[10/31/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: October 27-31
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!

AMERICAN CRIME (FOX, New!) - Uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer is returning to FOX as the network has ordered a drama pilot from the Warner Bros. Television-based Jerry Bruckheimer Television for a new legal drama set in the world of high-powered Los Angeles lawyers. Tyler Bensinger ("Cold Case") and David McNally ("Coyote Ugly") are on board to respectively write and direct the project as well as executive produce along with Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman. As for plot specifics, it's understood the show will focus on the forensics of law, examining how "celebrity" lawyers go about freeing their clients, most of whom are either very rich or involved in high-profile cases.

CHEERLEADER (MTV, New!) - The cable channel has ordered a pilot for a new reality series that follows a year in the life of an ultracompetitive cheerleading squad in Kentucky. Laurie Girion ("R U the Girl With T-Boz and Chili") is behind the project, which is set up at Fox TV Studios. Girion recently signed an overall deal with the company. No other details were specified.

FUTURAMA (Comedy Central) - The cable channel has purchased the off-network rights to all 72 episodes of the animated comedy from Twentieth Television. The five-year pact, valued at an impressive $400,000 per episode, calls for the network to take over the show's off-network run from the Cartoon Network beginning in January of 2008. The deal however is only exclusive to cable television as Twentieth still has the option to sell "Futurama" reruns to local broadcast stations across the country. The "Futurama" pact comes on the heels of Comedy Central's off-network purchase of Buena Vista Television's "Scrubs" earlier this year (read the story).

GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC) - Writer/producer Jim Parriott ("Threat Matrix") has signed a seven-figure, multi-year overall deal with the show's producer Touchstone Television. The pact calls for him to continue his role as showrunner on the hit medical drama as well as develop new series projects for the studio. Said deal replaces the previous pact Parriott inked with Touchstone prior to "Grey's" launch earlier this year.

HIM AND US (A.K.A. UNTITLED ELTON JOHN PROJECT) (ABC) - The long-in-the-works Elton John-produced project has received an official green light to produce a pilot. The single-camera comedy revolves around the relationships between the fictional rock star Max Slash (an amalgam of "male divas" such as Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, David Bowie and John himself) and the people near him (including manager Freddy Lazarus). Cindy Chupack ("Sex and the City") wrote the pilot script and will executive produce alongside John, Michael Edelstein ("Desperate Housewives"), John's business manager Bob Halley and songwriter Bruce Roberts. John and longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin will also write original music for the series (the title "Him and Us" comes from John's recent CD "Peachtree Road," a track he wrote specifically for the TV project).

JAKE IN PROGRESS (ABC) - Charlotte Ross ("N.Y.P.D. Blue") has joined the cast of the John Stamos-led comedy, which will return for its second season in January. She'll play Annie, the previously unseen ex-fianc´┐Że of Stamos's character, whose unexpected arrival causes him to have thoughts about settling down, even though Annie is engaged to someone else. No other details were given.

JUDGE MARIA LOPEZ (A.K.A. UNTITLED JUDGE MARIA LOPEZ PROJECT) (Syndication) - Sony Pictures Television has cleared the Maria Lopez court series in 35% of the country for a September 2006 launch. So far "Lopez" has been cleared in seven of the top 10 markets - WPIX-TV New York, WCIU-TV Chicago, KYW-TV/WPSG-TV Philadelphia, WBZ-TV/WSBK-TV Boston, KBHK-TV/KPIX-TV San Francisco, KTVT-TV/KTXA-TV Dallas and WUPA-TV Atlanta - with additional clearances expected to be announced shortly. The project is a result of a talent holding deal Lopez, the first female Hispanic judge appointed to the Massachusetts Superior Court, signed with Sony earlier this year.

KNIGHTS OF THE SOUTH BRONX (A&E) - The Ted Danson-led telefilm, about an English teacher who struggles to better the lives of poor children from the South Bronx, has been slated to premiere Tuesday, December 6 at 8:00/7:00c.

LIFE OF LEISURE (ABC, New!) - Guy Shalem (TBS's "Worst-Case Scenario") has set up a new improvised comedy (a la "Curb Your Enthusiasm") at the Alphabet about a depressed twentysomething man who decides to move back in with his parents and discovers they've settled into a retirement community for active seniors. Producer Fox TV Studios shot a 12-minute pilot presentation on spec with ABC then committing to an outline of the show's full first episode.

MY BIG BREAK (TV Land, New!) - Scott Sternberg Productions (A&E's "Spying on Myself") has booked a six-episode order from the network for a "Before They Were Stars"-esque series about a celebrity's first big break in showbiz. Actors Katey Segal and Jim Belushi were featured in the pilot to the half-hour project, which is expected to bow sometime next year.

