[02/02/07 - 12:32 AM]
Development Update: Friday, February 2
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!

BREAKING BAD (AMC) - "Malcolm in the Middle" alum Bryan Cranston has scored the lead role in the drama pilot, about a high-school chemistry teacher (Cranston) who, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, uses his skills to launch a meth lab in order to make money quickly and provide for his wife and handicapped son.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Bryan Cranston
Writer: Vince Gilligan
Director: Vince Gilligan
Executive Producers: Mark Johnson, Vince Gilligan
Studio: Sony Pictures Television

DR. KEITH ABLOW (Syndication) - Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution has reportedly pulled the plug on the freshman talk show, making it the third newcomer to get the axe this season. Production nevertheless is expected to continue on the series through the beginning of March with a mix of repeats and first-run episodes running through the end of the season. The series has averaged a lackluster 1.0 household rating season-to-date, slightly above its fellow casualties "The Megan Mullally Show" and "The Greg Behrendt Show," each of which averaged a 0.8 household rating.

ELI STONE (ABC) - Ken Olin ("Brothers & Sisters") has signed on to direct and executive produce the drama pilot, about a thirtysomething attorney (Jonny Lee Miller) who begins having larger-than-life visions that compel him to do out-of-the-ordinary things. In addition, Olin has inked a new two-year, seven-figure overall deal with producer Touchstone Television. The pact covers his duties on both "Brothers" and "Stone" as well as any future development for the studio.

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

FORT PIT (NBC) - Dania Ramirez ("X-Men: The Last Stand") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about one of the worst N.Y.P.D. police precincts in Brooklyn. She'll play Angela Hardwick in the hour, who's detailed in the casting notice as: "26, Hispanic or African American, sexy. This young female cop is extremely hot -- "in a tough sort of way." As hard-boiled as she is beautiful, Angela was once a top narc -- but she was putting more blow up her own nose than in the evidence locker."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Dania Ramirez (Angela Hardwick), 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
Studio: Sony Pictures Television

THE GOLDEN CAGE (ABC, New!) - "Fear Factor" and "Big Brother" creator John de Mol is developing a new reality series at the Alphabet that tracks 10 people that live together in a luxury mansion in which they live like millionaires but have limited contact with friends and family. The project, which is based on a Dutch format, is based at de Mol's Talpa Productions. As for specifics, the participants will earn visits or time out of the house via competitions with the last man or woman standing winning the deed to the mansion. In addition, players can only be eliminated through their own volition or if every other member of the house agrees to vote them off during twice-monthly "firings" - meaning, in theory, the series could last for years. Nevertheless, exact format details for the U.S. version have yet to be hammered out.

Commitment: Unspecified
Cast: TBA
Writer: TBA
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: John de Mol
Studio: Talpa Productions

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS) - Creators/executive producers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas have inked a new three-year, mid-seven figure overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The pact will cover the pair's services on the comedy over the next three seasons as well as any potential development for the studio. In addition, the duo will also receive an increased ownership stake in the show's back end, should it be sold to syndication.

JUDY'S GOT A GUN (ABC) - Michael Michele ("Kevin Hill") and Steve Sandvoss ("Rumor Has It") are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about a rookie female detective who struggles to balance her personal life as a single mother with her job investigating suburban crimes. Michele will Pamela Coates, who's described in the casting notice as follows: "Mid-Late 20s. A police detective, she's the San Carlos' police department's "hot bod," a force of nature with lots of attiude, collagen and silicone who likes being one of the guys. Having served in Iraq (started out 190 lbs.; the military slimmed her down and paid for her breast implants), Pamela is a focused, no-nonsense, barrel-ahead type of detective, and she's initially somewhat cold to her rookie trainee, Judy Lemen. However, Judy discovers there's warmth and humor beneath Pamela's sharp exterior, and the two become good friends as well as stand up partners."

Sandvoss then is set as Patrick: "29. A handsome, off-the-wall Captain America type detective, "uselessly left-brained," he's Maya's partner, and is the brawn to her brain. A germophobic kind of guy, he carries around a bottle of Purell sanitizing wash and offers it to Maya every time she touches something he doesn't like the look of (she drives him crazy when she licks her hand after bringing down a kid with a cough). Actually, it turns out Patrick's not so much concerned with catching colds or the flu, but has a theory that evil itself might be catching - and he thinks he has the evidence to prove it."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Michael Michele, Steve Sandvoss
Writers: Michelle King, Robert King
Director: Sheree Folkson
Executive Producers: Michelle King, Robert King, Stu Bloomberg (Cabloom!)
Studio: Touchstone Television

LIFE ON MARS (ABC) - Rachelle Lefevre ("What About Brian") has signed onto the drama pilot, about a detective who finds himself transported back to 1972 after his girlfriend has been kidnapped. She'll play the lone female detective in the department in 1972 who forges a mystic bond with the mysterious detective and teams with him to track a serial killer.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Rachelle Lefevre
Writer: David E. Kelley
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: David E. Kelley (David E. Kelley Productions), Jane Featherstone (Kudos Productions), Stephen Garrett (Kudos Productions)
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television

M.O.N.Y. (NBC) - Emmy-winner Bobby Cannavale ("Will & Grace") has been tapped for the lead role in the drama pilot, about a socially conscious New York public advocate (Cannavale) who is thrust into the position of becoming interim mayor and struggles to balance his moral center with the hardball realities of New York politics. Cannavale's casting lifts said contingency off the pilot's production. The actor previously had a talent holding deal with the network and producer NBC Universal Television.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously cast-contingent)
Cast: Bobby Cannavale
Writer: Barry Levinson, Tom Fontana
Director: Spike Lee
Executive Producers: Barry Levinson (The Levinson-Fontana Company), Tom Fontana (The Levinson-Fontana Company)
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio

MARLOWE (ABC) - "Day Break" alum Rob Bowman has reportedly been tapped to direct the pilot, a small screen revival of Raymond Chandler's hard-boiled detective set in the present day.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Jason O'Mara (Philip Marlowe)
Writers: Carol Wolper, Greg Pruss
Director: Rob Bowman
Executive Producers: Carol Wolper, Daniel H. Blatt, Daniel Pipski, Greg Pruss, Sean Bailey (LivePlanet)
Producer: Jason O'Mara
Studios: Chorion Limited, Touchstone Television

MR. & MRS. SMITH (ABC) - "Justice" co-star Rebecca Mader has joined the cast of the drama pilot, based on the 2005 feature of the same name. She'll play Jane's former assistant who is now her top associate at the covert ops agency opened by John and Jane (Jordana Brewster) Smith.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Jordana Brewster (Jane Smith), Rebecca Mader
Writer: Simon Kinberg
Director: Doug Liman
Executive Producers: Dave Bartis (Dutch Oven Productions), Doug Liman (Dutch Oven Productions), Simon Kinberg
Studio: Regency Television

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [february 2007]  


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