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[02/06/07 - 12:27 AM]
Development Update: Tuesday, February 6
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!


DIRTY SEXY MONEY (ABC) - Seth Gabel ("Nip/Tuck") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about an idealistic lawyer who takes on the job of tending to the legal and sometimes illegal needs of a wealthy and colorful New York family. He'll play Jeremy Darling, one of said clan. His character is detailed in the casting notice as follows: "20s. A cokehead wastrel. He is frequently seen in rumpled clothing, hung over, smoking cigarettes and pleading with Nick to get him out of a jam. Having won in a poker game a yacht filled with Liberian immigrants, Jeremy is arrested for human trafficking. He's completely oblivious to the concept of relative suffering and unable to conceive of a life worse than his, despite his obscene wealth. He fears he's the family disappointment and that his father hates him."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Seth Gabel (Jeremy Darling)
Writer: Craig Wright
Director: Peter Horton
Executive Producers: Craig Wright, Greg Berlanti (Berlanti Television)
Studio: Touchstone Television


FAMILY OF THE YEAR (ABC) - Michael Lehmann ("Because I Said So") has been tapped to direct the comedy pilot, about a small-town clan that suddenly finds itself with competition for the title of the most perfect family.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writer: Erica Rivinoja
Director: Michael Lehmann
Executive Producers: Erica Rivinoja, Pam Brady
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television


FOOTBALL WIVES (ABC) - Brian White ("Stomp the Yard") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, a U.S. version of the famed U.K. soap. He'll play Kyle, the wide receiver fiance of Gabrielle Union's character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Brian White (Kyle), Gabrielle Union (Chardonnay Lane)
Writer: Marco Pennette
Director: Bryan Singer
Executive Producers: Ann McManus (Shed Productions), Bert Salke (Brancato-Salke Productions), Bryan Singer (Bad Hat Harry Productions), Chris Brancato (Brancato-Salke Productions), Eileen Gallagher (Shed Productions), Marco Pennette, Maureen Chadwicke (Shed Productions)
Studio: Touchstone Television


JUDY'S GOT A GUN (ABC) - Colm Feore ("Empire") has signed onto the pilot, a procedural drama about a rookie female detective who struggles to balance her personal life as a single mother with her job as a police detective in suburban San Carlos. He'll play Captain Ruttgauer, who's described in the casting notice as: "40s-50s. A tanned surfer-type gone middle aged, he's the captain of the San Carlos Police Department. Smart, fair-minded, with a sense of humor, Ruttgauer seems to have an easy camaraderie with his cops and detectives. Ruttgauer sends his teams out to investigate a missing toe and a possible porn ring, and at the station voices his frustration at the many new and expensive improvements that fail to work."

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


K-VILLE (FOX) - Cole Hauser ("The Break Up") has scored one of the lead role in the drama pilot, a buddy cop show set in post-Katrina New Orleans. He'll play one of the two cops at the center of the project.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Cole Hauser
Writer: Jonathan Lisco
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Jonathan Lisco
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television


LAW DOGS (CBS) - Mark-Paul Gosselaar ("Commander-in-Chief") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about a group of Los Angeles public defenders. He'll play a charismatic 30-year-old who leaves his life of privilege and opportunity to run for Congress in order to work as a public defender. In addition, co-star Janeane Garofalo has switched roles. Originally booked as the head of the Public Defenders' Office, she'll now play an intense and irreverent public defender.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (14-20 minute presentation)
Cast: Janeane Garofalo, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Rachael Carpani
Writer: Barry Schindel
Director: Adam Bernstein
Executive Producers: Barry Schindel (The Barry Schindel Company), David W. Zucker (Scott Free Productions), Ridley Scott (Scott Free Productions), Tony Scott (Scott Free Productions)
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television


THE MINISTER OF DIVINE (FOX) - Kirstie Alley ("Fat Actress") has been tapped as the lead role in the comedy pilot, about a woman (Alley), known for her rebellious younger days, who returns to her small hometown to be a minister.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Kirstie Alley
Writer: Suzanne Martin
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Andrew Zein (Tiger Aspect Productions), Mark Chapman (Tiger Aspect Productions), Richard Curtis, Suzanne Martin
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television


MR. & MRS. SMITH (ABC) - Martin Henderson ("Smokin' Aces") has booked the male lead in the drama pilot, based on the hit 2005 feature. He'll play John Smith, the role originated by Brad Pitt in the film.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Jordana Brewster (Jane Smith), Martin Henderson (John 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


PUSHING DAISIES (ABC) - Lee Pace ("The Good Shepherd") has been cast in the lead role of the drama pilot, a romantic high-concept procedural about a man (Pace) who can touch the dead and bring them back to life. His character, Ned, is further detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Late 20s-Mid 30s, handsome and awkward, good-natured but self-contained. Ned is a professional pie maker who owns his own store, The Pie Hole. Ned has an unusual gift: he can touch a dead person (or animal) and have them come back to life, but if they live longer than one minute someone else, usually in close proximity, will die; also, if he touches them a second time, they'll die again, presumably this time for good. Ned discovered this gift and its drawbacks when he was 9 and his mother died while baking a fabulous pie, only to come back to life with his touch--only to die again when she kissed him good night. As a result, Ned is a withdrawn young man who loves pies and tries to avoid human contact, for fear someone else he loves will die. Ned has a side business with a private investigator, Emerson Cod, in which Ned brings murder victims back to life, finds out who killed them, then makes them die again and uses the knowledge, with Emerson, to collect rewards. The system works pretty well until Ned uses it to bring to life Charlotte "Chuck" Charles, the girl he's loved since childhood who was murdered on a cruise ship; unable to consign Chuck back to death, Ned lets her live, winds up telling her his secret, and finds that his life is about to become complicated."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Lee Pace (Ned)
Writer: Bryan Fuller
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Executive Producers: Bruce Cohen (The Jinks-Cohen Company), Bryan Fuller, Dan Jinks (The Jinks-Cohen Company)
Studio: Warner Bros. Television


SKIP TRACER (CBS) - Oscar-nominated director Stephen Frears ("The Queen") has signed on to direct and executive produce the drama pilot, about a Culver City-based rogue who locates missing people. He'll work from a script by creators Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green as well as executive produce alongside the duo and Stephen Dorff and Tucker Tooley.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Stephen Dorff
Writers: Mitchell Burgess, Robin Green
Director: Stephen Frears
Executive Producers: Mitchell Burgess, Robin Green, Stephen Dorff, Stephen Frears, Tucker Tooley (Media Talent Group)
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television


SUPREME COURTSHIPS (FOX) - Kurtwood Smith ("That '70s Show") and Zachary Knighton ("Life on a Stick") have both landed roles in the drama pilot, about the lives of six Supreme Court clerks and the judges they work for. Smith will play Henry Greenberg, one of the justices, while Smith is set as one of the clerks.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Kurtwood Smith (Justice Henry Greenberg), Leslie Odom, Jr., Zachary Knighton
Writer: Gary Tieche
Director: Ion Toynton
Executive Producers: Gary Tieche, Marty Adelstein (Adelstein Productions), Michael Thorn (Adelstein Productions)
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television


UNTITLED MAGGIE FRIEDMAN PROJECT (The CW, New!) - The netlet has added another drama project to its development roster, this time from writer/producer Maggie Friedman ("Related"). The project centers on a young life coach/witch in New York who, while struggling with her life and relationships, uses her magical powers to help people who are desperate to overcome their problems. Friedman penned the pilot script and is executive producing the pilot - which has a presentation order - alongside Becky Hartman-Edwards ("Invasion").

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (14-20 minute presentation)
Cast: TBA
Writer: Maggie Friedman
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Becky Hartman-Edwards, Maggie Friedman
Studio: Warner Bros. Television


WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB (ABC) - Paula Newsome ("Little Miss Sunshine") has been cast as one of the four leads in the drama pilot, about a quartet of girlfriends who solve tough murder cases. Her character, Claire Washburn, is detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Another one of the group of four friends is Medical Examiner Claire. Washburn, 40s, African-American, round-bodied, and warm. Able to "read bodies the way most people read books," Claire is gifted at her job, but sometimes fears that getting too close to the victims makes her to care too much. The mother of two sons and married to an ex-cop who was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty, Claire struggles with an attraction for Owen, a crime scene tech with whom she works."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Paula Newsome (Claire Washburn)
Writers: Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Fain
Director: Brett Ratner
Executive Producers: Brett Ratner (Rat Television), Elizabeth Craft, James Patterson, Joe Simpson, Sarah Fain
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television


Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





  [february 2007]  
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· COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF (ABC)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· DIRTY SEXY MONEY (ABC)
· EMPIRE (ABC)
· FAMILY OF THE YEAR (ABC)
· FAT ACTRESS (SHOWTIME)
· FOOTBALL WIVES (ABC)
· INVASION (ABC)
· JUDY'S GOT A GUN (ABC)
· K-VILLE (FOX)
· LAW DOGS (CBS)
· LIFE ON A STICK (FOX)
· MINISTER OF DIVINE, THE (FOX)
· MR. & MRS. SMITH (ABC)
· NIP/TUCK (FX)
· PUSHING DAISIES (ABC)
· RELATED (WB)
· SKIP TRACER (CBS)
· SPELLBOUND (CW)
· SUPREME COURTSHIPS (FOX)
· THAT '70S SHOW (FOX)
· WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB (ABC)











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