[03/09/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: March 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!

THE 12TH MAN (FOX) - Julius Carry (Principal Glen Rudd on "Do Over") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about former NBA player Paul Shirley's life as a benchwarmer. He'll play Sonny, the team's head coach in the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, which also stars Natalie Garza, Andrew Katz and Jodi Lyn O'Keefe. Chris Koch is directing the pilot from a script by Dan Fogelman with Tim Story also serving as an executive producer.

8TH & OCEAN/THE REAL WORLD (MTV) - 4.3 million unique viewers tuned into the premiere of "8th & Ocean" this past Tuesday, including a 2.8 rating among MTV's target demographic of 12-34. Lead-in "The Real World" also fared well, drawing 5.0 million unique viewers and a 3.6 rating among viewers 12-34. Not surprisingly, both half-hours ranked as the most-watched programs in said demographic on cable Tuesday night. (The average total viewership for each series wasn't specified.) Last week, "The Real World" opened to 3.2 million viewers on average, its weakest start since its Paris edition nearly three years ago.

C.S.I.: MIAMI (CBS) - Writer Sunil Nayar ("Oz") has inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with CBS Paramount Network Television. The pact calls for Nayar to be upped to co-executive producer on the series next season as well as develop new projects for the studio.

DAY BREAK (ABC) - Victoria Pratt (Shalimar Fox on "Mutant X") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about a cop (Taye Diggs) who's trying to stop the murder of a loved one while trying to find the person who framed him for murder. She joins the previously cast Adam Baldwin, Moon Bloodgood, Meta Golding and Ramon Rodriguez in the project, which Rob S. Bowman is directing from a script by creator Paul Zbyszewski. Also signing on is Jeffrey Bell ("Alias"), who will executive produce the Touchstone Television-based hour along with Matthew Gross and Zbyszewski.

EMILY'S REASONS WHY NOT (ABC) - Emily Kapnek, the creator of the short-lived comedy, has signed a six-figure, two-script deal with NBC Universal Television. It's understood one of the projects revolves around a female life coach while the other wasn't specified. In addition to "Emily's," Kapnek was behind the Donal Logue-led comedy pilot "Weiner Boy" (a.k.a. "The Dennis") at NBC last season as well as the script "The Honorary Goldmans" at CBS.

ENEMIES (ABC) - Tony Curran ("Underworld: Evolution") and William Allen Young (Duane McWane on "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation") have both joined the cast of the drama pilot, about two childhood best friends (Jeffrey Donovan, Peter Facinelli) who have become sworn enemies on the opposite sides of the law. Based on Young's age, he's believed to be playing Gus Moore, who's described in the casting notice as: "50s. A powerful, principled African-American (or not) man. This veteran cop is the number three guy in the Chicago P.D. Moore considers Graham one of his best officers, but when he informs Graham of his possible promotion to the organized crime division, he also warns him that the job brings pressures and risks he might find overwhelming. Moore is also seen in flashback when he interrupts an ugly confrontation between Graham's father and Mouse Oliver."

Curran then is believed to be playing either Bubba or Quinny. The former character is described as - "30s. He's big, tough, with a noticeable scar over his eye - a souvenir of a disagreement with his pal Mickey back in junior high school. Back in the day, Bubba was friends with both Callaway and Graham, but he now works with Callaway as his loyal enforcer, right hand man, and willing legbreaker. Bubba is up to any task - including keeping close tabs on Kelly, Callaway's drug addled sister." - while the latter is detailed as - "Mouse's goon. He's in his 30s and as Irish as they come. He presents hard evidence to his boss that reveals the traitor in their midst." Bruce McGilll, Amanda Righetti and Bess Wohl also star in the Touchstone Television-based hour, which comes from director F. Gary Gray and executive producers Ken Olin and Sean Bailey.

HOLLIS & RAE (ABC) - Issac Webster has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about two 30-year-old best friends (Laura Harris, Jaime Ray Newman), a detective and a prosecuting attorney, who tackle criminal cases in a small southern town. He'll play Robaire in the Touchstone Television-based hour, full character details of whom weren't specified. Frank Grillo also stars in the project, which comes from writer/director Callie Khouri and executive producer Steven Bochco.

JERICHO (CBS) - Ashley Scott (Helena Kyle on "Birds of Prey") has joined the ensemble cast of the drama pilot, about the chaos that ensues in a small town isolated from the rest of the world after a nuclear disaster. She'll play Emily in the CBS Paramount Network Television-based project, which also stars Michael Gaston, Sprague Grayden, Lennie James, Eric Knudsen, Gerald McRaney, Kenneth Mitchell and Skeet Ulrich. Stephen Chbosky is behind the hour, which Jon Turteltaub is directing.

