[05/16/08 - 06:24 PM]
Development Update: Friday, May 16
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!

90210 (The CW) - Rob Estes ("Women's Murder Club") has joined the cast of the "90210" revival, about the Mills, a three-generation Beverly Hills family. He'll play said clan's patriarch, Harrison "Harry" Mills, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Late 30s-Early 40s. He's a graduate of Beverly Hills High. He went "back East" for college and has never looked back. He was proud to escape what he perceived as the shallow culture of his upbringing. His viewed his mother's wealth and fame as obstacles to be overcome rather than qualities to be embraced. He has a real do-gooder gene. He met his wife in Africa during his stint in the Peace Corp. He began his career in education in the Teach For America program. (College grads can teach without a certificate in poor/needy school districts.) He has become a rising star in educational circles, managing to turn around a notorious East St. Louis high school into a model school of high achievement. Returning to Beverly Hills was not his ambition; it's simply the hand he's been dealt. He's a loving dad, though his children often find they have to share him with his thousand other "kids." Sometimes his children wish he'd be less of a pal and more of normal dad. Still, they recognize they're in the "lucky" category." Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah are behind the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour. Production on the series is set to begin next month.

DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER (A&E) - The cable channel has confirmed the one-time signature series will rejoin the network's lineup on Wednesday, June 25. Said installments will initially be repeats with first-run episodes coming a few weeks later. A&E pulled the series back in October following the release of a tape featuring series star Duane "Dog" Chapman using a racial slur in a profanity-laced tirade about his son's girlfriend, who is black. The network has a handful of episodes yet to air from the show's fourth season while production is underway on its fifth go around.

MAIL ORDER BRIDE (Hallmark) - Daphne Zuniga ("One Tree Hill") and Greg Evigan ("Journey to the Center of the Earth") have both signed onto the original movie, about a woman (Zuniga) whose friend dies before coming out West to be a mail-order bride. Evigan then will play the mobster who "owns her and involves her in illegal activities she no longer wants to be a part of," according to the network's press release. Blueprint Entertainment is behind the project, which Anne Wheeler is directing from a script by Tippi and Neal Dobrofsky. Sunta Izzicupo and Dori Weiss are the executive producers. Production is underway in Vancouver for a November premiere on the cable channel.

ROMAN'S EMPIRE (ABC) - Comedian Nick Thune is the first to join the cast of the comedy pilot, about a lovable guy who can't extricate himself from his ex-girlfriend's wealthy family and her outrageous father. He'll play Leo Park, said lovable guy, in the project, which comes from creator Alan J. Higgins and co-producers CBS Paramount Network Television, Katalyst Films and Tiger Aspect Productions. Marc Buckland is directing.

THE STARTER WIFE (USA) - Danielle Nicolet ("Heartland") has joined the cast of the upcoming series, a follow-up to last year's Debra Messing-led mini-series of the same name. She'll play Chantal, a newcomer to the group, who's described in the casting notice as follows: "Early 30s. Chic, whip-smart, and humorous African-American woman, born and raised on the wrong side of the tracks in the Bronx. A streetsmart woman with tons of money, new to L.A. with husband Devon, new star Dodger shortstop. Chantal, a stay-at-home-mom, is deeply devoted to her family, but in a hip, inspiring, and nouveau-riche kind of way. Chantal has no problem standing up for herself or others, especially if she senses any sort of injustice. Her greatest weakness is her unfounded jealousy regarding her husband, who's been faithful to her since they were high school sweethearts. After a rocky start, she and Molly become close friends and Chantal becomes the new member of the "coven" with Joan and Rodney." Chris Diamantopoulos, David Alan Basche and Judy Davis also star in the project, which rolls out in October.

SUBURBAN SHOOTOUT (HBO) - Kelly Preston ("Medium") is the latest addition to the pilot, a dark comedy about a woman who escapes the city for suburban bliss only to find herself caught between two rival gangs of homicidal housewives vying for control of the town. She'll play Camilla, the formidable leader of one of the gangs, in the project, which also stars Kerri Kenney and Rachael Harris. Barry Sonnenfeld is directing from a script by Michelle Ashford.

UNTITLED VICTOR FRESCO PROJECT (ABC) - Mike Fresco ("My Name Is Earl"), brother of creator Victor Fresco, has been tapped to helm the single-camera comedy pilot, about a moral guy trying to do right in an amoral world. Andrea Anders and Portia de Rossi star in the half-hour, which is based at 20th Century Fox Television.

THE UNUSUALS (ABC) - Adam Goldberg ("Entourage") has joined the ensemble cast of the pilot, an offbeat dramedy set at a New York police precinct. He'll play Delahoy, a detective nursing a brain tumor and trying to die a noble death in the line of duty. Monique Gabriela also stars in the project, which comes from creator Noah Hawley and Sony Pictures Television. Stephen Hopkins is directing.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [may 2008]  

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