[11/16/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: November 15-16
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!

AMBULANCE (FOX, New!) - John Mankiewicz ("House") is developing a black comedy about L.A. paramedics at FOX. The project is set up at Fox TV Studios with Dan Halsted ("Garden State") attached as a non-writing executive producer.

AMERICAN LIVES (NBC) - The failed NBC comedy pilot has found new life at Comedy Central as the cable channel has committed to 10 episodes of the improv project, which revolves around a dysfunctional group of Spokane, Washington-based newscasters as they cover real people and events. (Among the events featured in the pilot: a body-building contest and a sexual-harassment seminar run by a counselor who thought he had been hired by an actual news station to speak to the employees.) Zach Galifianakis ("Tru Calling"), AD Miles ("Stella"), Andrea Savage ("Significant Others") and Matt Walsh ("Upright Citizens Brigade") will all star in the series, which will premiere in the summer of 2006. Dan Mazer ("Da Ali G Show") created "Lives" and will serve as an executive producer along with DreamWorks Television's Justin Falvey and Daryl Frank.

ARMED & DANGEROUS (UPN, New!) - Gina Gallo's book "Armed and Dangerous: Memoirs of a Chicago Policewoman" is set to be the basis of a potential new drama series at the netlet. Matt Witten ("House") is on board to pen the pilot script to the project, about rookies in the Chicago police academy, which is set up at Fox TV Studios.

BROKEN TRAIL (A.K.A. DAUGHTERS OF JOY) (AMC) - The Robert Duvall-led mini-series, which now features the title "Broken Trail," has been slated to premiere Saturday, June 24. The two-night event, which concludes Sunday, June 25, tells the story of a rancher (Duvall) and his nephew who come to the rescue of five enslaved Chinese women during their transport of more than 500 horses from Oregon to Wyoming. Emmy-winner Walter Hill ("Deadwood") is directing the project from a script by Alan Geoffrion.

BURN NOTICE (USA, New!) - Writer/producer Matt Nix is developing a new drama at the cable channel about a blacklisted special ops agent who ends up taking a low-level gig as a private eye. Fox TV Studios is behind the project, with Nix serving as an executive producer along with Mikkel Bondesen. Michael Wilson ("Casino Royale") is also attached as a consultant.

ENDLESS SUMMER (ABC, New!) - "Sons and Daughters" creators Fred Goss and Nick Holly are developing a new semi-improv comedy at the Alphabet. The project, about a father and son who spend the summer at the beach chasing women, is set up at Fox TV Studios.

EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT MEN (CBS) - Brady Smith, who played the on-again/off-again boyfriend of Elfman's character in the pilot, has inked a one-year talent holding deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The pact calls for the studio to cast the actor in one of its upcoming projects or develop a new one around him. It's not clear how the deal will affect Smith's duties on "Men" or if his role has been recast. (Note: The original article incorrectly stated "Men" was not moving forward to series. We regret the error.)

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES'S (CBS, New!) - Minnie Driver ("Will & Grace") is set to topline a potential new drama series for the Eye and Paramount Network Television. The project, which comes from "Miracle" director Gavin O'Connor and "Entourage" staff writer Cliff Dorfman, tracks a covert operative who's trying to save her failing marriage to her spy partner. CBS has given a script commitment to the project with a penalty attached if it doesn't get ordered to pilot. O'Connor and his brother Greg O'Connor will executive produce through their Solaris banner with Dorfman serving as a supervising producer.

KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL (FOX) - As a build up toward the show's return on December 5, FX will rebroadcast all three episodes aired to date on Sunday, November 27 beginning at 11:30 a.m. eastern time.

LAGUNA BEACH: THE REAL ORANGE COUNTY (MTV) - A stellar 4.34 million viewers tuned into the commercial-free season finale of "Laguna Beach" on Monday, including a 2.1 rating/5 share among adults 18-49 and a time period winning 6.5 rating/17 share among women 12-34. Said audience was up 23.96% from its penultimate broadcast last week (3.3 million).

LIPSTICK JUNGLE (NBC, New!) - "Sex and the City" writer Candace Bushnell's latest novel "Lipstick Jungle" is being developed as a one-hour dramedy by the Peacock and NBC Universal Television. Robin Schiff ("Emily's Reasons Why Not") is on board to co-write the script to the project, which tells the story of three women who are listed among The New York Post's "New York's 50 Most Powerful Women" and will do anything to get ahead and stay on top. NBC has given a script order to the project, which Bushnell and Schiff will executive produce.

