[03/16/07 - 02:09 AM]
Development Update: Friday, March 16
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 BIONIC WOMAN (NBC) - Molly Price ("Third Watch") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, a re-imagining of the 1970s series of the same name. She'll play Ruth Treadwell, who's described in the casting notice as follows: "50s, tough, very smart with a "don't mess with me" vibe. She's head of intel and logistics for Jonas. She explains to Jaime that her bionic surgery also endowed Jaime with built-in programming for split-second reflexes and combat training, and advises Jaime to stop thinking and just be. Because she's respectful, reassuring and straightforward, we get the feeling we can trust Ruth."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Mae Whitman (Becca Sommers), Michelle Ryan (Jaime Sommers), Molly Price (Ruth Treadwell), Will Yun Lee (Jae Kim)
Writer: Laeta Kalogridis
Director: Michael Dinner
Executive Producers: David Eick, Laeta Kalogridis
Studio: NBC Universal Television

CHUCK (NBC) - Sarah Lancaster ("What About Brian"), Joshua Gomez ("Without a Trace") and Natalie Martinez ("Saints & Sinners") have all landed roles on the drama pilot, about a computer geek (Zachary Levi) who becomes an unlikely agent after a database of government secrets is downloaded into his brain. They'll play Ellie, Morgan and Kayla, respectively, three unspecified characters.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Adam Baldwin (John), Joshua Gomez (Morgan), Natalie Martinez (Kayla), Sarah Lancaster (Ellie), Yvonne Strzechowski (Sarah), 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

GUILTY PLEASURES/THE WANTING (FX, New!) - David Eick ("Battlestar Galactica") is developing a pair of subversive dramas at the cable channel. The former, which he's shepherding with "Battlestar's" Ronald D. Moore, revolves around a town that can be saved only by the resurgence of Big Tobacco. The latter, which also comes from Will Strouse, is about a stalker and his prey and how, in a twisted way, they need each other. Separately, Eick has reupped his first-look deal with NBC Universal Television. The pact gives the studio first crack at any of David Eick Productions' projects.

Commitment: Script
Cast: TBA
Writers: David Eick, Ronald D. Moore (Guilty Pleasures), Will Strouse (The Wanting)
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: David Eick, Ronald D. Moore (Guilty Pleasures), Will Strouse (The Wanting)
Studio: TBA

THE MAN (CBS) - "The Wire" co-star Domenick Lombardozzi has booked the final principal role in the drama pilot, about an undercover cop (LL Cool J) who spends the nights running sting operations to break criminal rings and the days raising his three adopted kids. He'll play Cueball, who's detailed in the casting notice as: "25-35. Another member of Manny's undercover team, he's a tough New York Irishman with a shaved head. Streetwise yet technologically proficient, he excels at tracking the team's targets and also enjoys role playing, be it as a plain clothes cop or irate husband to Constance."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: David Castro (Kiko), Domenick Lombardozzi (Cueball), Jessica Collins (Constance Brielle), LL Cool J (Manny "The Man" Baxter), Melinda Clarke (Lt. Brooke McClusky), Mia Maestro (Dr. Lola Fiero)
Writer: Anthony Zuiker
Director: Simon West
Executive Producers: Anthony Zuiker, Simon West
Producers: Jason Barrett (Alchemy Entertainment), LL Cool J
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television

THE NEWS (ABC) - Rachel Boston ("American Dreams") and Amy Yasbeck ("Life on a Stick") have both signed onto the comedy pilot, about a chaotic Phoenix TV newsroom. Boston is set as the female lead, April Tarnoff, who's further detailed in the casting notice as follows: "27. She's a cute, efficient young dynamo who started off at the local news station as an intern and has quickly climbed the ladder. She has been promoted from 10PM news producer to Executive Producer of all news programs. April is trying to assert some control over the chaos and extreme personalities in the news room. She's especially hard-pressed to control Judd Brinkmeyer, a handsome and irreverent reporter. But perhaps the fact that they are in the midst of a secret, on-again, off-again affair might explain the tension between these two."

Yasbeck then will play Terry Lynn Collins: "40. She's Reese's co-anchor, a beautiful woman who has put 16 years in at the local news station, and remains a highly popular local personality. However, when April's eager, gorgeous young friend Gretchen is hired as a "fill-in anchor," she makes no bones about the fact that she's gunning for Terry's job. But the feisty Terry isn't about to give up her anchor chair without a fight."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Amy Yasbeck (Terry Lynn Collins), Jay Harrington (Judd Brinkmeyer), Rachel Boston (April Tarnoff), Tim Conlon (Reese Padilla)
Writer: Ric Swartzlander
Director: Marc Buckland
Executive Producers: Ric Swartzlander
Studio: ABC Television Studio

NICE GIRLS DON'T GET THE CORNER OFFICE (ABC) - Gregory Itzin ("24") is moving to comedy as the former TV president has joined the cast of the pilot, about a "nice girl" (Jayma Mays) trying to make it in the corporate world. He'll play Gary Stone, an alpha male boss and adrenaline junkie.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Caroline Chikezie (Rachel), Flex Alexander (Eric), Gregory Itzin (Gary Stone), Jayma Mays (Angela), Kathryn Hahn (Price), 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

REAPER (The CW) - Fellow "24" alum Ray Wise has joined the cast of the netlet's drama pilot, about a 21-year-old slacker (Bret Harrison) who becomes the devil's bounty hunter. He'll play The Devil in the project. Also signing on is Andrew Airlie ("Saved"). He's set as the father of Harrison's character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Andrew Airlie, Bret Harrison (Sam), Nikki Reed (Andi), Ray Wise (The Devil), Rick Gonzalez (Ben), Tyler Labine (Sock), Valarie Rae Miller (Josie)
Writers: Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters
Director: Kevin Smith
Executive Producers: Deborah Spera (The Mark Gordon Company), Mark Gordon (The Mark Gordon Company), Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters
Studio: ABC Television Studio

