[04/13/07 - 11:23 AM]
Development Update: Thursday-Friday, April 12-13
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!

BACK TO YOU (A.K.A. ACTION NEWS) (FOX) - Josh Gad ("21") and Ayda Field ("Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip") have both landed roles in the pilot, an ensemble comedy set at a local TV station that centers on an womanizing newscaster (Kelsey Grammer) who must co-anchor with his ex (Patricia Heaton). In addition, the project has now been dubbed "Back to You." Gad will replace Paul Campbell as Ryan Church while Field is stepping in for Aimee Garcia as Montana Diaz Herrera. Field's involvement is in second position to her duties on the Gabe Sachs/Jeff Judah pilot for ABC. No reason for the changes were given.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Ayda Field (Montana Diaz Herrera), Fred Willard (Marsh McGinley), Josh Gad (Ryan Church), Kelsey Grammer (Chuck Darling), Laura Marano (Gracie Carr), Patricia Heaton (Kelly Carr), Ty Burrell (Gary Crezyzewski)
Writers: Christopher Lloyd, Steven Levitan
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Christopher Lloyd (Levitan-Lloyd Productions), Steven Levitan (Levitan-Lloyd Productions)
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television

DO YOU TRUST ME? (A.K.A. UNTITLED PHIL GURIN PROJECT) (CBS) - MSNBC anchor and "Dancing With the Stars" alum Tucker Carlson has been tapped to host Phil Gurin's game show pilot, which involves strangers being forced to put their trust in one another. In addition, Jeff Margolis (NBC's "Fame") has signed on to direct the pilot with Ray Giuliani ("Renovate My Family") and David Floyd ("Deal or No Deal") serving as co-executive producers.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Tucker Carlson (Host)
Writer: TBA
Director: Jeff Margolis
Executive Producers: Phil Gurin
Co-Executive Producers: David Floyd, Ray Giuliani
Studio: The Gurin Company

MYNETWORKTV SPECIALS (MyNetworkTV, New!) - Hoping to spark some sort of ratings success, the fledgling network plans to air a handful of first-run specials as it heads into the May sweeps period. Among the offerings: "Hawaiian Tropic International Beauty Pageant" and "Ujena Bikini Jam" on April 24, "America's Trashiest Weddings" and "Body Doubles: International Twins Search" on May 1, "The Hooters Dream Girl Challenge" (two hours) on May 8, "Anna Nicole Smith: Centerfold Revisited" and "Britney Spears: A Pop Idol Exposed" on May 16 and "Night of a Million Laughs: Comics Unleashed" and "Eddie Murphy: 25th Anniversary of 'Delirious'" on May 22. To make room for the offerings, its telenovelas "American Heiress" and "Saints & Sinners" will be cut to one hour each week with the former airing Wednesdays at 8:00/7:00c and the latter Wednesdays at 9:00/8:00c.

THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL (Comedy Central, New!) - "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart's" Lewis Black is set to host a potential new court show on the cable channel in which he presides over cases pitting political figures, celebrities and pop culture concepts accused of being "the root of all evil." Production has already been completed on the pilot, which saw guest comedians Greg Giraldo, Patton Oswalt, Andy Daley and Paul F. Tompkins serve as attorneys on such cases as Paris Hilton vs. Dick Cheney and chick flicks vs. video games. Scott Carter ("Real Time With Bill Maher") and David Sacks ("3rd Rock From the Sun") are the executive producers.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Lewis Black
Writers: David Sacks, Scott Carter
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: David Sacks, Scott Carter
Studio: TBA

TERRORIST (Lifetime, New!) - John Updike's most recent novel is being developed into an original movie by Sony Pictures Television and executive producers Frank von Zerneck, Robert M. Sertner and Judith Verno. The project, which has a script commitment, revolves around a young boy being raised by a single mother who regularly attends a mosque to get in touch with the roots of his absent Egyptian father and gets pulled into a terrorist plan to blow up New York's Lincoln Tunnel. The trio will executive produce via their Von Zerneck/Sertner Films banner, which has an overall deal with the studio.

Commitment: Script
Cast: TBA
Writer: TBA
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Frank von Zerneck (Von Zerneck/Sertner Films), Judith Verno, Robert M. Sertner (Von Zerneck/Sertner Films)
Studio: Sony Pictures Television

UNTITLED DAVID KOHAN/MAX MUTCHNICK PROJECT (CBS) - Jay Mohr ("Ghost Whisperer") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about two friends/writing partners with different sexual orientations. He'll play the straight man, a guy's guy who loves sports and reads a lot. His casting is tied to a talent holding deal with the network. Should the untitled half-hour not go to series, it's understood Mohr will be upped to regular on "Ghost's" expected third season.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Brian Austin Green (Noah), Jay Mohr, Jessica Capshaw (Melanie), Vanessa Lengies (Tessa)
Writers: David Kohan, Max Mutchnick
Director: James Burrows
Executive Producers: David Kohan (KoMut Entertainment), Max Mutchnick (KoMut Entertainment)
Studio: Warner Bros. Television

UNTITLED RED PRODUCTION PROJECT (CBS, New!) - Nicola Shindler and Andrew Critchley's U.K.-based Red Production ("Queer as Folk") has inked a first-look development deal with the network and its sibling studio CBS Paramount Network Television. The one-year pact, which has an option for another year, includes a blind script commitment for the Eye's 2008 development slate, mostly likely an import of one of its current series - "Clocking Off," "Conviction," "Bob and Rose" and "The Second Coming." Shindler and Critchley then will executive produce any resulting project alongside RDF Media's Chris Coelen.

Commitment: Script
Cast: TBA
Writer: TBA
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Andrew Critchley (Red Production), Chris Coelen, Nicola Shindler (Red Production)
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television

UP ALL NIGHT (CBS) - John Cho ("Kitchen Confidential") and Phillip C. Vaden ("Man Maid") have both joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a group of people who hang out at an all-night diner from midnight-6 a.m. Cho is set as Andy, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Late 20s, any ethnicities, good looking in a prep school sort of way, Andy is an upbeat fellow, "a young Chevy Chase, confident and playful with a devil-may-care attitude." A regular at the all-night diner, where he conducts business via his laptop, Andy has found a way to avoid the pesky trappings of modern life - by staying up all night and sleeping during the day." Vaden then is playing Ben: "Late 20s, any ethnicities, with the weight of the world on his shoulders, Ben is a preoccupied insomniac but a very intelligent one. He's now working on his Ph.D., to add to his other ten degrees. Back in Boston where he's studying at Harvard, while also teaching, Ben seeks camaraderie at an all-night diner."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: J.D. Walsh (Matthew), John Cho (Andy), Josh Meyers (Farrelly), Leslie Grossman (Erika), Phillip C. Vaden (Ben)
Writer: Scott Silveri
Director: Andy Ackerman
Executive Producers: Scott Silveri
Studio: Warner Bros. Television

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [april 2007]  


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