[03/02/07 - 12:24 AM]
Development Update: Friday, March 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!

THE APOSTLES (FOX) - Grayson McCouch ("As the World Turns") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about the off-duty lives of a group of L.A.P.D. cops. He'll play a sergeant in the project. In addition, David McNally ("Justice") has come aboard to direct the hour from a script by creator Charles Pratt, Jr.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Grayson McCouch, Jessalyn Gilsig (Christine Rydell), Keith Robinson (Preacher), Leslie Hope, Shawn Hatosy (Peter), Yara Martinez (Erin)
Writer: Charles Pratt, Jr.
Director: David McNally
Executive Producers: Charles Pratt, Jr.
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television

BABYLON FIELDS (CBS) - Amber Tamblyn ("Joan of the Arcadia") is the first to be cast in the pilot, a dramedy about deceased people who are resurrected and resume their former lives. She'll play Janine Wunch, a young woman who, after being abused by her father, teamed with her mom to kill him only to see him come back.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Amber Tamblyn (Janine Wunch)
Writers: Gerald Cuesta, Michael Atkinson
Director: Michael Cuesta
Executive Producers: Gerald Cuesta, Michael Atkinson, Michael Cuesta
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television

BUSINESS CLASS (NBC) - Krista Allen ("What About Brian") has scored the final principal role in the comedy pilot, about the adventures of two high-powered soda salesmen (Horatio Sanz, Mark Valley). She'll play Felicity Vesco, who's detailed in the casting notice as: "36, strikingly attractive even in business attire. Felicity is a sales rep with a rival soft drink company. She has a cool, confident manner and is every bit Chuck's equal as a corporate piranha. The tension between Felicity and Chuck is part sexual, and reminiscent of that of Tracy and Hepburn or Batman and Catwoman."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Horatio Sanz (Terry O'Hara), Jae W. Suh (Amy Lee), Krista Allen (Felicity Vesco), Mark Valley (Chuck Haverchuck), Peter Keleghan (The Narrator)
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

CAVEMEN (ABC, New!) - The Alphabet has greenlighted a new comedy pilot inspired by the series of Geico ads featuring cavemen characters. The single-camera half-hour, which comes from the ABC Television Studio, then will revolve around three proto-homosapiens struggling to live the lives of normal thirtysomething guys in contemporary Atlanta. Joe Lawson penned the pilot script and will apparently executive produce alongside Daniel Rappaport, Guymon Casady, Will Speck and Josh Gordon ("Blades of Glory"), the latter two of which will direct. It's not clear if Jeff Daniel Phillips and Ben Weber, the pair who play the cavemen in the Geico spots, will reprise their roles for the pilot.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writer: Joe Lawson
Directors: Josh Gordon, Will Speck
Executive Producers: Daniel Rappaport, Guymon Casady, Joe Lawson, Josh Gordon, Will Speck
Studio: ABC Television Studio

FAMILY OF THE YEAR (ABC) - Robert Vaughn (AMC's "Hustle") is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, about 10-time "family of the year" winner the Holloways of Tatum, N.M. He's set as Monty Holloway, who's further described in the casting notice as follows: "65-85. Dick's contemptuous father. Monty is a tough old bastard, half Boss Hog and half Dick Cheney. The master of all he surveys, Monty runs the Holloway Family business empire, and he treats Dick like a miserable, worthless pipsqueak. Still embittered by his son's failure to kick a 49 yard field goal in 1982, Monty reminds his worthless offspring that his nickname is "Choker" about 15 times a day."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Dina Waters (Barbara Anderson), Robert Vaughn (Monty Holloway), Tommy Dewey (Boots Robert Holloway)
Writers: Erica Rivinoja, Pam Brady
Director: Michael Lehmann
Executive Producers: Erica Rivinoja, Pam Brady
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television