JULIE RENO, BOUNTY HUNTER (FOX) - Erin Daniels (Dana Fairbanks on "The L Word") has been tapped for the lead role in the comedy pilot, about a down-on-her-luck single mother (Daniels) who turns to bounty hunting. She'll play the title character of Julie Reno in the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour. Her character is described in the casting notice as: "30. A sexy, feisty, funny woman from a blue-collar background, she has a weakness for a man with a mullet. While working as a waitress to support her 13 year old son, Clark, Julie is scouted by a bail bondsman, who thinks her upfront way of handling deadbeat customers is just what he needs in his business. So Julie becomes a bounty hunter, going after "skips" for more money than she's ever made before. Of course, first she has to face down her associate, T-Bone, who initially treats her like a servant. However, underneath their fractious interaction, there's a lot of heat going on between these two. Right now, however, Julie's more concerned with getting the jump on T-Bone, rather than jumping on him. In fact, the two have a bet going as to who will bring in their latest skip an armed and dangerous felon who may well have met his match in Julie Reno." Michael Ross is behind the project, which has also added Lev Spiro ("Summerland") as director. Sandy Grushow and Paul Shapiro of Phase Two Productions also serve as executive producers.

MONK (USA) - The veteran dramedy's post-Olympics return this past Friday drew 4.9 million viewers on average, making it the second most-watched program on cable last week. Only fellow USA entry "WWE Raw" fared better, drawing 5.0 million viewers on average.

SECRETS OF A SMALL TOWN (ABC) - John Terry (Dr. Christian Shephard on "Lost") is the latest to sign on to the drama pilot, about the murder of a teenage girl and the disappearance of her sister in a small town - events which kick off a chain reaction that leads to both emotional and humorous discoveries that have been long buried. He'll play an affluent and respected civic leader in the Touchstone Television-based hour, which comes from executive producers Chris Brancato, Bert Salke and creator Charles Pratt, Jr. John L. Adams, Tyler Christopher, Sean Patrick Flanery and Angie Harmon also star while Adam Davidson directs.

SHE SAID, HE SAID (The CW, New!) - Nick Lachey (Leslie St. Claire on "Charmed") is in talks to topline a new comedy pilot for the network, about how men and women perceive situations differently. Dan Berendsen ("The Cutting Edge 2: Going for the Gold") and Heidi Clements are behind the half-hour, which comes from CBS Paramount Network Television and Warner Bros. Television. Berendsen then will executive produce along with Garry Hart while Clements will serve as a supervising producer. No other details were given.

THE SINGLES TABLE (NBC) - Pascale Hutton (Heather on "Reunion") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about five strangers who bond when they sit together at the infamous singles table at a wedding. She'll play one of said group, Georgia, a single doctor, in the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, which also stars Conor Dubin, Jarrad Paul and Rhea Seehorn. Adam Bernstein is directing the pilot from a script by creators Bill Martin and Mike Schiff.

ULTRA (CBS) - Richard Coyle ("The Libertine") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a single city-girl superhero (Lena Headey). He'll play Cryptic Man in the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour, which has also added Helen Shaver ("Close to Home") as director. Peter Dinklage also stars in the project, which comes from Barbara Hall and co-executive producers David Alpert and David Engel.

UNION JACKASS (FOX) - Jenica Bergere ("Girls Behaving Badly") is set to star opposite Al Murray in the comedy pilot, about an opinionated, outspoken British Archie Bunker-type (Murray) who is forced to live in Santa Monica to be near his young son. She'll play Elizabeth, said character's wife, in the project: "32-36. Al's Canadian ex-wife. Beautiful, confident and possibly petite. Liz stands up to Al and speaks her mind. Originally Liz came to Los Angeles to visit her sister, but fell in love and stayed. She is living in Santa Monica with her new fianc´┐Ż, Jack, and with her and Al's 12 year old son, David. She is very much in love with Jack and looking to make a new life for herself. Liz has really adapted to the southern California lifestyle." Dan O'Keefe is behind the 20th Century Fox Television-based project, which he executive produces along with Richard Allen-Turner, David Martin and Jon Thoday of Avalon Television.

UNTITLED BONNIE HUNT PROJECT (ABC) - Dennis Miller (CNBC's "Dennis Miller"), Joe Mantegna (Will Girardi on "Joan of Arcadia"), Lauren Tom (Dana on Showtime's "Barbershop") and Anthony Russell (a guest star on "Life With Bonnie") have all scored roles in the comedy pilot, about a newly divorced woman (Bonnie Hunt) who works as a detective. Miller will play Dr. Langley, the woman's therapist, while Mantegna will play Jack, her ex-husband. Tom and Russell then will play Beverly and Angelo respectively in the Touchstone Television-based hour, which comes from writers/co-stars Hunt and Don Lake.

YOU'VE REACHED THE ELLIOTTS (CBS, New!) - Chris Elliott (Peter MacDougall on "Everybody Loves Raymond") is set to topline a new, semi-autobiographical comedy about a man who tries to balance his modest showbiz career and his home life. He'll play a version of himself in the project, a modest Hollywood star balancing his life as a husband and father of two teenagers. Rob Des Hotel ("That '70s Show") penned the pilot script, which he's executive producing along with Elliott and Warner Bros. Television-based producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2006]  

· OZ (HBO)

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