[03/14/08 - 08:02 PM] Development Update: March 13-14 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!
1% (HBO) - Lucy Punch ("The Class") and Timm Sharp ("'Til Death") are the first to be cast on the drama pilot, about one of the toughest motorcycle clubs in the country, the Death Rangers. The former is playing Candace, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Late 20s-Early 30s, suffering from mental illness but sweet and appealing when she's on her meds. Candace is Sailor's old lady, and she is secure in his love and protection. Well-known to the other Death Rangers, who are like family, Candace is open about her problem and takes no offense when another Ranger, like LH, refers to it." Sharp then is set as Scratch: "Early 30s, a Death Ranger in the Carefree, Arizona, chapter, skinny from a childhood of hunger as much as from speed today, not the brightest, Scratch narrowly misses death during the meth explosion that claims the lives of three chapter leaders (and one member's old lady). Loyal, rough, Scratch is initially hostile towards Misfit's arrival to take over the leadership of the club, but like all good Death Rangers he ultimately recognizes the authority of a tried and true member under the law of the club. Scratch is a roofer by trade, and he winds up getting Misfit a job on his latest construction project--until the local Sheriff kicks him off." Alan Taylor is directing the hour from a script by Michael Tolkin. Alex Hertzberg and Guymon Casady also serve as executive producers alongside Tolkin.
90210 (The CW, New!) - The netlet is developing a contemporary spin-off of FOX's signature soap from the 1990s. "Veronica Mars" creator Rob Thomas reportedly is in talks to shepherd the project, which will be based at CBS Paramount Network Television, the studio which absorbed Spelling Television two years ago. No details were given about the potential series, a pilot for which could be ordered by month's end. As for Thomas, any resulting series would be in second position to his duties on his ABC revival of "Cupid."
BOLDLY GOING NOWHERE (FOX, New!) - "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" co-creators Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton have inked a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The pact includes a production greenlight on "Boldly Going Nowhere," a single-camera comedy for FOX set in the future about the mundane world of a spaceship captain when he's not on a mission. In addition, the network has commissioned five additional scripts beyond the pilot. Filming however won't begin until October when work is completed on "Sunny's" upcoming 13-episode fourth season for FX. Adam Stein, a writers' assistant on "Sunny," actually created "Nowhere," which McElhenney, Day and Howerton will executive produce via their self-titled RCG banner alongside 3 Arts Entertainment's Michael Rotenberg and Nick Frenkel.
COURTROOM K (FOX, New!) - "House" executive producer Paul Attanasio has landed a pilot commitment from FOX for a new drama set in a Milwaukee Superior Court and revolves around a judge, a prosecutor and a public defender. Attanasio, whose brother Mark owns the Milwaukee Brewers, penned the pilot on spec and outside his and partner Katie Jacobs' overall deal with Fox Broadcasting. He'll also executive produce the hour for 20th Century Fox Television.
CUPID (ABC) - The Alphabet has given a cast-contingent pilot order to Rob Thomas's updated take of his short-lived 1998-99 dramedy about a man who thinks he's a god sent to Earth by Zeus to unite 100 romantically challenged couples. ABC Studios and the original series' producer Sony Pictures Television are behind the project, which Thomas wrote and is executive producing.
I CAN DO THAT (NBC, New!) - A new series in which contestants take on difficult physical and mental challenges during a 50-day road trip around America has emerged as the first potential project from Original Productions/BermanBraun's landmark multi-series commitment from the Peacock (read the story). Casting is underway in Los Angeles, Boston, Austin, Denver and Tampa for the series, the winner of which will receive an undisclosed cash prize. Said pact called for Thom Beers, Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun to develop as many as six new projects for NBC, at least three of which are guaranteed a spot on the schedule. In other words, "That" is still technically considered "in development."
MIKE BIRBIGLIA'S SECRET PUBLIC JOURNAL (CBS, New!) - Comedian Mike Birbiglia has landed a pilot commitment from the Eye for a new comedy based on his popular "Secret Public Journal" video blogs. Comedy Central originally developed "Journal" during the 2005-06 season (read the story) where it subsequently turned up on comedycentral.com (read the story) and its late-night "Web Shows" offering (read the story) in early 2007. Another incarnation was in the works at NBC (read the story) during the 2006-07 season with Andrew Secunda co-penning the script and Roundtable Ink's Grant Scharbo and Gina Matthews executive producing for NBC Universal Television.
The CBS effort then likewise will revolve around
Birbiglia's life as a stand-up comedian who lives with his girlfriend in Brooklyn and struggles in his efforts to be a grown up, have a relationship, and do the right things. Secunda is still attached to co-write the pilot script to the project, which is now set up at CBS Paramount Network Television.
UGLY BETTY (ABC) - Joel Fields ("Dirt") has been tapped as an executive producer on the series, which returns with the first of five new episodes on April 24. The addition of Fields is designed to fill the void left by Marco Pennette and James Hayman, both of whom exited the series last month. Fields then will serve alongside creator Silvio Horta and fellow executive producers Salma Hayek and Jose Tamez.
UNTITLED CHRISTIAN SLATER/JASON SMILOVIC PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Actor Christian Slater and producer Jason Smilovic ("Bionic Woman") are set to team for a potential new drama about a mild-mannered suburban dad (Slater) who learns that his alter ego is a spy. It's understood NBC is looking to order the project directly to series, much like the rest of its development slate. Universal Media Studios then is behind the hour, where Smilovic will write the pilot and executive produce. Slater had previously been attached to the similarly-based "Dirty Little Secrets," which apparently will not move forward.