[03/18/08 - 05:44 PM]
Development Update: Tuesday, March 18
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!

12 MILES OF BAD ROAD (HBO) - The pay channel has opted not to move forward with the dramedy, which stars Lily Tomlin as the matriarch of a wealthy Texas family whose real estate business and absurd wealth complicate the simplest family matters. Only six of the 10 episodes ordered by the network were completed before the WGA strike. It's understood executive producers Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and Harry Thomason have been quietly shopping the produced installments to other several other networks, including TNT (which subsequently passed) and Lifetime. Industry insiders suggest the network ultimately felt the show's creative vision wasn't right for the channel. HBO Entertainment and Mozark Productions co-produced the series, which also stars Gary Cole, Mary Kay Place, Katherine LaNasa, Kim Dickens, Eliza Coupe, Leslie Jordan, Ivana Milicevic, David Andrews, Sean Bridgers, Texas Battle and Cameron Richardson.

EXIT 19 (CBS, New!) - Geena Davis ("Commander-in-Chief") is set to topline a new potential drama at the Eye about a quirky homicide detective on the mean streets of Manhattan who also is a single mom to two kids in the suburbs on Long Island. Jeffrey Bell ("Day Break") is behind the project, which is set up at ABC Studios and CBS Paramount Network Television. The network has ordered a pilot presentation of the series, which Bell wrote based on an original script by Michael Nankin. He'll also executive produce alongside former ABC Studios-based producers Gene Stein and Nina Wass. Davis herself will also receive a co-executive producer credit.

THE INN (A.K.A. UNTITLED ABRAHAM HIGGINBOTHAM PROJECT) (FOX) - Abraham Higginbotham's multi-camera comedy has been given the go ahead to produce a pilot. The project, which stars Niecy Nash ("Reno 911"), revolves around the help at a hip New York hotel. 20th Century Fox Television is co-producing the half-hour alongside Reveille and Principato-Young Entertainment. Higginbotham, Peter Principato, Paul Young and Brian Dobbins then are the executive producers. FOX originally gave the project a put pilot commitment late last year.

MYTHOLOGICAL X (CBS) - Timothy Busfield ("Lipstick Jungle") has signed on to direct the drama pilot, about a woman who, after learning from a psychic that she already has dated the man she's supposed to marry, revisits all her past relationships. He'll work from a script by Diane Ruggiero. The project, which is based on an Israeli format, is set up at 20th Century Fox Television. Ruggiero and Jonathan Levin are the executive producers.

REVOLUTION (Sci Fi) - David Smith is the apparently the first to be cast on the two-hour drama pilot, about the simmering unrest among the colonists at a 22nd century Earth outpost. He'll play one of the revolutionaries. In addition, Michael Rhymer ("Battlestar Galactica") has apparently come aboard to direct the pilot, where he'll take over for Simon West. West still serves as an executive producer alongside co-creators Ed Redlich and John Bellucci. West's producing partner Jib Polhemus also serves as a co-executive producer.

SPACED (FOX) - Feature helmer Charles Stone ("Drumline") is set to direct the comedy pilot, which is based on a British import about two strangers (one played by Josh Lawson) who pose as a married couple in order to rent an apartment. Adam Barr is behind the single-camera half-hour, which comes from Granada International, Warner Bros. Television and Wonderland Sound and Vision. Serving as executive producers alongside Barr then are McG, Peter Johnson and Robert Green.

TOWER (CBS) - Oscar winner Davis Guggenheim ("An Inconvenient Truth") has been tapped to direct and executive produce the drama pilot, about a group of Chicago reporters who treat breaking news as cases to solve. Meredith Stiehm created the project, which is set up at CBS Paramount Network Television.

WORST WEEK (CBS) - Kurtwood Smith ("That '70s Show") and Nancy Lenehan ("The New Adventures of Old Christine") have booked the final principal roles on the comedy pilot, about a young couple (Kyle Bornheimer, Erinn Hayes) who must navigate the politics of their soon-to-be in-laws (Smith, Lenehan) during a family holiday. Smith's casting is in second position to his duties on the NBC drama pilot "Play or Be Played." His character, Dick Cook, is further detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Mid-Late 50s. A fit, handsome, very serious man. He's a prominent judge who is predisposed to disapprove of the blundering Sam. Stern and no-nonsense, Dick is ready to give Sam another chance - but when Sam shows up hours late for dinner in the wee hours, clad only in a plastic garbage bag, Dick begins to seriously question whether Sam is worthy of his daughter. In fact, he would call Sam a horse's ass - but that's not fair to horses or asses. And, to Dick's increasing dismay, Sam's high-jinks are just beginning." Lenehan then is set as Angela Cook: "Mid 50s. mother. She's a naturally attractive woman who is aging very well and perhaps because she's well-preserved by a steady stream of alcohol. She's a bit fluffier and less judgmental than her stern husband - but when Sam shows up at the house at 2 a.m. clad only in a garbage bag, Angela's boozy good humor is sorely tried." Marc Buckland is directing the Hat Trick Productions/Universal Media Studios-based project from a script by Matt Tarses.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2008]  

· EXIT 19 (CBS)

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