[08/24/07 - 06:59 PM] Development Update: Week of August 20-24 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!
24 (FOX) - Colm Feore ("Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee") is the latest addition to the show's seventh season. He'll play the First Gentleman to Cherry Jones's character, the new president of the United States.
4 OZ. (FX) - The cable channel has greenlit production on Ryan Murphy's drama project, about a family man who decides to get a sex change after realizing that he is a transsexual. Brad Falchuk co-created the series with Murphy, who's also directing the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour. The pair then will executive produce alongside Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner. As for specifics, the series reportedly now will focus on a gynecologist who shares a medical practice with his father in lieu of a sportswriter. Despite the change, it's understood each season will still focus on a different phase of the transition - the revelation of the doctor's decision (season one), the non-surgical changes (season two), the actual surgery (season three) and the man's new life as a woman (season four). In addition to the pilot, the network and studio have commissioned three extra scripts.
ALIENS IN AMERICA (The CW) - Richard Day ("Arrested Development") and Michael Glouberman ("Malcolm in the Middle") have been tapped as co-executive producers on the freshman comedy. The pair then will serve alongside creators Moses Port and David Guarascio and fellow executive producer Tim Doyle.
THE BEAST/THE CLEANER (A&E) - The cable channel has issued cast-contingent pilot orders to a pair of drama projects. First up is "The Beast," about an unorthodox but effective FBI veteran who trains a new partner in his hard-edged, psychologically clever style while being pursued by a secret Internal Affairs team. William Rotko ("Breach") and Vincent Angell ("Stand by Love") are behind the Sony Pictures Television-based hour and will serve as co-executive producers. Scarlet Fire Films's Allan Loeb and Steven Pearl ("New Amsterdam") and Fuel Filmworks's Cory Concoff ("Beltway") are executive producing. The other hour is "Cleaner," from Robert Munic ("For Life") and Jonathan Prince ("Cane"). The project, which is based at CBS Paramount Network Television, centers on a man who feels that helping others, by any means necessary, is his calling. The pair will also executive produce with Jay Silverman and Warren Boyd serving as co-executive producers.
BONES (FOX) - John Francis Daley ("Kitchen Confidential") has landed a recurring role on the returning drama. He'll play a therapist on the series, which moves to Tuesdays at 8:00/7:00c this fall.
BROTHERS & SISTERS (ABC)/JERICHO (CBS) - Emily Rose ("John From Cincinnati") has landed multi-episode arcs on both series. On the former, she'll play Lena, a high-school friend of Emily Van Camp's character, for at least eight episodes. It's understood her character she gets job at the family's company and starts to stir up trouble. No details however were given about her role on the latter.
CANE (CBS) - "The West Wing" alum Peter Noah has joined the freshman drama as an executive producer. There he'll work alongside fellow executive producers Jonathan Prince, Jimmy Iovine and Polly Anthony as well as creator Cynthia Cidre.
COLD CASE (CBS) - Series star Kathryn Morris is getting a pay bump and launching her own production company. Industry sources suggest said raise will bring her paycheck to $180,000-$190,000 per episode for the next two seasons. As for her yet-to-be-titled company, it will have a first-look development deal with "Case" co-producer Warner Bros. Television.
CROSSWORDS (Syndication) - Program Partners and Merv Griffin Entertainment have upped the show's clearance to 90% of the country. The series, due to launch on September 10, is a go in more than 160 markets, including all of the top 40 and 95 of the top 100. In addition, a special preview of the Ty Treadway-hosted series has been dropped from NBC on Saturday, September 8. No reason for the decision was given.
GOSSIP GIRL (The CW) - Felicia Henderson ("The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air") and K.J. Steinberg ("The Nine") have been named executive producer and co-executive producer on the freshman drama. Co-creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage and Alloy Entertainment's Bob Levy and Leslie Morgenstein also serve as executive producers.
HAPPY CAMPERS/ROOMIES (ABC Family, New!) - In addition to "Samurai Girl" (read the story), ABC Family is moving forward with two new half-hour comedy pilots. "Campers," from Carter Covington ("Greek"), is a single-camera entry which chronicles the experiences of a family on a cross-country road trip. "Roomies," from Robin French and Kieron Quirke (BBC's "Man Stroke Woman"), then tracks a group of friends living as roommates. No other specifics were given about either project.
