[02/25/08 - 03:24 PM] Development Update: Monday, February 25 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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1% (HBO) - Alan Taylor ("Mad Men") has come aboard to direct Michael Tolkin's drama pilot for the pay channel set in the world of biker gangs. Said hour tells the story of "Misfit," who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "40-45, shaggy haired and maybe he's scrawny and maybe he's a slab of beef, but whatever the package, he's complicated. He's a biker, but don't let that fill you with preconceptions. Yes, he's dangerous (in the right situation), tough, uncompromising and proud, doesn't like to fight, not afraid to bleed, but he's smart, too, even if he tends to learn his lessons a little too late to apply them. By day, he's the mailroom guy for a Silicon Valley software company, and for the rich young techies, he's just a blur. But when he leaves work he gets on his Harley, puts on his jacket, and he's wearing the patch of the toughest motorcycle club in the country, the Death Rangers. And in that world, he's a knight of the realm. Threatened with expulsion from the club for sex with a brother member's Old Lady, (on a technicality) he's given the option to move to Arizona and bring order to the Carefree, Arizona, chapter, the F Troop of the Death Rangers, albeit an F Troop whose officers are all dead or in prison as a result of a meth lab explosion, Misfit proves resourceful, sometimes brutal, and in all ways a leader as he begins to bring the troubled Carefree chapter under control - though the initial respect he commands may be undermined by his instant attraction to Rhonda, the old lady/wife of fellow Death Ranger (and his host) Jacuzzi Dave." Tolkin is also executive producing the hour alongside Guymon Casady and Alex Hertzberg.
DANNY FRICKE (A&E) - Titus Welliver ("Deadwood") and Michael Mosley ("Kidnapped") have both been cast in the drama pilot, about the title character (Connie Nielsen), a detective that's sleeping with her boss who gets a big promotion and clashes with the old-school detectives who work for her. Mosley will play a well-educated cop who is a Mormon while Welliver's character wasn't specified. Cynthia Cidre is behind the Sony Pictures Television-based hour, which she's executive producing alongside Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman of 25C Productions.
DON'T BRING FRANK (A.K.A. SOME MOTHERS DO 'AVE 'EM) (FOX) - Casting has begun on a U.S. version of the 1973-1978 BBC comedy "Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em." The project, which has been dubbed "Don't Bring Frank," centers on Frank Spencer, an over-energetic, under-coordinated guy whose every move precipitates some form of havoc. Phil Stark penned the pilot script and is executive producing alongside Paul Telegdy and Ian Moffitt for Sony Pictures Television and BBC Worldwide Productions.
EX LIFE (A.K.A. EX MEN) (CBS) - Rob Greenberg's comedy pilot, originally slated for last season, has been rolled over to this development season. CBS Paramount Network Television is behind the half-hour, which revolves around Carter Thomas. The show's casting notice further details him as: "Mid-Late 20s. A handsome, charming and funny everyman, he's completely shellshocked when his long-time girlfriend, Sara, jilts him at the altar. Carter moves into a "short-term housing" complex, where single men, much like himself, find strength in numbers. Carter befriends Gil, Frank and Stuart. Carter is delighted when Sara asks for reconciliation, and their postponed wedding is suddenly back on. However, thanks to his new friends, Carter finally realizes just how little he and Sara have in common - but the revelation comes mere moments before he says "I do"." Greenberg is also directing from his own script with Suzy Mamann Greenberg producing.
LIPSTICK JUNGLE (NBC) - The Peacock has commissioned six additional scripts of the midseason entry, which launched earlier this month. While far from a ratings juggernaut, "Jungle" ranks as the top draw among women 18-49 and women 18-34 in the Thursday, 10:00/9:00c hour. "Jungle" will wrap its initial seven-episode run on March 20 to make room for "ER's" return in April.
MY BEST FRIEND'S GIRL (CBS) - "Carpoolers" alum Tim Peper has scored one of the lead roles in the multi-camera comedy, about two male best friends who own a bike shop and whose relationship becomes complicated when one (Peper) starts dating the other's ex-wife. Mike Sikowitz is the creator of the project, which is set up at Sony Pictures Television.
UNTITLED BRENDA HAMPTON PROJECT (ABC Family) - Ron Underwood ("Holiday in Handcuffs") has signed on to direct Brenda Hampton's "Juno"-esque drama for the cable channel. The series revolves around Amy Nicholson, "a Good Girl: she's polite to her parents, dresses like a young lady, and plays the French Horn; she's intelligent, thoughtful and has a pretty good sense of self esteem. Unfortunately, Amy fell for the slick charms of teen seducer Ricky Richardson, lost her virginity during band camp over the summer, and is now pregnant. Aware that her life could be ruined by any or all of the choices facing her, Amy is wholly unsure of her next move, and for the moment is trying to navigate her regular high school routine with a terrible secret," according to the casting notice.
WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB (ABC) - The Alphabet has tapped Robert Nathan ("Law & Order") as the new showrunner of the freshman drama, which has been given the go ahead to produce the three remaining installments of its initial 13-episode order. He'll take over from executive producers Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Fain and R. Scott Gemmill, all of whom were let go earlier this month. "There are no plans to revamp the series dramatically or shift the emphasis in any way," producer 20th Century Fox Television said in a statement. "It remains a procedural focused on the four women leads who partner together to solve crimes." Production on the new episodes is set to begin next month for a potential April return.
ZIP (NBC) - Bernardo De Paula ("Rescue Me") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a guy (Steven Weber) with no money living in Beverly Hills who, with the help of a colorful cast of accomplices, concocts one scheme after another in the hopes of making it big and securing a glamorous lifestyle for his three children. He'll play Hugo Suarez, who detailed via the casting notice as follows: "This nondescript Latino in a cut-rate suit is Trip's affable con-artist partner. He and Trip both work at a cheap men's suit outlet, but they are more focused on planning their latest con than on selling suits." Carlos Lacamara played Hugo in the original 2007 pilot. Marc Abrams, Mark Rizzo and Michael Benson are all behind the Universal Media Studios-based half-hour, which Richard Shepard is directing.