[11/16/07 - 06:11 PM]
Development Update: Week of November 12-16
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!

FROM GS TO GENTS (MTV, New!) - Jamie Foxx, Jaime Rucker King and Marcus King have inked a two-year, first-look production agreement with MTV and VH1. The pact gives said networks first crack at any projects from their FoxxKing Entertainment banner. Already in the works: "From Gs to Gents," a reality series in which a group of men are given social makeovers in a bid to turn them into gentlemen. No other details were given about the project, which the trio will executive produce. The company was previously set up at Paramount and MTV Films, where they signed a two-year first-look deal in October 2005.

THE KILL POINT (Spike TV) - The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Rob Owen has confirmed the limited series won't be returning for a sequel. His report includes a quote from a Spike TV spokeswoman about the cancellation, saying, "We are out of the serialized one-hour business. We need programming that we can repeat." Producers had previously been in talks about a potential follow-up to the project.

KNIGHT RIDER (NBC) - Sydney Tamiia Poitier ("Grindhouse") is the latest addition to the two-hour movie/backdoor pilot, a "Transformers"-inspired sequel to the 1980s series that centers on Mike Tracer (Justin Bruening), Michael Knight's son. She'll play a feisty FBI agent who doesn't get along with Mike.

THE MAN OF YOUR DREAMS (NBC) - "Battlestar Galactica" co-star Michael Trucco has scored the lead role in the comedy pilot, about a womanizer (Trucco) who uses his expertise to help romantically challenged women. Trucco's casting lifts the contingency off the pilot's production. Jay Lacopo is behind the multi-camera half-hour, which he's executive producing alongside the Universal Media Studios-based Conan O'Brien, Jeff Ross and David Kissinger. Production on the pilot is set to begin as soon as the WGA strike ends.

THE MEMORY KEEPER'S DAUGHTER (Lifetime) - Gretchen Mol ("3:10 to Yuma") will round out the cast of the upcoming telefilm, based on the bestselling Kim Edwards novel. Mol will play a woman who gives birth to twins -- one of whom has Down syndrome and is secretly raised by another woman after Mol's character is told the child died at birth. Dermot Mulroney and Emily Watson also star in the project, which Mick Jackson ("Tuesdays With Morrie") is directing from an adaptation by John Pielmeier. Production on the movie is set to be completed in time for a March bow. Howard Braunstein and Michael Jaffe are the executive producers.

THE OAKS (FOX) - Michael Rispoli ("The Black Donnellys") and Romy Rosemont ("Prison Break") have both joined the cast of the drama pilot, about the intertwined stories of three families - a young couple who have just lost a child in 1968, a family of four in 1988 and a pregnant couple in 2008 - who live in the same house and are haunted by a restless spirit. They'll play the parents in 1988 with Rosemont taking over for the originally cast Gina McKee. Her exit is believed to be tied to the producers' desire to shift that portion of the show in a more comedic, blue-collar direction. Non-writing executive producer Gina Matthews oversaw said castings as creator David Schulner and showrunner Shawn Ryan remain on strike. Production is currently underway in Pasadena on the 20th Century Fox Television/Little Engine-based project with Michael Cuesta directing.

The original casting notices for Rispoli and Rosemont read as follows - "Frank: Early-Mid 40s, a bit sloppy and has a sense of humor , he is Molly's husband, and the father of 8 years old Lucy and 14 year old Brian, who lives in The Oaks house in 1987. He is the last one to get to use the bathroom in the mornings and often regrets entering into heated family discussions. He's trying to bring a bit of passion into his marriage at Molly's request, and grows frustrated when their attempts to schedule sex are thwarted. Eventually, though, he takes charge and tells Molly no time will be right, but they love each other and bad sex is better than no sex. He's disturbed by his daughter Lucy's recent foray into bad behavior." - and - "Molly: Early-Mid 40s. She's a harried wife and mother of two (an 8 years old daughter and 14 years old son) who is struggling to keep passion alive in her marriage. She lives in The Oaks house in 1987, and her looks, clothing and attitude reflects this (she has the full '80s aerobics outfit). The bloom is definitely off the rose in her relationship with her husband Frank, and their attempts to schedule sex don't usually go as planned, but they are devoted to one another. She is perplexed and disturbed by Lucy's recent bad behavior, which is supposedly dictated by a never-seen imaginary friend, Amelia."

SUPERMANNY (ABC, New!) - The Alphabet has commissioned a pilot to a flipped version of its mainstay "Supernanny" from producer Ricochet. The series, which was in development before the WGA strike, features a male child-care worker who will take a tough-love approach to fixing chaotic households. No other specifics however were released.

UNDER (A&E) - Henry Thomas ("Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King") has signed on as the lead role in the drama pilot, about a young thug (Thomas) who, after being marked for death by the mob and turning state's evidence against them, joins the witness protection program where he works as an NYPD patrolman but is unable to escape his past. In addition, Charles S. Dutton has come aboard to helm the hour, which comes from Fox Television Studios, creator Charles Murray and fellow executive producers Gary Randall and Nancy Miller. Thomas's involvement lifts the cast contingency off the pilot's production, which is set to begin next month in Vancouver.

UNTITLED GOTHAM GROUP PROJECT (FOX, New!) - The Gotham Group ("Creature Comforts") has inked a three-for-one pilot deal with the network, which calls for the management firm to develop three half-hour animated projects - one of which is guaranteed a pilot order. The company, lead by founder/CEO Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, represents more than 300 animation writers, directors, animators and animation studios, many of which have worked on FOX's offerings in the genre. Pitching had already begun on potential series however the WGA strike has prevented any significant movement.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [november 2007]  


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