[08/05/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: August 4-5
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!

BETHESDA (New!) - Writer/producers Patrick Massett and John Zinman ("Veritas: The Quest") have pacted with Imagine Television ("24") for a new medical drama set at the famed naval hospital. While firm details weren't released, it's understood the series will explore the lives of doctors as they deal with fallout from political and military actions. Imagine most likely will begin pitching the various broadcast networks in the coming weeks.

FREDDIE (ABC) - Madchen Amick ("Jake in Progress") has joined the cast of the Alphabet's freshman comedy. She'll take over for Megyn Price in the role of Allison, the sister-in-law of Freddie Prinze Jr.'s character. No reason was given for Price's recasting. "Freddie" premieres Wednesday, October 5 at 8:30/7:30c on ABC.

KIDNAPPED (NBC) - "Karen Sisco" alums Jason Smilovic and Michael Dinner are set to team with Sarah Timberman's Sony Pictures Television-based 25C Productions (CBS's "Conviction") for a new serialized drama at NBC, which will track the story of a kidnapping over the course of an entire season (a la "24"). The project, which was previously in the works at FOX (read the story), has been given a put pilot commitment by the Peacock. Smilovic will write the pilot script with Dinner most likely directing and the pair executive producing with 25C's Timberman and Carl Beverly.

THE LAST GENERATION (NBC, New!) - Steffan Postaer's book of the same name is on track to be the focus of a new drama series at NBC from Touchstone Television and Mike Medavoy's Phoenix Pictures. The project, which screenwriter Mikko Alanne will adapt for the small screen, revolves around a vision of the near future in which humans can no longer reproduce. Should it go forward, the series would mark Medavoy's first foray into television. He'll most likely executive produce alongside Brad Fischer, also of Phoenix Pictures.

NOTORIOUS (NBC) - Tori Spelling's failed NBC comedy pilot is reportedly close to a revival at VH1. It's understood the cable channel is in talks to order eight episodes of the series, a comedic take on Spelling's real-life experiences as a privileged Hollywood daughter trying to lead a normal life. Spelling herself co-created and executive produced the pilot with writer/producers Chris Alberghini and Mike Chessler ("Whoopi"). VH1 will produce the series - marking its first scripted effort since the short-lived 2001 anthology series "Strange Frequency" - where it will take over for NBC Universal Television. "noTORIous," which is set to begin production in Los Angeles shortly for an early 2006 premiere, also stars Loni Anderson, Zachary Quinto, Danielle Nicolet and James Carpinello.

NUMB3RS (CBS) - Diane Farr ("Rescue Me") has joined the cast of the drama series, which returns for its second season this fall. She'll play Special Agent Megan Reeves, a Quantico grad assigned to Don Eppes's (Rob Morrow) unit in the Los Angeles F.B.I. office. It's understood she'll initially be listed as a guest star before becoming a permanent fixture on the show. Farr's casting undoubtedly is meant to fill the void left by Sabrina Lloyd, who exited the series shortly before its freshman run concluded. As for Farr's duties on "Rescue Me," it's not clear how her character will be written out of the series following her duties on its second season.

OVER THERE (FX) - The second week of the military drama was seen by 2.56 million viewers, a surprising 37% dip from its stellar premiere numbers last week (4.06 million). Among adults 18-49, "Over There" fell a similar 33% from its debut (1.2/3 vs. 1.8/5). Nevertheless, said numbers in the key demographic were the best of all basic cable series on the night.

THAT '70S SHOW (FOX) - Carsey-Werner Co.'s Tom Werner and Mosaic Media Group's Eric Gold and Jimmy Miller have banded together to form Werner-Gold-Miller, signing a two-year development and production deal with Warner Bros. Television in the process. The news comes within months of Carsey-Werner's decision to withdraw from active TV development. In addition, writer/producers Jeff and Jackie Filgo ("That '70s Show") will go with Werner to the new banner, having previously been set up at Carsey-Werner, while the WB's Mike Clements has been brought in to run the new company's day-to-day operations. As for Gold and Miller, the pair will continue to manage their impressive client list - which includes Will Ferrell, Judd Apatow, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, Judd Apatow, Jay Roach and Sacha Baron Cohen.

UNTITLED JON FAVREAU/FAISON LOVE PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Actor-turned-director Jon Favreau ("Elf") has booked a new comedy at FOX starring "Elf's" Faison Love. The project, which is in talks to be set at 20th Century Fox Television, features Love as a New York-based subway token collector in the newly gentrified Harlem neighborhood. Favreau will co-write the pilot script and possibly direct should his schedule permit. While not yet greenlighted, FOX has given the project a script order with a small penalty attached if it doesn't go to pilot.

UNTITLED RICHARD LAGRAVANESE/MARIE WEISS PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Feature writers Richard LaGravanese ("Living Out Loud") and Marie Weiss ("The Ref") are reportedly close to landing an untitled project at the Peacock. No details were given about the project other than it is set up at Sarah Timberman's Sony Pictures Television-based 25C Productions.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [august 2005]  

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