LOS DUQUES (CBS) - Rita Moreno ("The George Lopez Show") and Michael Trevino ("The Riches") have both landed roles in the drama pilot, which centers on three generations of the Duques, a powerful Latin American family. She'll play the family matriarch and mother to Jimmy Smits' character while Trevino is set as his son. In addition, Christian Duguay ("Human Trafficking") has come aboard to direct the hour from a script by Cynthia Cidre.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Eddie Matos (Henry Duque), Jimmy Smits (Alex Vega), Michael Trevino, Nestor Carbonell (Frank Duque), Rita Moreno
Writer: Cynthia Cidre
Director: Christian Duguay
Executive Producers: Cynthia Cidre, Jimmy Iovine (Interscope Records), Jimmy Smits (El Sendero Productions), Jonathan Prince, Polly Anthony (Interscope Records)
Studios: ABC Television Studio, CBS Paramount Network Television

THE NEWS (ABC) - Jay Harrington ("Desperate Housewives") and Tim Conlon ("Medium") are the first to be cast in the pilot, a workplace comedy set at a chaotic Phoenix TV newsroom. The former is set as Judd Brinkmeyer, who's detailed from the casting notice as: "32. A handsome news reporter. He's got a wry sense of humor and an irrepressible urge to shake up the establishment. Always pulling some outrageous stunt or other, whether on camera or off, Judd seems to be having a particular problem accepting April as his new boss. The fact that they have been involved in a torrid affair may explain the tension crackling between them at any given moment." As for Conlon, he'll play Reese Padilla: "45. He's a Caucasian who adopted his Latino-sounding last name to get an edge in the news business. The male anchor with the vivid fake orange tan, Reese is talented and intelligent but his most prominent quality is his ego. Over April's objections, Reese insists on pursuing a tired story about illegal immigration. Of course, once over the border, he gets robbed and stranded in short order."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Jay Harrington (Judd Brinkmeyer), Tim Conlon (Reese Padilla)
Writer: Ric Swartzlander
Director: Marc Buckland
Executive Producers: Ric Swartzlander
Studio: ABC Television Studio

UNTITLED MAGGIE FRIEDMAN PROJECT (The CW) - Justin Hartley ("Smallville") is the first to sign onto the drama pilot, about a young female life coach who's also a witch. He's believed to be playing Danny, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Mid-Late 20s, scruffy and sarcastic with a roguish charm. He's a cynic and a bad-boy, and the owner of the new apartment where Alex has just started renting a room. Cocky and opinionated with a wicked sense of humor, Danny laughs off Alex's admiration of sensitive men, claiming what women really want is a strong, dominant, alpha male (in other words, a jerk) - and he should know what he's talking about, because Danny writes very successful romance novels under the name of Danielle Stonewood. Alex and Danny share quick-witted banter and, although he drives her crazy, he does get points for standing up for her in a confrontation with her ex boyfriend in a restaurant. Despite Alex's protests, Danny knows she's attracted to him."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Justin Hartley (Danny)
Writer: Maggie Friedman
Director: James Frawley
Executive Producers: Becky Hartman-Edwards, Maggie Friedman
Studio: Warner Bros. Television

WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB (ABC) - Laura Harris ("The Dead Zone") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about four girlfriends (Angie Harmon, Harris, Paula Newsome, Aubrey Dollar) who solve murder cases. She's playing Jill Bernhardt, who's further described in the casting notice as: "Another one of the group of four friends is Assistant District Attorney. Jill Bernhardt, 30s, perfectly put-together, serious with a silly streak. Working diligently on a homicide case, and convinced she's got the killer in her sites, Jill turns to her friends to help her find whatever shred of evidence they can to send the bad guy away for good. Later, however, we learn that Jill has been going after the wrong guy and she pays for that critical mistake." Harris' involvement reportedly is tied to a talent holding deal she signed with the network last year (read the story).

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Angie Harmon (Lindsay Boxer), Aubrey Dollar (Cindy Thomas), Laura Harris (Jill Bernhardt), Paula Newsome (Claire Washburn), Tyrees Allen (Warren Jacobi)
Writers: Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Fain
Director: Scott Winant
Executive Producers: Brett Ratner (Rat Television), Elizabeth Craft, James Patterson, Joe Simpson, Sarah Fain, Scott Winant
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2007]  


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