NICOLAI & JULIE (FOX, New!) - John Scott Shepherd ("The Days") is developing a U.S. version of the Danish soap of the same name about a married couple who split up and forge new romantic ties yet still remain connected. Scott Winant ("My So-Called Life") is on board to direct the pilot should it go forward from a script by Shepherd. FOX has given a script commitment to the Fox TV Studios-based project, which has a penalty attached if it isn't ordered to pilot. Shepherd and Winant will also executive produce along with Mikkel Bondesen and his Fush banner.

PILGRIMAGE (FOX, New!) - Playwright Rolin Jones ("The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow") has booked a potential new half-hour comedy at FOX about a romantic triangle that plays out in real-time over the course of a cross-country flight. Fox TV Studios is behind the project, with Scott Leonard also aboard as a non-writing co-executive producer.

S.O.B. (FOX, New!) - Norman Morrill ("Thief") and Scott Brazil ("The Shield") are developing a new drama at the network about a corporate gangster who hires a lawyer and proceeds to corrupt him. No other details were given about the project, which is set up at Fox TV Studios.

TALK TO ME (TNT) - Michael Rispoli ("Bram and Alice") and Billy Burke ("The Jury") are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about the efforts of hostage negotiation and S.W.A.T. teams during emergency situations. The pair will play the respective leaders of the hostage negotiation and S.W.A.T. teams, who often find themselves at odds. In addition, Nick Gomez ("The 4,400") is on board to direct the Lions Gate Television-based pilot from a script by creator Paul Guyot. Production is currently underway in Toronto with Dean Devlin and Billy Finkelstein ("Law & Order") serving as executive producers and Guyot as a co-executive producer.

UNHINGED (FOX, New!) - Neal Israel ("Police Academy") and KZLA's Morning Show host Peter Tilden are developing a new comedy at FOX about a man who moves in with his dad and grandfather after his new wife leaves him. The project is set up at Fox TV Studios with Israel, Tilden and Ross Fineman serving as executive producers and Hank Cohen on board as a consulting producer.

UNTITLED IAN KERNER PROJECT (NBC, New!) - The life of New York-based sex therapist Ian Kerner ("She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman") is set to be the focus of a new comedy at NBC. Mark Torgrove & Paul Kaplan ("The George Lopez Show") and Eric & Kim Tannenbaum ("Two and a Half Men") are on board to executive produce the project, which will revolve around a recently married couple whose lives are complicated by the fact that the husband is a well-known sex therapist. Kerner himself, who co-hosts the Discovery Health Channel series "Love on the Rocks" and regularly appears on the syndicated series "Starting Over," will help co-create the series, which is set up at the Tannenbaums' Warner Bros. Television-based banner. NBC has given a script order to the project with a hefty penalty attached if it doesn't make it to pilot.

UNTITLED JENNIFER LOPEZ PROJECT (MTV, New!) - Jennifer Lopez and her production company Nuyorican Productions are said to be in talks with the cable channel to develop a new reality series that follows the lives of several dancers in Los Angeles who are following in Lopez's footsteps trying to make it in the business. No other details were given. Should it move forward, Lopez is expected to executive produce alongside Nuyorican's Simon Fields with Maurissa and Kevin Tancharoen serving as co-executive producers.

UNTITLED SELA WARD PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Sela Ward, who's currently in the middle of a multi-episode arc on FOX's "House," is set to topline a potential new half-hour comedy for the Alphabet. The untitled project would follow the lives of four women in a small Southern town. Touchstone Television-based writer/producer Don Todd ("life as we know it") is behind the comedy with Lindy DeKoven serving as a non-writing executive producer. Ward herself would also serve as a producer should the project move forward to series.

WEEKEND (The WB, New!) - Jorge Reyes ("Kevin Hill") has booked a new comedy at the netlet about a group of friends trapped in minimum-wage jobs whose most important life events happen on Saturdays and Sundays. The single-camera project is set up at Fox TV Studios with Mikkel Bondesen executive producing alongside Reyes.

WELCOME TO PARADISE (FOX, New!) - "Smallville" star Michael Rosenbaum and executive producer Greg Beeman are set to team for a new half-hour comedy at the network about a 13-year-old boy whose eccentric family moves from New York to Indiana. FOX has given a script order to the single-camera Fox TV Studios-based project, which is based on Rosenbaum's life as a teenager in the late 1980s. The pair will executive produce along with Jordan Levin, Pete Aronson and Mike Karz ("Malibu's Most Wanted").

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [november 2005]  

· 4400, THE (USA)

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