LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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21 DAYS (ABC, New!)/VENGEANCE (FOX, New!)/UNTITLED NICKY SILVER PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Marty Adelstein and Dawn Parouse, whose 20th Century Fox Television-based Adelstein/Parouse Productions is behind the FOX hit "Prison Break," has scored a trio of script orders at the broadcast networks - one from ABC and two from FOX. The ABC project, entitled "21 Days," is a dramedy about the three weeks leading up to one couple's hastily arranged wedding. Victoria Strauss is behind said project, which would then track other events (such as the birth of the couple's first child) in subsequent seasons. Over at FOX, Adi Hasak ("Shadow Conspiracy") is shepherding "Vengeance," about what happens when five ordinary men are given the task of assassinating five people responsible for a terrorist attack on America. And Nicky Silver ("Don't Ask") is behind an untitled project about the faculty of an upstate New York college. All three have script orders at their respective networks with Adelstein and Parouse serving as executive producers.
A&E ORIGINAL SERIES (A&E) - The network's Thursday tentpole "The First 48" will reportedly return for its third season on October 6 at 10:00/9:00c. In addition, newcomer "Random 1" is expected to bow on Tuesdays at 10:00/9:00c following "Dog the Bounty Hunter" in November (exact date TBA). "Random" tracks a team of do-gooders as they ambush everyday folks and attempt to solve their problems. And finally in December, look for the Ted Danson-led, Allen Hughes-directed original movie "Knights of the South Bronx," about an English teacher who inspired a class of under-privileged kids in New York's South Bronx by teaching them chess.
BEING BONADUCE/MY FAIR BRADY (VH1) - Sunday's premiere of "My Fair Brady" and "Breaking Bonaduce" drew 1.2 million viewers and 934,000 viewers respectively. Among adults 18-49, "Brady" averaged a 0.7 rating/2 share. Overall this summer, VH1 has averaged 628,000 viewers in primetime.
CELEBRITY POP SUPERSTAR (VH1) - The cable channel's celebrity musical talent search is set to bow on Sunday, October 16 at 10:00/9:00c. Further details on the six-week competition, including a list of participants, will likely be released in the next few weeks.
DAISY DOES AMERICA (TBS) - The comic reality series featuring British comedian Daisy Donovan will reportedly launch on Wednesday, December 7 at 10:00/9:00c. Here's how TBS's press materials describe the project: "TBS has ordered nine episodes of DAISY DOES AMERICA, a new comic series in which Donovan hits the road to become an All-American Girl. This isn�t easy, considering she is more British high society and knows nothing about being American. Donovan will explore opportunities and meet people across the USA, exposing the holes in the American way of life through her hapless attempts to embrace the American dream. Along the way, she pokes fun at herself and the characters she comes across."
HOMEWRECKERS (MTV) - "Homewreckers," a new reality competition series hosted by "Viva La Bam's" Ryan Dunn, is set to join the cable channel's "Sunday Night Stew" lineup when it returns this fall. The project, which helps revenge-seeking viewers wreak havoc on someone's home, is expected to premiere on October 30 along with new episodes of "Pimp My Ride," "Punk'd" and fellow newcomer "Call to Greatness." (A previous "Stew" update mistakenly listed "Bam" itself as returning this fall instead of the Dunn-led "Homewreckers.")
JUDGE ALEX/MARTHA/THE TYRA BANKS SHOW (Syndication) - Monday's premiere of NBC Universal Domestic Television's much-hyped "Martha" averaged a 2.4 household rating/8 share in 51 overnight metered markets according to Nielsen Media Research. Said numbers were up 41% from the year-ago time period average (1.7/6) and up a slight 4% from its lead-in average (2.3/8). Meanwhile, the launch of Warner Bros. Domestic Television's "The Tyra Banks Show," averaged a modest 1.3 household rating while Twentieth's newcomer "Judge Alex" averaged a 1.7 household rating. The former was down 13% in year-to-year time period comparisons and off 24% from its lead-in average while the latter was up 13% in year-to-year comparisons but down 6% from its lead-in. Nevertheless, "Tyra" was far from a bust among women 18-34 and women 18-49 where it saw gains of 125% and 100% respectively.
