LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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DEXTER (Showtime) - Jennifer Carpenter ("The Exorcism of Emily Rose") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a "mild-mannered, likeable forensics expert (Michael C. Hall) who moonlights as a serial killer with a penchant for inflicting his own unusual brand of retribution - he 'only' murders or maims 'the guilty.'" She'll play Debra in the project, who's described in the casting notice as: "Mid-late 20s, Caucasian, Dexter's outstanding looking foster sister, Debra is an energetic, tough, ambitious, foul-mouthed police officer who's desperate to become a homicide detective and is chronically furious that the head of Homicide, Lt. Maria Laguerta, refuses to take her seriously. Debra has a good relationship with Dexter and respects his intuition and knowledge of the human (criminal) mind." Executive producers James Manos Jr., John Goldwyn and Sara Colleton are behind "Dexter," which began production this week.
DR. 90210/PARTY AT THE PALMS (E!) - The cable channel has confirmed both series will return for new seasons this fall. The Jenny McCarthy-hosted "Palms" will kick off its second season on Wednesday, October 12 at 10:00/9:00c while the latter will return for its third season on Monday, December 5 at 10:00/9:00c.
FILTHY GORGEOUS (Showtime) - Isabella Rossellini ("Alias") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about the employees and clients of New York's most lucrative male and female escort service. She'll play the owner of said escort business in the project, which comes from executive producers Neil Meron, Ron Nyswaner, Robert Allan Ackerman and Craig Zadan. Ackerman will direct the pilot, which begins production this month, from a script by Nyswaner.
HOUSE (FOX) - Executive producers Paul Attanasio and Katie Jacobs have inked a two-year overall deal with FOX, which will move the pair's Heel and Toe Films banner outside the NBC Universal umbrella for the first time since 2001. The pact calls for the duo to develop new series projects for the network on a first-look basis as well as continue their work on the sophomore drama "House." It also marks a rarity in that the pair are set up at the network itself, not at its corporate sibling studio (20th Century Fox Television). Said arrangement is considered somewhat risky in that they'll receive little money upfront from the network, instead opting for larger commitments should any of their projects move forward (i.e. six-figure penalties should they not get ordered to series).
LIL' KIM GOES TO THE BIG HOUSE (New!) - Rapper Kimberly Jones (a.k.a. "Lil' Kim") has pacted with Edmonds Entertainment to develop a new reality series about her final days of freedom before serving her 366 day sentence for federal perjury and conspiracy charges as the result of a 2001 shootout between her entourage and that of rival Foxy Brown. Filming has been underway for the past two weeks with production ending this week when Kim is to begin her sentence. It's understood the footage tracked numerous pre-jail activities, including remodeling her home, co-hosting a party with Marc Jacobs during New York Fashion Week and hyping her forthcoming album, "The Naked Truth." Edmonds Entertainment topper Tracey Edmonds is executive producing the project, which has reportedly drawn interest from at least five nteworks. Hillary Westin, Michael McQuarn and Kim's attorney L. Londell McMillan will also serve as executive producers.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (FX) - Feature directors Gus Van Sant ("Last Days") and Nicole Holofcener ("Lovely and Amazing") are the latest to sign onto George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh's 10-hour mini-series, which explores the spiritual and moral issues faced by modern Americans as interpreted by 10 directors. In addition to executive producing through their Section Eight banner, both Clooney and Soderbergh will also direct their own installments, as will the previously announced Gary Ross ("Seabiscuit"). It's expected that each director will write or co-write their episode, each of which will center on a different biblical law.
UNTITLED BRANDY/NICK LACHEY PROJECTS (The WB, New!) - Actor/singers Nick Lachey ("Charmed") and Brandy ("Moesha") have each inked talent holding deals with the network. Both actors have been attached to various projects in recent years however none have materialized into series. It's understood the WB will develop starring vehicles for each or cast them in one of their current projects in development for the 2006-07 season.
UNTITLED BRIAN BIRD/MARTIN SHEEN PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Martin Sheen ("The West Wing") is getting into the producing game, having partnered with Brian Bird ("Touched by an Angel") to develop a new comedy for the Peacock and Warner Bros. Television. The project, which is loosely based on Sheen's own familial experiences, is said to revolve around a heterosexual man who finds himself living with his gay older brother and his brother's lover, all of whom are tasked with taking care of the straight man's ailing mother-in-law, a fundamentalist Christian and thus is kept in the dark about the true relationship between the gay couple. Bird will write the pilot script and serve as a co-executive producer.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters