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[04/05/07 - 07:21 PM]
Development Update: Wednesday-Thursday, April 4-5
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!


ANDY BARKER, P.I. (NBC) - Co-executive producer Chuck Tatham has sealed a seven-figure overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The two-year pact, which has an option for a third year, is contingent on the NBC Universal Television-based "Barker" not returning for a second season. If it does, the deal will covert to a blind two-script arrangement.


BORN IN THE U.S.A. (A.K.A. UNTITLED SIMON FULLER/MAL YOUNG PROJECT) (FOX) - "American Idol" finalist Lisa Tucker is the first to be cast in the pilot, a half-hour primetime soap set in Philadelphia that deals with real-life issues of blue-collar families. She'll play a smart, beautiful and quiet girl with a good sense of humor. In addition, Simon Curtis (HBO's upcoming "Five Days") has also come aboard to direct the project.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Lisa Tucker
Writers: Mal Young, Simon Fuller
Director: Simon Curtis
Executive Producers: Mal Young, Simon Fuller
Studio: 19 Entertainment


CAVEMEN (ABC) - John Heard ("Prison Break") is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, based on the Geico TV commercials. He'll play Trip, an unspecified character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Bill English (Joel), Dash Mihok (Jamie), John Heard (Trip), Kaitlin Doubleday (Kate), Nick Kroll (Nick), Stephanie Lemelin (Thorne)
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
Studio: ABC Television Studio


DASH 4 CASH (The CW) - Janina Gavankar ("The L Word") has scored a role on the comedy pilot, which follows teams participating in a reality racing competition. She'll play Melanie, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "26, beautiful but tough. She's an ex-beauty queen and newlywed who may already regret her choice of mate and has been attending marriage counseling. Ball-busting, clever and ambitious, she frequently grits her teeth at husband Gerry's bone-headed decisions. Winning Dash 4 Cash is extremely important to her; she believes it will lead to a job as a correspondent for Access Hollywood."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Bert Belasco (Durkin), Brianna Brown (Noelle), Janina Gavankar (Melanie), 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


GIFTED (FOX, New!) - "Friends" co-creator Marta Kauffman is getting into the reality business, landing a pilot presentation order from FOX for a new series in which the skills of people who believe they have psychic abilities are tested. Warner Horizon Television is behind project, which Kauffman will executive produce alongside 3 Ball Productions' J.D. Roth and Todd Nelson ("Beauty and the Geek"). As for specifics, it's understood the participants will potentially live under the same roof with a panel of experts serving a judges. Production on the presentation is set to begin next week.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (14-20 minute presentation)
Cast: TBA
Writer: TBA
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: J.D. Roth (3 Ball Productions), Marta Kauffman, Todd Nelson (3 Ball Productions)
Studio: Warner Horizon Television


I'M IN HELL (CBS) - David Cross ("Arrested Development") and Erica Christensen ("Six Degrees") have both scored roles on the comedy pilot, about a highflying Wall Street player (Jason Biggs) who dies in a BlackBerry-related car crash and is reassigned to Hell on Earth where he must figure out a way to get by without his career and all the trappings of his former existence. Cross is set as Scott, a sharply dressed man who serves as an emissary from hell, while Christensen will play a nanny, a potential love interest for Biggs' character who also is in the Hell on Earth program.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: David Cross (Scott), Erica Christensen, Jason Biggs (Nick), Timm Sharp (Fisher)
Writers: Aron Abrams, Greg Thompson
Director: Frank Coraci
Executive Producers: Aron Abrams, Greg Thompson
Producers: Jason Biggs, Peter Kiernan
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television


NOTES FROM THE UNDERBELLY (ABC) - Stacy Traub, the creator and executive producer of the upcoming comedy series, has signed a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with producer Warner Bros. Television. The pact will cover her duties on the series should it return for a second season as well as any development.


P.E. (HBO) - Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's comedy project, about a burned-out former pro baseball player who returns to his small Southern hometown where the only job he can find is as a substitute gym teacher, has been given a pilot order by the pay channel. Danny McBride, Jody Hill and Ben Best all penned the pilot script with McBride himself tapped as the lead role and Hill directing. The trio will then executive produce alongside Ferrell and McKay via their Gary Sanchez Productions banner.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously script with penalty)
Cast: Danny McBride
Writers: Ben Best, Danny McBride, Jody Hill
Director: Jody Hill
Executive Producers: Adam McKay (Gary Sanchez Productions), Ben Best, Danny McBride, Jody Hill, Will Ferrell (Gary Sanchez Productions)
Studio: TBA


SEE JAYNE RUN (ABC) - Anna Hopkins ("Law & Order") and Oliver Milburn ("Poirot") are the latest additions to the Heather Locklear-led comedy pilot, about a corporate shark who must juggle her work and home life. She'll play Regina, an unspecified character, while he's set as Roger, an old flame of Locklear's character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Anna Hopkins (Regina), Ava Gaudet (Jessica), Heather Locklear (Jayne Doherty), Jarrad Paul (Neil), Kurt Fuller (Harold), Oliver Milburn (Roger), Stephen Rannazzisi (Paul)
Writer: Alana Sanko
Director: Will MacKenzie
Executive Producers: Alana Sanko, Becky Clements (Brillstein-Grey Television), Peter Traugott (Brillstein-Grey Television)
Studio: ABC Television Studio


UNTITLED STEVEN BOCHCO/DAVID FEIGE PROJECT (TNT) - The cable channel has greenlit production on the pilot, a drama about former law school classmates who find themselves facing off against each other in court on the same case. Steven Bochco and David Feige ("Indefensible") are behind the hour, which is set up at the ABC Television Studio.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously script)
Cast: TBA
Writers: David Feige, Steven Bochco
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: David Feige, Steven Bochco (Steven Bochco Productions)
Studio: ABC Television Studio


WELCOME TO THE FAMILY (NBC, New!) - Actor/comedian Bernie Mac is also putting his toe into reality waters as he's set to team with Ben Silverman's Reveille for a new reality series which tracks the first meeting between an engaged couple's disparate families. Mac himself will narrate the pilot, which will focus on bridging the gap between the various cultural, economic and/or social differences between the couple's families. Katy Wallin created the series and will executive produce alongside Mac and Steven Greener (via their MacMan Entertainment banner), Silverman and H.T. Owens (via Reveille) and showrunner Greg Johnston ("The Osbournes").

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Bernie Mac
Writer: TBA
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Ben Silverman (Reveille), Bernie Mac (MacMan Entertainment), Greg Johnston, H.T. Owens (Reveille), Katy Wallin, Steven Greener (MacMan Entertainment)
Studio: TBA


Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· AMERICAN IDOL (FOX)
· ANDY BARKER, PI (NBC)
· ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (NETFLIX)
· BEAUTY AND THE GEEK (CW)
· BORN IN THE USA (FOX)
· CAVEMEN (ABC)
· DASH 4 CASH (CW)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· EASTBOUND & DOWN (HBO)
· FIVE DAYS (HBO)
· FRIENDS (NBC)
· GIFTED (FOX)
· I'M IN HELL (CBS)
· L WORD, THE (SHOWTIME)
· LAW & ORDER (NBC)
· NOTES FROM THE UNDERBELLY (ABC)
· OSBOURNES, THE (MTV)
· PRISON BREAK (FOX)
· RAISING THE BAR (TNT)
· SEE JAYNE RUN (ABC)
· SIX DEGREES (ABC)
· WELCOME TO THE FAMILY (NBC)









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