[03/17/08 - 05:41 PM]
Development Update: Monday, March 17
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!

BIG BROTHER (CBS) - The Eye has commissioned a 10th edition of its reality franchise to roll out this summer. The news comes despite a downtick in its numbers - its winter edition has averaged a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating, well shy of its most-recent summer editions (2.8 rating in 2007, 2.8 rating in 2006 and 2.9 rating in 2005). Nevertheless look for the new season in July while its current incarnation is tentatively scheduled to wrap on April 29.

HOPKINS 24/7 (ABC) - ABC News is set to revisit Johns Hopkins Hospital, the site of its 2000 series "Hopkins 24/7." The six-week series will debut this summer, likely in the Thursday, 10:00/9:00c hour starting June 26. As for specifics, the sequel reportedly will focus on six of the Baltimore teaching hospital's residents and the financial and personal toll their training takes on them. Terence Wrong and Rudy Bednar are executive producing the project, which was filmed over four months last spring.

LAST OF THE NINTH (HBO) - Carl Franklin ("The Riches") has signed on to direct the drama pilot, about a young detective just back from the Vietnam War in 1972 and his mentor relationship with an older detective. He'll work from a script by co-creators and executive producers David Milch and Bill Clark.

STARTING UNDER (FOX) - Ken Davitian ("Borat") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, which stars Bernie Mac as a recently divorced man who moves in with his son and goes to work for him. Davitian will play Ken, a fortysomething co-worker who bonds with Mac's character. Bruce Helford is behind the project, which is set up at Warner Bros. Television.

UNTITLED EDIE FALCO PROJECT (Showtime) - Allen Coulter ("Damages") has come aboard to helm the comedy pilot, about an independent-minded nurse (Edie Falco) who fights bureaucracy and inefficiency in the contemporary health-care system. Linda Wallem and Liz Brixius co-wrote the script to the project and are executive producing alongside Evan Dunsky and Caryn Mandabach for Lionsgate Television. Coulter, who just wrapped production on the FX drama pilot "Sons of Anarchy," is no stranger to working with Falco, having directed 12 episodes of her run on HBO's "The Sopranos."

WIZARD'S FIRST RULE (Syndication) - Sam Raimi's upcoming syndicated series is now a go on local stations covering 84% of the country including the top 50 markets. Production is set to begin on 22 episodes of the series, based on the "Sword of Truth" books by Terry Goodkind, in May. Said hour revolves around Richard Cypher, a young man who makes his living leading people through dangerous forests who during the investigation of his father's murder finds himself opposing Darken Rahl, the son of an evil wizard. Disney-ABC Domestic Television is distributing the series, which is being produced by ABC Studios. Casting is currently underway.

WRECKING BALL (The CW, New!) - The netlet has greenlight production on a new "Erin Brockovich"-esque drama pilot from Richard Hatem ("Miracles") about a scandal-plagued heir to a political dynasty who's convinced by his working-class campaign aide to open a law firm devoted to helping out seemingly lost causes. The pilot then revolves around the feisty pair as they assist a cancer patient fighting the medical establishment. The project is set up at Fox Television Studios with Hatem penning the script and executive producing alongside Ross Fineman. The latter has an overall deal with the studio.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2008]  

· HOPKINS 24/7 (ABC)

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