LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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ACCORDING TO JIM/SAMANTHA WHO? (ABC) - Brillstein Entertainment Partners Television has inked a three-year overall deal with ABC Studios, the producer of both series. The pact calls the company to package and develop new projects for the studio, both scripted and unscripted. Already in the works are: an unscripted vehicle toplined by Bob Saget at A&E; a remake of the Israeli drama series "A Touch Away" at HBO from Kate Robin ("Six Feet Under"); and a trio of projects at ABC - a relationship comedy from writer/director David Talbert ("First Sunday"); "The Out-Laws," an adult family comedy from Kit Boss; and "Helping Me Help Myself," a single-camera half-hour from Tracy Poust and Jon Kinally.
CHILDREN OF THE CORN (Sci Fi, New!) - David Anders ("Heroes"), Kandyse McClure ("Battlestar Galactica"), Preston Bailey ("Dexter") and Daniel Newman ("Surface") are all set to star in a new small screen take on the classic Stephen King novel. The two-hour project stars Anders and McClure as Burt and Vicky, "a couple with marital problems whose attempt at a second-honeymoon driving trip ends up taking them into a seemingly deserted rural community that conceals a grim secret among its rows of tall corn." Bailey then is set as boy preacher Isaac with Newman as his rebellious right-hand man Malachai. Donald P. Borchers is helming the film from his own script. Production is underway in Davenport, Iowa for a 2009 air date.
MANHUNT (HBO, New!) - Former "Homicide: Life on the Street" collaborators David Simon and Tom Fontana are looking to reteam for a small screen take on James L. Swanson's book about the 12-day search for Abraham Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth. The potential mini-series however is in the early stages of development with Simon and Fontana writing and executive producing alongside Lawrence Bender, Kevin Brown and Walden Media. As for specifics, the project will focus on the perspectives of lesser-known historical figures that were connected to the assassination of Lincoln and the subsequent media frenzy and manhunt.
UNTITLED JEFF FOXWORTHY PROJECT (FOX, New!) - "10 Items or Less" executive producers Nancy Hower and John Lehr have landed a pilot presentation order from the network for a new animated comedy about a dysfunctional family set in the world of NASCAR. "Blue Collar TV" alum/"Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" host Jeff Foxworthy is attached to lend his voice to and executive produce the 20th Century Fox Television-based project alongside Parallel Entertainment's J.P. Williams. Hower and Lehr will write the pilot and executive produce the effort, additional details of which were not released.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters