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[03/06/07 - 12:27 AM]
Development Update: Tuesday, March 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!


AMERICAN FAMILY (ABC) - Charles Esten ("The Office") is set to topline the comedy pilot, about a pretentious yet clueless middle-class family. He'll play the father of said family.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Ashley Rickards (Julia), Charles Esten, Colin Ford (Caleb), Raymond Ochoa (Will)
Writers: Dave Ronn, Jay Scherick
Director: John Fortenberry
Executive Producers: Dave Ronn, Jay Scherick
Studio: Sony Pictures Television


BABYLON FIELDS (CBS) - Ray Stevenson ("Rome") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a town where the dead come back to life. He'll play Carl Tiptree, the town's chief detective whose wife is also resurrected.

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


BOARDWALK EMPIRE (HBO, New!) - Recent Oscar winner Martin Scorsese and his "Departed" co-star Mark Wahlberg are developing a new drama series at the pay channel based on Nelson Johnson's book of the same name, subtitled "The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City." The project understandably then revolves around the development of Atlantic City. Scorsese and Wahlberg then will executive produce alongside Wahlberg's producing partner Stephen Levinson.

Commitment: Script
Cast: TBA
Writer: TBA
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Mark Wahlberg, Martin Scorsese, Stephen Levinson
Studio: TBA


CARPOOLERS (ABC) - Fred Goss ("Sons & Daughters"), Jerry O'Connell ("Crossing Jordan") and Jerry Minor ("Lucky Louie") have all booked roles on the comedy pilot, about a group of four men who carpool to work together. They'll play three of said men - Gracen, Laird and Aubrey respectively.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Allison Munn (Cindy), Faith Ford (Leila), Fred Goss (Gracen), Jerry Minor (Aubrey), Jerry O'Connell (Laird), T.J. Miller (Marmaduke)
Writer: Bruce McCulloch
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Executive Producers: Bruce McCulloch, Darryl Frank (DreamWorks Television), David Miner (3 Arts Entertainment), Justin Falvey (DreamWorks Television)
Studio: ABC Television Studio


DIRTY SEXY MONEY (ABC) - Laz Alonso ("The Unit") has landed a role on 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 Colin Davidson, a potentially recurring character. He's further detailed in the casting notice as: "30s. He's a messy and charming lawyer who works with Nick at his law firm. A self-described "legal avenger," he's been trying to help the owners of an orphanage hold onto their land. He encourages Nick to have lunch with Devlin."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Donald Sutherland (Tripp Darling), Glenn Fitzgerald (Brian Darling), Jill Clayburgh (Letitia Darling), Laz Alonso (Colin Davidson), 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


FOOTBALL WIVES (ABC) - "Dawson's Creek" alum James Van Der Beek has been cast in the drama pilot, which follows the wives of professional football players. He'll play a rookie.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Arielle Kebbel (Nicole), Brian White (Kyle), Eddie Cibrian, Gabrielle Union (Chardonnay), James Van Der Beek, Kiele Sanchez (Donna), Lucy Lawless (Tanya), Ving Rhames (Frank)
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: ABC Television Studio


THE GAGGLE (HBO, New!) - The pay channel is developing a new political satire series described as a "younger, snarkier" version of "Real Time With Bill Maher." The series would feature a panel of up-and-coming political journalists with no particular host to drive the agenda. Craig Minassian created the project, which performed a "pilot" at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival that featured blogger/author Ana Marie Cox, standup comedian Marc Maron and Republican operative Mike Murphy.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writer: TBA
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Craig Minassian
Studio: TBA


NICE GIRLS DON'T GET THE CORNER OFFICE (ABC) - Flex Alexander ("One on One"), Matthew Morrison ("As the World Turns"), Caroline Chikezie ("Eragon") and Kathryn Hahn ("Crossing Jordan") have all joined the cast of the pilot, a workplace comedy about making it in the corporate world. Morrison will play Brody, a struggling musician; with Hahn as Price, a pregnant go-getter; Alexander as Eric, everybody's drinking buddy; and Chikezie as Rachel, an unspecified character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Flex Alexander (Eric), Jayma Mays (Angela), Kathryn Hahn (Price), Caroline Chikezie (Rachel), Matthew Morrison (Brody)
Writers: Jeff Ventimilia, Josh Sternin
Director: Gail Mancuso
Executive Producers: Brian Grazer (Imagine Television), David Nevins (Imagine Television), Jeff Ventimilia, Josh Sternin
Producers: Julie Richardson, Lois Frankel
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television


THE O.C. (FOX) - J.J. Philbin, a supervising producer on the show's final season, has inked a two-year overall deal with NBC Universal Television. The pact calls for the writer/producer to develop new series projects for the studio as well as potentially join one of its existing properties.


THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES (FOX) - Lauren Ambrose ("Six Feet Under") is set to star opposite Parker Posey in the comedy pilot, about a single book editor (Posey) who can't conceive and asks her estranged younger sister (Ambrose) to carry her baby. She'll play Sarah, said younger sister.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Lauren Ambrose (Sarah), Parker Posey (Coco), Scott Cohen (Marcus)
Writer: Amy Sherman-Palladino
Director: Amy Sherman-Palladino
Executive Producers: Amy Sherman-Palladino (Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions), Daniel Palladino (Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions)
Studio: Regency Television


SCRUBS (NBC) - Zach Braff has signed on for a potential seventh season of the veteran Peacock comedy. The one-year pact is understood to be valued in the $350,000 per episode range, which would make him one of the highest paid actors on television. Said deal however is contingent on NBC renewing the series for a seventh season.


SWINGTOWN (CBS) - Molly Parker ("Deadwood"), Josh Hopkins ("Brothers & Sisters") and Shanna Collins ("Wildfire") have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, about married couples in 1970s suburbia who experiment with partner-swapping. Collins will play Laurie Miller , the 16-year-old daughter of Jack Davenport's character while Hopkins is set as Roger Thompson, an ex-jock. Parker then is believed to be playing Gail Sexton, a housewife with teen kids.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Brittany Robertson (Samantha Saxton), Grant Show (Tom Decker), Jack Davenport (Bruce Miller), Josh Hopkins (Roger Thompson), Lana Parrilla (Trina Decker), Miriam Shor (Jill Thompson), Molly Parker (Gail Sexton), Shanna Collins (Laurie Miller)
Writer: Mike Kelley
Director: Alan Poul
Executive Producers: Mike Kelley
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television


THE WORLD ACCORDING TO BARNES (The CW) - Tim Matheson ("The West Wing") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about two geeky Princeton University students who use their inventive skills to help solve crimes. He'll play the head of the college.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (14-20 minute presentation)
Cast: Hank Harris (Ronald), Ryan Devlin (Bobby Barnes), Tim Matheson
Writer: Tom Wheeler
Director: Jason Ensler
Executive Producers: Andrew Plotkin (Class IV Productions), Steve Pearlman (Class IV Productions), Tom Wheeler
Studio: Warner Bros. Television


UNTITLED GABE SACHS/JEFF JUDAH PROJECT (ABC) - Scott Wolf ("The Nine") and Geoffrey Arend ("Love Monkey") have both landed roles on the comedy pilot, about the lives of co-workers at a top law firm. Wolf will play the leader of the Law Dogs litigating team with Arend as a junior member of said team.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Ashley Williams (Julie), Ayda Field (Elise), Geoffrey Arend, Kym Whitley (Theresa), Scott Wolf
Writer: Gabe Sachs, Jeff Judah
Director: Gary Halvorson
Executive Producers: Gabe Sachs, Jeff Judah
Studio: ABC Television Studio


UNTITLED KANYE WEST PROJECT (HBO) - Feature helmer Larry Charles ("Borat") has inked a two and half year, mid-seven-figure overall deal with ABC Television Studio. The pact calls for the onetime TV veteran ("Seinfeld," "Entourage," "Curb Your Enthusiasm") to develop new series projects for the studio. Separately, production is set to begin shortly on Charles' Kanye West-led comedy pilot, which features the rap star in a "Curb"-esque world.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Kanye West
Writer: TBA
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: G Roberson, Larry Charles, Rick Rubin
Studio: TBA


Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





  [march 2007]  
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· AMERICAN FAMILY (ABC)
· BABYLON FIELDS (CBS)
· BOARDWALK EMPIRE (HBO)
· BROTHERS & SISTERS (ABC)
· CARPOOLERS (ABC)
· CROSSING JORDAN (NBC)
· CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (HBO)
· DAWSON'S CREEK (WB)
· DEADWOOD (HBO)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· DIRTY SEXY MONEY (ABC)
· ENTOURAGE (HBO)
· FOOTBALL WIVES (ABC)
· GAGGLE, THE (HBO)
· LOVE MONKEY (CBS)
· LUCKY LOUIE (HBO)
· NICE GIRLS DON'T GET THE CORNER OFFICE (ABC)
· NINE, THE (ABC)
· OC, THE (FOX)
· OFFICE, THE (NBC)
· ONE ON ONE (UPN)
· REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER (HBO)
· RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES, THE (FOX)
· ROME (HBO)
· SCRUBS (ABC)
· SIX FEET UNDER (HBO)
· SONS & DAUGHTERS (ABC)
· SWINGTOWN (CBS)
· UNIT, THE (CBS)
· UNTITLED KANYE WEST PROJECT (HBO)
· UNTITLED SACHS & JUDAH PROJECT (ABC)
· WEST WING, THE (NBC)
· WILDFIRE (ABC FAMILY)
· WORLD ACCORDING TO BARNES, THE (CW)









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