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[01/25/07 - 12:58 AM]
Development Update: Thursday, January 25
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 signature "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!


CHUCK (NBC) - Fellow "The O.C." alum McG has come aboard to direct and executive produce Josh Schwartz's drama pilot for the Peacock, a high-concept action dramedy about spies and twentysomethings in the vein of "Grosse Pointe Blank." He'll executive produce via his Wonderland Sound and Vision with the company's Peter Johnson also serving as a co-executive producer.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writers: Chris Fedak, Josh Schwartz
Director: McG
Executive Producers: Josh Schwartz (College Hill Pictures), McG (Wonderland Sound and Vision)
Co-Executive Producers: Chris Fedak, Peter Johnson (Wonderland Sound and Vision)
Studio: Warner Bros. Television


ELI STONE (ABC) - Natasha Henstridge ("Commander-In-Chief") and Sam Jaeger ("Catch & Release") are the latest additions to Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim's drama pilot, a high-concept legal drama about Eli Stone (Jonny Lee Miller), a brilliant young attorney at a top law firm who finds out he might be a prophet. Henstridge will play the fiancee of Miller's character - a successful attorney and daughter of the senior partner at Stone's firm (Victor Garber). Her involvement stems from a talent holding deal with producer Touchstone Television. Jaeger then is set as Stone's archrival at the firm, a rabidly ambitious attorney.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Jonny Lee Miller (Eli Stone), Loretta Devine, Natasha Henstridge, Sam Jaeger, Victor Garber
Writers: Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Greg Berlanti (Berlanti Television), Marc Guggenheim
Studio: Touchstone Television


FORT PIT (NBC) - David Call ("Beautiful Ohio") and Michael Rispoli ("Invincible") have both landed roles in the drama pilot, about one of the worst NYPD precincts in Brooklyn. While not specified, Rispoli is believed to be playing Sgt. Jim Wesson, who's detailed in the casting notice as: "42. Just one of the 74th's many colorful characters, this veteran police sergeant is just 42, although he's so puffy and grey that he looks at least 10 years older. Smartmouthed and abrasive, Wesson has a problem with authority, as reflected by the colorful Hawaiian shirt he wears in lieu of a uniform. Popping candy instead of the Thorazine he used to ingest around the clock, Wesson gets into very hot water when he makes a very obvious and very lethal mistake with an obvious "nutjob" who drops by his desk asking for help." Call then is understood to be set as Don Van Ness, who's described as: "24-30, Caucasian or African-American, from New York but has a Mid West feel, tall, fit, wide eyed, na�ve, lacks common sense. Rookie of 24, he is a new cop at the 74th who recently graduated the police academy with his pal, Bonelli. However, whereas Bonelli was at the top of his class, Van Ness didn't exactly cover himself with glory. Despite that, Van Ness is determined to make captain by the time he is 30. Unfortunately, his gung-ho attitude isn't backed up by a lot of common sense. A real character, Van Ness is having his own issues adjusting to life on the mean streets of the 74th, although he would never admit that fact."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: David Call (Don Van Ness), James Badge Dale (Bobby Bonelli), Michael Rispoli (Sgt. Jim Wesson)
Writers: Michael Chernuchin, Peter Tolan
Director: Peter Tolan
Executive Producers: Denis Leary (Apostle Productions), Jim Serpico (Apostle Productions), Michael Chernuchin, Peter Tolan
Producers: Lou DiGiamo, Robert Cea
Studio: Sony Pictures Television


GRAVITY (A.K.A. THE CALL) (The CW) - The drama script, about the daily lives of a sexy ensemble of rookie cops and their training officers in Los Angeles, has been given a pilot presentation order. Caleb Kane is behind the CBS Paramount Network Television-based project, which he'll co-executive produce with DreamWorks Television's Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey serving as executive producers and Charlie Segers as a consulting producer.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (14-20 minute presentation)
Cast: TBA
Writer: Caleb Kane
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Darryl Frank (DreamWorks Television), Justin Falvey (DreamWorks Television)
Co-Executive Producer: Caleb Kane
Consulting Producer: Charles Segars
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television


THE GREG BEHRENDT SHOW (Syndicaton) - Sony Pictures Television has confirmed the series will not return for a second season. Production nevertheless is expected to continue on the series with a mix of original and repeat episodes scheduled to air through at least May. To date the freshman talk show is averaging a lackluster 0.8 rating with an average viewership of just 888,000. The cancellation had been expected after the Tribune station group opted to go with NBC Universal's new Steve Wilkos-hosted series instead of a second season of "Behrendt."


LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (NBC) - Co-stars and fellow Emmy nominees Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni have both inked new deals with producers Wolf Films and NBC Universal Television to return for two more seasons of the series. The pacts, both valued in the $330,000 per episode range, will make Hargitay the highest-paid actress on television, surpassing Kyra Sedgwick's recent blockbuster deal. "S.V.U.," now the most-watched installment in the "Law & Order" franchise, was renewed through the 2007-08 season earlier this month.


LOS DUQUES (CBS, New!) - Cynthia Cidre ("The Mambo Kings") has booked a pilot order from the Eye for a new drama about a multigenerational Latin American family in the rum business. She penned the CBS Paramount Network Television-based script and will executive produce alongside Jonathan Prince ("American Dreams") and Interscope Records' Polly Anthony and Jimmy Iovine.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writer: Cynthia Cidre
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Cynthia Cidre, Jimmy Iovine (Interscope Records), Jonathan Prince, Polly Anthony (Interscope Records)
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television


REAPER (The CW) - The netlet has issued a pilot order to the Mark Gordon-produced drama, about a 21-year-old slacker who becomes the devil's bounty hunter, retrieving souls escaped from hell. Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") are behind the hour, which they'll executive produce alongside Mark Gordon and Deborah Spera via their Touchstone Television-based Mark Gordon Co.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writers: Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Deborah Spera (The Mark Gordon Company), Mark Gordon (The Mark Gordon Company), Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters
Studio: Touchstone Television


Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





  [january 2007]  
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· AMERICAN DREAMS (NBC)
· CANE (CBS)
· CHUCK (NBC)
· COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF (ABC)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· ELI STONE (ABC)
· FORT PIT (NBC)
· GRAVITY (CW)
· GREG BEHRENDT SHOW, THE (SYNDICATION)
· LAW & ORDER (NBC)
· LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (NBC)
· OC, THE (FOX)
· REAPER (CW)
· STEVE WILKOS SHOW, THE (SYNDICATION)











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