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[02/27/07 - 12:54 AM]
Development Update: Tuesday, February 27
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!


ACTION NEWS (FOX) - Fred Willard ("For Your Consideration") has joined the cast of the sitcom pilot, an ensemble comedy set at a Buffalo TV station revolving around recently reunited co-anchors (Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton). He'll play the sports anchor.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Fred Willard, Kelsey Grammer (Chuck Tatham), Patricia Heaton (Patty Carr)
Writers: Christopher Lloyd, Steven Levitan
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Christopher Lloyd (Levitan-Lloyd Productions), Steven Levitan (Levitan-Lloyd Productions)
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television


THE APOSTLES (FOX) - Leslie Hope ("Runaway") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about the off-duty lives of cops and their families. She'll play a cop's wife and mother of two teenagers who embarks on a career in law.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Keith Robinson (Preacher), Leslie Hope, Shawn Hatosy (Peter), Yara Martinez (Erin)
Writer: Charles Pratt, Jr.
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Charles Pratt, Jr.
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television


AREA 52 (NBC) - Kelvin Yu ("Grandma's Boy") has signed onto the alien-themed comedy pilot. It's not clear which character from the casting notice he'll be playing.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Bruce McGill (General Keller), Jane Lynch (Irene Maloof), Kelvin Yu, Matthew Lillard (Colonel Steven Isaac)
Writer: Mike Armstrong
Director: Dean Parisot
Executive Producers: David Latt, Dean Parisot, Mike Armstrong
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio


BEDROOMS & BOARDROOMS (ABC) - Christopher Titus ("Titus"), Dylan McDermott ("The Practice") and Peyton List ("Day Break") have all scored roles in the drama pilot, about four high-powered CEOs or CEOs-to-be who are friends. Titus and McDermott will both play members of the quartet, the former of which is detailed as a senior VP and Harvard graduate with a high-maintenance wife. List then is set as the 19-year-old daughter of McDermott's character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Christopher Titus, Dylan McDermott, Michael Vartan (James Auster), Peyton List
Writer: Jon Harmon Feldman
Director: Charles McDougall
Executive Producers: Jon Harmon Feldman
Studio: Warner Bros. Television


THE CAPTAIN (CBS) - Valerie Azlynn ("Smith") has landed a role in the comedy pilot, about a young writer whose life changes when he moves into a legendary old Hollywood apartment building. No specifics were given about her character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Fran Kranz (Josh), JoAnna Garcia (Hope), Valerie Azlynn
Writer: John Hamburg
Director: John Hamburg
Executive Producers: John Hamburg
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television


DIRTY SEXY MONEY (ABC) - William Baldwin ("The Squid and the Whale") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, which centers on an idealistic young lawyer (Peter Krause) who gets to represent the Darlings, a rich and powerful family. He's set as Senator Patrick Darling, who's detailed in the casting notice as: "40s, handsome and commanding. He's a rising political star who upstages Nick at Nick's father's funeral by reciting a eulogy that moves the crowd far more than Nick's did. Patrick, who is married with two kids, intends to run for President in 2008. There's just one problem: he's been having an affair with a transvestite prostitute who won't go away, and he needs Nick to fix the situation."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Glenn Fitzgerald (Brian Darling), Jill Clayburgh (Letitia Darling), Natalie Zea (Karen Darling), Peter Krause (Nick George), Samaire Armstrong (Juliet Darling), Seth Gabel (Jeremy Darling), William Baldwin (Senator Patrick Darling), Zoe McLellan (Lisa George)
Writer: Craig Wright
Director: Peter Horton
Executive Producers: Craig Wright, Greg Berlanti (Berlanti Television)
Studio: ABC Television Studio


FUGLY (CBS) - Marissa Jeret Winokur ("Stacked") is the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, about three siblings - identical twin sisters and a brother - who buy one sister an extreme makeover and move to Hollywood to cash in on her good looks. She'll play Tammy, the sister who didn't get plastic surgery. Her character is further described in the casting notice as: "27-31. Crystal's former identical twin sister, can be chubby and unattractive, not to mention common as dirt. She's an outrageous, trailer trashy mantrap with a brash personality. Tammy lost the bottle spin, so she didn't get to be changed by radical plastic surgery into a goddess. She's still the same plain-Jane that she ever was. However, when it comes to snagging men, Tammy doesn't let her looks stop her. She knows how to "work it," and she does on every occasion, with every man who happens to be available. She and Crystal have never gotten along, and although they are twins, they have always been diametric opposites in temperament. Now they are opposites in appearance as well - and Tammy's having her own problems adjusting to the fact that her sis is now a bona fide beauty." In addition, Alan Kirschenbaum ("Yes, Dear") has come aboard the half-hour as an executive producer.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Marissa Jeret Winokur (Tammy)
Writer: Greg Garcia
Director: Todd Holland
Executive Producers: Alan Kirschenbaum, Greg Garcia (Amigos de Garcia)
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television


HELL ON EARTH (The CW, New!) - The netlet has added a new comedy pilot to its 2007-08 season development roster, this time about a not-so-nice girl who gets hit by a bus and gets a second chance in life as a normal girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Feature writers Jack Amiel and Michael Begler ("The Shaggy Dog") penned the pilot script and will executive produce for CBS Paramount Network Television.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writers: Jack Amiel, Michael Begler
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Jack Amiel, Michael Begler
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television


THE HILL (ABC) - Eric Christian Olsen ("The Loop") is set as the male lead in the sitcom pilot, a comedic soap set on Capitol Hill. He'll play an aide to a Democratic senator who falls for a Senate page who happens to be the daughter of his boss' archnemesis.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Eric Christian Olsen
Writer: Shana Goldberg-Meehan
Director: Andy Ackerman
Executive Producers: Shana Goldberg-Meehan
Studio: Warner Bros. Television


K-VILLE (FOX) - Blake Shields ("Sleeper Cell") is the latest addition to the pilot, a New Orleans-based drama about two cops of different racial backgrounds who have very different takes on how the city should be dealing with its problems post-Katrina. No details about his character were released.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Anthony Anderson, Blake Shields, Cole Hauser (Trevor Cobb)
Writer: Jonathan Lisco
Director: Deran Sarafian
Executive Producers: Jonathan Lisco
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television


LIPSTICK JUNGLE (NBC) - David Alan Basche ("30 Rock"), Julian Sands ("24") and David Norona ("Inconceivable") have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, about the lives of a trio of successful and fabulous women - Nico (Kim Raver), Wendy (Brooke Shields) and Victory (Lindsay Price) - in New York. Basche will play Nico's boss with Sands as Nico's husband, Seymour, and Norona as a colleague and friend of Wendy's.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Brooke Shields (Wendy Healy), Christopher Wiehl (Shane Healy), David Alan Basche, David Norona, Julian Sands (Seymour O'Neilly), Kim Raver (Nico O'Neilly), Lindsay Price (Victory Ford)
Writers: DeAnn Heline, Eileen Heisler
Director: Gary Winick
Executive Producers: Candace Bushnell, DeAnn Heline, Eileen Heisler
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio


THE MASTERSONS OF MANHATTAN (NBC) - Brian Benben ("Kingpin") has joined the cast of the pilot, a sitcom about wealthy sisters Victoria (Natasha Richardson) and Amanda (Molly Shannon) Masterson in New York. He'll play Joseph, the defense attorney for Amanda who's also the son of the Masterson family's longtime maid.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Amanda Walsh, Brian Benben (Joseph), Jonathan Cake (Roger/Marshall), Molly Shannon (Amanda Masterson), Natasha Richardson (Victoria Masterson)
Writer: Gary Janetti
Director: James Burrows
Executive Producers: Gary Janetti
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio


MTV ORIGINAL SERIES (MTV) - The cable channel has added a half-dozen new series to its roster, including its first scripted series in as many years. Dubbed "Kaya," the single-camera half-hour revolves around a musically gifted young woman (Danielle Savre) who struggles with becoming an overnight sensation as told through a series of flashbacks, present-day moments and occasional flash-forwards. "The Division's" Deborah Joy LeVine is behind the project, a co-production of Steve Levitan's Protocol Entertainment, Tony Krantz's Flame Television and MTV. Levitan, Krantz and LeVine then will executive produce alongside MTV's Tony DiSanto and Liz Gateley. Between eight and 12 episodes have been ordered with an eye towards a fall premiere. Justin Wilczynski, Mike Dopud, Cory Monteith, Courtney Kuroyama, Joe MacLeod and Alexia Fast also star.

Also in the works: "Taquita & Kaui" (eight episodes), from Sean "Diddy" Combs and the Ted & Perry Co.'s Perry Dance and Ted Iredell, in which the "Making the Band 3" alums move to Las Vegas to pursue their dreams of stardom; "The Kentucky Kid" (eight episodes), from Greg Johnston, Sam Sokolow and Rob Lobl, tracks motorcyclist Nicky Hayden, an American who dominates a sport followed mainly by Europeans; "Room 401" (eight episodes), from Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg's Katalyst Film and Television, explores how everyday people respond when their normal lives collide with a world of illusions and supernatural experiences; "Me & Mr. Jones" (eight episodes), from Nas, Kelis and Joel Stillerman, tracks the former pair as they balance their careers as recording artists with their personal lives; and "Scarred" (10 episodes), created by consulting producer Nicole Perry and executive produced by DiSanto, Gateley and One Louder Productions' Bob Kusbit, spotlights the individuals and stories behind some popular user-generated online clips depicting crashes or spills. Papa Roach's Jacoby Shaddix hosts the latter project. Lastly, MTV has ordered a second season of its Monday effort "Engaged & Underage."


PUSHING DAISIES (ABC) - Swoosie Kurtz ("Huff") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about a man (Lee Pace) who can touch the dead and bring them back to life. She'll play the aunt of Lee Pace's character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Anna Friel (Charlotte "Chuck" Charles), Chi McBride (Emerson Cod), Kristin Chenoweth (Olive), Lee Pace (Ned), Swoosie Kurtz
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) - Mexican actress Martha Higareda has been cast in the drama pilot, about a charming rogue with a heart of gold (Stephen Dorff) who works as a skip tracer - a go-to guy for locating missing persons - among the colorful characters in Los Angeles' underbelly. She'll play an unspecified character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Martha Higareda, 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) - Ian Toynton, the pilot's director, has inked a mid-six-figure overall deal with producer 20th Century Fox Television. The pact, which begins in May, calls for Toynton to direct various episodes of the studio's series as well as develop new projects, which he may also direct.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Bridget Regan (Holly), Kurtwood Smith (Justice Henry Greenberg), Leslie Odom, Jr. (Marcus Truman), Shane West (Tony Capressi), Zachary Knighton (Clyde Dupree)
Writer: Gary Tieche
Director: Ion Toynton
Executive Producers: Gary Tieche, John Eisendrath, Marty Adelstein (Adelstein Productions), Michael Thorn (Adelstein Productions)
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television


SUSPECTS (ABC) - Carrie-Anne Moss ("The Matrix") and Erik Palladino ("Over There") have both landed roles on the pilot, a fast-paced procedural drama uncovering a crime's perpetrator by tracing the suspects in a lineup. Moss will play a police lieutenant, the boss of the department who is tough on the outside and warm and caring on the inside. Palladino then is set a detective who grew up in the streets.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Carrie-Anne Moss, Charles S. Dutton (Det. Joe Sampson), Erik Palladino, Kathleen Monroe (Grosz), Michael Ealy (Det. Sawchuck)
Writer: Ed Zuckerman
Director: Guy Ritchie
Executive Producers: Carl Beverly (25C Productions), Ed Zuckerman, Guy Ritchie, Sarah Timberman (25C Productions)
Studio: Sony Pictures Television


UNTITLED GREY'S ANATOMY SPIN-OFF PROJECT (ABC) - Prolific director Michael Grossman has been tapped to helm the show's two-hour backdoor pilot. The installment, dubbed "My Favorite Mistake," will air in May as the 22nd and 23rd episodes of "Grey's" 24-episode season.

