[01/09/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: January 6-9
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 branded "Devwatch" section. There visitors can view our listings by network, genre, studio and even development stage (ordered to pilot, cast-contingent, script, etc.). It's updated every day!

AMERICAN IDOL (FOX) - Tribune Entertainment has purchased the weekend repeat rights to the reality franchise, clearing it on all 26 of the company's stations across the country for a September launch. Additional clearances are expected to be announced at the annual National Association of TV Program Executives (NATPE) convention in Las Vegas later this month. It's believed participating stations will pay no cash, but rather turn over seven minutes per hour for national ad sales by Tribune. No other specifics, such as how the series will be cut for syndication, were given.

COMPANY TOWN (A.K.A. UNTITLED ELWOOD REID/LARRY SANITSKY PROJECT) (CBS) - The Eye has greenlighted production on the Washington, D.C.-based drama pilot, about the lives of government agents who happen to live in the same neighborhood. Elwood Reid ("The Pennsylvania Miners' Story") is behind the hour, which he's executive producing along with Larry Sanitsky's Paramount Network Television-based banner.

DAMAGES (FOX, New!) - Writer/producer Jonathan Lisco ("Jack & Bobby") has scored a pilot order from FOX for a new Chicago-based drama about "the pathology and personal hazards" lawyers face in juggling their career and personal lives. Lisco is writing the pilot script and executive producing the hour, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television.

DEADWOOD (HBO) - The pay channel is said to be close to renewing the western for a fourth season, nearly six months ahead of its previously announced third season launch in June. No other details were given. Production has already been completed on eight of the show's 12 planned installments this season.

DUETS (FOX, New!) - "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell has scored a cast-contingent order for a new unscripted singing competition series in which professional singers partner with celebrities outside of the music business to perform duets in front of a live studio audience. Cowell, who's already sold a version to the U.K.'s ITV, is executive producing the summer-targeted project through his SYCO TV production company, but will not appear on camera. No other format specifics were given, other than audience voting and a judging panel will be featured.

FIX ME (NBC, New!) - "The Bernie Mac Show" creator Larry Wilmore is developing a new single-camera comedy at the Peacock, NBC Universal Television and DreamWorks Television about a young pediatrician who takes care of everyone around her but needs some help of her own. The project is said to be conceived by Steven Spielberg who still gets seen by a pediatrician himself. Wilmore will write and executive produce the half-hour along with DreamWorks Television toppers Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey.

THE KING OF QUEENS (CBS) - Michelle Nader, a writer and co-executive producer on the series, has inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with NBC Universal Television. The pact, which begins in June following her work on "Queens," calls for Nader to develop new series projects for the studio.

MEET THE BARKERS (MTV) - An impressive 2.53 million viewers tuned into the show's second season bow last Tuesday, including a 2.73 rating in the viewers 12-34 demographic. Said number in the key area was up a whopping 48% from its premiere last April and up 65% from its inaugural season average. Among viewers 12-17, "Barkers" was the most-watched program in primetime, beating out all other broadcast and cable programming. (Note: The original story incorrectly reportedly "Barkers" was seen by 4.4 million viewers on average. That number was the total unique viewers reached, not the average for the half-hour - 2.53 million.)

THE RAFTONS (NBC, New!) - Writer/producers Larry Wilmore and Bobby Gaylor ("The Bernie Mac Show") are set to team for a new single-camera comedy about a stiff, corporate executive who winds up running the business affairs for his younger brother, a rising hip-hop mogul in the vein of Jay-Z and Diddy. The project is set at NBC Universal Television with Wilmore himself being eyed for the older brother role and a yet-to-be-cast real-life hip-hop star as Riff-Raff, the young rapper character. Wilmore and Gaylor then are penning the pilot script and executive producing.

SPECIAL UNIT (Comedy Central, New!) - Christopher Titus ("Titus") has been tapped to write, star and executive produce a comedy pilot for the cable channel, about a rebel cop (Titus) whose on-the-job offenses land him in charge of a squad of physically and mentally challenged officers. It's understood the ensemble cast includes a Sherlock Holmes type whose speech is incomprehensible due to cerebral palsy; a midget with top-notch shooting skills; an autistic officer who knows martial arts but doesn't like to be touched; and a physically disabled Gulf War vet and tech specialist. Bryan Cranston ("Malcolm in the Middle") is attached to direct the half-hour, which is expected to shoot in Los Angeles next month, from a script by Titus. Michael Rotenberg and Dave Becky, Titus's managers at 3 Arts Entertainment, are also on board to executive produce.

THREE MOONS OVER MILFORD (ABC Family) - The cable channel has committed to yet another series, ordering eight episodes of the quirky drama, about a small town whose residents take their lives to the extreme upon learning that a cosmic explosion is threatening Earth's existence. "Moons" then will track the Montgomery family, which has Dad leaving to climb the world's seven largest peaks, daughter Lydia taking up witchcraft to help save Earth and son Alex getting involved with an older neighbor. Sam Murphy ("The Closer"), Nora Dunn ("Saturday Night Live"), Samantha Quan ("How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days") and Rob Boltin ("Pizza My Heart") all star in the project, which comes from Three Moons Productions and Touchstone Television. Howard Chesley and Jon Boorstin created the series and will serve as co-executive producers with Holly Goldberg Sloan ("The Secret Life of Girls") and Gary Rosen ("Hacks") executive producing and Jon Amiel ("Eyes") serving as a consultant. Production is set to begin this spring for a possible summer premiere. "Moons" joins "Balancing Act" and "Kyle XY" as ABC Family's third new hour to join the network's schedule in 2006.

