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!
COMMUNITY SERVICE (NBC, New!) - David Israel and Jim O'Doherty, the pair behind the Greg Grunberg-led comedy pilot "Grand Union," have landed a new comedy project at the network and NBC Universal Television. The single-camera project, which has a pilot order from the network, revolves around a big-time real estate developer who loses everything after a legal skirmish and winds up having to perform 500 hours of community service back in his small hometown, where he pursues a lost love. Israel and O'Doherty will write the pilot script and executive produce.
CULT (The CW) - Rockne S. O'Bannon's drama pilot, about a man's (Matthew Bomer) investigation of a string of mysterious deaths and disappearances surrounding a TV series named "Cult," has been terminated following last week's announcement of the merger between The WB and UPN. The new network's limited real estate was cited as the reason by industry insiders. Warner Bros. Television was behind "Cult," which was to be directed by Yves Simoneau from a script by O'Bannon.
MR. & MRS. SMITH (ABC, New!) - A small screen version of the recent Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt-led feature, about a suburban couple secretly working as competing assassins, is being developed by its director, Doug Liman. ABC has given a pilot order to the project, which is being targeted for midseason 2007 at the earliest. Simon Kinberg, who penned the feature script, is on board to write the pilot with Liman likely directing should his schedule permit. Regency Television and Fox TV Studios are behind the hour, which will be executive produced by Kinberg, Liman and Doug Bartis via the latter two's Dutch Oven (previously Hypnotic) banner.
MORE, PATIENCE (FOX) - FOX is taking a third stab at developing Jed Seidel's ("Veronica Mars") comedy-turned-drama-turned-comedy project, about a quirky 30-year-old New York therapist named Patience More who has difficulty navigating her personal life. Mary McCormack ("The West Wing") starred in and Jon Turteltaub directed the original single-camera comedy pilot, which was shot back in 2001. The following season a one-hour version was developed but never made it to pilot. The 2006 edition, which has a cast-contigent pilot order, will revert back to the single-camera format with Gavin Polone's Pariah returning to produce along with Sony Pictures Television. Seidel, Polone and Jamie Tarses then will serve as executive producers.
UNTITLED JOE PORT/JOE WISEMAN PROJECT (CBS, New!) - Joe Port and Joe Wiseman (NBC's "The Men's Room") have landed a pilot order from CBS and NBC Universal Television for a new comedy about a young couple who must deal with the wife's large extended family. The pair will pen the pilot script and serve as co-executive producers on the project with Moses Port and David Guarascio (NBC's "Lies and the Wives We Tell Them To") executive producing.
UNTITLED TOM HERTZ PROJECT (CBS, New!) - Tom Hertz ("The King of Queens") has scored a pilot order from the Eye and Sony Pictures Television for a new comedy about a married couple, an engaged duo and a single guy. Adam Sandler's Happy Madison banner is behind the half-hour, which will be executive produced by Hertz, Sandler and fellow Madison principals Jack Giarraputo and Doug Robinson. No other details were given.
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE GYM (A.K.A. UNTITLED GABRIELLE ALLAN PROJECT) (CBS) - Gabrielle Allan's ("Scrubs") comedy project for the Eye and Warner Bros. Television has received a cast-contingent pilot order from the network. The project, which Allan will write and executive produce, revolves around about three best friends with young kids - all with very different attitudes toward marriage, motherhood and their careers. The contingency is tied to casting the lead role, a woman who cuts back her workload to focus on motherhood.
WILL & GRACE (NBC) - Writer/producer Abraham Higginbotham (also of "Arrested Development" fame) has inked a seven-figure, multi-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The pact, which begins in June, calls for Higginbotham to develop original projects for the studio.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters