[02/08/07 - 12:44 AM]
Development Update: Thursday, February 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 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!

AREA 52 (NBC) - Jane Lynch ("Lovespring International") is the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, about government employees in the Arizona desert who must watch over a manipulative alien. She'll play Irene Maloof in the half-hour, who's coincidentally detailed in the casting notice as: "40ish. Human Resources. Officious and devoted to paperwork. A Jane Lynch type. She considers herself the most important person on this project because if somebody violates office protocol, well, it's game, set, match."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Jane Lynch (Irene Maloof)
Writer: Mike Armstrong
Director: Dean Parisot
Executive Producers: David Latt, Dean Parisot, Mike Armstrong
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio

BUSINESS CLASS (NBC) - Mark Valley ("Boston Legal") has booked one of the two lead roles in the comedy pilot, about two men who live in a world of airplanes, cookie-cutter hotel chains and expense-account restaurants. Valley's casting lifts said contingency off the pilot's production. His character, Chuck Haverchuck, is described in the casting notice as follows: "30-45, any ethnicity. A born salesman, professional, looks like a winner, incredibly charming, charismatic and completely amoral, Chuck is the top traveling salesman for a popular soda brand. A man with no life outside his job, he's a consummate deal-closer with nothing but contempt for normal emotional reactions or relationships. His own deeply buried emotions were in danger of surfacing when he is partnered with sincere, na�ve Terry O'Hara."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously cast-contingent)
Cast: Mark Valley (Chuck Haverchuck)
Writers: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein
Director: Adam Bernstein
Executive Producers: Bill Oakley, Dave Bartis (Dutch Oven Productions), Doug Liman (Dutch Oven Productions), Josh Weinstein
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio

CHUCK (NBC) - Zachary Levi ("Less Than Perfect") and Adam Baldwin ("Day Break") have both been cast in the drama pilot, about a computer geek who becomes an unlikely NSA agent. Levi will play the title role of Chuck, a comedic Jason Bourne who undertakes missions every week while still working his day job as a computer geek. Baldwin then is set as a hardened veteran agent who realizes that Chuck is the NSA's most valuable commodity.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Adam Baldwin, Zachary Levi (Chuck)
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

JOURNEYMAN (NBC) - Kevin McKidd ("Rome") has been tapped for the lead role in the drama pilot, an epic fantasy about a man (McKidd) who travels back in time to fix people's lives, but by recalibrating the past, he sometimes alters the future. He'll play said lead, Dan Vasser, who's detailed from the casting notice as: "35, any ethnicity, intelligent, leading man handsome, a star journalist with the San Francisco Register. Dan's a recovering gambling addict who's worked his way through some rough patches with his wife, Katie, and their son, Zack. Dan's having a hard time getting Katie and his friends to believe that his recent abrupt and unexplained absences are not because he's gambling or doing drugs, but because he's traveling back in time. As Dan begins to put the pieces together regarding his unnerving trips to the recent past (1987-1997) he realizes that he's clearly being sent to effect some good in the world, but at the same time, being alive in the same time and place as his now dead fiancee is obviously going to take a huge emotional toll." McKidd's involvement lifts the cast-contingency off the pilot's production.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously cast-contingent)
Cast: Kevin McKidd (Dan Vasser)
Writer: Kevin Falls
Director: Alex Graves
Executive Producers: Alex Graves, Kevin Falls
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television

JUDY'S GOT A GUN (ABC) - Margo Harshman ("Run of the House") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about a detective who struggles to balance her personal life as a single mother with her job investigating the unusual crimes that take place in suburbia. She'll play Maya Spektor in the project, who's described via casting notice as follows: "26. An intelligent, cosmopolitan cop who looks like a sweet 16 year old, but is far from sweet or 16, she's a feisty cop who's partnered with the germ-phobic Patrick, who's clearly the brawn to her brain. With Patrick, Maya's on the trail of a porn ring that's apparently used the living room of a fine upstanding family for their shoots, and winds up unintentionally disturbing undercover narc Isaac Prentice at a local high school (there are sparks between Maya and Isaac, but he may not be entirely above board). Good friends with Pamela, Maya joins her in giving newcomer Judy Lemen some advice: never tell a guy you're a cop - it freaks them out; tell them you're in real estate."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Colm Feore (Captain Ruttgauer), Margo Harshman (Maya Spektor), Michael Michele (Pamela Coates), Steve Sandvoss (Patrick)
Writers: Michelle King, Robert King
Director: Sheree Folkson
Executive Producers: Michelle King, Robert King, Stu Bloomberg (Cabloom!)
Studio: Touchstone Television