NIGHT WATCH (HBO, New!)/ONE POLICE PLAZA (CBS, New!) - Novelist Thomas Kelly ("Empire Rising") is transitioning into the TV business, having set up two projects - "Night Watch" at HBO and "One Police Plaza" at CBS. Thomas Schlamme ("The West Wing") is attached to the former, which revolves around six cops who cover a quadrant of New York in the dark hours between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. As for the latter, "Plaza" is described as a "West Wing" with cops and details the inner workings of a police department rather than track specific crimes. Said project is set up at Paramount Network Television, with Relevant Entertainment's Jonathan Baruch, Mike Menchel and Michael Prevett serving as producers on both.
ROMANCING THE BRIDE (Oxygen) - The cable channel's latest original movie, which stars "That 70's Show's" Laura Prepon and "Days of Our Lives'" Matt Cedeno, is set to bow on Saturday, December 3 (exact time TBA). Here's how Oxygen's press release details the project: "Prepon portrays Melissa, future bride-to-be and present day �bridezilla� who has spent the past two years preparing every detail of her perfect wedding day. The morning before she is to get hitched she wakes up to find that she has married a total stranger, Carlos (Cedeno.) With no memory of the night before, the newlyweds embark on a 24-hour adventure to annul her mistake with the hopes of marrying Mr. Right and getting to the church on time."
ROME (HBO) - 2.6 million viewers caught the third episode of the freshman drama, down 14.19% from its numbers last week (3.03 million). Overall, "Rome" is down 31.58% from its August 28 premiere (3.8 million).
THE RON CLARK STORY (TNT) - The Matthew Perry-led original is set to premiere on Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 8:00/7:00c. Here's what TNT's PR says about the project: "Inspired to leave his small North Carolina hometown to teach in one of New York City�s worst public schools, Disney�s 2000 Teacher of the Year, Ron Clark, uses his enthusiasm, creativity and passion to reach his toughest students. THE RON CLARK STORY is the true account of this innovative teacher, who strives to tap into his students� potential, talents and abilities, gaining their respect and ultimately raising their test scores to the highest level in the school. Clark went on to win Teacher of the Year, was featured in Oprah�s O magazine and has written very successful books on education and child rearing."
UNTITLED ELWOOD REID/LARRY SANITSKY PROJECT (CBS, New!) - The lives of those who work in classified and covert operations is set to be the focus of a new drama from writer Elwood Reid ("Blind Justice") and producer Larry Sanitsky ("Riding the Bus with My Sister"). The Washington, D.C.-based project, which will play up the angle that no one is quite sure what their neighbor really does for a living, has received a premium script commitment from the network with Paramount Network Television producing.
UNTITLED KATHIE LEE GIFFORD/DONNY OSMOND PROJECT (Syndication, New!) - Former daytime mainstays Kathie Lee Gifford and Donny Osmond are reportedly shopping around a new syndicated talk show for a potential fall 2006 launch. The pair, who once co-hosted "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee" while Regis Philbin was vacationing, will likewise co-host the newcomer, full details of which weren't specified. Osmond most recently hosted the syndicated game show "Pyramid" while Gifford can currently be seen as a special correspondent on "The Insider."
UNTITLED RUSSELL PETERS PROJECT (New!) - Comedian Russell Peters has signed a talent holding deal with the newly formed Warner Bros. Television-based Werner-Gold-Miller. It's expected they'll develop a project around Peters's act, which centers on his life as a man of East Indian descent growing up in Toronto. Peters spent two seasons hosting the BBC talk show "Late Night East" and has appeared in several films, including "My Baby's Daddy." Werner-Gold-Miller's principals Tom Werner, Jimmy Miller and Eric Gold will serve as executive producers on any project that results from the deal.
WANTED (TNT) - TNT has confirmed its summer entry "Wanted" will head to hiatus following its broadcast this Sunday (September 18). The Gary Cole-led series will then return in December to air its five remaining installments.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters