[06/20/08 - 05:57 PM]
Development Update: Friday, June 20
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 LOVE (HBO) - Newcomer Mark L. Young has booked an arc on the show's upcoming third season. He'll play a troubled kid who gets thrown out of the Juniper Creek compound for kissing a girl earmarked for an elder. No other specifics were released.

DEXTER (Showtime) - Valerie Cruz ("The Dresden Files") is set to play the wife of Jimmy Smits's character on the new season of the Showtime series. Smits plays Miguel Prado, "an ambitious, charismatic assistant district attorney who comes from one of Miami's most politically powerful and beloved families." It's not clear how many episodes Cruz will appear in.

DROP DEAD DIVA (Lifetime) - Newcomer Brooke Elliott have been tapped for the lead role on the drama pilot, about a vapid wannabe model who suddenly dies and finds her soul entering the body of a brilliant, overweight attorney. In addition, Storyline Entertainment's Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have signed on as executive producers of the Sony Pictures Television-based project, while James Hayman ("Ugly Betty") has been tapped to direct. Josh Berman penned the script, which was originally set up at FOX last year, and is executive producing.

EUREKA (Sci Fi) - Ever Carradine ("Women's Murder Club") has landed a four-episode arc on the upcoming season of the Sci Fi Channel original. She'll play Lexi, the free-spirited sister of Colin Ferguson's character. It's not clear when her first episode will air.

GOSSIP GIRL (The CW) - John Stephens ("The O.C.") has inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with Warner Bros. Television. The pact calls for the writer/producer to serve as an executive producer on the netlet's much-ballyhooed drama as well as develop new series projects for the studio.

IN TREATMENT (HBO) - The pay channel has commissioned a second season of its serial drama, about the life and patients of psychotherapist Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne). Byrne, Dianne Wiest as well as executive producers Rodrigo Garcia, Stephen Levinson, Mark Wahlberg and Hagai Levi are all returning for the new season, production of which will shift to New York where Byrne is based. Paul's patients from season one however will not be returning outside of potentially a few guest appearances. The producers, including incoming showrunner Warren Leight, will instead showcase a new stable of patients. It's believed 35 new half-hours will be completed for a fall 2009 launch however it's not clear if episodes will be stripped Monday through Friday as they did during season one. "Treatment's" renewal had been expected following Leight's hiring however HBO didn't reach a deal with Byrne for a second season until this week.

INSEPARABLE (FOX) - "Viva Laughlin" star Lloyd Owen has scored the lead role on the drama pilot, a modern-day Jekyll-and-Hyde tale about a partially paralyzed forensic psychiatrist (Owen) with a split personality whose alter ego is a charismatic criminal. Said roles of Justin Lambreaux and Clyde are detailed in the show's casting notice as follows: "30-45, Justin Lambreaux is a partially paralyzed homicide detective with the San Francisco police department. Shot by an unknown assailant two years ago, he has recently returned to work, bound by a wheelchair and a deep sense of loss - for his former self, for the wife that left him, and for the daughter that his ex is currently trying to take away. Lambreaux is brilliant, intense, sarcastic, and remarkably empathetic. He is also a man literally engaged in a battle with himself. For Lambreaux has an alter ego - a flip, cocky, rockstar handsome criminal by the name of Clyde. Clyde is everything Lambreaux (and most of us) wish we could be if we were completely untethered from the conventional rules of behavior and morality. Unburdened by conscience (and any physical limitations), Clyde is a visceral creature of the street who will say and do whatever he wants, with whomever he wants, all in an ironically self-aware effort to �protect� Lambreaux from harm. Of course, in protecting Lambreaux, Clyde is also protecting himself -- and whether his ultimate goal is to swallow Lambreaux whole is anyone's guess." Owen's casting lifts said contingency off the ABC Studios-based pilot's production, where he replaces Toby Stephens, whose deal expired during the WGA strike. Shaun Cassidy penned the hour and is executive producing.

MATCH GAME (TBS) - Andrew Daly ("Semi-Pro") has been named the host of the cable network's revival of the classic game show. Also signing on as panelists are Sarah Silverman, Norm MacDonald, Bob Einstein, Scott Thompson, Rashida Jones and Niecy Nash. Production on the pilot is set to be completed this week in Los Angeles with "SNL" alum Robert Smigel executive producing for FremantleMedia North America. Gene Rayburn hosted the beloved '70s incarnation, which tweaked the fill-in-the-blank questions to allow for double-entendre humor.

THE NANNY DIARIES (Lifetime, New!) - Harvey and Bob Weinstein's The Weinstein Company is developing a small screen take on the book turned Scarlett Johansson-led film at Lifetime. The project, which is being eyed as a multi-camera show, is currently looking for a writer. A previous incarnation was set up at CBS. The news marks the latest push by the company's David Spiegelman/John Miller-led TV arm, which includes "Project Runway" as well as upcoming efforts "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" for HBO and "Models of the Runway" and "Project Pygmalion" at Lifetime (the latter with Ricochet Television).

UNTITLED LISA LAMPANELLI PROJECT (HBO, New!) - Comedian Lisa Lampanelli is set to star in and executive produce a potential new half-hour comedy for the pay channel about a woman who unexpectedly becomes the owner of an L.A. comedy club and is forced to play a maternal role in the dysfunctional lives of the club's clutch of resident comics. Fellow comedian Jim Carrey is behind the project, which he's co-creating and executive producing alongside writer Kario Salem ("The Rat Pack," "Don King: Only in America").

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [june 2008]  


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