[03/10/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: March 10
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!

13 GRAVES (FOX) - Luke Goss ("Blade II") is the latest to score a role in the drama pilot, about an ex-treasure hunter (Matthew Lillard) whose search for his missing brother puts him in the hunt for Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizzaro's fabled Incan gold. He's believed to be playing Gary Domino in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, who's described in the casting notice as: "40s, any ethnicity. An ex-con with miles of experience. He is the guardian of his five year old son. He is a tough guy - you wouldn't want to .... with him. He has come to Florida in search of the treasure." Norman Reedus, Eric Stonestreet and Katheryn Winnick also star in the pilot, which Dominic Sena is directing from a script by creator Joel Wyman.

20 QUESTIONS (ABC) - John Heard (Governor Frank Tancredi on "Prison Break") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about a young State Department employee (Jesse Bradford) who stumbles onto a conspiracy. Kelly Overton, William Lee Scott, China Shavers and Ben Shenkman also star in the Touchstone Television-based hour, which Michael Engler is directing from a script by creator Thomas Hines. Matthew Gross also serves as an executive producer.

BLACK. WHITE. (FX) - 3.98 million viewers on average tuned into the show's launch on Wednesday, 2.8 million (2.1 rating/6 share) of which fell into the key adults 18-49 demographic. The latter number tied MTV's "The Osbournes" for the most-watched premiere for an unscripted series in cable history as well as the most-watched cable launch overall so far this year. "Black" also fared well among men 18-34 (2.2. rating/8 share), beating out "Invasion" on ABC and falling just short of "C.S.I.: N.Y." on CBS and "Law & Order" on NBC.

THE CLASS (CBS) - Lizzy Caplan (Marjee Sorelli on "Related") has joined the ensemble cast of the comedy, about eight former third-grade classmates who are reunited as adults after years apart. She'll play one of them, a jaded, attractive and sharp-tongued photographer. As expected, Caplan's involvement is in second position to her duties on "Related" should it return for a second season on the CW. Andrea Anders, Jon Bernthal, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Heather Goldenhersh, Sean Maguire, Lucy Punch and Jason Ritter also star in the project, which comes from Warner Bros. Television and creators David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik. James Burrows is directing the pilot.

COMMUNITY SERVICE (NBC) - Todd Stashwick (Kyle on "Still Standing") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about an arrogant New Yorker (Jay Mohr) who ends up doing community service in a small town. Christopher Wiehl also stars in the NBC Universal Television-based half-hour, which Victor Nelli is directing from a script by creators David M. Israel and Jim O'Doherty.

A DAY IN THE LIFE (ABC) - Wendie Malick (Naomi on "Jake in Progress") is the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, which chronicles a young couple's wedding day from the points of view of the various participants. Malick's involvement is in second position to the still-technically-alive "Jake," which was pulled after one airing earlier this season. Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa are behind the Sony Pictures Television-based project, which recently added Michael Spiller (also of "Jake in Progress" fame) as director.

DRIFT (ABC) - Vanessa Ferlito (Aiden Burn on "C.S.I.: N.Y.") and Naelee Rae ("The Notorious Bettie Page") have both booked roles on the drama pilot, about a detective who suffers a major emotional trauma, leaving him with insomnia and little long-term memory, and hallucinates that his deceased daughter is with him at the crime scenes he's investigating. They join the previously cast Chazz Palminteri in the Touchstone Television-based project, which comes from creator John Glenn, director Paul W.S. Anderson and executive producers Chris Brancato, Bert Salke and Jeremy Bolt.

HIM & US (ABC) - Kim Cattrall (Samantha Jones on "Sex and the City") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a gay British rock star (Anthony Stewart Head) and his relationship with his longtime manager. She'll play the latter character, Freddy Lazarus, who was originally written as a man but is being reworked for Cattrall. Michael Trucco and Ashley Williams also star in the Touchstone Television-based half-hour, which comes from executive producers Cindy Chupack, Michael Edelstein, Bob Halley, Elton John and Bruce Roberts. Charles Shyer directs.

HOUSE (FOX) - The network is expected to announce next week it has renewed the series for a third season. The news not surprisingly comes shortly after the sophomore drama hit series highs among total viewers (22.2 million viewers) and adults 18-49 (8.7 rating/22 share) for its February 7 broadcast.

A HOUSE DIVIDED (ABC) - Dylan McDermott (Bobby Donnell on "The Practice") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a conflict between a Midwest farming community and the U.S. government that leads to the next American civil war. No details about his character were released. He joins the previously cast Tyress Allen, Sarah Clarke, Alison Elliott, Shannon Lucio, Nestor Serrano, Bill Smitrovich and Jason Wiles in the Touchstone Television-based hour, which comes from creator Andrew David Chapman and executive producers Mark Gordon and Deb Spera. Michael Rymer is directing the pilot from a script by Chapman.

JULIE RENO, BOUNTY HUNTER (FOX) - Annie Potts (Lt. Lucy Preston on "Joan of Arcadia") is set to play mom to Erin Daniels in the comedy pilot, about a single mom-turned-bounty hunter (Daniels). She'll play Angel, who's described in the casting notice as follows: "48. Julie's mother, she's a former stripper who stopped stripping when she realized her chest was going a bit cockeyed from too many whirling pole dances. Now, Angel, who still has a great rack, practices the art of healing massage in her and Julie's kitchen. She's a support system for Julie and her grandson Clarke, although she mostly sides with Clarke. Initially disapproving of Julie's new gig until she soon realizes this is Julie's big chance to "kick some man-ass"." Michael Ross is behind the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, which Lev Spiro is directing. Sandy Grushow and Paul Shapiro also serve as executive producers.

LIPSTICK JUNGLE (NBC) - Scott Cohen (Max Medina on "Gilmore Girls") is set to play wife to Gina Gershon in the drama pilot, about three women who will do anything to get ahead and stay on top. He'll play Shane in the NBC Universal Television-based hour, which Nigel Cole is directing from a script by creators Candace Bushnell and Robin Schiff. Matthew Morrison also stars.

NINE LIVES (ABC) - Camille Guaty (Maricruz Delgado on "Prison Break") is the 11th person to join the cast of the drama pilot, about the lives of nine strangers who share a bond after experiencing a 52-hour hostage crisis that stems from a bank robbery that goes bad. She'll play Franny in the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, which also stars Lourdes Benedicto, John Billingsley, Jessica Collins, Tim Daly, Dana Davis, Camille Guaty, Chi McBride, Kim Raver, Scott Wolf and Owain Yeoman. Alex Graves is directing the hour from a script by co-creators Hank Steinberg and K.J. Steinberg.

SECRETS OF A SMALL TOWN (ABC) - Denise Richards (Jolene on "Sex, Love & Secrets") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, which revolves around a murder mystery set in a small town. No details on her character were released. John L. Adams, Tyler Christopher, Sean Patrick Flanery, Angie Harmon and John Terry also star in the project, which comes from creator Charles Pratt, Jr. and director Adam Davidson. Chris Brancato and Bert Salke also serve as executive producers of the hour, which is set up at Touchstone Television.

WOMEN IN LAW (ABC) - Julie Warner (Deborah Ross on "Just Legal") has joined the cast of the pilot, a dramedy about women working at a law firm. Details on her character weren't specified. Garcelle Beauvais Nilon, Regina King, Jill Ritchie and Kelli Williams also star, while Robert Luketic is directing from a script by creators Steven Banks and Claudia Grazioso. The latter pair also serve as executive producers along with Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman of the Sony Pictures Television-based 25C Productions.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2006]  

· HIM & US (ABC)

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