Commitment: Backdoor pilot
Cast: Kate Walsh (Addison Shepherd), Taye Diggs
Writer: Shonda Rhimes
Director: Michael Grossman
Executive Producers: Betsy Beers (Shondaland Productions), Mark Gordon (The Mark Gordon Company), Shonda Rhimes (Shondaland Productions)
Studio: ABC Television Studio


VIVA LAUGHLIN! (CBS) - Madchen Amick ("Freddie") has landed a role on the drama pilot, a musical about a family man (Lloyd Owen) who dreams of opening a casino in Laughlin, Nevada. She'll play the man's wife.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Carter Jenkins (Jack), Ellen Woglom (Cheyenne), Hugh Jackman (Guest Star), Lloyd Owen (Ripley Holden), Madchen Amick
Writer: Bob Lowry
Director: Gabriele Muccino
Executive Producers: Bob Lowry, Gabriele Muccino, Hugh Jackman (Seed Productions), John Palermo (Seed Productions), Paul Telegdy (BBC Worldwide Productions), Peter Bowker
Studios: CBS Paramount Network Television, Sony Pictures Television


WILD AT HEART (The CW) - Andrew St. John ("Vanished") has been cast in the drama pilot, about a New York veterinarian (Brett Cullen) who moves his second wife and their two sets of children to a South African game reserve run by his father-in-law. No details were given about his character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Brett Cullen (Danny Trevanion), Calvin Goldspink (Oliver), Judith Hoag (Jo), K'Sun Ray (Chase), Leah Pipes (Katie), Mary Matilyn Mouser (Mia), Rutger Hauer (Art)
Writer: Michael Rauch
Director: Bryan Gordon
Executive Producers: Charlie Pattinson (Company Pictures), George Faber (Company Pictures), Michael Rauch
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television


Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





  [february 2007]  
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T
F
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· 24 (FOX)
· 30 ROCK (NBC)
· APOSTLES, THE (FOX)
· AREA 57 (NBC)
· BACK TO YOU (FOX)
· BIG SHOTS (ABC)
· DAY BREAK (ABC)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· DIRTY SEXY MONEY (ABC)
· DIVISION, THE (LIFETIME)
· ENGAGED & UNDERAGE (MTV)
· FREDDIE (ABC)
· GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC)
· HELL ON EARTH (CW)
· HILL, THE (ABC)
· HUFF (SHOWTIME)
· INCONCEIVABLE (NBC)
· KAYA (MTV)
· KENTUCKY KID, THE (MTV)
· KINGPIN (NBC)
· K-VILLE (FOX)
· LIFE IS WILD (CW)
· LIPSTICK JUNGLE (NBC)
· LOOP, THE (FOX)
· MAKING THE BAND (MTV)
· MASTERSONS OF MANHATTAN, THE (NBC)
· ME & MR. JONES (MTV)
· OVER THERE (FX)
· PRACTICE, THE (ABC)
· PRIVATE PRACTICE (ABC)
· PUSHING DAISIES (ABC)
· ROOM 401 (MTV)
· RUNAWAY (CW)
· SCARRED (MTV)
· SKIP TRACER (CBS)
· SLEEPER CELL (SHOWTIME)
· SMITH (CBS)
· STACKED (FOX)
· STUMPS OF HOLLYWOOD, THE (CBS)
· SUPREME COURTSHIPS (FOX)
· SUSPECT (ABC)
· TAQUITA & KAUI (MTV)
· TITUS (FOX)
· VANISHED (FOX)
· VIVA LAUGHLIN (CBS)
· WELCOME TO THE CAPTAIN (CBS)
· YES, DEAR (CBS)





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