[03/02/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: March 2
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!

20 QUESTIONS (ABC) - Jesse Bradford (Ryan Pierce on "The West Wing"), William Lee Scott (TNT's "The Winning Season") and China Shavers (Olivia Evans on "ER") have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, about an idealistic young State Department employee who inadvertently stumbles onto a deadline conspiracy to undermine the United States. Bradford will play the lead role in the Touchstone Television-based hour, which Michael Engler is directing from a script by Thomas Hines. Scott and Shavers then will play Burnet and Angela respectively. The trio joins the previously cast Ben Shenkman. Matthew Gross and John Wirth also serve as executive producers.

60 MINUTE MAN (ABC) - Erika Alexander (Dee Mulhern on "Street Time"), Colm Meaney (Cowen on "Stargate: Atlantis"), Orla Brady (Atia on "Empire") and Sarah Jones (Suzie Smith on "Queer as Folk") have all scored roles on the drama pilot, about a suburban man (David James Elliott) who doesn't remember what he did for one hour each day, driving him to figure out whether he's part of a major national conspiracy. They'll play Jane, Charlie, Kate and Cami respectively in the Touchstone Television-based hour, which comes from creator Graham Yost and fellow executive producers Chris Brancato and Bert Salke. Jon Avnet directs.

ALPHA MOMS (NBC) - Justina Machado (Vanessa Diaz on "Six Feet Under") and Scott Holroyd (Mark on "That '70s Show") have both booked roles on the single-camera comedy pilot, about a corporate mom who tries to balance kids, a stay-at-home husband and a job. Machado will play Nena while Holroyd is set as Mark in the project, which comes from NBC Universal Television and creator Kerry Ehrin. Bill Lawrence directs.

COMMUNITY SERVICE (NBC) - Victor Nelli, Jr. ("Kitchen Confidential") has been tapped to direct the comedy pilot, about a New York big-shot real estate agent who moves home to rural Ohio. David M. Israel and Jim O'Doherty are behind the NBC Universal Television-based half-hour, casting of which has yet to be announced.

IN PLAIN SIGHT (USA) - Nichole Hiltz ("Good Girls Don't") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about a no-nonsense female federal marshal (Mary McCormack) who works in the witness protection branch of the government even though her friends and family are led to believe she is a glorified meter maid. She'll play Brandi in the NBC Universal Television-based hour, which also stars Fred Weller and Todd Williams. Mark Piznarski is directing the project from a script by David Maples with Paul Stupin also serving as an executive producer.

JERICHO (CBS) - Gerald McRaney (George Hearst on "Deadwood") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about a small town in Kansas that's dealing with life after a series of nuclear attacks destroys most of America's big cities. He joins the previously cast Michael Gaston, Sprague Grayden, Lennie James, Eric Knudsen, Skeet Ulrich and Kenneth Mitchell in the CBS Paramount Network Television-based project, which comes from director Jon Turteltaub and creator Stephen Chbosky.

PALM SPRINGS (The CW) - Michael Cassidy (Zach Stevens on "The O.C."), Amber Heard ("North Country") and newcomer Ellary Porterfield have all joined the cast of Kevin Williamson's drama pilot for the network, about a troubled teen who moves to a gated community in Palm Springs where he uncovers some dark secrets. They'll play Cliff, Greta and Liza respectively in the Lionsgate Television/Outerbanks Entertainment-based hour, which Scott Winant is directing from a script by Williamson.

'TIL DEATH (FOX) - Kat Foster (a recent guest on "The Book of Daniel") has joined the cast of the Sony Pictures Television-based comedy pilot, about newlyweds who move in next door to a couple who has been married for 25 years. She's believed to be playing Steph, the wife of Eddie Kaye Thomas's character. Brad Garrett also stars in the half-hour, which James Burrows is directing from a script by creators Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa.

UNTITLED CHRIS SHERIDAN PROJECT (NBC) - Eddie McClintock (Jody Crumb on "Crumbs") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about two brothers - one's a life-long criminal (Bruno Campos) while the other is an F.B.I. agent - and their families who live next door to each other. He'll play the latter role, the casting of which lifts said contingency off the pilot's production. While not specified, McClintock's involvement is likely in second position to his duties on "Crumbs." Chris Sheridan is behind the half-hour, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television.

UNTITLED PATRICIA HEATON PROJECT (ABC) - Mo Collins (Starla on "Arrested Development") is set to star opposite Patricia Heaton in the comedy pilot, about a widowed mother (Heaton) who joins the P.T.A. where she befriends two women she initially dislikes. No details about her character were given. Christine Zander is behind the Touchstone Television-based half-hour, which has recently added Ted Wass ("I'm With Her") as director. Heaton (via Four Boys Productions), Nina Wass and Gene Stein also serve as executive producers.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2006]  

· ER (NBC)

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