[01/11/08 - 06:17 PM]
Development Update: Week of January 7-11
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!

30 DAYS (FX) - Host/executive producer Morgan Spurlock has inked a two-year overall deal with Fox Television Studios. The pact calls for the prolific filmmaker to develop series projects - both for broadcast and new media - for the company via his Warrior Poets banner. He'll also continue his work on the FX series, a co-production of Reveille and Actual Reality, which will roll out its third season sometime this year. Separately, Spurlock is set to debut his new film "Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?" at Sundance later this month.

A&E ORIGINAL SERIES (A&E) - The cable channel is moving forward with three new original series, all of which are expected to roll out in the coming months. First up is "Crime 360" (Base Productions, 17 episodes), a one-hour effort that uses CGI visualizations and state-of-the-art 3-D photography to look at the evidence in investigations of actual crimes. Next is the half-hour "Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force" (Stars & Stripes Media, 11 episodes), which focuses on the work of a Manhattan-based federal agency whose job is to join with state and local agencies to track down dangerous felons on the lam in the greater New York/New Jersey area. Finally, there's "Rookies," a docusoap which tracks a group of recent police academy graduates in their first year on the job. A&E plans to air the series as two separate incarnations - one in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana (Tiger Aspect USA, eight episodes) and another in Tampa, Florida (The Greif Co., eight episodes). The executive producers of the aforementioned projects are John Brenkus and Mickey Stern on "Crime 360," Gary Tarpinian, Stuart Goodman and Vincent Scarza on "Manhunters," Charles Brand, Jamie Munro, Lawrence Cumbo and Christine Connor on the Jefferson Parish edition of "Rookies" and Leslie Greif and Adam Reed on the Tampa edition of "Rookies." For A&E, Rob Sharenow and Laura Fleury will executive produce "Crime 360" and "Manhunters" with Sharenow, Neil A. Cohen and Stephen Harris on "Rookies" (Jefferson Parish) and Sharenow, Cohen and Andy Berg on "Rookies" (Tampa).

APATOW PRODUCTIONS (New!) - Filmmaker Judd Apatow, the mind behind the cult series "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared," has inked a first-look deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The pact gives the studio first crack at any of Apatow's TV efforts. In addition, former 20th executive Nicholas Weinstock has been tapped as the head of development for Apatow's self-titled banner.

DIRT (FX) - The cable channel has announced the show's second season will bow on Sunday, March 2 at 10:00/9:00c. Its return however will be short-lived: only seven of 13 ordered episodes were completed before the WGA strike.

INSEPARABLE (FOX) - Shaun Cassidy's ("Invasion") drama script, previously set up at CBS for 2003-04 season consideration, is being redeveloped by FOX and ABC Studios. The project, a modern-day Jekyll and Hyde tale about a partially paralyzed forensic psychiatrist with a split personality whose alter ego is a charismatic criminal, was resurrected by the studio as part of his overall deal. In an interesting twist however, FOX has given the go ahead to cast the hour despite Cassidy not turning in a revised draft of the script due to the WGA strike. No official pilot order however will be given until Cassidy's updated script is completed.

SONS OF ANARCHY (A.K.A. FOREVER SAM CROW) (FX) - Charlie Hunnam, Scott Glenn and Katey Sagal have all been cast in the pilot, a drama set in the world of motorcycle clubs. Hunnam will play the lead role of Jackson "Jax" Teller, who's described in the casting notice as follows: "25-33, Caucasian. Handsome in a broken cowboy kind of way, an expert mechanic with lots of tattoos and scars on his arms, he is the vice-president of SAMCRO, and is the son of the founder, John Teller. The motorcycle club life is all he has ever known, but Jax is starting to have his doubts -- doubts that could invalidate the last 32 years of his life. Jax is a paradox on two wheels: he's intelligent, sensitive and reflective, yet quick-tempered and dangerously reactive, a man who can anguish over his sick child yet drive a pool cue into an enemy's groin. Jax's enemies are multiplying these days: rival Latin and White Supremacist gangs have joined forces to rip off SAMCRO's stash of weapons. The father of a premature baby (born too soon because his pregnant ex-wife Wendy took too many drugs while carrying the baby), Jax has been studying his late father's journals, and he's begun to question SAMCRO's "outlaw = criminal" business model. He begins to foster a belief that his club's commitment to the MC lifestyle may not have to include selling arms. But this shift in philosophy seems destined to bring him into deadly confrontation with his foster father, Clay Morrow." Glenn then is set as Jack's aforementioned stepfather, the president and patriarch of the club, with Sagal as Jack's mother and the matriarch of the club. In addition, Allen Coulter has signed on to direct the hour while Fox 21 has been tapped to co-produce alongside FX Productions. Kurt Sutter penned the pilot script and is executive producing alongside Art Linson and John Linson. Production is set to begin in mid-February.

THE TWO COREYS (A&E) - The network has renewed the Corey Haim/Corey Feldman series for a second season of 10 half-hour episodes. RDF USA ("Wife Swap") and Tijuana Entertainment ("Breaking Bonaduce") are behind the project, which is expected to return sometime in the spring. Haim and Feldman, longtime friends best known for their various 1980s films, were last seen feuding at the end of season one and apparently have not seen each other since. The new season then will pick up as they finally reunite and decide whether to work through their differences or part ways. While exact numbers weren't released, A&E noted the show's first season delivered a 28% and 40% growth from the network's primetime average among adults 25-54 and 18-49, respectively. Feldman and Haim also serve as executive producers alongside RDF's Greg Goldman, Chris Coelen and Tony Yates; Tijuana's Troy Searer and John Foy; and A&E's Rob Sharenow, Michael Morrison and Scott Lonker.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [january 2008]  

· 30 DAYS (FX)
· CRIME 360 (A AND E)

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