[12/03/08 - 06:37 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, December 3 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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CSI: NY (CBS) - Former CBS mainstay Craig T. Nelson ("The District") has landed a three-episode arc on the crime drama. He'll play Robert Parker, an powerful NYC publishing magnet who serves as a nemesis to Gary Sinise's Mac Taylor. It's not clear when his first episode will air.
CUPID (ABC) - The Alphabet has quietly trimmed the show's commitment from 13 to eight episodes (not 10 as widely reported). Fellow midseason entries "Castle" and "The Unusuals" both had previously seen similar reductions. All of said cuts are said to be related to their late premieres, which wouldn't have allowed all 13 installments to air.
THE ROMEOS/STRAIGHT UP & DIRTY (ABC, New!) - Writer/producer Marco Pennette ("Samantha Who?") has lined up a pair of projects at ABC, including a drama with "Jack & Bobby" co-creators Brad Meltzer and Steve Cohen and a comedy based on the life of comedian Stephanie Klein. The former, "The Romeos," revolves around four young men in the 1960s who eventually become the nation's biggest rock stars. Much like "Jack & Bobby," it's understood the series will be framed by present-day documentary-style interviews while Broadway composer Jeff Marks ("Avenue Q") has been tapped to pen the band's tunes. As for specifics, the show will open in 1965 when the four 22-year-olds in Ypsilanti, Michigan first pick up their instruments. Pennette, Meltzer and Cohen will executive produce the hour for ABC Studios. As for "Dirty," the half-hour tracks Klein's life as she pulls herself up after a tough divorce. Klein herself is penning the Brillstein Entertainment Partners-based project with Pennette supervising.
THE PHILANTHROPIST (NBC) - "Party of Five" alum Neve Campbell is in talks to join the cast of the upcoming drama, about Teddy Rist, a renegade billionaire (James Purefoy) who uses his wealth, connections and power to help people in need around the world. She'll play the wife of Teddy's business partner and lifelong friend, Phillip (Jesse Martin), who runs the two billionaires' charitable foundation. Universal Media Studios is behind the hour, which is currently in production in South Africa.
TOUGH LOVE BOOT CAMP (VH1, New!) - Nancy Juvonen and Drew Barrymore's Flower Films has booked an eight-episode commitment from the cable channel for a new reality series in which a group of women's destructive dating habits are addressed via an intensive boot camp. High Noon Entertainment is co-producing the series, while Steve Ward is attached to host. Juvonen and Barrymore then will executive produce alongside Ember Truesdell and Chris Miller; High Noon's Jim Berger and Pamela Healey; and VH1's Jeff Olde, Alex Demyanenko, Jill Holmes and Noah Pollack.