[12/28/07 - 06:02 PM]
Development Update: Week of December 24-28
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!

THE BEAST (A&E) - Brette Taylor ("Rescue Me"), Larry Gilliard ("The Wire") and Lindsay Pulsipher ("Touched by an Angel") have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, about an unorthodox but effective FBI veteran (Patrick Swayze) who trains a new partner (Travis Fimmel) in his hard-edged, psychologically clever style while being pursued by a secret Internal Affairs team. They'll play the unspecified characters of Karen, Nick and Rose, respectively. William Rotko and Vincent Angell are behind the hour, which is being executive produced by Scarlet Fire Films's Allan Loeb and Steven Pearl and Fuel Filmworks's Cory Concoff. Michael Dinner directs.

THE CLEANER (A&E) - Amy Price-Franci ("Californication"), Esteban Powell ("Level 9"), Grace Park ("Raines"), Kevin Michael Richardson ("The Knights of Prosperity"), Brett Del Buono and Liliana Mumy are the latest additions to the pilot, a drama about an "extreme interventionist" (Benjamin Bratt) who finds his calling in helping others - by any means necessary. David Semel is directing the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour, which was written by co-creators/executive producers Jonathan Prince and Robert Munic. Price-Franci will play the wife of Bratt's character with Buono and Mumy as his children. Powell, Park and Richardson then are set as Arnie Swenton, Akani Cuesta and Darnell McDowell, three unspecified characters.

FAMILY MAN (TNT) - Bobby Coleman ("Martian Child"), Lizette Carrion ("Over There") and newcomer Madisen Beaty have all been cast in the drama pilot, about a man (William H. Macy) who organizes charity drives by day and cracks the safes of major corporations by night. Coleman and Beaty are believed to be playing the children of Macy's character, Mack and Julie, with Carrion as Stacey, an unspecified character. Brendan Sexton, Jennifer Aspen, Martin Mull and Sean O'Bryan also star in the hour, which Macy himself penned alongside director Steven Schachter. The pair are also executive producing for Sony Pictures Television with Storyline Entertainment's Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

PRETTY/HANDSOME (FX) - Jonathan Groff ("One Life to Live") has joined the cast of the Ryan Murphy/Brad Falchuk-drama pilot, about a married man (Joseph Fiennes) with two sons who undergoes the metamorphosis to eventually become a woman. He'll play Patrick, one of said children. Blythe Danner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jake Cherry and Robert Wagner also star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which Murphy is directing from a script he co-wrote with Falchuk.

ROOMIES (ABC Family) - Tyler Francavilla, Tommy Dewey and David Weidoff have scored the lead roles in the multi-camera comedy, about a group of friends living as roommates. Francavilla and Weidoff will play said "roomies," Mark and Thom. The latter is detailed in the casting notice as follows: "22. Mark's roommate. He is an offbeat, lovable and enthusiastic. Very comfortable being nude. He's a playful, sometimes pontificating sort who's not happy that Mark wants to move out of their tiny one bedroom place. He keeps trying to help Mark stand up for himself." Dewey then is set as James. Andy Cadiff is directing the half-hour from a script by Kieron Quirke and Robin French while Michael Hanel and Mindy Schultheis serve as executive producers.

S.I.S. (Spike TV) - Omari Hardwick ("Saved"), Peter Stebbings ("Jeremiah"), Colleen Porch and Matt Nable are the first to be cast in the two-hour backdoor pilot, about an elite, secretive police squad in Los Angeles. Hardwick will play Donovan Rivers, who's detailed in the casting notice as: "40's, African-American, the fourth member of the S.I.S. squad. Donovan is a powerfully-built, superstitious man who comes from east Compton's gang-infested streets. A proud man who sometimes lets his emotions get the better of him, Donovan likes to take bad guys off the streets, either by the scruff of the neck or feet-first and face down. Initially partnered with the taciturn Melville, he gets a new partner when Billy Beckett enters the unit, and he pairs off with Jayne Sorenson. The son of a lifelong drug addict, he had to raise his three younger siblings single-handed, and as a result, he's a very masculine man who cooks, sews and irons."

Stebbings then is set as Billy Beckett - "30's, a volatile member of the LAPD. Billy has been smoking a lot of weed ever since he accidentally shot a 14 year old girl in the course of duty. Divorced, with an ex-wife and son he never sees, Billy fishes off the pier, broods about the past, and is haunted by the dead girl's spirit, though in fact she only exists within his haunted mind. A remarkably gifted detective who's rotting on the beach, Billy is a pariah within the department, and is the subject of a massive lawsuit filed by cop-hating attorney Arnold Heller. Tapped to join the SIS squad by Chief Joseph Armstrong, Billy gives it a shot -- maybe it's a better deal than eating his gun. In his first case, he goes up against maniac criminal Vic Daggoo and his perverse family, and learns one important fact about himself, he's hesitant to shoot again." - with Porch as Jayne Sorenson - "30's, the third member of S.I.S. (and the first woman ever recruited to join the squad). She is a former Navy Lieutenant, but she switched her career to law enforcement and loves being a cop. Driven to succeed, she is athletic and graceful and can be one of the guys -- but she's just as comfortable in a cocktail dress, or if necessary, impersonating a slatternly street hooker. A single mom with an 11 year old son, partnered with Donovan, she appears to be a widow, and appears to be still in love with her flyboy husband -- though she also carries a torch for Steve McQueen. Janie is tough, right and determined to do whatever it takes to prove herself amongst her male peers."

And finally, Nable is set as Melville Atkinson - "Late 30s-Late 40s, originally from New England. Melville is lean and stoic and grew up the only son of a fisherman. A hunter of criminals, and one of the five members of S.I.S., he is addicted to the process of catching villains, and will forgo anything and everything to get his man. A tough, taciturn guy who asks his next door neighbor (a veterinarian) to stitch him up when he's wounded in action, Melville (named for the author of "Moby Dick" and fond of nautical decor) thinks Billy is a bad addition to the squad, and in response to his objection, he's assigned Billy as a partner. An eccentric bachelor who has never had a drink or a toke in his life, he's grimly disapproving of Billy -- at first." John Herzfeld penned the script and is directing. Based at Sony Pictures Television, Herzfeld, Neal Moritz and Vivian Cannon are the executive producers.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [december 2007]  


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