LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5TH GRADER? (FOX) - Jeff Foxworthy has signed on to host the planned syndicated version of the series from Twentieth Television and Mark Burnett Productions. Targeted for a fall 2009 launch, said version will essentially be a half-hour version of the "5th Grader" format. It's expected all 29 Fox owned-and-operated stations as well as the bulk of Sinclair Broadcasting's 60 stations will carry the show however no clearances have been announced.
DOLLHOUSE (FOX) - 20th Century Fox Television and Joss Whedon have shut down production on the midseason drama to give the creator/executive producer additional time to work on its upcoming scripts. Production on the show's fourth installment then is set to resume on September 25. Whedon helmed two of the initial episodes, leaving him less time in the writers' room than he desired. The studio is no stranger to such decisions as FOX's "24" will be suspended next week for 18 days for similar reasons.
THE REAL KIDS OF ORANGE COUNTY (Bravo, New!) - Evolution Film & Tape ("The Real Housewives of Orange County") has issued a casting notice for another reality series set in the famed Southern California area. The project, which is targeting a much younger set, is detailed as follows: "Bravo is looking for Southern California's most hip and stylish 18 to 20-something set for a new docu-soap. We are looking for young adults who are enjoying the South Orange County 'good life' and run with a busy social crowd! Bravo is looking for young, outgoing Orange County residents who live in the fast lane! They could be attending a local college or university, finding their first apartment, starting a new business venture, living an alternative lifestyle, moving in with their significant other, just married or figuring it all out while still living at home. Bravo is casting male and female 18 to 20-somethings. We are looking for people with defined opinions, who are independent, energetic and have an involved relationship with their parents. Mom and Dad might support their adult children's lifestyle financially or through business connections; or maybe they provide the security of knowing that their kid can "always come home." We are very interested in young adults who reside in the Newport, Newport Coast/Harbor, Irvine and Corona del Mar and the surrounding areas. The young adults, their significant others and families must be ready, willing and able to share their lives and emotions with the producers and the television audience. This docu-soap is scheduled to tape this fall. For more information and to apply for the show, call our Casting Hotline at 818.557.1198 or email us at email@example.com." The online application can be found here.
UNTITLED ANTONIO SABATO JR. PROJECT (VH1, New!) - Soap actor Antonio Sabato Jr. is the latest celebrity to receive the dating show treatment, this time from Ish Entertainment ("Paris Hilton's New BFF") at VH1. The untitled effort will follow Sabato as he searches for the perfect woman. Ish's Michael Hirschorn and Stella Stolper, who previously served as executive VP of original programming and senior VP of celebrity talent development respectively at the cable channel, are executive producing alongside Michael Bloom and Sabato. The news marks their first effort for the network since departing. As for specifics, it's understood the series will be shot like a soap opera and feature his narration as he puts contestants through various challenges, which could include re-creating a steamy love scene or skydiving in a gown. Jeff Olde is overseeing the project for VH1. Filming is expected to begin later this year.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters