horton plans to direct the first and fifth episodes of "Grey's" second season.

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS) - DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler ("Committed") have been named executive producers of the freshman comedy, which will air Mondays at 8:30/7:30c beginning this fall. The duo will serve alongside fellow executive producers (and the show's creators) Carter Bay and Craig Thomas.

THE MAN WHO LOST HIMSELF (Lifetime, New!) - David James Elliott ("JAG") and Wendy Crewson ("The Beast") are set to star in one of Lifetime's upcoming original movies. The project, which is targeting a late fall premiere, is based on the true story of Terry Evanshen, a Canadian Football League player who lost all his memories after a car accident put him in a coma. Elliott will play Evanshen with Crewson set as his wife, whom struggles to deal with being married to a man who doesn't remember her. Helen Shaver ("The 4,400") will direct the project with Suzette Couture and Pierre Sarrazin executive producing through their self-titled production banner. Production is already underway in Toronto.

WHAT ABOUT BRIAN (ABC) - Jeff Judah and Gabe Sachs ("life as we know it") have been named the showrunners of the midseason drama. They'll serve as executive producers alongside creator Dana Stevens and fellow executive producers J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and Thom Sherman. The pair's involvement stems from their overall deal with Touchstone Television where they're also developing new projects for the studio.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [june 2005]  

· 4400, THE (USA)

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