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[03/29/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: March 29
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!

52 FIGHTS (ABC) - Constance Zimmer (Brianna on "In Justice") has joined the cast of the Touchstone Television-based half-hour, about a couple's (Christine Taylor, Matt Letscher) transition from dating to marriage. She'll play best friend of Taylor's character, who is facing the demise of her own marriage. As expected, Zimmer's involvement is in second position to her duties on "Justice" should it return next season. Alex Taub is behind the project, which also stars Chris Diamantopoulos.

CABLE RATINGS ROUND-UP (Various) - HBO's "The Sopranos" once again topped all cable series for the week of March 20-26 with 8.9 million viewers tuning in. Lead-out "Big Love" also finished in the top 10 with an audience of 3.7 million (#8), up a tick from its sophomore outing (3.4 million). Also faring well: the season finale of FX's "The Shield" (3.2 million, #12), MTV's "The Gauntlet" (3.1 million, #14), USA's "WWE Raw" (5.1 million, #5) and a repeat of "Monk" (3.3 million, #10), the season premiere of Comedy Central's "South Park" (3.5 million, #9) and the special "Ron White: You Can't Fix Stupid" (4.5 million, #7). Outside of the top 15, Bravo offered up the premieres of "Blow Out 3" (521,000 viewers) and "The Real Housewives of Orange County" (430,000) last Tuesday. Both broadcasts fell short of "Top Chef" (720,000 viewers) that week.

EBAUM'S WORLD (USA) - Martin Sargent (G4's "Unscrewed With Martin Sargent") and former WWE star Chris Jericho have been tapped to host the pilot, which features a mix of humorous and shocking "viral videos" from the popular web site of the same name. Production is set to begin next month on the one-hour project, with Fox TV Studios and Simon Andreae's Incubator banner producing.

FLIRT (The CW) - Barry Wernick's comedy project, originally in the works at UPN, has been given a pilot order from the CW with former daytime talk show host Wayne Brady attached to star. The Touchstone Television-based half-hour revolves around the only man (Brady) working at a women's magazine. Barry Wernick penned the pilot script and will executive produce along with Kevin Kelly Brown, Lawrence Bender and Claudia Lonow. Gary Halvorson, who's already helming Jace Richdale's comedy pilot at NBC and "Play Nice" at CBS, is on board to direct.

MY EX-LIFE (CBS) - Kelsey Grammer, who directed the pilot to "Out of Practice" this past season, has signed on to helm the comedy pilot, about two divorced couples and the way they deal with their lives after divorce. He'll take over for Andy Cadiff on the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, which comes from creator Richard Appel. Gillian Vigman and Thomas Cavanagh star.

SCRUBS (NBC) - Tad Quill, a recently named executive producer on the veteran comedy, has inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with Touchstone Television. The pact, which begins on July 1, will keep Quill on board the NBC half-hour should it return next season as well as call for him to develop original projects for the studio.

SHARK (CBS) - Danielle Panabaker (Phoebe North on "Yours, Mine and Ours") is set to play daughter to James Woods in the drama pilot, about a celebrity attorney (Woods) who becomes a prosecutor. She joins the previously cast Alexis Cruz, Jeri Ryan, Romy Rosemont, Sarah Carter and Sophina Brown in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which comes from executive producers Brian Grazer, David Nevins and Ian Biederman. Spike Lee is directing from a script by Biederman.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· 52 FIGHTS (ABC)
· BIG LOVE (HBO)
· BLOW OUT (BRAVO)
· EBAUM'S WORLD (USA)
· FLIRT (CW)
· IN JUSTICE (ABC)
· MONK (USA)
· MY EX-LIFE (CBS)
· OUT OF PRACTICE (CBS)
· PLAY NICE (CBS)
· REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ORANGE COUNTY, THE (BRAVO)
· REAL WORLD/ROAD RULES CHALLENGE (MTV)
· SCRUBS (ABC)
· SHARK (CBS)
· SHIELD, THE (FX)
· SOPRANOS, THE (HBO)
· SOUTH PARK (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· TOP CHEF (BRAVO)
· UNTITLED JACE RICHDALE PROJECT (NBC)
· WWE RAW (USA)









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