[01/25/08 - 06:37 PM]
Development Update: Week of January 21-25
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!

FRINGE (FOX) - John Noble ("The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King") and Lance Reddick ("The Wire") have landed two of the principal roles on the drama pilot, about a young female FBI agent who is forced to confront the spread of unexplained phenomena and work with an institutionalized scientist whose work might be at the center of the coming storm. Noble is set as Dr. Walter Bishop, said scientist, with Reddick as Phillip Broyles, a special agent for Homeland Security who heads the special Fringe division. They join the previously cast Kirk Acevedo and Mark Valley. Production on the two-hour pilot is set to begin shortly with Alex Graves helming from a script by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. The quartet also serve as executive producers alongside Bad Robot's Bryan Burk for Warner Bros. Television.

KATH & KIM (NBC) - Selma Blair is in talks to star opposite Molly Shannon in the comedy pilot, about the dysfunctional relationship between a mother (Shannon) and her daughter (Blair). Blair's character, Kim Day Fattibene, is further detailed in the casting notice as follows: "26-32, any ethnicity. Also attractive, but not on the same healthy path as her mother, Kim is oblivious to needing any fitness or life plan whatsoever. Although loveable and endearing, she is a drama queen, tends to sit on the couch a lot, self absorbed and a little spoiled. She carries a few extra pounds but still thinks she's the hottest thing around and resists her mother's advice on pulling her life together. She's just left her perfectly nice husband, Dennis, not for the first time, just because he shushed her at a ballgame. Kim - after moving back home - now fully expects her mom and best friend Debbie to drop everything and attend to her and is horrified to learn that her Mom has a boyfriend and a sex life." Michelle Nader is behind the Universal Media Studios/Reveille-based half-hour, which Paul Feig is directing. Nader and Rick McKenna also serve as executive producers alongside original Aussie creators Gina Riley and Jane Turner.

LEGALLY BLONDE (MTV, New!) - The cable channel is casting a potential new "Grease: You're the One That I Want"-esque series in which women ages 18 and older with vocal, acting and dancing skills compete for the role of Elle Woods in the Broadway production of the film franchise. Laura Bell Bundy plays said role in the current production, which opened in April and has grossed a little over $30.8 million to date, a performance of which was broadcast on MTV on October 13. Casting calls are set for the coming weeks in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Nashville and Orlando. No production details however have been confirmed.

S.I.S. (Spike TV) - Keith David ("First Sunday") has scored the lead role in the two-hour backdoor pilot, about a five-man elite secretive police unit within the LAPD that tackles major crimes and major criminals. He'll play Assistant Chief Joseph Armstrong who's detailed in the casting notice as: "50's-60's. The head of the S.I.S. unit, Armstrong is a righteous man with a crisp military bearing. A devout Mormon, Armstrong prides himself on believing in men who have lost belief in themselves, and Billy Beckett is his latest "adoptee". Believing that Billy is a great detective who has lost his confidence, Armstrong is willing to buck official disapproval in order to get another great detective on his squad, no matter the price. A tough-minded man who has to stop his determined squad members from using their covert status to execute assassinations, Armstrong is the moral center of the S.I.S. team." Omari Hardwick, Matt Nable, Peter Stebbings and Colleen Porch also star in the project, which comes from Sony Pictures Television and Neal Moritz's Original Film. John Herzfeld will direct the pilot from his own script as well as executive produce alongside Moritz and Vivian Cannon.

A VERY MERRY DAUGHTER OF THE BRIDE (Lifetime, New!) - Luke Perry, JoAnna Garcia, Helen Shaver and Kenneth Welsh are set to star in a Christmas-themed movie at the cable channel. The project, due in December, centers on Roxanne (Garcia), a twentysomething wedding planner who conspires with Charlie (Perry), the son of her mother Rose's (Shaver) new beau Jack (Welsh), to break up their parents' impending nuptials but an unexpected romantic development forces Roxanne to re-examine her feelings. Actor/director Leslie Hope ("24") is helming the project from a script by Scott Eastlick and Nadine Van Der Veld. Chad Oakes and Mike Frislev are producing for Nomadic Pictures.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [january 2008]  

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