HELD UP (Comedy Central)/THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES (FOX) - Jack Carpenter ("Lipshitz Saves the World") is set to topline the Comedy Central pilot, about a bored bank teller (Carpenter) whose life changes dramatically when two teams of crazy robbers (disguised as James Bond, Spider-Man, Batman and Larry, Curly and Mo) hold up his branch. Also joining the cast are Aaron Hendry ("Passions"), Bree Turner ("Just My Luck") and Jeremiah Birkett ("Windfall") in unspecified roles. Gene Hong created the project, which is executive produced by Jamie Tarses, Alan Freedland and Alan Cohen. Additionally, Carpenter is set to recur on FOX's "The Return of Jezebel James." There he'll play the ex-boyfriend of Lauren Ambrose's character.
LIFE IS WILD (The CW) - Sue Tenney ("7th Heaven"), Dana Baratta ("Providence") and Jim Sadwith ("Elvis") have all been confirmed as co-executive producers on the newcomer, which will air on Sundays at 8:00/7:00c this fall. They'll serve alongside creator Michael Rauch and fellow executive producers Charlie Pattinson and George Faber.
LOST (ABC) - Rebecca Mader ("Justice"), Ken Leung ("The Sopranos") and Lance Reddick ("The Wire") are the latest additions to the show's fourth season. Not surprisingly details on their characters are being kept under wraps save for Leung's, who's been confirmed as Russell, a brilliant mathematician.
PUNK'D (MTV) - Trifecta Entertainment & Media is looking to package 22 episodes of the MTV mainstay for weekend play on local stations across the country starting next fall. Participating stations wouldn't pay cash for the series and would instead turn over half the show's ad time to Trifecta for national ad sales.
THE RUSSELL GIRL (CBS, New!) - "Joan of Arcadia" alum Amber Tamblyn is set to topline a new original movie for the network, about a small-town girl who attempts to escape her past by moving to Chicago only to be forced to return home to deal with the tragedy she left behind. Jill Blotevogel ("The Dead Zone") wrote the script while Jeff Bleckner ("Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story") is set to direct with Brent Shields ("Candles on Bay Street") executive producing. Production is set to begin next month in Toronto for a planned February air date.
THIS MIGHT HURT (FOX, New!) - Actor/writer/director Jason Winer has booked a pilot order from FOX for a new partially improvised single-camera comedy about a private medical practice run by three partners. He'll write and direct the half-hour as well as executive produce with Matthew Weinberg, Jon Berg and Todd Komarnicki via their Guy Walks Into a Bar banner. As for specifics, said group includes a fiftysomething pediatrician, a charming buddy-type who is all bedside manners but not up to speed on the latest medical advances; his son, an internist, who is serious and intellectual and doesn't get along well with his dad; and a female OB-GYN with a secret. It's understood FOX ordered the pilot without seeing a script, instead buying it off his pitch. Should it move forward, the series reportedly will also feature several cross-platform elements such as voyeuristic web elements and extra footage.
UGLY BETTY (ABC) - David Blue ("Dirt") has scored a recurring role on the series, which returns for its second season this fall. He'll play Cliff, a new photographer at the show's Mode magazine and a potential love interest to Michael Urie's character.
UNTITLED JUSTIN ZACKHAM PROJECT (CBS, New!) - Feature writer Justin Zackham ("The Bucket List") has scored a premium script commitment from the Eye for a new semi-autobiographical drama about five guys and one girl in their late 20s who have been friends since they were kids and who struggle to maintain their tight-knit group in the face of adulthood. Jon Turteltaub's Junction Entertainment is co-producing the project alongside CBS Paramount Television with Karim Zreik and Dan Shotz serving as co-executive producers. Zackham and his producing partner Clay Pecorin then will executive produce via their Two Ton Films banner.
VIVA LAUGHLIN (CBS) - Co-executive producers Tyler Bensinger and Steven DeKnight has been upped to showrunner status on the freshman drama. They'll take over for Bob Lowry, who's taking a reduced role on the series. Hugh Jackman, John Palermo, Paul Telegdy and Peter Bowker also serve as executive producers on the series, due on Sunday nights this fall.
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