THE MAN (CBS) - The Eye has given a pilot presentation order to the LL Cool J-led, Anthony Zuiker-created project, about an undercover Los Angeles cop (LL Cool J) who juggles his job while developing a fatherlike relationship with a boy orphaned after one of his drug busts. Zuiker penned the pilot script and will executive produce for CBS Paramount Network Television. LL Cool J and his manager, Alchemy Entertainment's Jason Barrett, will also receive producing credits.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (14-20 minute presentation, previously put pilot)
Cast: LL Cool J
Writer: Anthony Zuiker
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Anthony Zuiker
Producers: Jason Barrett (Alchemy Entertainment), LL Cool J
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television

THE MINISTER OF DIVINE (FOX) - Malcolm Barrett ("Kelsey Grammer Presents: The Sketch Show"), W. Earl Brown (HBO's "Deadwood") and Riki Lindhome ("Million Dollar Baby") have all joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a woman (Kirstie Alley), known for her rebellious younger days, who returns to her small hometown to be a minister. Barrett will play a fastidious dentist who dreams of opening an opera house in the town while Brown is set as a Southern boy who is into women and NASCAR with Lindhome as a part-time Dairy Queen waitress and the reverend's assistant.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Kirstie Alley, Malcolm Barrett, Riki Lindhome, W. Earl Brown
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

THE NEWS (ABC, New!) - Ric Swartzlander ("Rodney") has landed a pilot order from the Alphabet for a new workplace comedy set in a Phoenix newsroom. The single-camera half-hour is based at Touchstone Television with Swartzlander writing and executive producing.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writer: Ric Swartzlander
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Ric Swartzlander
Studio: Touchstone Television

THE O.C. (FOX)/ONE TREE HILL (The CW) - SoapNet's purchase of the shows' off-network runs (read the story) from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution is reportedly valued at $175,000 per episode.

THE RULES OF STARTING OVER (FOX) - Craig Bierko ("Boston Legal") and Rashida Jones ("The Office") have both been cast in the comedy pilot, about a thirtysomething newly single man (Bierko) and his recently divorced friends. Bierko will play said lead role while Jones will play a partner at a law firm looking for a decent guy.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Craig Bierko, Rashida Jones
Writers: Chris Pappas, Mike Bernier
Director: Bobby Farrelly
Executive Producers: Bobby Farrelly (Conundrum Entertainment), Brad Johnson (Watson Pond Productions), Bradley Thomas (Conundrum Entertainment), Peter Farrelly (Conundrum Entertainment)
Co-Executive Producers: Chris Pappas, Mike Bernier
Producers: Katy McCaffrey, Kevin Barnett
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television

SUPREME COURTSHIPS (FOX) - "ER" co-star Shane West is the latest addition to the pilot, a comedic drama about the personal and professional lives of six Supreme Court clerks and the judges they work for. He'll play one of the clerks, Tony.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Kurtwood Smith (Justice Henry Greenberg), Leslie Odom, Jr., Shane West (Tony), 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

THE THICK OF IT (ABC) - Mitchell Hurwitz and Richard Day's import of the BBC4 comedy has officially been ordered to pilot. The Sony Pictures Television/BBC Worldwide Productions-based half-hour revolves around office workers for a low-level congressman. The pair penned the pilot script and are executive producing alongside Paul Telegdy and original series creator Armando Iannucci.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously put pilot)
Cast: TBA
Writer: Mitchell Hurwitz, Richard Day
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Armando Iannucci, Mitchell Hurwitz, Paul Telegdy (BBC Worldwide Productions), Richard Day
Studio: Sony Pictures Television

TRAVELING IN PACKS (ABC, New!) - Jhoni Marchinko ("Men in Trees") has booked a pilot order from ABC for a new comedy about three thirtysomething single women who find living together has more benefits, and is more fun, than living alone. Marchinko penned the pilot script and will executive produce for Warner Bros. Television.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writer: Jhoni Marchinko
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Jhoni Marchinko
Studio: Warner Bros. Television

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [february 2007]  

· AREA 57 (NBC)
· ER (NBC)

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