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!
CSI: MIAMI (CBS)/STEP IT UP AND DANCE (A.K.A. STEP IT UP) (Bravo) - Elizabeth Berkley has booked a pair of gigs - a multi-episode arc on CBS's "CSI: Miami" as well as hosting duties on Bravo's upcoming series "Step It Up and Dance" (previously known as "Step It Up"). On "Miami," she'll play Julia Winston, the ex-wife of David Caruso's character and mother of his recently discovered teenage son, Kyle (Evan Ellingson). It's understood her character becomes part of an investigation when her billionaire husband is murdered. As for "Step," Broadway choreographer Jerry Mitchell has also signed on as mentor/house choreographer to the show's contestants. The series, currently in production in Los Angeles, features contestants trying to master a range of dance styles - from ballet and ballroom to Broadway and burlesque - for a cash prize. Gunnar Wetterberg created the project, which comes from Magical Elves producers Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth ("Project Runway," "Top Chef").
FRINGE (FOX) - Alex Graves ("Journeyman") is set to helm the two-hour drama pilot, about a young female FBI agent who, forced to confront the spread of powerful and unexplained phenomena, must work with an institutionalized scientist whose life's work might be at the center of the coming storm. He'll work from a script by co-creators J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci as well as executive produce alongside the trio and Bad Robot's Bryan Burk. Production on the Warner Bros. Television/Bad Robot-based pilot, which was written on spec, is scheduled to begin in February.
KNIGHT RIDER (NBC) - Bruce Davison, Wayne Kasserman and Greg Ellis will round out the cast of the two-hour movie/backdoor pilot, a sequel to the 1980s series of the same name featuring Justin Bruening as Mike Tracer, Michael Knight's (David Hasselhoff) son. Davison will play Charles Graiman (previously Kamen), an eccentric physicist who created the second-generation KITT, an artificially intelligent car. Kasserman then is set as Dylan, the loyal roommate of Mike's who joins the Knight Rider team. And finally, Ellis will play Welther, one of the bad guys who's out to murder Graiman and steal KITT. His role is billed as a guest star with the potential to recur. Sydney Tamiia Poitier and Deanna Russo also star.
LEVERAGE (TNT) - Beth Riesgraf and Gina Bellman are the latest additions to the drama pilot, about a former insurance investigator-turned-thief (Timothy Hutton) who is the brains behind a team of accomplished hooligans and high-tech outlaws. The former will play Parker, an accomplished burglar who exudes dorkiness, eccentricity and sexuality, with the latter as Sophie Devereaux, a dreadful community theater actress who doubles as a con artist. John Rogers and Chris Downey are behind the project, which comes from Dean Devlin's Electric Entertainment. Devlin himself is directing from a script by Rogers and Downey.
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE... (ABC) - Chris Johnson ("South Beach"), Aimee Garcia ("The George Lopez Show"), Tom Parker ("What About Brian"), Paulo Costanzo ("Joey"), Reno Wilson ("Life") and Sasha Barrese ("Carpoolers") have all been named as the principal cast members of the pilot, a single-camera comedy about a quartet of male friends who explore how male friendships endure through change. Johnson will play the lead character of Rick, a young man who suddenly has an astounding revelation in his life that turns his friendships upside down. Garcia, Parker, Costanzo, Wilson and Barrese then will play Diana, Blair, Nesby, Wayne and Madeline respectively. Production on the Regency Television-based half-hour is set to begin in the next few weeks with Todd Phillips ("Old School") directing from a script by Allan Loeb ("Things We Lost in the Fire"). Phillips and Loeb will also executive produce alongside Scarlet Fire Entertainment's Steve Pearl.
THE WEEK THE WOMEN WENT (Lifetime, New!) - The cable channel has ordered a pilot for a new reality series in which three neighbors who essentially go on strike leaving their lazy husbands to run the household and keep routines in check. BBC Worldwide is behind the project, which is being eyed for the network's Friday lineup. As for specifics, said wives will be sent on vacation while their husbands are put through various challenges - the winner of which gets to join his wife and family on vacation. Production is underway with BBC Worldwide's John Hesling serving as executive producer.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters