LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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90210 (The CW) - Tristan Wilds ("The Wire") and Michael Steger ("The Winner") have joined the cast of the CW's "90210" spin-off. Wilds is playing Dixon Mills, the casting notice of which details him as: "Legal 18 to play 16, any ethnicity. Harry Mills took a shine to Dixon Cook long before he adopted him. Harry couldn't believe this foster kid was one of the smartest, most determined fifth-graders he'd ever seen. Sure, he had some behavioral problems. He'd get in fights weekly. He'd rarely speak unless asked a direct question. Then, when Dixon got busted for trying to steal a case of milk cartons to take home to his little foster siblings, there was some talk of sending him to an "alternative school" - a notorious place run more like a prison than school. Harry held a family meeting and made the decision to adopt Dixon. He's been a member of the family for six years. Though Dixon can still have a chip on his shoulder, his fighting/bad-boyisms seems to be a thing of the past, and the way he's opened up is nothing short of miraculous. Though he's scary-smart, he possesses no nerd trappings. He can both intimidate Annie's dates and correct their homework."
As for Steger, he's set as Navid Shirazi: "Legal 18 to play 17. Navid is of Middle Eastern descent. He holds one of the most coveted positions of power at Beverly Hills High. He's the executive producer of the journalism department's daily ten minute closed-circuit television newscast. (Half the students who work on the show are in it for the popularity boost; half are there for the serious journalism.) Navid is certainly bright, though his unique talent is his ability to make almost anything happen at Beverly Hills High. He's a consummate politician. In his three years at the school, he has charmed the faculty sponsors of nearly every organization, negotiated quid-pro-quo relationships with the major cliques and cultivated a reputation as an insider. Though Navid is friendly with scores of classmates, he learns he hasn't had a true friend until Dixon enrolls in the television class." They join an ensemble which also includes AnnaLynne McCord, Dustin Milligan, Jessica Stroup, Jessica Walter, Lori Loughlin, Ryan Eggold and Shenae Grimes. Gabe Sachs, Jeff Judah and Rob Thomas are the executive producers for CBS Paramount Network Television.
ANCIENT DISCOVERIES (History) - The cable channel is moving forward with a fifth season of the series, which uses CGI, international locations and dramatic storytelling to bring life to the ancient world. Wild Dream Films has secured a $4 million contract to produce the new season, which will consist of 13 one-hour episodes. The company recently opened a new headquarters and state-of-the-art high-definition production capabilities in Cardiff, Wales.
GOOD BEHAVIOR (ABC) - Catherine O'Hara ("For Your Consideration") is in talks to topline the drama pilot, about the matriarch (O'Hara) of a family of criminals who decides that it's time for her brood to go straight after her husband ends up in the clink for five years. She would play said woman, Jackie, in the project, which comes from creator Rob Thomas and director Charles McDougall. ABC Studios is co-producing alongside Larkin-Goldstein Productions and South Pacific Pictures.
PRINCE OF MOTOR CITY (ABC) - Warren Christie ("October Road") and Andie MacDowell ("Beauty Shop") have both joined the cast of the drama pilot, a gothic family soap inspired by William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" set in Detroit's auto industry. Christie will play the title role of Billy Hamilton, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Early-Late 30s, Caucasian, attractive, intelligent, introspective and charismatic ("All the boys want to be him and all the girls want to bed him"). He comes from an extremely wealthy background and teaches "Atheism, Theism and Existentialism" at Harvard. Summoned home to Detroit to attend his estranged father William's funeral, Billy is troubled to learn that, though he was disowned seven years ago when he opted to pursue philosophy instead of going into the family business, his father has left him in charge of the Hamilton Motor Plant, which is relied upon by everyone in Detroit."
MacDowell then is set as his mother Gertrude Hamilton: "Late 40s-60, Caucasian, she is William's ravishingly beautiful widow (the Butler says she "ages in reverse") and Billy's affectionate mother who visits him frequently in Boston. She reminds Billy that he and his father used to be close, especially when they worked on cars together, and she defends Billy to the board members, who are shocked that Hamilton Motors has been left in the care of the young man." They join the previously cast Aunjanue Ellis and Piper Perabo in the hour, which comes from ABC Studios and co-creators Hamish Linklater and Jessica Goldberg.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters