[03/30/07 - 01:40 AM]
Development Update: Friday, March 30
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!

CAVEMEN (ABC) - Relative newcomers Bill English and Kaitlin Doubleday have both joined the cast of the comedy pilot, which is based on the Geico cavemen commercials. Doubleday will play Kate, a wealthy socialite who's engaged to one of the cavemen. English then is set as Joel, an unspecified character. In addition, Bill Martin and Mike Schiff ("Grounded for Life") have come aboard to supervise the project, which was created by Joe Lawson.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Bill English (Joel), Kaitlin Doubleday (Kate), Nick Kroll (Nick)
Writer: Joe Lawson
Directors: Josh Gordon, Will Speck
Executive Producers: Bill Martin, Daniel Rappaport, Guymon Casady, Josh Gordon, Mike Schiff, Will Speck
Co-Executive Producer: Joe Lawson

DASH 4 CASH (The CW) - Serah D'Laine ("Wicked Wicked Games"), Maulik Pancholy ("30 Rock") and newcomer Bert Belasco have all joined the cast of the pilot, a comedic take on the behind-the-scenes of a reality competition series. D'Laine will play Meredith, who's detailed in the casting notice as: "20s, gorgeous and overly sweet. She's a good Christian girl who loves Jesus, charity work, stylish clothes and sexy outfits - not necessarily in that order. Though she appears harmless and well-meaning at first, Meredith quickly manipulates Pablo and Ronnie into helping her and Dottie solve the puzzles and advance in the race, even suggesting a "secret alliance" with the boys that serves only to benefit her team."

Pancholy then is set as Pablo - "Early 20s. Large and affable with a heart of gold (think "Hurley" from Lost) and best friend to Ronnie. He's got low self-esteem, no experience with girls, and lives under the delusion that Ronnie is cool. He's never traveled outside of Washington (except for that one comic convention) and falls for Meredith and Dottie's manipulations right off the bat. Like Ronnie, Pablo also speaks in emoticons and instant message abbreviation lingo." - while Belasco is believed to be playing Durkin - "25, "a young Xzibit", he's an extremely fit, large, former LSU linebacker, who has partnered up with his old college buddy/teammate Rick. But underneath this football jock's "ladies' man" exterior, he may be harboring a secret crush on his friend. Durkin will occasionally engineer situations so that he and Rick can be physically close, which Rick finds puzzling."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Bert Belasco (Durkin), Brianna Brown (Noelle), Johann Urb (Rick), Jonathan Chase (Michael), Jud Tylor (Dottie), Kevin Christy (Ronnie), Kyle Bornheimer (Nick), Maulik Pancholy (Pablo), Rick Hall (Calvin), Serah D'Laine (Meredith)
Writers: Boyce Bugliari, Jamie McLaughlin
Director: Betty Thomas
Executive Producers: Kelsey Grammer (Grammnet Productions), Steve Stark (Grammnet Productions)
Co-Executive Producers: Boyce Bugliari, Jamie McLaughlin
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC) - Executive producer Joe Keenan reportedly will exit the series after its current season, which wraps production next month. It's understood the decision is based on Keenan's desire to develop his own material. To that end, he's expected to sign an overall deal with producer ABC Television Studio, however nothing formal has been announced.

GIANTS OF RADIO (CBS) - Jordan Black ("Halfway Home"), Missi Pyle ("The Wedding Bells"), Joel McHale ("The Soup"), Jackie Tohn ("Veronica Mars"), Phil Hendrie ("Teachers"), Danny Pudi ("Gilmore Girls") and creator Jason Winer have been confirmed as cast members on the pilot, a workplace comedy set behind-the-scenes of a fictional radio syndication network. The group all play hosts on three of the network's shows - Pyle and Tohn play sisters who host a "Loveline"-esque radio show, Hendrie's character is a right-wing talk show host and Winer and Black's characters host of a sports show. (McHale and Pudi's roles weren't specified.) In addition, the pilot reportedly was shot on spec for $150,000 - the fee Winer earned when he sold the pitch to producer 20th Century Fox Television. Because of the unique development of the pilot, all of the actors aren't officially "cast" in the project and deals must be struck with the respective actors - some of whom are already tied to other projects (Pyle on FOX's "Bells" on McHale on the NBC pilot "The IT Crowd") - should it move forward to series. To that end, the studio recently signed co-star Black to a talent holding deal.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Danny Pudi, Jackie Tohn, Jason Winer, Joel McHale, Jordan Black, Missi Pyle, Phil Hendrie
Writer: Jason Winer
Director: Jason Winer
Executive Producers: Jason Winer, Jon Berg, Matt Weinberg, Todd Komarnicki
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television

HELL ON EARTH (The CW) - Lamont Thompson ("The O.C.") and Dawnn Lewis ("A Different World") have both been cast in the comedy pilot, 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. They'll play the girl's parents. In addition, Dennie Gordon ("30 Rock") has come aboard to direct the half-hour.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Dawnn Lewish, Kim Coles, Lamont Thompson
Writers: Jack Amiel, Michael Begler
Director: Dennie Gordon
Executive Producers:
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television

PRIVATE PRACTICE (A.K.A. UNTITLED GREY'S ANATOMY SPIN-OFF PROJECT) (ABC) - The "Grey's Anatomy" spin-off now reportedly is running under the working title of "Private Practice."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Amy Brenneman (Violet), Chris Lowell (Dell), Kate Walsh (Addison Shepherd), Merrin Dungey (Naomi), Paul Adelstein (Cooper), Taye Diggs (Jackson), Tim Daly (Pete)
Writer: Shonda Rhimes
Director: Michael Grossman
Executive Producers: Betsy Beers (Shondaland Productions), Shonda Rhimes (Shondaland Productions)
Studio: ABC Television Studio

UNTITLED VICTOR FRESCO PROJECT (FOX) - "According to Jim" co-star Larry Joe Campbell has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a 10-year-old who tries to navigate life in his high-achieving, stressed family with the unorthodox help of his slightly crazy grandfather, Nate (Tom Conti). He'll play Don Atlin, the boy's father. Campbell's involvement is in second position to his duties on "Jim."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Andrea Parker (Susan Atlin), Larry Joe Campbell (Don Atlin), Tom Conti (Nate)
Writer: Victor Fresco
Director: Marc Buckland
Executive Producers: Victor Fresco
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2007]  

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