[03/04/08 - 05:43 PM]
Development Update: February 29-March 4
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!

EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS (The CW) - Nick at Nite's purchase of the show's off-network run (read the story) is reportedly valued between $250,000 and $350,000 an episode. CBS Television Distribution will also retain two minutes of ad time per half-hour, driving the pact's total value to $36-54 million depending upon how long "Chris" runs. The four-year deal kicks off in September of 2009, the same start date of its syndicated run on local stations across the country. "Chris" joins recent additions "The George Lopez Show" and "Home Improvement," both of which have been credited with raising Nick at Nite's primetime average by 35% versus a year ago (February 2008 vs. February 2007).

FAMILY GUY (FOX) - Seth MacFarlane, Mike Henry and Rich Appel are looking to create a spin-off around Cleveland Brown, Peter Griffin's levelheaded neighbor. Dubbed "Cleveland," the trio will write and executive produce the potential half-hour with Henry reprising his "Family Guy" role. No other specifics were given about the project, which like "Family Guy" would be based at 20th Century Fox Television.

HOW TO TEACH FILTHY RICH GIRLS (The CW, New!) - Rina Mimoun ("Pushing Daisies") is set to adapt Zoey Dean's book series "How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls" for the small screen. The netlet has reportedly given a pilot order to the project, which centers on a Yale-educated young woman hired to be the live-in tutor/life coach to two rich heiresses in Palm Beach. Warner Bros. Television and Alloy Entertainment are behind the hour, which Mimoun will executive produce alongside Leslie Morgenstein and Bob Levy ("Gossip Girl").

LINCOLN HEIGHTS (ABC Family) - The cable channel is reportedly close to renewing the series for a third season. It's understood the network is eying a 10-to-12 episode order while executive producer Kathleen McGhee-Anderson and the whole cast are expected to return. Production then would start this spring for a premiere later this year.

OUTNUMBERED/SPACED (FOX, New!) - FOX is moving forward with domestic adaptations of the U.K. single-camera comedies "Outnumbered" and "Spaced." The former, which is set up at Media Rights Capital and the U.K.-based Hat Trick, revolves around a family that struggles to raise three kids who happen to be overly intelligent and rambunctious. Larry Levin ("Dr. Dolittle") is penning the U.S. version while Bryan Gordon is on board to direct. Levin then will executive produce alongside MRC's Keith Samples and Hat Trick's Jimmy Mulville. Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin created the original U.K. series. As for "Spaced," the Warner Bros. Television/Granada International-based half-hour received a put pilot commitment shortly before the WGA strike (read the story). Adam Barr ("Will & Grace") is behind the U.S. incarnation, which he's executive producing alongside Robert Green and Wonderland Sound & Vision's McG and Peter Johnson. Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright and Jessica Stevenson created the U.K. original, which revolves around a young man and woman who pose as a couple in order to rent a cheap apartment.

QUARTERLIFE (NBC) - NBC's cable sibling Bravo will air a marathon of all six episodes of the short-lived internet-to-broadcast series on Sunday, March 9 starting at 8:00 a.m. EST. The Peacock was originally set to air the series on Sunday nights at 9:00/8:00c however disastrous numbers for its February 26 premiere (1.3 rating/4 share in adults 18-49 and 3.1 million viewers overall) led the network to pull the plug after said installment.

SINGLE WHITE MILLIONAIRE (CBS, New!) - Ricky Blitt ("The Winner") has snagged a cast-contingent pilot order from the Eye for a new comedy about an unassuming millionaire in his thirties who is ready to settle down. The multi-camera project, which Blitt penned on spec, is set up at Warner Bros. Television. No other details were released.

UNTITLED HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL PROJECT (ABC, New!) - The Alphabet is developing a new "High School Musical"-themed reality competition series in which aspiring performers compete for the chance to study at a music conservatory to hone their skills. The untitled project, which is being targeted for the summer, would then feature a weekly performance/elimination with the winner going home with an unspecified prize. It's not clear how the series will tie into the Disney Channel phenomenon but appearances by the franchise's stars is said to be likely. The deal however has yet to be finalized as the network is still in discussions with a production company to handle the show. Industry publications also speculate ABC will repurpose the series for the Disney Channel however nothing has been confirmed.

UNTITLED NICK THUNE PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Actor/comedian Nick Thune ("Rob & Big") has sold a pilot script to the Alphabet about an aimless guy, to be played by Thune, who finds himself lost between childhood and adulthood after his girlfriend dumps him and his best friend gets married. The project, which he'll co-write alongside Bob Fisher ("Wedding Crashers") and helmer Ruben Fleischer, is set up at ABC Studios. The trio then will executive produce alongside 3 Arts Entertainment's Dave Becky, Michael Rotenberg and Tom Lassally and DreamWorks Television's Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2008]  


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