UNTITLED AQUAMAN PROJECT (The WB) - 28-year-old newcomer Will Toale has been tapped to play the lead role in the drama pilot, about the DC Comics character of the same name. In addition, the WB has formally greenlighted production on the hour, which is expected to shoot in March, most likely in Miami. Miles Millar and Alfred Gough ("Smallville") are behind the project, which tracks Arthur Curry (Toale), the twentysomething owner of a dive shop who's actually the lost king of Atlantis.

UNTITLED CAROL LEIFER PROJECT (FOX, New!) - "Seinfeld" writer Carol Leifer has booked a script order for a new single-camera comedy at FOX about the unlikely friendship between two recently divorced high-society women in New York. The project, which is based on an idea by Steven Spielberg, is set up at the NBC Universal Television-based DreamWorks Television. Liefer is penning the pilot script and executive producing along with Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey of DreamWorks Television.

UNTITLED RACHAEL RAY PROJECT (Syndication) - Janet Annino ("Entertainment Tonight") has been tapped as the freshman talk show's showrunner. The King World Productions-based series, which features Food Network personality and author Rachael Ray offering solutions to everyday problems, has been cleared in 85% of the country for a fall 2006 launch.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [january 2006]  


[10/20/16 - 03:55 PM]
Oxygen Media Tests the Bonds of Friendship When New Competition Series "The Battle of the Ex-Besties" Premieres Tuesday, December 6 at 11PM ET/PT
Hosted by Sibley Scoles, the series follows fourteen former BFFs who are forced to confront - and hopefully forget - past differences in order to win a life-changing $100,000 grand prize.

[10/20/16 - 01:49 PM]
Investigation Discovery Delivers Nearly One Million Viewers for World Television Premiere of "Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four"
Investigation Discovery further spins the numbers for Saturday, October 15.

[10/20/16 - 01:04 PM]
Investigation Discovery Looks at When Happily Ever After Goes Horribly Wrong in All-New Series "Married with Secrets"
The new eight-part series premieres Tuesday, October 25 at 10:00/9:00c.

[10/20/16 - 12:27 PM]
BBC America Debuts New Original Co-Production "Undercover" with Two-Night Premiere Event in November
Look for said event on Wednesday, November 16 and Thursday, November 17 at 8:00/7:00c.

[10/20/16 - 11:47 AM]
TLC's "Little People, Big World" Returns with the Roloffs Facing a Whole New Reality
Season 12 rolls out Tuesday, November 22 at 8:00/7:00c on the cable channel.

[10/20/16 - 11:45 AM]
GSN Adds "Wheel of Fortune" to Daytime Schedule Beginning Monday, October 24
In addition, GSN Games has launched Wheel of Fortune(R) Slots: The Ultimate Collection, a new mobile app bringing together a variety of stunning Wheel of Fortune-themed slots games and authentic elements from the TV show.

[10/20/16 - 11:14 AM]
A&E Network to Premiere New Season of Hit Series "Wahlburgers" November 16
Look for back-to-back episodes on Wednesday nights beginning at 10:00/9:00c.

[10/20/16 - 11:04 AM]
Bravo Media's "Top Chef" Announces 8 Returning Chefs Vying for Redemption on the New Season Premiering Thursday, Dec. 1 at 10PM ET/PT
It's the ultimate challenge of old blood versus new, on the Emmy and James Beard Award winning series, as the chefs head to Charleston to battle it out alongside eight talented "Top Chef" newcomers.

[10/20/16 - 09:31 AM]
CBS Orders "Salvation," A New Event Series for Broadcast in Summer 2017
A suspense thriller, the series centers on an MIT grad student and a tech superstar who bring a low-level Pentagon official a staggering discovery - that an asteroid is just six months away from colliding with Earth.

[10/20/16 - 09:07 AM]
Rise and 'Shine... Discovery's "Moonshiners" Returns Tuesday, November 15 at 9PM ET/PT
This season these master whiskey makers are putting everything on the line to evolve their craft and take their handmade liquor to the next level.

[10/20/16 - 08:48 AM]
Wednesday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Pulls in Front Among Adults 18-49
The Alphabet leads the night with its coverage of The Third Presidential Debate.

[10/20/16 - 08:33 AM]
Award-Winning Comedian Ricky Gervais Brings Brent Back! David Brent: Life on the Road Premieres on Netflix February 10, 2017
Directed, written and produced by award-winning, comedic genius Gervais, David Brent: Life on the Road sees a documentary crew catching up with the idiosyncratic David Brent from the BBC2's mockumentary "The Office."

[10/20/16 - 07:48 AM]
"Outrageous Acts of Science" Returns to Science Channel for an All New Season October 26 at 9PM
The all-new episodes show mind-blowing displays of science in action while counting down the week's Top 20 videos.

[10/20/16 - 07:35 AM]
OneRepublic to Rock Rotterdam at the 2016 MTV EMAs
The multi-platinum pop-rock quintet will join host Bebe Rehxa and previously-announced performers Bruno Mars, Shawn Mendes, DNCE, Lukas Graham and Zara Larsson on stage.

[10/20/16 - 07:14 AM]
"RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars" Season 2 Slays Records as the Most Viewed Season of a Logo Original Series to Date
Plus: look for a reunion special on October 27 and "Season 6 RuVealed" on November 3.