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[12/29/06 - 02:32 PM]
Development Update: December 25-29 (Weekly Round-Up)
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!

24 (FOX) - Jamison Jones ("Hollywood Homicide") is the latest addition to the show's sixth season. He'll play the head of the president's Secret Service, a recurring role.

ARMY WIVES (Lifetime) - Samantha Corbin-Miller ("Cold Case") has tapped as the showrunner/executive producer of the upcoming drama series, about a diverse group of women - and one man - living with their families on an active Army post and the pressures on those left behind while their partners serve their country. The Mark Gordon Co. and Touchstone Television are behind the hour, which stars Kim Delaney, Catherine Bell, Sally Pressman, Brigid Brannagh, Brian McNamara, Sterling K. Brown, Wendy Davis and Drew Fuller. The series, filmed on location in Charleston, South Carolina, is set to premiere in March.

CONSPIRACY (Lifetime) - Jonathan Scarfe, Gabriel Olds, Kevin Rahm, Aisha Hinds, Benjamin Burdick and Sam Anderson have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, about Samantha Cross (Sheridan), a young Washington lawyer who, after winning a highly publicized case for a large pharmaceutical company, realizes that she was given falsified documents and that her client was guilty. Olds will play Charlie Parker, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "35. A very attractive, classic leading man, Charlie is Samantha's boyfriend, he has a confidence that comes from "being bred that way". A political strategist who works with Washington's most powerful politicians, Charlie is a masterful glad-hander who can turn his dazzling charm on like a faucet. Dismayed when Samantha receives his proposal of marriage coldly and even more dismayed when he finds Cole in Samantha's apartment after hours, but is moved by Samantha's subsequent explanation. When it comes to Samantha's talk of a high-level conspiracy, Charlie is clearly leery of such a disruption in their upwardly mobile lives, and warns her, in no uncertain terms, to back off."

Hinds then is set as Cass - "30-35. Samantha's female, offbeat, neighbor and best friend. Cass is a confirmed liberal activist who works at a local talk radio station. She is on easy terms with Samantha, Cass enters Sam's place without knocking and jokes about how Sam has "sold out" to the money interests. Underneath all the banter, however, it is clear that she is extremely proud when Sam becomes the first female partner at her law firm." - while Anderson is believed to be playing Randolph Dunne - "60s. A poised and polished attorney who heads the most prestigious law firm in D.C. and he entertains some of the most powerful people in the country on his lavish estate. A courtly charmer, Dunne hand-picked Samantha as his personal protege and is delighted when she scores an upset victory on behalf of their client, a huge pharmceutical company. Dunne promptly promotes Samantha to partner, complete with an enormous salary and a shiny new Lexus. When rumors of a conspiracy start trickling through the office, Dunne seems sincerely intent on learning the truth--but Samantha suspects he may know more than he is letting on."

Meanwhile, Scarfe has been cast as Cole Farris - "30-35. Samantha's ex-boyfriend, Cole is intelligent and handsome (but not slick). After attending law school with Samantha, Cole has gone on to establish his own private practice specializing in public interest cases. Cole still cares deeply for Samantha, but he doesn't belabor the point, he disapproves of the fact that she's working for "corporate monsters" instead of the little guy. When Samantha finds herself smack dab in the middle of a deadly conspiracy, Cole is the first guy she turns to for help--and he is happy to oblige." - with Burdick as Ben Freeman - "35-39. Ben is a go-getting, very intelligent reporter for the Washington Post, he is always looking for an angle. Ben smells a scoop in the pharmaceutical case but Samantha freezes him out when he comes sniffing for the story. Later, Ben is righteously castigated by a terrified Samantha for following her in his car. He interrupts her tirade with some shocking information that ratchets up Samantha's paranoia to a new level."

Finally, Rahm is set as the final principal role, Richard West - "Late 30s. This attorney is a rising star in the law firm whose "explosive" style has gotten him up the corporate ladder quickly. Richard has a big crush on Samantha and he doesn't try to hide it. Still, he is territorial, top of his game, and believes Sam should be working for him, not "with" him." Fox TV Studios is behind the Vancouver, Canada-based hour, which Jeff Bleckner is directing from a script by Tim Bogart. Gary Randall is executive producing alongside Bogart.

DRIVE (FOX) - Kevin Alejandro ("Sleeper Cell") and Mircea Monroe ("Freddie") have both joined the cast of the upcoming drama, about an underground race across the U.S. They'll take over for Andres Saenz-Hudson and Taryn Manning as Winston Salazar and Ellie Laird, respectively. No specific reasons were given for the changes. Manning nevertheless is expected to stay on the show playing a different character, Jewel. Also being recast: Alan Ruck and Shahine Ezell's characters, leaving Melanie Lynskey, Emma Stone, Kristin Lehman and Rochelle Aytes as the only holdovers from the original pilot. Nathan Fillion replaced Ivan Sergei earlier this month. Tim Minear, Ben Queen and Greg Yaitanes are the executive producers of the 20th Century Fox Television-based series, which is due to premiere in April.

THE GEORGE LOPEZ SHOW (ABC) - Oscar De La Hoya has booked a guest spot on the sitcom veteran. He'll play a trash-talking doctor on an upcoming episode of the series. No air date has been announced.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· 24 (FOX)
· ARMY WIVES (LIFETIME)
· COLD CASE (CBS)
· CONSPIRACY (LIFETIME)
· DRIVE (FOX)
· FREDDIE (ABC)
· GEORGE LOPEZ SHOW, THE (ABC)
· SLEEPER CELL (SHOWTIME)





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