[10/01/08 - 06:08 PM]
Development Update: Wednesday, October 1
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!

EVERYBODY HURTS (HBO, New!) - Iconic producer Norman Lear is developing a new drama at the pay channel about a family running a pro-wrestling business in 1970s New York, the lives of their wrestlers and their fans. Aaron Blitzstein ("The Riches") is penning the pilot script, which Lear will executive produce alongside Lara Bergthold via his Act III Productions banner. Blitzstein then will serve as a co-executive producer.

GLEE (FOX) - Cory Monteith ("Kaya") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a Spanish teacher (Matthew Morrison) suddenly called upon to coach the glee club at the high school - one of the worst in the nation. He'll play Finn Hudson, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "18+ or emancipated to play high school. A handsome jock, who looks too kind to be hanging out with the rest of the slope-browed Neanderthals on the Harrison High football team, Finn in fact has an excellent singing voice, and a slumbering passion for classic 80s rock. A kid who has the collected works of Journey committed to memory, Finn is blackmailed by Will Schuester into joining the Glee Club, and in fact Finn finds music to be more fun than grunting and butting heads with other guys. Mercilessly mocked by his buddies for joining the Glee Club, Finn proves to have an acerbically accurate vision of the nature of high school society, and clearly regards it all as an exercise in futile time-wasting." Jayma Mays and Lea Michele also star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which comes from co-creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan.

THE GRAYSONS (The CW, New!) - "Smallville" executive producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson are set to team with "Supernatural" executive producer McG for a small screen take on the life of DC Comics hero Dick "DJ" Grayson before he takes on the iconic Robin identity and aligns himself with Batman. The netlet has given a put pilot commitment to the hour, which is set up at Warner Bros. Television and McG's Wonderland Sound and Vision banner. Souders, Peterson, McG and Wonderland's Peter Johnson then are the executive producers with Souders and Peterson penning the script. No specifics about the show's mythology however were given.

THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY (NBC, New!)/UNTITLED JEFF RAKE DRAMA PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Jeff Rake ("Cashmere Mafia") has booked a pair of projects at NBC and FOX. First up is a single-camera take on the classic 1970-74 sitcom "The Partridge Family." Reveille, Geffen Records and Sony Pictures Television are co-producing the half-hour, which will be reimagined to feature a struggling, sort of well-meaning mom pimping her kids in order to create a wholesome-slash-sexy cash cow. Over at FOX, Rake has an untitled hour inspired by the government's real-life Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The project then tracks "a Pentagon-based inventor who decided he couldn't live another day standing on the sidelines while Rome burns and accordingly set out put his inventions to very real use, behind the back of friends, family and the entire U.S. government." Mitch Hurwitz, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum's Sony Television-based Tantamount is behind the hour, which Anthony and Joe Russo are attached to direct. Both projects have a script commitment with a penalty attached should they not move forward.

THE TOWER (CBS) - "K-Ville" alum Cole Hauser has sealed a talent deal with CBS and its studio sibling CBS Paramount Network Television. The pact calls for the pair to develop a new series project for the actor, who starred in the recent CBS pilot "The Tower," or cast him in one of their existing projects in development.

UNTITLED VALERILE BERTINELLI PROJECT (TBS) - Nadia Dajani, Kevin G. Schmidt and Dean Collins are the latest additions to the comedy pilot, which stars Valerie Bertinelli as Claire Peterson, a newly separated woman who is raising two teens while running a lumber business. Dajani will play Lisa Capelli, whom the casting notice details as follows: "Late 30s, all ethnicities, with a larger-than-life personality, Lisa is Claire's next door neighbor, best friend and confidante. A tough-minded single woman who makes a decent living as a magazine photo-journalist, Lisa has held Claire's hand throughout her divorce from the infamously irresponsible Gary Peterson. It's not just a one-way street; Lisa gets to chow down on Claire's vanilla pecan waffles in exchange for her gruff, down-to-earth advice about men and divorce and post-divorce trauma. Lisa's also good in a pinch for a short-term loan to help Claire cover this month's mortgage."

Schmidt then is set as Daniel Peterson - "To play 16 years old, insecure but bright and quick-witted. Daniel is Claire's son, and the divorce will force him to grow up faster than either one of them would like, complicating their relationship. His lousy job at a cheese store is barely tolerable, since it will pay this avid fisherman enough to buy a new dinghy, and let him fish his beloved Wisconsin lakes. Best friends with the mischievous and somewhat unreliable Hunter, Daniel is having a hard time dealing with his parents' divorce, but he's hiding it quite well. When his mom balks at spending money to repair the dryer, Daniel gets fed up with wearing sopping jeans, and buckles down to the grinding task of installing a new motor in the dryer, with Hunter's questionable aid. It's his first decision as the man of the house." with Collins as Hunter - "About 16, all ethnicities. Hunter is Daniel's mischievous, kinda girl-crazy best friend. Not the most dependable guy on Earth, Hunter is just as obsessive about fishing as Daniel -- but with Hunter, fishing is just another of a long series of time-wasters. Not a detail-oriented guy (Hunter would rather ogle than focus), he assists Daniel in the dull task of putting a new motor in the dryer, and Daniel fixes the appliance in spite of Hunter's questionable help." The trio joins the previously cast Anjelah Johnson and Juliette Goglia on the project, which comes from creator Dave Caplan.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [october 2008]  


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