[06/26/08 - 05:04 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, June 26
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!

DAMAGES (FX) - Timothy Olyphant ("Deadwood") is the latest addition to the show's second season cast. He'll play a man who becomes entangled in the life of Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) as she deals with her boss, Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), when the firm takes a new client (William Hurt). No other specifics about his character were released.

PRINCE OF MOTOR CITY (ABC) - Daniel Zacapa, Aidan Quinn and Rutger Hauer have all landed roles on the drama pilot, a gothic family soap inspired by "Hamlet" that centers on Billy Hamilton (Warren Christie), a young Harvard philosophy professor forced to return to Detroit to take over the family's auto company after his father's death. Hauer will play the recurring role of Billy's late father, William Hamilton, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Late 50s-70, Caucasian, he is Billy's uber wealthy, powerful late father (known as "the John Wayne of the auto industry") who died in an accident at the old East Foundry Factory. When he was alive, he ran the Hamilton Motor Plant in Detroit, and was directly responsible for the livelihood of 50,000 of people. Though Billy remembers him as difficult and cold, William was apparently supporting the dreams and aspirations of many of his workers, including Marty Korman, by sending their kids to schools they could never otherwise afford."

Quinn then is set as Charlie Hamilton - "Late 40s-50s, Caucasian, classically handsome, he is William's overshadowed younger brother who has worked for Hamilton Motors without complaint for many years. He and William weren't exactly close, but Charlie gets along well with William's estranged son, Billy, who always looked up to him. Charlie, who has plans to make Hamilton more eco-friendly, considers the company and factory workers to all be family, and it's this inclusive attitude that causes Billy to appoint Charlie as the head of Hamilton Motors." - with Zacapa as Marty Korman (also recurring) - "Late 40s-50s, a factory worker who is warm and very blue collar and suffers from high cholesterol, he is Josh's father who lets Billy crash at his house when he's in town for his father's funeral. Marty reveals that despite his "Iron Fist" reputation, Billy's father William was extraordinarily generous, and the person responsible for Josh's law school education." Andie MacDowell, Aunjanue Ellis, Benny Ciaramello, John Carroll Lynch and Piper Perabo also star in the ABC Studios-based hour, which also features Morris Chestnut and Sharon Lawrence. Jack Bender is directing from a script by co-creators Hamish Linklater and Jessica Goldberg.

PUSHING DAISIES (ABC) - Barry Sonnenfeld has inked a new one-year deal with Sony Pictures Television. The pact calls for Sonnenfeld to develop new scripted projects for the studio. In addition, Sony will be given access to all of Sonnenfeld's unscripted development on a first-look basis as well as be given first position for any of his directing duties. He'll also remain attached to helm the studio-based pilot "The Kingdom," which is still looking for a network home. Said deal won't affect his duties on the Warner Bros. Television-based "Daisies" where he remains an executive producer and his helming commitment to the HBO pilot "Suburban Shootout."

THE STARTER WIFE (USA) - Hart Bochner and Brielle Barbusca have joined the cast of the Debra Messing-led series while Alia Shawkat, Krista Allen, Ronny Cox, James Black, Reggie Austin and Daniel Gerroll have all landed recurring roles. Bochner will play Zach (formerly known as Lanny), whom the casting notice describes as follows: "42-52. A handsome man who sports the writers' uniform of jeans, sneakers, t-shirt and blazer. He leads a workshop for very serious writers but likes his blonde bimbos like every other separated man. If Molly weren't so appropriate for him "he'd be all over her." He keeps her off-balance - does he like her for her body or her writing?" Barbusca then is set as Jaden Kagan, the daughter of Messing's character - "7 and cognitive. She is Kenny and Molly's daughter, a sweet little girl who's growing up among the off-spring of Hollywood's elite. She pesters her mom for an iPhone (because all her friends have one) and later is heard telling her friend how to barter for better lunches." Bethany Whitmore played said role in the original limited series.

As for the other roles, Austin is playing Devon, the husband of Danielle Nicolet's character: "Early 30's. Handsome, fit, spiritual and somewhat superstitious African-American shortstop for the L.A. Dodgers. Like his high school sweetheart/wife, Chantal, Devon grew up poor in the Bronx. Recently drafted to the Dodgers from the Yankees for an ungodly salary, Devon is obsessed with his game, which seems to suffer whenever Chantal is in the stands. The wealth and perks are beside the point for him. Ultimately he is willing to move out of the house to get away from his wife to protect his game." Next up is Gerroll as David Shea: "Early 50s. Famous British movie director who makes his home in California. A Ladies' Man and a Guy's Guy, charming, attractive, witty and an absolute wreck of an abusive anti-Semitic chauvinist pig when arrested for drunk driving. He winds up in rehab and having an affair with Joan." Details about the other actors' roles weren't released. They all join returning cast members Judy Davis, Chris Diamantopoulos and special guest star Joe Mantegna.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [june 2008]  


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