THE RICH INNER LIFE OF PENELOPE CLOUD (CBS) - Cynthia Watros ("The Drew Carey Show") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a brilliant, opinionated writer (Marisa Tomei). She's set as Eva, who's further detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Sleek, lean, muscular and "brutishly" beautiful. She is Penelope's housemate who was once much more - a rebound relationship after Penelope's divorce from Claude. The love affair didn't take, mostly because Penelope generally prefers guys, and they now remain the closest of friends. Eva is a choreographer with a weakness for wine, cigarettes, and beautiful young women; she's sleeping with her lead dancer, who has since developed an attitude problem in class. Eva's intrigued by Penelope's choice to ditch her antidepressants. Eva's very existence, and all it represents about his ex, unnerves Claude."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Cynthia Watros (Eva), Erick Avari (Dr. Hakim), Marisa Tomei (Penelope Cloud), Nick D'Agosto (Ivy)
Writer: Jeff Greenstein
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Jeff Greenstein
Studios: ABC Television Studio, CBS Paramount Network Television

SLUTS (FOX) - Brandon Quinn ("Vanished"), Nick Gonzalez ("The O.C.") and Sarayu Rao ("Dirt") have all joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about sorority sisters (Molly Stanton, Dorian Brown, Lacey Chabert) dealing with life after college. Quinn will play the love interest of Chabert's character, an ex-frat boy with a fancy finance job, while Gonzalez is set as a writer who has the hots for Stanton's character. And finally, Rao is playing an overachiever who has always listened to her parents.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Brandon Quinn, Dorian Brown, Lacey Chabert, Molly Stanton, Nick Gonzalez, Sarayu Rao
Writer: Elizabeth Meriwether
Director: Jason Winer
Executive Producers: Dawn Parouse (Dawn Parouse Productions), Jeff Richman (Dawn Parouse Productions)
Supervising Producer: Elizabeth Meriwether
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television

TWILIGHT (CBS) - Rade Serbedzija ("24") has landed a role on the drama pilot, about a private investigator (Alex O'Laughlin) who's also a vampire. He'll play Josef, an ancient vampire of European descent in the project.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (14-20 minute presentation)
Cast: Alex O'Laughlin (Mick), Amber Valletta (Corinne), Rade Sherbedgia (Josef), Shannon Lucio (Beth)
Writers: Ron Koslow, Trevor Munson
Director: Rod Holcomb
Executive Producers: Gerard Bocaccio, Joel Silver (Silver Pictures), Ron Koslow, Trevor Munson
Studio: Warner Bros. Television

THE UNITED STATES OF TARA (A.K.A. UNTITLED DIABLO CODY PROJECT) (Showtime) - Feature writer Diablo Cody ("Juno") is developing a new comedy at the pay channel about an ordinary-seeming wife and mother of two teenage kids who also happens to suffer from dissociative identity disorder. The single-camera project is based on an idea by Steven Spielberg, however it's not clear what role he'll take in its development. Cody then will pen the pilot script and executive produce alongside DreamWorks Television's Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. As for specifics, it's understood the series will explore how a dysfunctional family, including Tara's working-class husband, copes with her various personalities - including a lascivious teen girl and a macho adult man - which emerge when she's under stress.

Commitment: Script
Cast: TBA
Writer: Diablo Cody
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Diablo Cody, Darryl Frank (DreamWorks Television), Justin Falvey (DreamWorks Television)
Studio: TBA

WINTERS (A.K.A. UNTITLED DAVID SHORE/PETER BLAKE PROJECT) (NBC) - Barry Shabaka Henley ("Close to Home") and Dorian Missick ("Six Degrees") have both been cast in the pilot, a drama about an ensemble of police officers with a female cop (Famke Janssen) at the center. In addition, the project is now running under the title "Winters" (in reference to the lead character's last name). As for Henley and Missick, they'll play Bean and Nelson, two unspecified characters. Missick's involvement is believed to be in second position to his "Degrees" duties.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Barry Shabaka Henley (Bean), Dorian Missick (Nelson), Famke Janssen (Christie Winters), Sarah Clarke (Sarah), Xander Berkeley (Lt. Molnar)
Writers: David Shore, Peter Blake
Director: Tony Goldwyn
Executive Producers: David Shore (Shore Z Productions), Peter Blake
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio

ZIP (NBC) - Shelby Young ("Freddie"), Rob Huebel ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"), Dreama Walker ("The Guiding Light"), Alex Kaluzhsky ("Conviction") and Carlos Lacamara ("Close to Home") are all the latest additions to the comedy pilot, about a grifter who tries to live the good life with his kids in Beverly Hills. No specifics were given about their characters other than their names - Noreen, Trip, Ellie, Pep and Hugo, respectively.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Alex Kaluzhsky (Pep), Carlos Lacamara (Hugo), Colby Paul (Nelson), Dreama Walker (Ellie), Rob Huebel (Trip), Shelby Young (Noreen), Zach Mills (J.P.)
Writers: Marc Abrams, Mark Rizzo, Michael Benson
Director: Dan Attias
Executive Producers: Ben Silverman (Reveille), Marc Abrams (Catapult), Michael Benson (Catapult)
Co-Executive Producer: Teri Weinberg (Reveille)
Supervising Producer: Mark Rizzo
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2007]  

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