MY NAME IS EARL (NBC) - Writer/producer Barbie Adler ("Arrested Development") has inked a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The pact calls for Adler to continue in her role as a co-executive producer on the hit comedy "My Name Is Earl" as well as develop new projects for the studio.

UNTITLED JOHN HEFFRON PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Former "Last Comic Standing" winner John Heffron has inked a six-figure talent holding/development deal with ABC and Touchstone Television. The pact calls for the network and studio to develop a comedy project around the comedian or cast him in one of its existing projects in development. Heffron and his manager Peter Rosegarten will also serve as executive producers on the project should the former scenario play out. Heffron previously had a development deal at NBC and NBC Universal Television as part of his prize for winning "Standing's" second season.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [october 2005]  

· HIM & US (ABC)

[10/06/15 - 03:31 PM]
E!'s Hit Series "Total Divas" Begins Production on Season Five
The Bella Twins (Nikki and Brie Bella), Natalya (Nattie), Eva Marie, Paige, Rosa Mendes and Alicia Fox are all due back in early 2016.

[10/06/15 - 03:30 PM]
Sanaa Lathan ("The Perfect Guy") to Star in New Event Series Being Developed by FOX
The project examines the dangerous aftermath of a police shooting when an African-American cop kills a white teen in Tennessee.

[10/06/15 - 01:44 PM]
National Geographic Channel and Mental Floss Celebrate the Intersection of Science and Medicine, Taking Viewers into a Cutting-Edge Operating Room to Perform "Brain Surgery Live"
The live two-hour special premieres in the U.S. on Sunday, October 25 at 9:00/8:00c.

[10/06/15 - 01:08 PM]
Thinkfactory Media Partners with Hip Hop Legend, Michel'le to Reveal Her Untold Story from the Streets of Compton
In addition to the scripted project, Thinkfactory Media and Michel'le are collaborating on a documentary detailing her life.

[10/06/15 - 11:53 AM]
Esquire Network Dives in Head First with the New Season of "Going Deep with David Rees" Beginning Wednesday November 11th
To promote the series, David will embark on an "analog" social media tour - where he drives cross-country from NYC to LA.

[10/06/15 - 11:14 AM]
Hulu and Viacom Expand Content Partnership In Robust, New Multi-Year Agreement
"Inside Amy Schumer," "Broad City," "Finding Carter," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and "Sanjay and Craig" are among the featured titles.

[10/06/15 - 11:00 AM]
truTV Greenlights "Super Into" Hosted by Kevin Pereira
Each half-hour asks our favorite celebrities to take us inside their private passions - from Rob Corddry and astronomy, including a ride on a zero gravity plane, to Diablo Cody and rollercoasters.

[10/06/15 - 10:33 AM]
New Art of Speedy from The CW's "Arrow"
The new season kicks off this Wednesday, October 7 at 8:00/7:00c.

[10/06/15 - 10:00 AM]
Timely Documentary "3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets," Exploring the Deadly Impact of Racial Prejudice, Debuts Nov. 23, Exclusively on HBO
The documentary made its world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it won a Special Jury Award for Social Impact.

[10/06/15 - 10:00 AM]
ABC Family Becomes Freeform in January 2016
"Pretty Little Liars," "The Fosters," "Young and Hungry" and "Baby Daddy" will all return in early 2016 for their winter premieres alongside the world premieres of new original series "Shadowhunters" and "Recovery Road."

[10/06/15 - 09:32 AM]
MTV Announces Full Lineup for New York Comic Con - Releases Key Art for "The Shannara Chronicles"
Each can't-miss panel will feature cast and producers from the shows and the debut of exclusive New York Comic Con trailers.

[10/06/15 - 09:30 AM]
"Scorpion" Grows in Viewers, Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54
CBS spins the numbers for Monday, October 5.

[10/06/15 - 09:07 AM]
ABC Is Set to Celebrate the Milestone 20th Anniversary of "Toy Story" - The Film That Started the Computer Generated Animation Revolution - In the Original Special, "Toy Story 20th Anniversary," To Air in December
The special will air along with a showing of "Toy Story" that same evening.

[10/06/15 - 09:03 AM]
"48 Hours: The Doctor's Daughter" Is Saturday's #1 Non-Sports Broadcast with Viewers
CBS spins the numbers for Saturday, October 3.

[10/06/15 - 09:01 AM]
New "Rocky Horror Show" Premieres Midnight Saturday, October 18 on BBC America
"I'm still in awe at the popularity of the show," said Richard O'Brien, creator and narrator.