[06/22/07 - 07:32 PM]
Development Update: Week of June 18-22
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 DAD (FOX) - Nahnatchka Khan, a supervising producer on the series, has inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The pact calls for her to develop new series projects for the studio as well as be upped to co-executive producer on "Dad's" upcoming production cycle.

CANE (CBS) - Sanford Bookstaver ("Jericho") has signed on as a supervising producer on the upcoming drama. There he's expected to serve as a regular director on the series, which airs Tuesdays at 10:00/9:00c this fall.

HEROES (NBC) - Nick D'Agosto ("Related"), Barry Shabaka Henley ("Close to Home"), Holt McCallany ("C.S.I.: Miami"), David Anders ("Alias"), Eriko Tamura ("Surf School"), Lyndsy Fonseca ("How I Met Your Mother") and Dianna Agron ("Veronica Mars") have all landed roles on the show's much-anticipated second season. Anders will play famed samurai warrior Takezo Kensei with Tamura as a Japanese princess; D'Agosto as West, the new boyfriend of Hayden Panettiere's character; Henley as Detective Fuller, a New York police officer; McCallany as Ricky, the ringleader of a group of Irish thugs; and Fonseca and Agron as April and Debbie, a pair of sugar-and-spice cheerleaders in Southern California. The group joins the previously announced addition Dania Ramirez.

JOURNEYMAN (NBC) - Tom Szentgyorgyi ("Drive") has inked a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The pact, which has an option for a third year, calls for the writer/producer to develop new series projects for the studio. For now though, he's joined the writing staff of the freshman drama "Journeyman," where he's expected to pen the show's second episode.

LAW & ORDER (NBC) - Co-star Jesse L. Martin has signed on to appear in at least 13 episodes of the show's upcoming 18th season. He'll continue in his role of Detective Ed Green on the series, where he'll be partnered with incoming cast member Jeremy Sisto (who's replacing the departing Milena Govich).

LIPSTICK JUNGLE (NBC) - Producers are currently recasting the role of Shane Healy in the upcoming drama, which stars Brooke Shields, Kim Raver and Lindsay Price are three successful New York women who will do anything to stay on top. Christopher Wiehl originated the role in the pilot, which is detailed in the new casting notice as follows: "40s, handsome, hunky, playful, metrosexual- Shane is Wendy's husband and the father of their three kids. A man who's never been successful at anything he's tried - and he's tried many things, from screenwriting to trying to open a new restaurant - he's bitterly resentful of Wendy's busy, high profile career, and he makes no secret of it. Touchy and defensive, Shane makes things impossible for Wendy and ultimately tells her he wants a divorce."

MY NAME IS EARL/THE OFFICE (NBC) - TBS's off-network purchase of the NBC comedies is said to be valued in the $600,000-$700,000 per episode range for each series. Furthermore in "The Office's" case, said off-network value could climb to $3 million per episode once its local stations deals - such as Thursday's with the FOX owned-and-operated stations (read the story) for roughly $300,000 per episode - are factored in. As for specifics, TBS will begin airing repeats of "The Office's" first three seasons (not repurposed episodes) twice a week starting this fall before expanding to five-nights-a-week in the fall of 2009. "Earl" likewise will begin its five-nights-a-week run in the fall of 2009 however no episodes will be available for an early window. In addition, both "Earl" and "The Office's" deals include the digital rights for broadband streaming and on-demand. Twentieth Television is also expected to sell "Earl" repeats to local stations but plans to wait after numbers come in from its soon to launch off-network runs of "Two and a Half Men" and "Family Guy" in the marketspace.

NIP/TUCK (FX) - Co-stars Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon are set to receive seven-figure bonuses for their duties on the show's upcoming fifth season. Said bump comes in addition to their annual 5% yearly salary increase, bringing their take this season to $2.75 million each (or about $125,000 for each of this season's planned 22 episodes). Separately, Paula Marshall has signed on for a four-episode arc as a new love interest for Walsh's character. No other details were given.

PAGEANT PLACE (MTV, New!) - The cable channel has given an eight-episode order to a new reality series in which Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA all live together in the same New York apartment. Donald Trump is behind the half-hour, which will feature current Miss Universe Riyo Mori, Miss USA Rachel Smith and Miss Teen USA Katie Blair as they go about their pageant duties. Former Miss USA Tara Conner, who became the subject of controversy after reports of her partying surfaced last year, will also star in the series as a kind of den mother and chaperone to the women. Trump and his producing partner at Trump Productions, Andy Litinsky, are executive producing the project, which was originally set up at VH1, alongside Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart and Evolution Film & Tape's Douglas Ross. Production is set to begin this summer for a premiere date later this year.

PRISON BREAK (FOX) - Chris Vance ("All Saints"), Robert Wisdom ("The Wire"), Jodi Lyn O'Keefe ("The Evidence") and Danay Garcia ("Danika") have each landed roles on the show's upcoming third season. Wisdom will play Luchero, a Panamanian drug kingpin who is incarcerated and controls the other inmates (one played by Vance), while O'Keefe is set as the mysterious Betty Crocker, an operative for the Company, a shadowy government conspiracy organization. Garcia is then set as Sofia, the girlfriend of Vance's character, Whistler.

THE RICHES (FX) - Guy Oseary's Maverick Television has signed a first-look pact with alternative production house Fox 21. The deal gives the 20th Century Fox Television sibling first crack at any of the company's projects, both scripted and unscripted. Best known for the FX drama "The Riches," Maverick was also behind the short-lived MTV reality series "I'm With Rolling Stone." The company was previously set up at Fox Television Studios.

SAIGON BUREAU (AMC, New!) - John Milius ("Rome") is developing a limited series at the network about photojournalists during the Vietnam War. Chris Noth ("Law & Order: Criminal Intent") is on board to executive produce the project alongside Milius and is expected to take a role. No other details about the project were released.

SHARK (CBS) - Creator Ian Biederman has signed a new two-year overall deal with producer 20th Century Fox Television. The pact, which also has an option for a third year, covers his duties on the returning drama as well as any future development. Meanwhile, co-star Samuel Page won't be returning for the show's second season as producers are currently casting for a new male actor for the ensemble. In addition, Jeri Ryan's character will ditch the D.A.'s office and join the legal team headed by James Woods' character while Woods' ex (played by Lindsay Frost in the pilot) is also expected to return.

SIX DEGREES (ABC) - Co-star Bridget Moynahan has inked a talent holding deal with ABC and its sibling ABC Studios. The pact calls for the duo develop a series around the actress or cast her in one of its pilots in development for the 2008-09 season.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [june 2007]  


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