LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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FABLES (ABC) - The Alphabet is the latest network to try and bring Bill Willingham's celebrated DC/Vertigo comic book to the small screen. Stu Zicherman and Raven Metzner ("Six Degrees") are behind the new incarnation, which has a put pilot commitment from the network and Warner Bros. Television. David Semel ("Heroes") has already signed on to direct the project, which revolves around characters from fairy tales and folklore living in exile in modern-day New York. It's not clear if the pilot will kick off with the comics' inaugural storyline in which Fabletown's sheriff, a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf, investigates the murder of Snow White's party-girl sister, Rose Red. NBC previously took a stab at an adaption during the 2006-07 season from writer/producer Craig Silverstein ("Bones").
OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS/WHITE COLLAR (USA) - Nick Zano ("What I Like About You") and Diana Maria Riva ("Side Order of Life") have both joined the cast of "Operating Instructions" while Marsha Thomason ("Easy Money") has been tapped for a role on "White Collar." The former, from Conaco Productions and Universal Cable Productions, centers on an Rachel (Emily Rose), an ex-Marine who returns from a tour of duty as a Navy surgeon to take a post at a military hospital. Zano will play Luke, a Marine who shared a traumatic experience with Rachel in Iraq, with Riva as Amani, an intuitive OR nurse on Rachel's surgery team. "Collar," from Fox Television Studios, then focuses on Neal (Matthew Bomer), a con artist who partners with the head of the FBI's white-collar crime unit (Tim DeKay). Thomason will play Diana Lancing, a bright and spunky junior agent.
RUNAWAY SQUAD (A&E, New!) - TV Week reports the cable channel has ordered a pilot for a new reality series about Joe Mazzilli, a former undercover New York City detective who searches for runaway kids. Mazzilli (Court TV's "Under Fire"), "a 16-year police veteran who now runs a private detective and security agency that became known as the go-to shop to find missing kids," created and is executive producing the hour. "Runaway Squad" will initially air as a backdoor pilot special on Monday, December 22 at 10:00/9:00c following "Intervention." The network will then decide whether to commission additional installments.
SYNS (Showtime, New!) - John McNamara ("Jericho") and Sera Gamble ("Supernatural") are set to team for a new drama at the pay channel about a world in which humanlike synthetic organisms, known as Syns, are used for various purposes. The project was originally developed at the BBC (then known as "Dolls' Hospital") by Stephen Volk. Gamble then is set to pen the script and executive produce alongside McNamara, RDF USA's Chris Coelen, Clerkenwell Films's Murray Ferguson and Pangea's Karrie Wolfe and Brian Lenard. Pangea, an RDF USA subsidiary, was behind Showtime's short-lived import "Meadowlands."
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters