[05/08/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: May 8
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!

AMERICAN BODY SHOP (Comedy Central, New!) - Sam Greene and Jim Jones have scored a pilot order from the cable channel for a new "Reno 911!"-esque comedy about the eccentric characters who work in an auto-body repair shop. Here's how the network's press materials describe the project: "American Body Shop is a semi-improvised episodic comedy set in an auto body shop. Stylistically similar to Reno 911, American Body Shop parodies garage reality shows such as American Chopper; Monster Garage; American Hot Rod; etc. The setting is a body shop somewhere near suburban Phoenix. The shop sits on the outskirts of town, near the interstate, surrounded mostly by bleak desolate desert..."

ANDROID APOCALYPSE (A.K.A. WASTELAND) (Sci Fi) - The cable channel has booked the original movie for Saturday, June 24 at 9:00/8:00c. Here's how Sci Fi describes the telefilm: "Jute (Scott Bairstow, TV's Party of Five, the SCI FI Original movie The Bone Snatcher) is just a working man who's fed up with androids taking all the best jobs in town. One night, a barroom brawl earns him a one-way trip to a penal colony. But while being escorted to the prison by his android captor DeeCee (Joseph Lawrence, Urban Legends: Final Cut, TV's American Dreams), their transport is attacked by mutants, and the pair becomes stranded in a forbidding wilderness. With only each other to depend upon for survival, man and machine are forced to abandon their prejudices and learn how to work together as friends."

BLACK HOLE (Sci Fi) - Sci Fi has slated the telefilm to air on Saturday, June 10 at 9:00/8:00c. The network's press materials describe it as follows: "A particle accelerator malfunction in a St. Louis laboratory creates an artificial black hole, which swiftly grows and consumes everything that falls into its inescapable grasp. Making matters worse, an energy creature emerges from this rift in space-time and wreaks havoc on the city. Now, if one calamity doesn't destroy the world, the other will. Judd Nelson (Cabin by the Lake, the John Hughes classic The Breakfast Club) and Kristy Swanson (the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie) star."

CHAPPELLE'S SHOW (Comedy Central) - The cable channel reportedly will premiere the first of four "lost episodes" of the series on Sunday, July 9 at 9:00/8:00c. Said installments will feature the filmed segments from the show's aborted third season.

DOG BITES MAN (A.K.A. AMERICAN LIVES) (Comedy Central) - The series, which was previously in the works at NBC under the title "American Lives," has been slated to premiere on Wednesday, June 7 at 10:30/9:30c. Here's how the network's press materials describe the project: "Local news just got a whole lot funnier (and this time it's intentional). Expect nothing ordinary as Comedy Central delves deeper into the world of the traditional half-hour narrative with the ten-episode series Dog Bites Man. It�s an outrageous, part improvisational, part mockumentary, single camera show featuring a group of dysfunctional fake newscasters interacting with real people. The cast includes improv experts Zach Galifianakis, A.D. Miles, Andrea Savage and Matt Walsh."

IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA (FX) - The network's original comedy series is set to return for its second season on Thursday, June 29 at 10:00/9:00c.

MARK AND MIKE (A.K.A. UNTITLED MARK BORSHARDT/MIKE SCHANK PROJECT) (Comedy Central) - The cable channel has ordered a pilot for the project, which features "American Movie" stars Mark Borshardt and Mike Schank. Said half-hour will track the duo as they attempt to make a new film in Milwaukee using their limited resources. John Lynch, Norman Siderow and Jeff Stilson are the executive producers.

MIND OF MENCIA (Comedy Central) - The series, which wraps the first half of its sophomore season later this week, will return with the first of eight new installments on Sunday, July 9 at 10:00/9:00c. Here's how Comedy Central describes the series: "Shot in the studio and on location, �Mind of Mencia� is based on Mencia�s unique point of view of the world including such topics as ethnic stereotypes, race relations, immigration, war, patriotism, capitalism and family and is presented with brutal honesty and unrelenting provocation. The show includes Mencia�s comments on pop culture and current events, man-on-the-street interviews, commercial parodies, as well as interaction with the studio audience."

NIP/TUCK (FX) - The cable channel has confirmed the series will return for a fourth season this fall with sales materials indicating a Tuesday, September 19 premiere date at 10:00/9:00c.

RENO 911! (Comedy Central) - The network has confirmed the veteran comedy will return for its fourth season on Sunday, July 9 at 10:30/9:30c. Here's how the cable channel details the new season: "The Reno police force is back in action for a fourth season! Find out if Dangle and Garcia freeze to death, if Deputy Wiegel's serial killer husband gets a lethal injection and what happens when Jones and Garcia are transferred to the Reno mounted patrol in 14 new episodes of the hit comedy series. The new season features guest stars Paul Reubens (aka Pee Wee Herman), Carrot Top and Oscar Nunez ("The Office")."

SONS & DAUGHTERS (ABC)/TEACHERS (NBC) - Wil Calhoun ("What I Like About You") has inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with NBC Universal Television. The pact follows Calhoun's recent stint as a consulting producer on the studio's "Sons & Daughters" for ABC and "Teachers" for NBC. The deal calls for Calhoun to develop new projects for NBC Universal as well as potentially join one of its existing properties next season.

UNTITLED DERAY DAVIS PROJECT (Comedy Central, New!) - DeRay Davis, the winner of Comedy Central's "Laugh Riots" nationwide stand-up competition, is set to be the focus of a potential new variety series at the network. Comedy Central has ordered a pilot for the project, which comes from executive producers Davis, Andrew Gurland, Peter Principato, Paul Young and Joel Zadak. It's understood the half-hour entry will blend everything from stand-up, to reality, to sketches and street interviews.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [may 2006]  


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