[05/15/08 - 10:51 AM]
The Futon's Upfront Notes: FOX's Midseason Pilot Descriptions
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- FOX has released synopses of four of its pilots under consideration for midseason. They are as follows:

Of note are some previously unannounced cast additions: Alfred Molina, Noureen DeWulf, Diana Maria Riva and Michael Landes on "Courtroom K" and Aidan Potter, Ridge Canipe, Alina Foley and Beth Dover on "Outnumbered."

Also on tap are "Boldly Going Nowhere," "Inseparable," "Virtuality" and (one assumes) the long-in-the-works "Queen B" however no official descriptions were released. (Click on the links to the right for more information.)

Five other pilots - "Night Life," "The Oaks," "The Pitts" (as a pair of table reads), "Spaced" and "Starting Under" - were filmed prior to the network's upfront and presumably passed on.


PRODUCTION COMPANIES: 20th Century Fox Television, Heel & Toe Films

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Paul Attanasio, Joe Russo, Anthony Russo

CAST: Alfred Molina as Judge Harold Robar, Noureen DeWulf as Rose Marie Cheeks, Megan Dodds as Marijane Diehl, Diana Maria Riva as Ortha Schunk, Michael Landes as D.A. Kent Pucker, Jonathan Sadowski as Daniel June

From executive producer Paul Attanasio (HOUSE, "Homicide: Life on the Street") comes COURTROOM K, a darkly comedic look at the life of a courthouse in a Midwestern city. An American courtroom is the last bastion of absolute feudal power, and upon this throne sits dictatorial JUDGE HAROLD ROBAR (Alfred Molina, "Spider- Man 2," "The Da Vinci Code"), a former trial lawyer who is completely convinced he can do both the prosecutor's and the defense lawyer's jobs better than either can do it themselves. Gruff, sarcastic and lovable JUDGE ROBAR does not suffer fools gladly, but he will gladly make fools suffer. COURTROOM K centers on a group of public servants who cope daily with the basic fact that no one gets in legal trouble for a smart reason. This cast of characters includes District Attorney KENT PUCKER (Michael Landes, "Final Destination 2"), a self-deluded Midwestern booster with a joyful disregard for his own insensitivity; Public Defender MARIJANE DIEHL (Megan Dodds, "Not Going Out"), whose grace under pressure is tested by the insanity of the system; and Diehl's boss, DANIEL JUNE (Jonathan Sadowski, TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES), a clever, boyish bureaucrat 10 years younger than her. Filling out this family are court reporter ROSE MARIE CHEEKS (Noureen DeWulf, "Ocean's Thirteen") and ORTHA SCHUNK (Diana Maria Riva, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"), Judge Robar's court clerk who knows him so well, she could be considered his "work wife." From 20th Century Fox Television and Heel & Toe Films, COURTROOM K is executive-produced by Paul Attanasio and Joe and Anthony Russo ("Arrested Development").

HOLE IN THE WALL (working title)

PRODUCTION COMPANY:FremantleMedia North America

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Stuart Krasnow

Speed, agility and a sense of humor are essential tools for HOLE IN THE WALL, a game show based on the popular Japanese format where two teams face various barrier walls speeding toward them with weird and wacky cut-out shapes. Team members must contort their bodies to fit through these cut-outs or they will be swept away into a pool below. As players struggle to strike a pose, points (and dignity) can be easily lost with a simple miscalculation. As the game progresses, the pace quickens, the walls close in on the players and the difficulty increases. Teamwork, coordination and quick-thinking play crucial roles as each team strives to stay dry and score points. Described as one of the trickiest, fastest, funniest and wettest half-hours on the planet, HOLE IN THE WALL consistently ranks as the No. 1 show in Japan and has received over 5 million hits online. Versions of the show are produced in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia and Sweden. HOLE IN THE WALL is produced by FremantleMedia North America. Cecile Frot-Coutaz and Stuart Krasnow serve as executive producers.

LIE TO ME (working title)

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Imagine Television, 20th Century Fox Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Brian Grazer, David Nevins, Samuel Baum

WRITER: Samuel Baum

CAST: Monica Raymund as Torres

From writer Samuel Baum ("The Evidence") and the executive producers of 24 and "Arrested Development" comes LIE TO ME, a drama series inspired by a true story about a deception expert who can read the human face, body and voice to expose the truth in criminal cases and investigations. When you itch your chin, wring your hands, scratch your nose or increase your swallowing, DR. CAL LEIGHTMAN knows you're lying. And he doesn't just think so � he knows so. Whether it be family, friends or complete strangers � he knows when they're holding something back. More accurate than any polygraph test, he is a human lie detector. Dr. Cal Leightman heads up a private agency contracted by the FBI, local police, law firms, corporations and private individuals when they've hit a roadblock on their searches for the truth. Joining him are the foremost experts in the field of behavioral psychology: DR. GILLIAN FOSTER is the doctor's professional partner and intellectual counterpart, a master of deception equally comfortable with lying and concealing her emotions; the other is Dr. Leightman's lead researcher WILL LOKER who says everything on his mind and seemingly lacks the ability to lie. RIA TORRES (Monica Raymund), the newest member of the team, uses her natural and uncanny ability to read body language to catch the clues that her professional partners miss. Brian Grazer, David Nevins and Samuel Baum serve as executive producers in conjunction with 20th Century Fox Television on this intriguing series based on the science developed by pioneering behavioral psychologists. In its cases and in its character relationships, this unique procedural and character drama is not simply a search for a criminal, but a search for human truth. LIE TO ME probes the very heart of human nature and explores the idea that there's nothing more revealing than when we choose to tell the truth and when we decide to lie.

OUTNUMBERED (working title)

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Media Rights Capital, Hat Trick Productions


DIRECTOR: Bryan Gordon

CAST: Ken Marino as Greg, Brooke Bloom as Jenna, Aidan Potter as Jack, Alina Foley as Lily, Ridge Canipe as Kyle, Beth Dover as Tanya, Bill English as Eddie

OUTNUMBERED takes a fresh and hilarious approach to the staid family sitcom. The show offers "Curb Your Enthusiasm"-style improvised dialogue with a "Malcolm in the Middle"-like premise about the triumphs and travails of parenting. The adult actors are scripted, while the children's dialogue is improvised and off-the-cuff. No one ever said parenting was easy. You make the rules up as you go, and some days dealing with your bundles of joy leaves you at your wits' end. For GREG (Ken Marino, "Veronica Mars") and JENNA EMBRY (Brooke Bloom, "CSI: Miami"), whose 6-year-old LILY (Alina Foley, "Days of Our Lives") has the diva act down pat, 7-year-old JACK (Aidan Potter, "Opposite Day") lies with the dexterity of a con-artist and pre-teen KYLE (Ridge Canipe, "Walk The Line") is...well, a pre-teen, it's three against two and they're OUTNUMBERED. Rounding out the madness in Greg and Jenna's lives are TANYA (Beth Dover, "Criminal Minds"), Jenna's slightly off-balance spiritual-healing sister, and EDDIE (Bill English, "Cavemen"), Greg's wheeling-and-dealing, fasttalking salesman brother. These two end up being more of a liability than an asset to the family. Based on the hit British series, OUTNUMBERED is written and executive-produced by Larry Levin ("Dr. Doolittle").

  [may 2008]  


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